There is little doubt, that anyone could argue the success of the creative genius that was Steve Jobs. His innovative and charismatic presentations have been reviewed world-wide. Many have flocked to see a Keynote Presentation delivered by Steve. His ability to entertain and enthral his audience and hold them captive has been the series of many discussions. Were he a preacher of your congregation, you would most certainly leave converted.
How does he achieve this? How can we use these skills to assist with our own presentations?
Practice, practice, practice!
To be able to deliver a presentation, effectively and flawlessly, you must know your material inside out.
A Keynote Presentation was not written overnight. It was crafted carefully and meticulously, over a long period of time. Rehearsed and refined, until Steve, (a reported perfectionist), was satisfied with it. People were drafted in to listen, criticize and offer opinions. All aspects of the presentation were stripped bare and lay naked, subject to scrutiny. A perfectionist is rarely happy.
To be truly confident in delivering your speech, you must have confidence in yourself. You will gain this confidence by believing in what you are saying, whilst delivering it in a manner which will show that you are an authority on what you speak. Practice with different intonations of your voice. What is your body language suggesting? Does this conflict with what you want to say? Keep practising until you are happy that the whole presentation is exactly how you would like it to be.
Understand and bond with your audience
A key to good Presentation skills is the ability to bond with your audience. To do this you must understand them. They are not there to see you fail. There is nothing more uncomfortable than watching a key speaker who seems uncomfortable himself.
Steve Jobs was comfortable in his own skin. He believed in his product and was confident in how he was going to deliver his presentation to you. This in turn allowed the audience to relax, enjoying the experience.
Keep it Simple
What are the key points you would like to get across? How will you highlight these in your presentation?
By limiting the amount of information you choose to deliver in your speech, you stand a better chance of holding the attention of your audience.
Steve Jobs deliberately used this technique in many ways. He would choose 4 or 5 topics that he would like to share with his audience. His slides were simple. Sometimes just a word or a few words, other times just a picture. He would use slides as a form of enhancement of what he was trying to say, rather than a distraction. The attention was always to remain with the speaker, eliminating the risk of losing the attention of the audience.
His speeches were carefully executed. Every word meticulously planned. If there was an inflection or a pause, they were deliberate ploys to keep the presentation simple. Speaking in a slow, articulate manner, allowing the audience time to understand, and process, the information being offered. There was no rush. Steve had something exciting to share with you. He would share it in his own time. He had already planned how long this was going to take, and he would captivate you for the length of it.
Share your Passion
There is little doubt, after listening to a Steve Jobs Keynote Presentation, of the passion that he has for his products. He will use positive, vibrant words or sentences like “revolutionary” and “innovative”. He is excited about what he is selling and that excitement is infectious. During his story telling he involves the audience, allowing us to join him on his magical mystery ride. Where will it end? The possibilities are endless! Do we dare dream?
If you can tap into your inner passion and allow others to share your vision, you will find a flock ready to join your congregation.
Know your product
Steve Jobs would spend weeks with his product. Living, breathing and bonding with it. He would become a ‘user’ rather than a technician, integrating the product into his daily life.
When it came to having to talk about the product, he would know the product intimately. He had already fallen in love with the product and his main aim was to make you fall in love with it too.
If you do not know your product, how are you meant to feel comfortable and confident in discussing it?
The art to good presentations skills does not lie with just one simple answer. Steve Jobs had the ability to take his product and gain intimate knowledge of it. Once he was confident that he knew all there was to know about his product, he would then set about how he was going to sell it.
Comfortable in his own skin, after endless practice sessions, in his performance, he would involve his audience in a magical mystery tour. He kept his language, visionary aids and performance simple. He allowed his audience to become involved in his excitement, feeding theirs with his own, whilst all the while seeming like it was the most natural thing in the world.
Public speaking can, indeed, be very stressful. Preparation and practice is essential to gaining confidence, in your ability, to give a successful presentation. If you can gain the confidence to feel comfortable on stage, showing that you are truly enthusiastic about what you offer, then your audience will feel comfortable with you, thus making your presentation a success. In the words of Steve Jobs:
“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle.”
About the Author
This article was written on behalf of De Vere Venues – a business venues provider who has one of the biggest selections of nationwide meeting rooms and conference areas including meeting rooms in London.