For fifteen years, Ken Kocienda was on the arena attic at Apple as a arch software architect on the aboriginal iPhone, iPad, and the aboriginal Safari web browser. Working side-by-side with Steve Jobs gave Kocienda a attenuate insider’s appearance into the best artistic business communicator of our time.
After reading Kocienda’s book, Artistic Selection, I had an email barter with the columnist to altercate Jobs’ exact action for advancing and call his alarming presentations. Steve Jobs approached keynote presentations as an amateur in a affected production. You should, too. These six steps are analytical for anyone who has to accord a business presentation.
1. Start call early.
Kocienda noticed that Steve Jobs wouldn’t delay for the final presentation to be accomplished afore he began to rehearse. Three weeks or alike a ages advanced of a artefact launch, Jobs would go the amphitheater on the Apple campus and rehearse whatever portions of the presentation had already been congenital out. He would anatomy the appearance footfall by step.
“This was one of Steve’s abundant secrets of success as a presenter,” Kocienda told me. “He practiced. A lot. He went over and over the actual until he had the presentation acid and he knew it cold.”
2. Refine every slide, every line, and every gesture.
Jobs absolutely internalized the actual on every slide, and in every demo. According to Kocienda, “Steve anticipation about what anniversary band meant to him and what those curve could beggarly to an audience. He formed on pace, on application his voice, his body, and his gestures to supplement his words.”
Remember, an Apple presentation is clashing best typical, text-heavy slides you see in about every business presentation. There were no ammo credibility in a Steve Jobs presentation (there still aren’t in Apple keynote slides). The slides were mostly images, photos, or phrases of alone several words that complemented the message. For the audience, minimalism is great. For the speaker, it takes hours of convenance to accomplish abiding you apperceive what you’re activity to say and how you’re activity to say it.
3. Rehearse out loud like it’s the absolute thing.
Jobs accomplished in full presentation mode. He aloft his aggregate and afflicted the accent of his articulation and the activity he gave. He acclimated all-embracing gestures like he was speaking to bags alike if he was call in advanced of a scattering of executives. In added words, “everything was absolutely as if he were presenting to a arranged house.”
Practicing out loud alike if there’s cipher about to apprehend is a awful able technique. I’ve been accomplishing it for years. My colleagues can see me through my appointment window. They sometimes blow acquiescent fun at me aback I’m walking about my appointment with the aperture closed, talking out loud as if I’m acclamation an amphitheater of people. It feels awkward, but it works.
4. Ask for acknowledgment during anniversary footfall of the performance.
Steve Jobs asked his controlling aggregation for effective acknowledgment that would advice to accomplish every accelerate and every byword alike better. Listen to an ascertainment that Kocienda makes in his book: “As needed, he [Jobs] stopped, stepped out of character, bargain the aggregate of his voice, and asked admiral built-in in the advanced row what they anticipation of some about-face of the byword or whether they believed the account flowed calm smoothly.”
After alert to the feedback, Jobs would pause, get aback into appearance and abide his practice. Steve Jobs was like an amateur on a cine set, practicing booty afterwards booty until he got it aloof right.
5. Schedule dress rehearsals in real-world conditions.
On the Saturday and Sunday above-mentioned the anniversary of the aboriginal keynote Kocienda alternate in, he watched Jobs run through the presentation on date at San Francisco’s Moscone Center, the area of the event. He apposite the absolute presentation alert anniversary day. These were “dress rehearsals,” says Kocienda because Jobs showed up his presentation uniform–black apish bodice and jeans.
6. Keep the affection light.
Jobs knew aback to breach up the astriction with humor. At the end of one run-through, Jobs got to the aftermost accelerate and the admiral anticipation he had finished. Instead, Jobs said, “Here’s what I accept to say to those bodies who said our food would best absolutely fail.” He clicked to a new accelerate that had a byword I can’t address in this article. He played it beeline and brought bottomward the house. Kocienda says, “It’s able-bodied accepted that Steve could be feisty, but he could additionally be absolutely funny.”
To sum it, Kocienda told me that Jobs “recognized the ability of accessible speaking.” By alleviative keynote presentations like affected performances–and by call like date performers do–Jobs animated the business presentation to an art form.
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