Present like the experts – the 10 best tricks from Steve Jobs

A presentation that is to successfully convey its message to the audience and be remembered for a long time needs a top speaker for this purpose. For example, an expert like Steve Jobs. His presentations were absolutely world class. He applied clear rules that are still used by top speakers. We present you the 10 best presentation tricks of Steve Jobs.   

There are often worlds between an average speaker and a really good presenter. A presentation professional has regularly gathered practical experience over many years , has read pretty much all the specialist literature and has attended lots of further training courses.  A speaker who only gives a presentation now and then cannot keep up. But even the professional usually finds his master at some point. There are simply speakers who have a real calling to deliver their messages convincingly. Steve Jobs is one of these presentation geniuses. But even if you may never get close to him, you can learn a lot from him.  Here we present his ten most important rules.

Rule 1. Plan your presentation like an adventure feature filmM

Steve Jobs prepared his presentations as if he had to write the script for Star Wars.  With paper and pencil, he designed a “storyboard” that accurately described the entire plot of the presentation. Before even starting to create the slides, the process was outlined in detail. The focus was on the story he wanted to tell.

Rule 2. your key messages should have Twitter format

Ellenlage texts are not easy for anyone to remember. Keep your key messages as brief as possible. Steve Jobs described the MacBook Air in 2008 with a short sentence: “the thinnest notebook in the world”. Everyone can remember that and tell others about it. Such short sentences are best suited for spreading via Twitter.

Rule 3. Bring an antagonist into your presentation

In every good story, the hero needs an antagonist to overcome. The audience should identify with the hero and be on his side. Steve Jobs declared IBM the “bad guy” for this purpose. He stated that Apple was the only company that would oppose the omnipotence of this corporation. Large, seemingly omnipotent companies or organizations that want to gain more and more monopoly power over their customers are well suited for the role of the villain. But they can just as well be typical problems of your customer, which you solve as a “hero” with your offer.

Rule 4. focus on the concrete benefit you offer

In almost every presentation, the technical features of a product or solution are explained, but not the concrete benefits. But the audience is specifically asking “what do I get out of buying XY”? Steve Jobs always made it clear in his presentations how his products could improve people’s lives.

Rule 5. Use the “Rule of Three”.

All good things come in threes, as the saying goes. In fact, this figure plays a major role in narratives. Steve Jobs knew that three things are better to remember than five or nine. His presentations were usually divided into three parts. Three important pieces of information are better retained in long-term memory than ten.

Rule 6. Sell HOW Steve Jobs dreams and not products

The following sentence comes from Antoine de Saint-Exupéry:

If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up men to get wood, assign tasks and divide up the work, but teach them to long for the vast, endless sea. This method applies fully to Steve Jobs. He took his audience to the vision of a better world that Apple’s solutions bring a few steps closer. He didn’t just want to sell, he wanted to inspire. Emotions and passion are a key to your target audience.

Rule 7. design simple, easy-to-understand slides HOW SteVe Jobs.

Stevo Jobs consistently relied on photos and images in his presentations. Emphasizing information in picture form is called “Picture Superiority”. He largely dispensed with text or bullet points and relied on visual messages that were more memorable to viewers.

Rule 8. make numbers vivid

The larger a number is, the more difficult it will be for your audience to properly classify and evaluate that number. There is often a lack of context to understand a “bare” number. So the larger a number is, the more important it becomes for the speaker to find appropriate analogies or comparisons. Apple vice president Phil Schiller used Steve Jobs’ techniques to make sense of the current sales successes. He stated at a 2009 event that 220 million iPods have been sold. Then he put the number in perspective. Schiller explained that this brought the company’s market share to 73 percent. He went one better by noting that Apple competitor Microsoft was at the bottom of the rankings with one percent market share. Such a comparison is compelling and memorable.

Rule 9. Use snappy, understandable language

Nothing is as dull as a dusty, boring language. Avoid trite phrases, technical jargon or politically correct standard formulations. Use fresh, simple and clear language to get the audience’s attention. Steve Jobs avoided the usual marketing and sales slang that quite a few speakers use. He always spoke plain, straightforward language.

Rule 10. Build an “aha” effect into your presentation

The “aha” effect is associated with Rule 4, which describes customer value. The point here is to top off this benefit with a big surprise. The presentation of the iPhone in 2007 is considered a prime example. He introduced his latest product with the following words:
“Today we are introducing three revolutionary products. The first is a widescreen iPod with touch operation. The second is a revolutionary cell phone. And the third is a breakthrough device for Internet communications. An iPod, a phone, a device for Internet communication…an iPod, a phone, well, do you have it? It’s not three devices. It’s one device!”
The auditorium was completely surprised and responded with thunderous applause.

Steve Jobs was certainly an exceptional talent. But you can benefit from his genius and incorporate building blocks of his technique into your presentation. We recommend this book for further study.

For more tips and tricks on presenting, sign up here to our newsletter.

Speaker and PowerPoint Trainer Matthias Garten

Dipl.-Wirtsch.-Informatiker Matthias Garten as the expert for multimedia presentations and professional PowerPoint presentations knows about the art of professional slide design. He is an entrepreneur, speaker (TOP 100 Speaker), trainer (TOP 100 Excellence Trainer), multiple book author, presentation coach (presentation training), member of the GSA and Club 55, organizer of the Presentation Conference, Presentation Bootcamp and Presentation Rocket Day. In addition to PowerPoint and presentation training, he inspires and advises companies on how to present themselves more effectively to differentiate themselves from competitors. He is the business owner of the presentation and PowerPoint agency smavicon Best Business Presentations and with his team has created over 10,000 professional PowerPoint presentations for over 150 industries since 1993.