Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs – Episode 65

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Steve Jobs was a magnetic speaker. Sarah recaps how he created his presentation stories from the book, The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs.

THIS EPISODE AT-A-GLANCE

  • Scene 1 – Plan in analog
  • Scene 2 – Answer why should I care?
  • Scene 3 – Develop a messianic sense of purpose
  • Scene 4 – Create twitter-like headlines
  • Scene 5 – Draw a road map
  • Scene 6 – Introduce the antagonist early
  • Scene 7 – Reveal the conquering hero
  • The Book: The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs, by Carmine Gallo VIEW HERE

Full Podcast Transcription

Sarah Panus:
The third piece is to create three key messages. Listeners can only recall three or four points in their short term memory. So what you want to do is identify what three points you want them to remember.

Sarah Panus:
Hi, my name is Sarah Panus. I have spent the last two decades driving digital content for billion dollar brands. Now I help content marketers build winning brand storytelling strategies and reduce feelings of overwhelm and confusion. Join me as we discuss strategy, creativity, confidence, and building a better connection with your audience. Think of this as a creative content marketing jam session mixed with chicken soup for the soul. This is the Marketing With Empathy podcast. 

Sarah Panus:
Hey, Hey, Kindred Speakers.

A person can have the greatest idea in the world, completely different and novel, but if that person can’t convince enough other people, it doesn’t matter.

Gregory Burns

Sarah Panus:
That’s a great quote from Dr. Gregory Burns, who’s a distinguished professor of neuroeconomics at Emory university. Steve Jobs, the co-founder of apple was an amazing presenter. Describe as the most captivating communicator on the world stage. He said to have been completely magnetic. A Jobs presentation unleashed a rush of dopamine into the brains of his audience. His presentations illuminated and inspired. So how did he do it? I’m reading a book called The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs written by Carmine Gallo. In the book, Gallo has reverse engineered the presentation secrets of Steve Jobs. He’s extensively researched Jobs’ techniques, practices, and formats to write a book, giving us the template.

Sarah Panus:
Gallo says, if you adopt just some of the Jobs’ techniques, your presentation will stand out from the legions of mediocre presentations delivered on any given day. Your competitors and colleagues will look like amateurs and comparison because ideas, endeavors and even careers can be cut short due to ineffective communication. I’m sharing my top insights from one section of this book today. The goal after listening to this episode for you, my goal for you is that you will be inspired to incorporate at least one of the things that I share with you in your future presentations. So this is a segment in my series where I talk about creativity tips. I call it Creative Karma, and we’re gonna dig in after a word from our wonderful sponsors.

Sarah Panus:
All right, the book, as I mentioned is called The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs. It’s a great book. I highly recommend reading it and giving it to your team to read and discuss together. It’s really your roadmap to presentation success. Jobs is the master at taking something that might be considered boring, you know, a hunk of electronic hardware and enveloping it in a story that made it compellingly dramatic. The author, Gallo is a talented communication strategist himself and does a great job providing tons of tactical value on each page. Gallo shares only a handful of leaders that had that same talent as  Jobs in creating exciting brand stories. And I like the examples of the folks he called out. One, was the Cisco CEO, John Chambers saying he didn’t sell routers and switches that make up the backbone of the internet. He sold human connections that change the way we live, work and play.

Sarah Panus:
Starbucks leader, Howard Schultz doesn’t sell coffee. He sells a third place between work and home. Financial guru, Susie Orman, doesn’t sell trust and mutual funds. She sells the dream of financial freedom. In the same way, Jobs didn’t sell computers. He sold tool to unleash human potential. So this book inspires you to ask yourself, what are you really selling? Show your audience, how your product service improve their life and you’ve won them all over. We hear that all the time, but it’s so easy when we work on the corporate side or for our product is to who get so fixated on the product, the service, the offering, the initiative, the thing, right? But you need to remember this, what are you really selling? Do it in a way that entertains them, talk about how your thing improves their life.

Three act play structure

Sarah Panus:
But if you do it, you win them, but do it in a way that entertains them. And you’ll have created a true evangelist, which is something we all want. We want evangelists for our brands, right? So the book is structured, like just like one of Jobs’s favorite presentation metaphors, which is a three act play. And so it was really interesting and all of his presentations followed this exact same template, is very formulaic. So act one of the book is what I’ll be talking about today on the episode, it’s about creating the story. It’s the first act, the first thing you need to do. And it’s very applicable to Marketing With Empathy and brand storytelling and what we do here. Act two is about delivering the experience and act three refining and rehearsing.

Sarah Panus:
And then there’s a couple intermissions in between, which I’ll talk about as a 10 minute rule. So we’ll get more into that one later. The book helps you to learn how Jobs does all of the following – Okay? We learn how to craft messages, present ideas, generate excitement for a product or feature, deliver a memorable experience and create customer evangelist. All right. So let’s dig in. Let’s start talking about act one. And literally what I’m talking about today is just like less than a third of the whole book. I mean, literally you guys like every page, this book is so great for all of us business communication professionals. So I highly recommend reading the book. I’m gonna talk about act one. So creating this story. So in this section, in this act, there are seven chapters or seven scenes in this section, giving practical tools to craft an exciting story behind your brand.

Scene 1 – Plan in analog

Sarah Panus:
A strong story gives you more confidence and the ability to win over your audience. So scene one is to plan in analog. The biggest tip here is, do not start creating your presentation in whatever presentation tool you use. So if it’s PowerPoint do not start creating your presentation and PowerPoint first, you need to storyboard the plot first and spend a lot of time doing it. Start planning before you ever open the presentation software sketch ideas about your story on paper or whiteboards. Heck even a napkin. Talk about all the great ideas that have happened on a napkin that helped you just like focus ideas and by writing it out. Research the topic, collect input from experts, organize ideas, collaborate with colleagues and sketch the structure of your story. So they gave a number that actually sounded pretty huge to me. And it just shows a discipline of an amazing presentation.

Sarah Panus:
And they said a presenter should spend 90 hours to create a one hour long presentation with 30 slides, 90. Remember it’s the story, not the slides that capture the imagination of your audience. So you really need to take a lot of time and thinking that through in the beginning. And really it’s the least amount of time on actually physically creating the presentation slides. So the other big thing here too, is as you get into this presentation tip, what they talked about is zero- no bullets. Bullets are big no-no in the presentation. Jobs never had any bullets in any of his present. So before you open the presentation program, consider these nine elements of a great presentation. And here’s what I would say. Like, as you listen, pick a few of these and adopt them in your presentations that you have coming up big or small. So the first is headline. You need 140 characters or less headlines to be written in a specific format of subject, verb, object, sequence.

Sarah Panus:
So some examples that Jobs did was apple reinvents the iPhone. So apple is the subject, the verb is reinvents and then the object is the iPhone. Or another example, Apple’s skinny MacBook is fat with features. So the subject there being apples, skinny MacBook, the verb is fat and the object with features. So just great punchy headlines like that make it easily shareable and also easily digestible. The second is having a passion statement. So when you’re in this planning phase, you want to spend a few minutes developing a passion for the subject and think about what is your passion for the subject. Write down on a piece of paper. I’m excited about this product/company/initiative/feature. Like whatever the thing is, I’m excited about this ____ because it _____, write it down and then share your passion statement. Don’t be bashful, just share it because that passion will come through in what you’re trying to do.

Sarah Panus:
The third piece is to create three key messages. Listeners can only recall three or four points in their short term memory. Identify what three points you want them to remember. Next is metaphors and analogies. Decide which rhetorical devices will make your story more engaging. So metaphors will take a little trip back to English class as a refresher. So metaphors are good for comparisons in like marketing advertising and PR campaigns. So an example Jobs once used was he said,

What a computer is to me is most remarkable tool that we have ever came up with. It’s the equivalent of a bicycle for our minds.

Steve Jobs

Sarah Panus:
So that bicycle for our minds, what a great visual right. Do what Jobs did – challenge yourself to avoid the typical metaphors; like sports metaphors are really typical. Think of something that’s not as common so that it’s unexpected and interesting for your audience. And then analogies compare two different things by highlighting something of similarity. So these are good to use when you’re, if you have a hard concept to explain. So during an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Jobs pointed out that many people were saying that iTunes was their favorite application for windows. And so he said, it’s like giving a glass of ice water to someone in hell. So he just, the wonderful way of helping people paint the visual and understand things.

Sarah Panus:
So demonstrations are the next element. So with demonstrations, you want to share the spotlight with employees, partners and the product itself, instead of listing features on a slide show, the audience, how it works, right. With partners, if you have a notable partner, have them appear in your presentation with you have them join you on the stage or in front of the meeting in front of the room. On a very large scale,  Jobs once had Madonna herself join via webcam when announcing that all of Madonna’s albums would be available on iTunes. The next section, or next is customer evidence and third party endorsements. So incorporate customer evidence into your presentation. We know, and I’m sure you’ve heard word of mouth is the number one influencer. How can you capture this and bring this in?

Sarah Panus:
So instead of just listing out a written testimonial on a slide, go a step further to record a short testimonial and embed it into your presentation, or invite the customer themselves to join you in person at the presentation or important meeting to, to help your audience trust what you’re offering more because they’re very believing of the person that has used it and are experienced it and benefited from it themselves. Next is video clips. You can show ads, employee testimonials, scenes of the product, or people using the product and even customer endorsements. You just want to make sure you avoid clips any longer than two to three minutes in your presentation.

Sarah Panus:
And then the last of these nine tips is to appeal to all three types of learners by using flip charts, props, and show and tell. So there’s three types of learners visual learners, which is the majority of people, auditory, which are folks listening and kinesthetic, which are like to touch and feel. So you want to think about how can you incorporate different aspects that will speak to each of these types of audience members and these types of learners. Okay, so before we move on to scene two, I just want to take a little quick break here to thank our sponsor today. Our sponsors Storyblok. Storyblok is rated as the number one CMS for 2022 by G2. They’re a new partner of the Marketing Podcast Network, which Marketing With Empathy is a part of, thank you. And as we’re all here to get smarter and to be inspired, I have something else from our friends at Storyblok to make you smarter.

Commercial Break

Sarah Panus:
It’s a new report called the state of content management and is a very useful survey of 515 businesses in the U.S. and Europe companies just like yours and how they’re approaching content distribution through their digital channels in 2022. So, if you think about it, you have to provide content for your website, maybe mobile app, there’s e-commerce, voice activated speakers, managing content is all more complex today than ever. So you can get insights and ideas on how companies like yours are tackling the content challenge with the state of content management report from Storyblok. Just go to storyblok.com/empathy for your free report. That’s storyblok without the c .com/empathy.

scene 2 – answer why should I care?

Sarah Panus:
All righty, let’s get back to the presentation secrets of Steve Jobs book advice. Okay. So the second scene then in creating the story is to answer the one question that matters most. Why should I care. This is a great place to have empathy for your audience and think about them.

Sarah Panus:
First, Steve Jobs once said, you’ve gotta start with a customer experience and work back toward the technology, not the other way around. So it’s like that with your presentation as well. Ask yourself, why should my listener care about this idea, information, product, or service, if there’s only one thing you want them to take away from the combo, what would it be? Focus on selling the benefit behind the product and make the one thing that you identify as clear as possible, repeating it at least twice in the conversation or presentation. You want to eliminate buzzwords and jargon to enhance the clarity of your message and make sure the one thing is consistent across all of your marketing collateral, including press releases, web pages, presentations, etc.

Scene 3 – develop a messianic sense of purpose

All right. Scene three, moving on is to develop up a messianic. And I don’t even know if I’m saying that word, right? Cuz it’s literally, it’s the first time I’ve ever used this word. Messian sense of purpose. You read those words where you’re like, what is that word? I’ve never used that one before. Simply put though this section talks about harnessing your passion for a topic, and passion’s a word I’m very familiar with. If you want to be an inspiring speaker, but you aren’t doing what you love, consider a change. Passion to make the world a better place, makes all the difference and is gonna come across and you being the most effective and best and magnetic speaker and presenter that you possibly can be.

Scene 4 – create twitter-like headlines

Sarah Panus:
Scene 4 is to create Twitter like headlines. We talked a little bit about this in the beginning in terms of having short headlines. So Steve Jobs said today, apple reinvents the phone. You know, that’s a short and punchy headline. Steve Jobs headlines were 140 characters max and they were specific and offered a personal benefit. Following that subject for a benefit template that I mentioned earlier, consistently repeat this headline in all of your communication channels. And remember the headline is a statement that offers your audience a vision of a better future. It’s not about you. It’s about them. Okay. So app today app will reinvent the phone. It is about them reinvented, but that’s, what’s like, oh, that’s super interesting. It’s a, a vision of a better future of, well, what is new with the phone and how is that gonna help me? I’m super curious. Why does it need to be reinvented?

Scene 5 – draw a road map

Sarah Panus:
Scene five, moving on is to draw a roadmap. So jobs liked to verbally outline a verbal roadmap of three things that he was gonna be speaking about. So as you’re playing and outlining and analog here, like your presentation, you want to get to three points. So make a list of all the key points you want your audience to know about your well, your product service company initiative, whatever it is you’re talking about. And then categorize that list until you’re left with only three, three major message points under each of your three key messages, add re rhetorical devices to enhance the narrative like the metaphors and analogies that I mentioned before. But some other ones you can add and think about that fit under those three key messages can include personal stories, facts, examples, and third party endorsements. Moving on to scene six. I feel like if I was on like the stage, right? Like we’re, it’s a wardrobe change. Now I’m at scene six. This is where you want to introduce the antagonist. And you want to introduce antagonist in your presentation as a great storytelling tool. So always establish the problem before revealing the solution, paint a vivid picture of your customer’s pain points to set up the program, ask why do we need this?

Scene 6 – introduce the antagonist early

Sarah Panus:
So spend some time describing the problem in detail, make it tangible, build the pain, create an elevator pitch for your product, using a four step method and the four step method outlined in the book. It are four questions. One, what do you do? What problem do you solve? And that’s the one you want to pay the most attention. Do you hear folks because nobody cares about your product, sorry, but that’s our reality is we have to like come to terms with, as market is they don’t care about it. They care about solving their problems. So they care about your product when they know it can help them and that, and it can solve their problem. So what do you do? What problem do you solve? How are you different and why should I care? So outline those and that’ll help you get to how you want to set up that antagonist in the story.

Final Scene 7 – reveal the conquering hero

Sarah Panus:
And then the final scene seven reveals the conquering hero. You know, the, this is where you offer a better way of doing something, breaking from the status quo, inspiring people to embrace innovation. So there is something else though, you know, that you should know too when you’re spending all of this time, creating the story. And that is this thing called the 10 minute rule. And I hadn’t heard of the 10 minute rule before. So this was eye-opening for, for myself, which simply put, is people check out after 10 minutes not 11 minutes, but 10, according to neurological research, Steve  Jobs, didn’t give the brain to get bored at exactly 10 minutes into his presentation. He gave the audience a break by showing an apple commercial, doing a demonstration, having a second or even third speaker come on with him or showing a video, clip an intermission between the first activist presentation in the second act.

Sarah Panus:
So aren’t those just great tips. That actually is the summary of just this one section, this first act of this amazing book. So I’m telling you this book is liquid gold for all of us communication professionals. I actually had it sitting on my bookshelf for a while, and I’m glad that I was able to finally really dig into it. And it’s just, this is just a taste of all the goodness that’s in this book. There’s so much more that I didn’t cover. So like I said, I definitely recommend reading the book, the presentation secrets of Steve  Jobs by Carine Gallo for everything. And if you’re like me and you get the book, yours is gonna be marked up and highlighted just like mine in no time. So I hope you found that helpful and would love to hear what you’re gonna adopt and what you’re gonna try from these tips and pull into your own presentations.

Sarah Panus:
Drop me a line on LinkedIn. You can find me a at Sarah Pannu otherwise you can email me Sarah kindred, speak.com Sarah with an H. Let me know. I’d honestly just love to hear what you’re doing. So that’s it for today until next time. Kindred speakers.

Closing Remarks

Sarah Panus:
Hi fives for finishing another episode. When faced with an obstacle, you’re the type of person who gets better instead of bitter. I hope you feel creatively inspired and invite you to check back often for more goodness from me and my guest. If you want more actionable advice and inspiration head over to kindredspeak.com for show notes, all discount codes from today’s episode, and to sign up for my newsletter. Subscribe now to the Marketing With Empathy podcast on Apple Podcast, Spotify and wherever else you get your podcast. And if you’d be so kind, will you please leave me a review. This helps my podcast get noticed by others. Keep smiling.

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ABOUT SARAH PANUS

Sarah Panus is a brand storytelling marketing strategist, Minnesota mom, and owner of Kindred Speak, LLC, a remote consultancy that helps corporations attract upper-funnel leads that drive bottom-funnel results through storytelling.  Her mission is to add value to the world by humanizing brand+consumer connections. Her online courses teach content professionals inside corporations think like Editorial Directors for their brand to drive stronger results while enjoying their jobs more.  She’s spent the last 20 years helping brands including Sleep Number, Starbucks, Nestle Waters, Christos Bridal, Game Crazy, Cone Inc, and others, speak a kindred language with their audiences, driving brand advocacy and millions in revenue and brand engagements. Learn more at www.kindredspeak.com. Follow Sarah on Instagram and LinkedIn.