The greatest Presenter?!
Leave the man alone already
In case you all haven’t noticed. Steve Jobs passed away. Tragic, yes and we all (ok, most of us) carry him around in our pockets and we all know him like Madonna, Jesus or Mother Theresa. Never before has a businessman rattled so many cages and got hyped like a Superstar. But it’s clear why. The man brought us total independence and gripping addiction at once.
Nearly everyone in the presenter community advises to “present like Steve Jobs”. This is a savage instigation. Steve Jobs was a genius. Not that I am saying you are stupid, but if you were a genius like Steve, you probably wouldn’t read tips on how to present something, you didn’t invent yet, now would you?
Ok, let’s get to the core of this great presenter thing.
People say: “Steve jobs planned his presentation like a story board.”
– Yes…and so did and do many other people. He used a story pattern.
A story pattern is a structure for almost every speech or every persuasive presentation. My personal presentation role model Nancy Duarte drafted the speech pattern in one of her books and in her TED talk:
People say: “Steve Jobs created a vision.”
– Yes, and so did and do many other people. He gave you lifestyle.
To create something larger than the product is not only a creative art form, in some business strategies it is inevitable to know which effect your business, service or product has, to distinguish yourself from the competition. People or companies who use their value proposition as a story are very successful in turning consumers into fans. Some companies create such a strong story line and just randomly implement their product, that you don’t want to purchase the product, you want to purchase the image of yourself that you get when you think about owning this product.
You buy the Harley Davidson cause you’re born to be wild, not because it has an ergonomic seat adjustment and an economically reasonable consumption. You drink Red Bull because it gives you wings and not because you have a slight caffeine problem. So no. Not only Steve created the Story. This is all around us, you just manifested Steve as THE PRESENTER.
People say “Steve used an Aha-Effect”
– Yes, and so did and do many other people. He applied an ‚emotional momentum‘
The memorable moments or rather the moment in a presentation where you notice that the topic, the product, the idea, the service, the issue has a significant relevance to you, these are the moment you personally remember.
Now imagine how the presentation of Thomas Edison would’ve looked on the stage for the introduction of the light bulb:
“Hello everyone, I am so glad you could join me, here in the auditorium, with no windows. I know it is unusual, that it is so dark, but this is the moment I have been looking forward to for a long time. It took us over 3000 designs.
You know how in nighttime everything goes dark and we can’t really do anything about it? Wouldn’t it be great if we could be walking on sunshine around the clock, read till dawn without straining our eyesight in the candlelight? Imagine how we could grow, the money we could make, the industries we could build, the wishes we could grant if we would not have to stop working at night?”
His PowerPoint would’ve looked somewhat like this:
And all over sudden, the stage would’ve lit up with the actual thing that we use now as a Symbol for exactly these “AHA Moments” which allegedly only Steve Jobs creates.
Just for funsies:
If I would be holding the ultimate solution for aging and weight gain problems in my hand, I am sure people would enjoy my presentation skills a lot more, too.
Which brings me to the question:
Was it really HOW Steve Jobs was presenting? Or simply WHAT he was presenting?
Because of all the fuzz, I watched nearly all the available videos on YouTube about his presentations. Was he one of the best presenters? No, I don’t think so. A genius, a stubborn, hardheaded guy, an example in the business world, an idol for every perfectionist, a visionary and a tough son of a bitch but he was not the best presenter and you should not present like Steve Jobs.
Yes, you heard me. I do not think that you can nor should present like Steve Jobs did. You are not Steve, nor will you ever be him, so present like YOU and try to be YOU, because this is what people really want to see: YOU.
If I would advise you one thing it would be: Dress like Steve Jobs. He simplified his decision-making process by selecting Jeans and a black turtleneck for at least 7 years of his life and probably saved at least 26 Days of worrying about what the heck he should wear.