Book Review - The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs: How to Be Insanely Great in Front of Any Audience by Carmine Gallo
Steve Jobs is, by most accounts, one of the best public speakers of our time. His keynote addresses at conferences and in front of his own company are smooth, informative, and very well done. But what is it that makes a Jobs talk stand out from all the rest? Carmine Gallo sets out to dissect what makes Steve Jobs "insanely great" in the book The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs: How to Be Insanely Great in Front of Any Audience. Gallo does an excellent job in getting beyond the myth and legend, and analyzes what goes into Jobs' presentations that we can use to become much better ourselves.
Act 1 - Create The Story: Scene 1 - Plan in Analog; Scene 2 - Answer the One Question That Matters Most; Scene 3 - Developer a Messianic Sense of Purpose; Scene 4 - Create Twitter-Like Headlines; Scene 5 - Draw a Road Map; Scene 6 - Introduce the Antagonist; Scene 7 - Reveal the Conquering Hero; Intermission 1 - Obey the Ten-Minute Rule
Act 2 - Deliver The Experience: Scene 8 - Channel Their Inner Zen; Scene 9 - Dress Up Your Numbers; Scene 10 - Use "Amazingly Zippy" Words; Scene 11 - Share the Stage; Scene 12 - Stage Your Presentation with Props; Scene 13 - Reveal a "Holy Shit" Moment; Intermission 2 - Schillier Learns from the Best
Act 3 - Refine and Rehearse: Scene 14 - Master Stage Presence; Scene 15 - Make it Look Effortless; Scene 16 - Wear the Appropriate Costume; Scene 17 - Toss the Script; Scene 18 - Have Fun
Encore: One More Thing; Notes; Index
Those who look very adept at a skill, who make it look really easy, have likely spent an inordinate amount of hours making it look that way. Steve Jobs is a prime example. His talks are all shaped to inspire the listener and to get them to remember one or two simple things. In Gallo's book, you the reader get an inside look as to how that works and how you too can use the same type of structure to improve your talks. For instance, Jobs doesn't sit down in Keynote and start creating slides. Time is spent developing a story and planning out the talk using those "old" tools of paper and pencil. This avoids the tendency to get locked into your slides before you even know what you're going to say. From there, you have to figure out the *one* point you want the listener to remember, and then become incredibly focused on making that point impossible to forget. To get people to remember and talk about that point, you need to have those short, catchy phrases that could fit on Twitter... 140 characters of information and image that doesn't fade over time. And to complete the story and make it flow, you need to have the "bad guy" (the situation that's currently less than ideal), and the "good guy" (what you're proposing to make the world a better place).
All the parts of Act 1 are simply planning for what is going to go into the talk. I find that most people (including myself) don't spend nearly as much time on that part as they should. Acts 2 and 3 are the parts where most books and speakers focus on... looking good and smooth on stage. But again, if you don't have a good message structured well, then it doesn't matter how well you perform... it's all fluff. But assuming you have a solid story, acts 2 and 3 are filled with excellent information. For instance, dressing up your numbers is a simple thing but often overlooked. Telling someone an iPod has 8gb of memory is meaningless. But telling them that they can carry 15000 songs in their shirt pocket gives a mental image that won't be forgotten. You can tell people how something's going to look, but if you have a prop that visually and tactilely reinforces the message, you're making a much bigger impact.
The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs is a book that steps behind the curtain and shows how much work goes into making things seem simple and elegant. While no one may mistake you for Steve Jobs while you're on stage, you *can* use the same techniques to improve your message and presentation to get a whole lot closer. Definitely a recommended read for all speakers.
Obtained From: Publisher