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Learning from Steve Jobs: Tips for Great Presentation Design

June 3, 2014 / Blog iPhone, presentation design tips, Steve Jobs

When Steve Jobs first introduced the iPhone at the Macworld Expo last 2007, he presented an idea that later revolutionized the use of mobile phones. Seven years later, the Internet is buzzing with anticipation over the iPhone 6.

One thing we can learn from Jobs is that your million dollar idea is only the first step to success. The next and most crucial step is getting others to listen to you.

A genius idea could fall flat if it hides behind a bland presentation riddled with endless bullet points and line graphs. Luckily, we can take notes from the success of Steve Jobs and the iPhone for tips to improve your presentation design:

Your Slides are Important

Steve Jobs was well-known for his minimalist presentations. Each slide contained only a single image or thought that echoed parts of his speech. He also made use of large white fonts that contrasted against dark gradient backgrounds. This allowed his audience more head space to follow what he was saying.

Remember that visuals are important for retaining new information, but too much could overwhelm your audience. Learn to strike a balance when creating your own presentation design.

Find the middle ground between flashy animations and repetitive bullet points that could lull your audience to sleep. Your presentation design should help the audience retain your amazing idea.

Tell a Well-structured Story

Your presentation design should also follow the structure of the story you’re trying to tell. And every story needs a good beginning, middle, and end. No part can function without the other. Each should complement each other to bring to life an overall good narrative.

The same is true for presenting an idea.

Jobs demonstrated the efficiency of the story technique by identifying specific sections in his presentations.

Take, for example, his keynote at the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference in 2010. He organized his presentation into the following main segments: updates on the iPad, information about the App Store and the apps available for download, updates about the iPhone, and the then-new iPhone 4.

The Key is in the Delivery

The worst thing you can do is hide behind your note cards or read directly from your slides.A winning deck isn’t a replacement for your presence as a speaker. Make sure to establish your presence with a powerful delivery that will hold the audience’s attentions.

Your audience is just as likely to fall asleep to your deadpan delivery as they would if you presented them with a generic design template.

Jobs’ presentations were effective because he was a charismatic and confident communicator. Practice your delivery long before you’re slated to give your presentation. A confident delivery is bound to result in a positive response.


Every presenter has their own specific style. But it would help boost your chances if you take a tip from tried and tested methods.

Steve Jobs put the efficiency of storytelling to the fore in his own well-received presentations. Similarly, you can tap into the potential of a good narrative in your own pitch. Let your deck tell a story, but don’t fall behind in terms of delivery.

Blow the audience away with an award-winning presentation, from deck to delivery.


Steve Jobs Introduces IPhone 4 at WWDC (live Blog).” CNET. Accessed June 03, 2014.

Image: the very instant of announcement by Blake Patterson from