Well, at least I sure would like to be able to give a speech like he does. Just in case anyone has been living under a rock for the past week or so, Steve Jobs rolled out the next version of the iPhone at the WWDC 2008 conference. Steve, as always, did a great job of giving the Apple corporate pitch. Clearly he has a nature skill for giving a great speech. We may never be as good at public speaking as Steve is; however, we sure can learn from him. Here are five quick tips from Steve to you:
- Benefits NOT Features: This is where Steve is at his best. In his speeches he spends his time talking about the experience of using the product, not how the product was implemented. Instead of talking about the 30GB memory size of an iPod, instead he’ll talk about the 7,500 songs that it can carry, or the 25,000 photos that it can carry, or the 75 hours of video that it can carry.
- Practice and Then Practice Some More: Steve’s a CEO of Apple, a board member of Disney, and probably still runs Pixar. You’d think that he’d have a team of speech writers create his speeches and then he’d just grab it, scan it, and jump up on the stage and give it. Nope, it turns out that he spends hours upon hours practicing each speech. A 2006 Business Week article reported that Steve would spend at least four hours going over every slide and every part of a demonstration as he prepars for a presentation.
- A Picture Is Worth…: Have you ever seen a picture or a video from one of Steve’s presentations? There are either no words or very few words on the slides that are displayed on the giant screens behind him. There are certainly no lists of bullet points. Steve (and his highly paid set of presentation artists) understand that it’s really his words that count — the slides are just there to support his message.
- Energy + Enthusiasm = Passion: Every time Steve speaks, it’s clear that he loves being on the stage and talking to us. You can almost feel his excitement grow as he gets ready to share with us the next great thing that he has up his sleeves. His passion is contagious and everyone in attendance can’t help but catch it.
I’m not so sure about trying to emulate Steve’s trademark jeans & black shirt look for your next presentation. However, understanding how Steve is able to do what he does so well will point you in the right direction.