Tag Archives: communication

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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Google Wave Let Me In … Now What?

It finally happened, I got a Google Wave invite from my good friend and colleague, social media guruess Alin Wagner-Lahmy (feels like being asked to the prom just a week before the big night).  For those of you who live under rocks (and you too Mom), Google Wave is the latest innovation from Google Labs.

It allows users to engage in a real-time, editable conversation, which appears on each participants screen.  As Google says, email was invented 40-years ago; Google Wave is what email would look like if it was invented today.

That’s great stuff, but think about it: what does email really allow us to do?  Whenever a new technology comes along we need to look at the tasks we are doing with old technology and see how the new offering changes that.  Here is my simplified list of tasks that can be accomplished with Old-mail (email):

  • Sending 1-to-1 communications, similar to letters
  • Sending 1-to-group communications, similar to … well email chains
  • Filing conversations and information
  • Data storage and search
  • Advertising, solicitation, and spam

Now what does Google Wave bring to the table that changes all that?  For one thing, the 1-to-group communications become a lot smoother.  My biggest pet peeve about email is the Reply All snippet.  You know the guy.  After a detailed starting message, and then maybe an insightful question/reply or two, he sends the simple reply all “thanks,” to which the original message owner replies, “your welcome,” to which snippet guy replies, “can’t wait to get this done,” (still replying all, still clogging everyone’s inbox).  But that isn’t even the worst thing about email.  Then there is fracture gal.  She’s the one who asks an important question, but only to the message originator, so that by the time someone hits reply all to include the rest of us, we have half the conversation and have to send a few messages back and forth just to clarify what we missed.

Google Wave eliminates these issues by keeping a single copy of the conversation for everyone.  Edits made to the conversation can be replayed so you never miss anything, but more importantly, there is no clutter b/c everyone participating in the wave sees the same thing.  This has so many uses beyond just eliminating clutter and adhering to Inbox Zero principles (look for a future post “GTD with Google Wave”).  Some quick applications that come to mind:

  • Virtual conference documenting, feedback, and interacting
  • Business meeting and  classroom note-taking
  • Crowdsourcing a book or other projects
  • Party and event planning
  • Family tree, multimedia albums or mommy books for the kids – invite the grandparents, aunts/uncles, cousins, et all to Wave on it
  • Public Waves proposed legislation … see what the people really think!
  • Others?

This is a new technology.  When the wheel came about we had to stop dragging our wagons in the dirt.  When the printing press hit, copyist positions and the work of monastic librarians changed forever.  After the Internet the third world became the virtual workplace.  We must define what Google Wave will do to email.  Some places I have sought direction:

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