Feb 10, 2010
1.) Plan in Analog
Steve Jobs made his mark in the digital world of bits and bytes, but he plans presentations in the old world of pen and paper. A Steve Jobs presentation has all the elements of a great movie—heroes and villains, stunning visuals and a supporting cast. And, like a movie director, Steve Jobs “storyboards” the plot. Before you go digital and open PowerPoint, spend time brainstorming, sketching or whiteboarding in the early stages. Remember, you’re delivering a story, the narrative.
2.) Create a Twitter-Friendly Description
Steve Jobs creates a single sentence description for every product. These headlines help the audience categorize the new product and are always concise enough to fi t in a 140-character Twitter post.
3.) Introduce the Antagonist
In every classic story, the hero fights the villain. The same holds true for a Steve Jobs presentation. In 1984, the villain was IBM, known as “Big Blue” at the time. Before Jobs introduced the famous 1984 television ad to a group of Apple salespeople, he created a dramatic story around it. “IBM wants it all,” he said. Apple would be the only company to stand in its way. It was very dramatic and the crowd went crazy. Branding expert Martin Lindstrom says that great brands and religions have something in common: the idea of vanquishing a shared enemy. Create a villain that allows the audience to rally around the hero—you and your product.
4.) Focus on Benefits
Your listeners are asking themselves one question: Why should I care? Steve Jobs sells the benefifi t behind every new product or feature—and he’s very clear about it. Why buy an iPhone 3G? Because “it’s twice as fast at half the price.” What’s so great about Time Capsule? “All your irreplaceable photos, videos and documents are automatically protected and easy to retrieve if they’re ever lost.”
5.) Stick to the Rule of Three
Nearly every Steve Jobs presentation is divided into three parts. When Jobs returned from a health-related absence on September 9, 2009, he told the audience he would be talking about three products: iPhones, iTunes and iPods. Along the way he provides verbal guideposts such as “iPhones. The fi rst thing I wanted to talk about today. Now, let’s move on to the second, iTunes.” The number “three” is a powerful concept in writing. Playwrights know that three is more dramatic than two; comedians know that three is funnier than four, and Steve Jobs knows that three is more memorable than six or eight.
Kudos to Carmine Gallo for the great slides!