3 Secrets for a successful presentation or demonstration

Steve Jobs tricks and hacks to succeed in any presentation

You can have the best product in the world that doesn’t mean you will be out of stock your first day selling that product. Because first, people don’t know the product. Second, they don’t know the seller. That’s why marketing is super important.

The way we are presenting things will for sure impact the customer. I wanted to learn more about the art of presenting ideas, products, services … whatever to an audience. So, I started my 2021 by reading an awesome book by the writer Carmine Gallo. Called: Presentation Secrets Of Steve Jobs.

This book is fascinating. I decided to extract tips from it so that everyone can improve here or his presentation way.

#1: Plan your message and storyline

>Define your key massage

What is the main idea or message you want to deliver to your audience? The message should be simple and easy to be remembered. This message should be like a tweet, short and rememberable.

As an example, in 2007, when Steve Jobs announced the iPhone. He started with an interesting and short phrase:

“Today, Apple reinvents the phone” — Steve Jobs

The message is straightforward to be remembered. It’s short and simple.

>Define a storyline

The writer says that Steve Jobs always present with a storyline in mind that he prepared very well. And this storyline ensures in dept the delivered key message of the beginning.

“You need to create a new space in my brain to hold the information you’re about to deliver. It turns me off when entrepreneurs offer a solution without setting up the problem. They have a pot of coffee — their idea — without a cup to pour it in.” — An investor

>Practice relentlessly

Steve Jobs takes hours and sometimes several days to prepare himself for the presentation. This makes its presentations simple, strong, and fluent. The audience feels that Steve Jobs masters what he says and knows very well what he’s talking about.

>Be prepared for trouble

There is always question and doubts about a solution. Humans can make mistakes, you know. The writer talked about a method to be well prepared for questions, which is the Bucket method. This method relies on separating the problems and anticipating them. Get a ready answer and solution for each problem and film yourself to tell if you are ready and how your reply is convincing for you, and why not practice in front of your family or friends.

#2: Deliver your message

>Tell your audience how you are going to solve their problem

When Steve Jobs announced the iPod, he started first by talking about the problem. He mentioned that people couldn’t listen to music or whatever they want anywhere and anytime. And then he announced the iPod, which is the hero that will solve this problem for you.

So always start to talk about the villain or the problem, followed by the hero or the solution that solves this problem.

>Simplify your presentation

  • Fewer words, more pictures

If you have already seen Steve Jobs’s presentations, you’ll notice that he usually uses more images and fewer words. Studies had shown that pictures have a big impact on making your audience understand quickly and get your idea easily.

  • Use metaphors

Using metaphors helps your audience imagining your idea and your message. For example, when Steve Jobs talked about the iPod rather than saying that it has the capacity of 5 GB and it’s so light, he said:

“iPod. One thousand songs in your pocket” — Steve Jobs

What else is there to say? One sentence tells the story and also answers the question, Why should listener care?

  • Use the rule of three

Steve Jobs knows that the “RULE OF THREE” is one of the most powerful concepts in communication theory. When communicating ideas either via books, a presentation, or whatever. Sum up your idea in 3 things.

Steve Jobs described the iPhone in 3 things:

  • A connected device to the internet
  • A Mobile phone
  • An iPod

The idea here is always to remember that presenting your idea in three main things will help your audience understand, follow your presentation, and remember it.

#3: Standing out

>Use emotionnal details

When Steve Jobs presented MacBook Air, he could have said that the computer is thin. This would be too classical, too boring and nothing is special about this way of presenting it. There is no Wow effect! Rather than that, he used something very thin to create a comparison. This thing is an envelope. Imagine! this is a bright idea. He got the MacBook Air from an envelope to demonstrate and show how thin it is.

“MacBook Air. The world’s thinnest notebook.” — Steve Jobs

>Focus on how you say it

In a presentation, mastering the stage presence is crucial. And this presence relies on mastering your speech by avoiding taking note cards and improving your body language. Here are the most important things Steve Jobs does on the stage:

  • Always maintaining eye contact with his audience.
  • Having an open posture: he is rarely crossing his arms.
  • Gestures accompany words: he uses his hands when speaking.
  • Uses inflection: by raising or lowering the pitch of his voice. So, no monotonic speech during the presentation.
  • Finally, pauses. Steve Jobs let his presentation breathe by not rushing it and by marking pauses. Especially when he says a key point, he marks it with a pause.

>Stage the presentation with props

Use videos and other tools to make your presentation alive. The writer noticed the Steve Jobs uses the Kawasaki method as he always introduces props in his presentations.

According to Kawasaki, a demo should:

  • Be short: to keep your audience focused
  • Simple: to help your audience to follow.
  • Sweet: to make your audience see the hottest features you provide.
  • Substantial: to tell your audience how the product offers a solution to a real-world problem he is experiencing.

A real example of this is when Steve Jobs explained how to use Google Maps on the iPhone. He opened the Google Map app in front of his audience and put the location of Starbucks. A list of Starbucks stores appeared on the phone, and Jobs said: “Let’s give them a call”. A Starbucks employee picked up and said, “Good morning. Starbucks. How can I help you?”. “Yes” said Jobs. “I’d like to order four thousand lattes to go, please. No, just kidding. Wrong number. Good-bye”. This exchange elicited a huge laugh. Jobs had literally crank-called a Starbucks as part of the demo.

Steve Jobs created a fun moment, and at the same take, he gave the audience a break to digest the information they got and follow.

Final words …

This book is really awesome. It taught me a lot of things. I highly recommend it. I chose this book because presenting is super important nowadays in all domains. It’s not only about presenting a topic at school but also presenting yourself to get a job, presenting a demo at the end of a sprint (in agile mode), presenting a product at an e-commerce website ad…etc.

Knowing how to deliver a message is super important.

Thank you ❤

Dear reader, I hope this was clear and useful.

I hope you’re safe wherever you are and your family too! Hang in there. Tomorrow will be better!

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I’m a passionate software engineer and woman in the tech world. Find more about me here: 🔗www.fam-front.com. I love to help people and share what I know!

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