Monday, February 14, 2011

Secrets to Great Presentations... The Steve Jobs Way

I just bought an iPad, so forgive me if I am in a 'Mac' frame of mind. My purchases aside though, I am a big fan of Steve Jobs and, in particular, his presentation style. His presentations are everything that a truly great presentation should be.  They are impactful, memorable and motivating. What then can we learn from the likes of Steve Jobs to help our presentations stand out?

  • Stop thinking of your presentations as simply an opportunity to share information, considering them instead as an opportunity to transform.  A chance to create and drive change. Start by thinking about what the true desired take-away message is for your audience and build the presentation out and around it.
  •  Having established clearly what your key message is, create your story. All presentations should have a clear, compelling message. Know what yours is and let it take center stage.
  • If your topic lends itself to it... Introduce a villain. Every great story has a great villain, an antagonist (problem) that unites your audience against a common element. A villain will always serve as your 'why' for your product or service.
  • Be passionate about what you are sharing, not just with your words but with your delivery style as well. If you are not passionate about your story/topic... Why would your audience be?
  • Make sure your message is sticky, that it is memorable. Use short and concise phrasing and even take a few lessons from the marketing department to help your message stand out. A few ideas? Use repetition, the Power of 3 (easy for the mind to picture and remember groups of 3 ideas), use Twitter-like headlines, use alliteration, use pictures and word images, create a memorable catch-phrase that captures the essence of your message.
  • Eliminate your dependence on bullet points. Text is generally the least effective way to deliver information -if you want it remembered and acted upon. Instead, use visual elements to connect with and engage your audience... To inspire.
  • Consider giving your audience a 'bonus' of some kind at the end of your presentation. Steve Jobs always concluded with his famous..."and one more thing...". What could you do or offer that ends your presentation cleanly, clearly and memorably?

If you're still not too sure how these points would play out over the course of an actual presentation then hop on over to You Tube, type in a search for Steve Jobs and watch how a master does it! It is never a bad thing to learn by example and I can't think of a better example for you to follow!

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