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How To Deliver Insanely Great Presentations Like Steve Jobs – Part 2

Part 2 of this article series describes an additional 6 principles modelled on Steve Jobs for creating and delivering amazingly influential presentations. (Continued from Part 1)

#6 Sell Dreams, Not Things

steve-jobs-presentations-part-2What makes Jobs so successful? Well for one thing he doesn’t sell computers. No, he sells the idea of a better world. In 2001 he said of the iPod, “we are going to make the world a better place”.

He believes in his heart that his products are vehicles for enriching peoples lives.

A passion and sense of purpose beyond the product or service you offer will clearly differentiate you from others. No doubt you’d agree that Jobs stands out.

When we decided that we were here for one purpose, that was ‘to enable people around the world to take responsibility for the creation of their own quality of life and financial freedom’, we built ourselves the foundations for being different.

Remember passion and enthusiasm mixed with authenticity will move people. Stand for something beyond your product or service, that will make you remarkable.

#7 Be Consistent With An Obvious Theme

When Steve Jobs opened Macworld 2008, he said “there’s clearly something in the air today”. In doing so he set the theme for the event and hinted at the major announcement which was the release of the ultra thin Macbook Air.

Jobs sets the theme with a single headline statement like “today Apple is going to reinvent the phone”. Once the direction for the event is set, he remains consistent with it.

#8 Be Highly Visual

The majority of your audience will primarily process in pictures and images. Pictures stimulate thinking and can be embedded deeply into memory. Jobs knows this so his presentations are pictures and videos, not bullet points.

Used wisely, pictures and videos can help make your presentation simple and uncluttered, and yet highly memorable. As Jobs once said, “simplicity is the ultimate sophistication”. The experience is far more memorable when a visual reference is linked to an auditory digital explanation.

When you create your presentation, develop a series of images and support this with a simple understandable dialogue.

#9 Give Numbers Context

One technique effectively used by Jobs is to put big numbers into context and cause people to relate to them. He often uses an analogy.

When he unveiled the iPod in 2001, few people knew what 5 gigabytes of storage meant. He made sense of that number when he said the iPod could hold 1,000 songs, and you could carry those 1,000 songs in your pocket. When he said that, 5 gigabytes suddenly took on meaning for the audience. When he said Apple had sold 4 million iPhones to date, he placed that number in context when he said it equated to 20,000 units sold each and every day.

Do the same when you present numbers or statistics, tell a story or use a metaphor or analogy the audience can relate to.

#10 Use Words That Excite the Audience

Jobs speaks to his audience in plain English and he has fun with the words he uses. He says things such as “amazingly zippy” and the audience responds … they love it!

It is highly unlikely that you will ever hear him saying ‘synergy’ or ‘moving forward’. He rarely uses the normal jargon associated with his industry and business in general. He knows those words create unnecessary complexity and they fail to impress customers.

Keep your language simple, connect with the audience in the way they speak, and avoid making complex that which can be explained in layman terms.

Simplicity impresses.

#11 Hit Them With a ‘Holy Shit’ Moment

Jobs has refined the art of sticking a post it note fairly and squarely in your brain by delivering one emotionally charged event in every presentation he delivers.

When he unveiled the Macbook Air, he simply showed a photo of it in a Manila envelope. The worlds thinnest notebooks was born. During Macworld 2007, Jobs created the drama by stating that today they were introducing three revolutionary devices, a widescreen iPod with touch controls, a phone and an Internet communications device. The audience went wild when they realized it was one device … the iPhone!

We create a ‘holy shit’ moment that sticks like glue when we get people to describe a specific thing in one of our self leadership seminars, and then cause them to realise they’ve described their own future.

So how do you bring this all together?

The answer is practice. Amateurs practice until they get it right. Professionals practice until they cannot get it wrong. Jobs obviously practices … a lot!

It is nothing more than practice that gives you the confidence to do what others don’t do ….. the confidence to describe your product or service in short sharp zippy words, the confidence to use only images in your presentation and talk freely to them, the confidence to sell a dream in a practical way that moves people, the confidence to tell a story that captures the hearts and minds of an audience …. the confidence to inform with simplicity.

Go ahead and be remarkable, listeners give you permission to do that.

George Lee Sye

(If you missed Part 1 – Click Here)

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