Steve Jobs Presentation Techniques

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Express your passion. Steve Jobs was passionate about design, he absolutely loved his new product, and he wore his enthusiasm on his black-mock sleeve. “It looks pretty doggone gorgeous,” he said with a big smile after showing the iPhone for the first time. Jobs often used words such as “cool,” “amazing,” or “gorgeous” because he believed it. Your audience is giving you permission to show enthusiasm. If you’re not excited about your idea, nobody else will be.

Create a Twitter-friendly headline. Jobs used a technique I’ve labeled the “Twitter-friendly headline,” a one-sentence summary of a product that perfectly captured the main message he wished to deliver. Shortly after showing the new phone, Jobs proudly proclaimed, “Today Apple is going to reinvent the phone.” The headline, “Apple reinvents the phone” was the only sentence on the slide. He repeated the headline several times during the presentation. A Google search for the phrase turns up about 25,000 links, most of which are directly from articles and blog posts covering the launch presentation.

Stick to the rule of three. Jobs instinctively understood that the number “3” is one of the most powerful numbers in communications. A list of 3 things is more intriguing than 2 and far easier to remember than 22. Jobs divided his iPhone presentation into three sections. He spoke about the iPod functions of the new iPhone, the phone itself, and connecting to the Internet. Jobs even had some fun with three. He stepped on stage and said, “Today we are introducing three revolutionary products. The first, a widescreen iPod with touch controls. The second, is a revolutionary mobile phone. And the third is a breakthrough Internet communications device.” As the audience applauded, Jobs repeated the three ‘products’ several times. Finally he said, “Are you getting it? These are not three separate devices, they are one device and we are calling it iPhone!”

Introduce a villain. All great stories have a hero and a...
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