Slidegenius, Inc.

Steve Jobs: Creating an Engaging Presentation

Even after his death, Steve Jobs continues to be an idol of the business community constantly receiving praise for his dedication to innovation and excellence. There are an endless number of lessons one can learn from the late Apple guru, but one in particular that we can focus on is how he beautifully mastered the art of presentations. He seemed to give as much care to the impact of his presentations as he did to the product he was showcasing. Below are three lessons we can takeaway from the former CEO of Apple.

Show Passion for What You’re Presenting

In any given video of Steve Jobs talking about Apple or anything he was working on, his passion for it is immediately apparent. His ability to be inspired and immerse himself in any project he took a part in, coupled with his famously less-than-mild temperament, made every one of his presentations an invigorating sight to see.

There’s no replica for genuine passion about what you do, but giving off a positive vibe during your presentation will always work in your favor. Enthusiasm, openness, and a smile will make you and by extension your presentation, more likable by your audience.

Utilize a Simple, yet Dynamic Visual Aid

Jobs created an iconic platform for his product presentations that were always immediately recognizable by most anyone. A large, black stage with an enormous screen, behind a plainly dressed Jobs, who wears a slim microphone attached to his ear.

His visual aid, the PowerPoint presentation on the giant screen behind him, is remarkably simple. Each slide has either a single picture or sentence projected on it. This enables each slide have all the more impact and keeps the audience’s main focus on what Jobs is saying.

Work the Audience: Build and Relieve Suspense

This may seem like an abstract idea, but it’s key when engaging an audience – a great presentation is a performance. You need highs and lows–to build suspense and then release it and Steve Jobs was able to execute this perfectly.

While it takes a talented dramatist to replicate what Jobs does during these presentations, you can replicate the emotional effect he has on his audience by rehearsing and  also ensuring that you have everything you need.

-Plan your speech with care. Coordinate your talking points with a visual accompaniment. Especially if you’re making a sell, timing and suspense is everything. Identify a seemingly unsolvable problem, use it to build anticipation, then relieve it with your carefully crafted solution.

-Great speakers and presenters don’t just roll out of bed and wow an audience. They work at it tirelessly. Write out all your cues and talking points, then rehearse this until you’ve perfected what you’re going to say. If speaking in public makes you uncomfortable, rehearsing and then showing up prepared can give you the assurance you need.

-Crafting the perfect PowerPoint for a grand slam presentation can take a lot of expertise. Even if you have the Graphic Design and storyboard experience to make a professional-grade presentation, this can take a huge amount of time that you could otherwise use perfecting your talking points. Using professional PowerPoint designers and specialists is imperative for taking a presentation to the next level.

While few of us have the brilliant spark that let Jobs captivate an audience the way he did throughout his life, with some practice, we can learn some of the ways that made him such a inspiring and innovative figure.