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5 Presentation Lessons You Can Learn from Steve Jobs

15 Aug, 2021 | Presentations العروض التقديمية
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Introduction

Steve Jobs was one of the most innovative leaders of our time. Among other things, there is a lot that can be learned from him when it comes to presentation design and what aspects of his presentations made them so memorable and entertaining. Some would argue that he was the one person who completely changed our collective minds about what makes a presentation great – in an era of long, boring, and unimaginative slides, he used presentation techniques that followed a completely different approach.

In this piece, we thought it would be a good idea to go over the five principles which Steve Jobs followed when it came to presentation design and delivery. So let’s jump right into it.

1) Compelling Title & Theme

5 Presentation Lessons You Can Learn from Steve Jobs

Come up with a headline and general theme for your presentation that runs through the entire deck as an underlying message. This headline should be short enough to be easily memorable and tweetable. Think back to Steve Jobs’ iPhone launch of 2007 in which his headline was Your life in Your Pocket.

2) Tell a Story

5 Presentation Lessons You Can Learn from Steve Jobs

Tell a story that hits people at an emotional level. It’s a well-known fact that stories are one of the most powerful tools that leaders use to inspire, motivate and educate. This is because stories are far easier to remember as compared to facts and figures. And research according to psychologist TJerome Bruner points to the fact that facts are 20 times more likely to be remembered if they are embedded or contextualized with a story.

3) Simplify Big Numbers

5 Presentation Lessons You Can Learn from Steve Jobs

Simplify big numbers – A LOT. This ensures that people can grasp the facts better. For instance Steve Jobs would say We sold 2 million iPods in the first 59 days” and then he would simplify that by saying “That’s nearly 34 thousand iPods sold every single day In February 2013 Apple reached 25 Billion songs downloaded from iTunes. That’s a big number. So Steve Jobs would say it in a way that’s easy to understand; for instance, “on average that’s 15,000 songs every minute”.

4) Use Compelling Images

5 Presentation Lessons You Can Learn from Steve Jobs

Images – he used big, bold, and clear images and he almost never used more than two images on a presentation slide. In the 2007 launch of the iPhone, he used three images but that was to highlight that the iPhone could do all three things – be a phone, a music player, and give you internet access. Then he quickly moved on to his normal procedure of using one striking image.

5) When it Comes to Words on Slides, Less is More

5 Presentation Lessons You Can Learn from Steve Jobs

Use few words. If you want a presentation like Steve’s you will have to edit and re-edit your words so that you are left with only the most important words and cut out everything else. The idea is to clearly communicate your message in the most impactful and memorable way, rather than having your audience reading your slides full of text. So he would use words like “magic” instead of the full grammatically correct sentence “it works like magic” and similarly, he would use no stylus” instead of “it has no stylus“. You get the idea!
 
Jeff Black, the founder of leadership development company Black Sheep, says that Steve’s presentations boiled down to three key factors – powerful storytelling, emotional connection, and obsessive preparation. The late Steve Jobs was a masterful storyteller, Black says. “He was the messenger, he was the star of the show — not the PowerPoint slide.”
 
And one more thing….“Here is a shocking fact. The average PowerPoint slide has on average forty words. Steve Jobs would use an average of nineteen words across 10-12 slides. That’s the presentation zen.
 

Conclusion

If you are interested in learning more about the secrets of designing a presentation like Steve Jobs and presenting it like him we recommend you read the book, “The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs: How to Be Insanely Great in Front of Any Audience”. Or you can just reach out to for professional presentation design services in Dubai and across the GCC – we specialize in not only delivering your message but also helping you tell your story and pushing your brand forward.

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