Present Like Steve Jobs: A Video History of the Master

I am currently reading The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs by Carmine Gallo.  Apple’s founder is a master showman, and according to Gallo we can all learn from his tricks.  What follows are some video examples that illustrate the points Gallo makes so well in his manual for great presenting.  These videos show us that a business presentation is story telling, a tradition that runs deep in the blood of humanity.  We are all capable of it and yet we all resort to bullet points, graphs, and statistics to sell our corporate vision (I say “we” because I am guilty too).

Here’s a presentation by Gallo about his book – buy your copy today!

Introduce a Bad Guy the Hero Can Beat- this is a core concept at the heart of story telling.  Steve Jobs launched Apple as being the good guy who would vanquish IBM, “Big Blue.”  Like Luke v. Darth Vader, David v. Goliath, and Little Mac v. Mike Tyson, making a clear conflict that puts you in the good guy role will help make a compelling presentation.  See how Jobs does it in this 1983 Apple Keynote.

Create “Twitter-like” headlines and build excitement – Gallo talks about the power of a short, quick, and catchy headlines for presentations.  He cites some of Jobs’s most famous, like this one about the Macbook Air: “the world’s thinnest notebook.”  Lose the verbiage, build up to the moment, and deliver.  This next video showing the 2008 unveiling of the Macbook Air does that on so many levels.

Create Holy Sh*t Moments – the mind thrives on excitement.  It focuses our senses, makes the world real to us, and leaves an impression.  This is the stuff people remember.  Every presentation needs a holy sh*t moment, and jobs is great at giving us these.  The next two videos show two of the best he ever gave us.

A computer that talks …

Three products: a wide-screen ipod with touch controls, a revolutionary mobile phone, and an Internet communicator …

These are just a few of the tips I am learning and trying to incorporate into my own presentations.  A final take away from Gallo and Jobs that I’ll share in this post is that greatness takes perseverance, dedication, and practice.  Trial and error.  Malcolm Gladwell introduces the 10,000 hour rule in his book Outliers, saying it takes 10,000 hours of practice to perform at the level of a superstar.  The same is true for business presentations and persuasion – to be great we have to put in a lot of time practicing and trying things out.


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