Gary's Newsletter 370: Steve Jobs' Communication StylePosted by Gary R Collins on February 10, 2010 Comments 3
STEVE JOBS' COMMUNICATION STYLE
With enthusiasm and media hype, Apple Computer's Steve Jobs recently introduced the company's new iPad. A few days later The Economist magazine (January 30 issue) featured a cover with Jobs dressed like Moses and a feature article titled "The Book of Jobs." Same week I started reading Carmine Gallo's new book The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs: How to Be Insanely Great in Front of Any Audience.
For thirty years Jobs has studied and refined the art of effective communication. A Jobs' presentation is like a carefully crafted, well-rehearsed performance that tells a story and shares a vision. Gallo's book overflows with practical guidelines from Steve Jobs grouped into three parts or acts.
Act One: Create the Story. This is about preparation - the step that "separates mediocre communicators from extraordinary ones." In this stage, communicators determine why anyone would care about the talk. They select "one big idea" to leave with the audience, determine three or four key ideas to present, and decide on metaphors and illustrations that can be used. Every speech should pose a question or tap into a problem that needs to be solved. Then offer a solution, describe a course of action and call for action. Can this apply to church talks or to professional lectures?
Act Two: Deliver the Experience. This also involves planning. Slides should be simple without clutter, with arresting images and never with bullet points. Plan to do something different at least every ten minutes because that's when most minds drift away unless they are pulled back by something new. Consider ways to use demonstrations and props.
Act Three: Refine and Rehearse. Take the time to rehearse. When you speak, wear appropriate clothing. Remember that your stage presence can reinforce or undermine your message. And speak to the audience, never to slides on the screen.
Some of this is not new but it's worth pondering. Whenever I hear a speaker I watch the presentation even as I listen. As a result I learn to be better. Steve Jobs is a master presenter and an impressive model, worth watching.