While most presenters simply provide information, Steve Jobs, arguably the best presenter ever, not only provides information, but manages to inspire people at the same time too. Having done quite a lot of research on his presentation skills, I have concluded that there are 5 basic rules in for making a great presentation:
1. Set the Theme and Provide an Outline – Every presentation has a theme. Identify it in the first 20 minutes of your introductory speech and from then on keep mentioning it several times throughout your presentation. Give a general outline and try to follow it. Steve Jobs usually starts by saying, “There are four things I want to talk about today. So lets get started…” Similarly, make lists and guide the audience along the way.
2. Create visual slides – While usually speakers fill their slides with data and statistics and charts, Steve Jobs does just the opposite. His slides are visually attractive and usually show just one image. For example, when he is telling the audience about the iPhone, the slide in the background only carries the image of the iPhone. If there is a text to be included then, he generally uses short sentences of three to four words. Researchers have found that ideas are more likely to be remembered if they are presented as images or words along with images instead of plain text or bulleted points.
3. Sell the Benefit and Be Enthusiastic – Instead of promoting the different features of the products, Jobs sells their benefits. For example, when introducing the movie rental scheme on iTunes, Jobs stressed on why movie renting is easier and a better way to watch movies. And he speaks very passionately about the product he is introducing. Try and do the same. It specially helps when you are enthusiastic.
4. Give them a Good Show and Don’t Sweat on Minor Mishaps – A presenter needs to be a good orator too, he should know how to influence the audience simply by modulating his voice tone and speed. While giving presentations, Jobs tries to include video clips and other demonstrations. You should try and include as many demonstrations as possible. Makes the presentation much more interesting. However, there are times when, despite proper preparation, things go wrong. Remain calm and try not to get too distracted by it. Glitches are hardly remembered unless of course, you yourself call attention to it!
5. Practice and practice more – Steve Jobs himself can never pull off the great presentations without proper practice. Indeed people from within Apple have informed that Jobs practices aloud for hours before the final presentation. No wonder then that it looks so effortless on his part! So rehearse loudly until you feel confident and satisfied.
Try using all the points mentioned above and I am sure your next presentation will be worth a watch!
You can see the Steve Jobs Presenting iPod Here