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  • 2. SAAB MARFIN MBA The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs How toBe Insanely Great in Front of Any AudienceCarmine Gallo Columnist, New YorkChicago San Francisco Lisbon London Madrid Mexico City Milan NewDelhi San Juan Seoul Singapore Sydney TorontoCopyright € 2010 by Carmine Gallo. All rights reserved. Except aspermitted under the United States Copyright Act of 1976, no part ofthis publication may be reproduced or dis- tributed in any form or byany means, or stored in a database or retrieval system, without theprior written permission of the publisher. ISBN: 978-0-07-163675-9MHID: 0-07-163675-7 The material in this eBook also appears in theprint version of this title: ISBN: 978-0-07-163608-7, MHID:0-07-163608-0. All trademarks are trademarks of their respectiveowners. Rather than put a trademark symbol after every occurrence ofa trademarked name, we use names in an editorial fash- ion only, andto the benefit of the trademark owner, with no intention ofinfringement of the trademark. Where such designations appear in thisbook, they have been printed with initial caps. McGraw-Hill eBooks are GUIDE TO PERFECT PRESENTATION TO MBA STUDENST
  • 3. SAAB MARFIN MBAavailable at special quantity discounts to use as premiums and salespromotions, or for use in corporate training programs. To contact arepresentative please e-mail us at TERMSOF USE This is a copyrighted work and The McGraw-Hill Companies,Inc. ("McGraw-Hill") and its licensors reserve all rights in and to thework. Use of this work is subject to these terms. Except as permittedunder the Copyright Act of 1976 and the right to store and retrieveone copy of the work, you may not decompile, disassemble, reverseengineer, reproduce, mod- ify, create derivative works based upon,transmit, distribute, disseminate, sell, publish or sublicense the workor any part of it without McGraw-Hills prior consent. You may use thework for your own noncommercial and personal use; any other use ofthe work is strictly prohibited. Your right to use the work may beterminated if you fail to comply with these terms. THE WORK ISPROVIDED "AS IS." McGRAW-HILL AND ITS LICENSORS MAKE NOGUARANTEES OR WARRANTIES AS TO THE ACCURACY, ADEQUACY ORCOMPLETENESS OF OR RESULTS TO BE OBTAINED FROM USING THEWORK, INCLUDING ANY INFORMATION THAT CAN BE ACCESSEDTHROUGH THE WORK VIA HYPERLINK OR OTHERWISE, AND EXPRESSLYDISCLAIM ANY WARRANTY, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOTLIMITED TO IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY OR FITNESSFOR A PARTICU- LAR PURPOSE. McGraw-Hill and its licensors do notwarrant or guarantee that the functions contained in the work willmeet your requirements or that its operation will be uninterrupted orerror free. Neither McGraw-Hill nor its licensors shall be liable to youor anyone else for any inaccuracy, error or omission, regardless ofcause, in the work or for any damages resulting therefrom.McGraw-Hill has no responsibility for the content of any informationaccessed through the work. Under no circumstances shall McGraw-Hilland/or its licensors be liable for any indirect, incidental, special,punitive, consequential or simi- lar damages that result from the useof or inability to use the work, even if any of them has been advised ofthe possibility of such damages. This limitation of liability shall applyto any claim or cause whatsoever whether such claim or cause arises incontract, tort or otherwise.To my father, Franco, an insanely great man who has lived anextraordinary lifeThis page intentionally left blank CONTE NTS STN ETN OCSTN ETN OC STN ETN OC Acknowledgmentsvii Prologue: How to Be Insanely Great in Frontof Any Audience ix ACT 1 CREATE THE STORY1 SCENE 1 Plan in Analog 3 SCENE 2 Answer theOne Question That Matters Most 15 SCENE 3 Develop a MessianicSense of Purpose 27 SCENE 4 Create Twitter-Like Headlines39 SCENE 5 Draw a Road Map 49 SCENE 6Introduce the Antagonist 63 SCENE 7 Reveal theConquering Hero 75 INTERMISSION 1 Obey theTen-Minute Rule 83 ACT 2 DELIVER THE EXPERIENCE GUIDE TO PERFECT PRESENTATION TO MBA STUDENST
  • 4. SAAB MARFIN MBA85 SCENE 8 Channel Their Inner Zen 87 SCENE 9 DressUp Your Numbers 105 SCENE 10 Use "Amazingly Zippy"Words 113 SCENE 11 Share the Stage 127SCENE 12 Stage Your Presentation with Props 137 SCENE 13Reveal a "Holy Shit" Moment 151 INTERMISSION 2 SchillerLearns from the Best 161 ACT 3 REFINE AND REHEARSE165 SCENE 14 Master Stage Presence 167 SCENE 15Make It Look Effortless 179 SCENE 16 Wear theAppropriate Costume 195 SCENE 17 Toss the Script199 SCENE 18 Have Fun 207 Encore:One More Thing 215 Notes219 Index 233vThis page intentionally left blank ACKNOWLE DGM E NTS S T N E M G D EL WO N K CAS T N E M G D EL WO N K CA S T N E M G D EL WO N K CA This book is a collaborative effort. The content took shape withthe help of family, colleagues, and the amazing staff atMcGraw-Hill. Big thanks to my edi- tor, John Aherne, for hisenthusiasm and counsel, and to Kenya Henderson, for making it allhappen! McGraw-Hill design, marketing, and public relations staff areamong the best in the book publishing industry. Im honored theyshare my excitement about the subject. My wife, Vanessa, managesour business at Gallo Commun- ications Group. She worked tirelesslyto prepare the manuscript. How she found the time between jugglingour business and car- ing for our two children is beyond the scope of"mere mortals." Many thanks to my editor at,Nick Leiber, who always seems to find a way to improve my columns.As always, thank you, Ed Knappman, my encouraging agent at NewEngland Publishing Associates. Eds knowledge and insight are secondto none. I owe thanks to my parents, Franco and Giuseppina, fortheir unwavering support. Thank you, Tino, Donna, Francesco, Nick,Patty, Ken, and many other close friends and family members whounderstood why I couldnt be around or why I had to skip golf onweekends. Back to the course! My girls, Josephine and Lela. You areDaddys inspiration. All your patience during Daddys absence will berewarded with an insanely great visit to Chuck E. Cheese.viiThis page intentionally left blank PROLOGUE EUGOLORPEUGOLORP EUGOLORP How to Be InsanelyGreat in Front of Any Audience A person can havethe greatest idea in the world-- completely different and novel--butif that person cant convince enough other people, it doesntmatter. GREGORY BERNS S teve Jobs is the mostcaptivating communicator on the world stage. No one elsecomes close. A Jobs presenta- tion unleashes a rush ofdopamine into the brains of his audience. Some people go togreat lengths to get this hit, even spending the night in freezing GUIDE TO PERFECT PRESENTATION TO MBA STUDENST
  • 5. SAAB MARFIN MBAtemperatures to ensure the best seat at one of his speeches. Whenthey dont get that buzz, they go through withdrawals. How else doyou explain the fact that some fans threatened to protest Jobssabsence from a conference he had keynoted for years? Thats whathappened when Apple announced that Jobs would not deliver histradi- tional keynote presentation at Macworld Expo in 2009. (Applealso announced that it would be the last year in which the com- panywould participate in this annual trade show produced by Boston-basedIDG World Expo.) ixx PROLOGUE Apple vice president Phil Schiller filled in for thelegendary presenter. The expectations were nearly impossible tomeet, but Schiller performed admirably precisely because he usedmany of Jobss techniques. Nevertheless, Jobs was missed. "The sunis set- ting on the first generation of rebellious whiz kids whoinvented the PC, commercialized the Internet, and grew theircompanies into powerhouses," wrote reporter Jon Fortt.1 ASteve Jobs keynote presentation is an extraordinary expe- rience,and he doesnt give many of them. Although fans, investors, andcustomers hope to see more of him at Apple events, given his leaveof absence in 2009 for medical reasons and Apples withdrawalfrom Macworld Expo, there might be fewer opportunities to see amaster at a craft he has honed for more than three decades. (It waslater confirmed that Jobs had undergone a successful livertransplant and would return to work.) This book captures the bestof Jobss presentations and reveals, for the first time, the exacttechniques he uses to inspire his audience. Best of all, you can learnhis skills and adopt his techniques to blow away your audience,giving people a high they will crave again and again. Watch aMacworld keynote--"Stevenotes," as they are known among the Macfaithful--and you will begin to recon- sider everything about yourcurrent presentations: what you say, how you say it, and what youraudience sees when you say it. I wrote a column about Steve Jobsand his presentation skills for It quickly becamehugely popular around the world (Daniel Lyons, aka "Fake SteveJobs," even featured it). It appealed to Mac and PC owners alike whowanted to improve the way they sell themselves and their ideas. Aselect few read- ers had seen Jobs in person, while others hadwatched video of Jobs online, but the vast majority of readers hadnever seen him give a keynote. What they learned was eye-openingand forced many of them to go back to the proverbial drawingboard. For educational purposes, use YouTube as a complementto the techniques revealed in the pages to follow. At this writing,there are more than 35,000 clips of Steve Jobs on YouTube, a farlarger number than for most other high-profile CEOs, includ- ingVirgins Richard Branson (1,000), Microsofts Steve Ballmer PROLOGUE xi (940), and theformer head of General Electric, Jack Welch (175). In this case,YouTube offers a rare opportunity to read about a particular individual,learn about specific techniques that make him successful, and see GUIDE TO PERFECT PRESENTATION TO MBA STUDENST
  • 6. SAAB MARFIN MBAthose techniques in action. What youll learn is that Jobs is amagnetic pitchman who sells his ideas with a flair that turns prospectsinto custom- ers and customers into evangelists. He has charisma,defined by the German sociologist Max Weber as "a certain quality ofan individual personality, by virtue of which he is set apart fromordinary people and treated as endowed with supernatu- ral,superhuman, or at least specifically exceptional powers or qualities."2Jobs has become superhuman among his most loyal fans. But Webergot one thing wrong. Weber believed that cha- risma was not"accessible to the ordinary person." Once you learn exactly how Jobscrafts and delivers one of his famous pre- sentations, you will realizethat these exceptional powers are available to you as well. If you adoptjust some of his techniques, yours will stand out from the legions ofmediocre presentations delivered on any given day. Your competitorsand colleagues will look like amateurs in comparison. "Presentationshave become the de facto business commu- nication tool," writespresentation design guru Nancy Duarte in Slide:ology. "Companies arestarted, products are launched, climate systems are saved--possiblybased on the quality of pre- sentations. Likewise, ideas, endeavors,and even careers can be cut short due to ineffective communication.Out of the millions of presentations delivered each day, only a smallpercentage are delivered well."3 Duarte transformed Al Gores 35mm slides into the award- winning documentary An InconvenientTruth. As with Al Gore, who sits on Apples board, Steve Jobs usespresentations as a transformative experience. Both men arerevolutionizing busi- ness communications and have something toteach us, but where Gore has one famous presentation repeated athousand times, Jobs has been giving awe-inspiring presentationssince the launch of the Macintosh in 1984. In fact, the Macintoshlaunch, which you will read about in the pages to follow, is still one ofthe most dramatic presentations in the history of corporatexii PROLOGUE America. I find it amazing that Jobs has actuallyimproved his presentation style in the twenty-five years since thelaunch. The 1984 presentation was tough to beat--one of thegreatest presentations of our time. Still, Jobss keynotes at theMacworld Expo in 2007 and 2008 were his best ever. Everythingthat he had learned about connecting with audiences cametogether to create truly magnificent moments. Now the badnews. Your presentations are being compared with those of SteveJobs. He has transformed the typical, dull, technical, plodding slideshow into a theatrical event complete with heroes, villains, asupporting cast, and stunning backdrops. People who witness aSteve Jobs presentation for the first time describe it as anextraordinary experience. In a Los Angeles Times article aboutJobss medical leave, Michael Hiltzik wrote: "No American CEO ismore intimately identified with his companys success . . . Jobs isApples visionary and carnival barker. If you want a taste of the lat-ter persona, watch the video of the original iPod launch event inOctober 2001. Jobss dramatic command is astonishing. Viewing GUIDE TO PERFECT PRESENTATION TO MBA STUDENST
  • 7. SAAB MARFIN MBAthe event recently on YouTube, I was on the edge of my seat, eventhough I knew how the story came out."4 Jobs is the Tiger Woodsof business, raising the bar for the rest of us. Now the goodnews. You can identify and adopt each of Jobss techniques to keepyour audience members at the edge of their seats. Tapping into hisqualities will help you create your own magnificent presentationsand give you the tools to sell your ideas far more persuasively thanyou have ever imagined. Consider The Presentation Secrets ofSteve Jobs your road map to presentation success. Its as close asyou will ever get to hav- ing Jobs speak directly in your ear as youpresent the value behind your service, product, company, or cause.Whether you are a CEO launching a new product, an entrepreneurpitching investors, a sales professional closing a deal, or aneducator try- ing to inspire a class, Jobs has something to teachyou. Most business professionals give presentations to deliverinforma- tion. Not Jobs. A Steve Jobs presentation is intended tocreate an experience--"a reality distortion field"--that leaves hisaudi- ence awed, inspired, and wildly excited. PROLOGUE xiii Moving OnUp As soon as you move one step up from the bottom, youreffective- ness depends on your ability to reach others through thespoken and written word. 5 PETERDRUCKER Some of the most common terms used to describe SteveJobs are "seductive," "magnetic," "captivating," and "charismatic." Otherterms, typically related to his interpersonal traits, are less flattering.Jobs is a complicated man who creates extraordinary products, cul-tivates intense loyalty, and also scares the shit out of people. He is apassionate perfectionist and a visionary, two qualities that create acombustible combination when the way things are do not match theway Jobs believes they should be. This book is not intended to tackleeverything about Steve Jobs. It is neither a biography of the man nor ahistory of Apple. This book is not about Jobs the boss, but about Jobsthe communicator. And although the book will help you create farmore effective presentations, it leaves the art of presentation design tomore qualified authors whose life work is dedicated to the field ofgraphic design. (For more references, tips, and video clips of thepresentations cited throughout the book, visit the book does offer is the most thorough breakdown of exactlyhow Jobs crafts and delivers the story behind the Apple brand. You willlearn how Jobs does all of the following: Crafts messagesPresents ideas Generates excitement for a product or featureDelivers a memorable experience Creates customer evangelistsThe techniques will help you create your own "insanely great"presentations. The lessons are remarkably simple to learn, butapplying them is up to you. Speaking the way Steve speaksxiv PROLOGUE requires work, but the benefit to your career,company, and per- sonal success will be well worth yourcommitment. Why Not Me? When I appeared on CNBCs "TheBig Idea with Donny Deutsch," I was struck by the hosts infectious GUIDE TO PERFECT PRESENTATION TO MBA STUDENST
  • 8. SAAB MARFIN MBAenergy. Deutsch offered his viewers this piece of advice: "Whenyou see someone who has turned his passion into a profit, askyourself, `Why not me? "6 I urge you to do the same. When youread about Jobs in the pages to follow, ask yourself, "Why not me?Why cant I ener- gize my listeners like Jobs?" The answer is, "Youcan." As youll learn, Jobs is not a natural. He works at it. Althoughhe always had a theatrical flair, his style has evolved and improvedover the years. Jobs is relentlessly focused on improvement,laboring over every slide, every demo, and every detail of apresentation. Each presentation tells a story, and every slidereveals a scene. Jobs is a showman and, as with all great actors, herehearses until he gets it right. "Be a yardstick of quality," Jobsonce said. "Some people arent used to an environment whereexcellence is expected."7 There are no shortcuts to excellence.Presenting like Jobs will require planning and practice, but if youare commit- ted to reaching the top, there is no better teacherthan Apples master showman. (See Figure 1.) Performance inThree Acts The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs is structured likeone of Jobss favorite presentation metaphors: a three-act play. Infact, a Steve Jobs presentation is very much like a dramatic play--afinely crafted and well-rehearsed performance that informs, enter-tains, and inspires. When Jobs introduced the video iPod onOctober 12, 2005, he chose the California Theatre in San Jose ashis stage. It was an appropriate setting as Steve divided the prod-uct introductions into three acts, "like every classic story." In act 1,he introduced the new iMac G5 with built-in video camera. Act 2kicked off the release of the fifth-generation iPod, which playedvideo content for the first time. In act 3, he talked about PROLOGUE xv Figure 1Apples master showman turns presentations into theatricalexperiences. Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images iTunes 6, with thenews that ABC would make television shows available for iTunes andthe new video iPod. Jobs even intro- duced jazz legend WyntonMarsalis as an encore. In keeping with Jobss metaphor of apresentation as a classic story, The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobsis divided into three acts: Act 1: Create the Story. The sevenchapters--or scenes--in this section will give you practical toolsto craft an exciting story behind your brand. A strong story willgive you the confi- dence and ability to win over your audience.Act 2: Deliver the Experience. In these six scenes, you will learnpractical tips to turn your presentations into visually appealingand "must-have" experiences. Act 3: Refine and Rehearse. Theremaining five scenes will tackle topics such as body language,verbal delivery, and mak- ing "scripted" presentations soundnatural and conversational. Even your choice of wardrobe will beaddressed. You will learn why mock turtlenecks, jeans, andrunning shoes are suitable for Jobs but could mean the end ofyour career. GUIDE TO PERFECT PRESENTATION TO MBA STUDENST
  • 9. SAAB MARFIN MBAxvi PROLOGUE Short intermissions divide the acts. Theseintermissions con- tain nuggets of great information culled fromthe latest findings in cognitive research and presentation design.These findings will help you take your presentations to an entirelynew level. What Are You Really Selling? Jobs is "the master attaking something that might be consid- ered boring--a hunk ofelectronic hardware--and enveloping it in a story that made itcompellingly dramatic," writes Alan Deutschman in The SecondComing of Steve Jobs.8 Only a hand- ful of leaders whom I havehad the pleasure of meeting have this skill, the ability to turnseemingly boring items into excit- ing brand stories. Cisco CEOJohn Chambers is one of them. Chambers does not sell routers andswitches that make up the backbone of the Internet. WhatChambers does sell is human connections that change the way welive, work, play, and learn. The most inspiring communicatorsshare this quality--the ability to create something meaningful outof esoteric or every- day products. Starbucks CEO Howard Schultzdoes not sell coffee. He sells a "third place" between work andhome. Financial guru Suze Orman does not sell trusts and mutualfunds. She sells the dream of financial freedom. In the same way,Jobs does not sell computers. He sells tools to unleash humanpotential. Throughout this book, ask yourself, "What am I reallyselling?" Remember, your widget doesnt inspire. Show me howyour wid- get improves my life, and youve won me over. Do it in away that entertains me, and youll have created a true evangelist.Along the way, youll also discover that Steve Jobs is motivated bya messianic zeal to change the world, to put a "dent in the uni-verse." In order for these techniques to work, you must cultivate aprofound sense of mission. If you are passionate about your topic,youre 80 percent closer to developing the magnetism that Jobshas. From the age of twenty-one when Jobs cofounded Apple withhis friend Steve Wozniak, Jobs fell in love with the vision of howpersonal computing would change society, education, and enter- PROLOGUE xvii tainment. Hispassion was contagious, infecting everyone in his presence. Thatpassion comes across in every presentation. We all have passionsthat drive us. The purpose of this book is to help you capture thatpassion and turn it into a story so mesmerizing that people will wantto help you achieve your vision. You see, its quite possible that yourideas or products vastly improve the lives of your customers--fromcomputers, to automobiles, to financial services, to products thatcreate a cleaner environment--but the greatest product in the worldwill be useless without a strong brand evangelist to promote it. If youcannot get people to care, your product will never stand a chance ofsuccess. Your audience will not care, they will not understand, nor willthey be interested. People do not pay atten- tion to boring things. Donot let your ideas die because you failed to present them in a way thatsparked the imagination of your listeners. Use Jobss techniques to GUIDE TO PERFECT PRESENTATION TO MBA STUDENST
  • 10. SAAB MARFIN MBAreach the hearts and the minds of everyone you hope to influence.As Jobs often says to kick off a presentation, "Now lets get started."This page intentionally left blank AC T I Create the Story Creating the story, the plot, is the first step to selling your ideaswith power, persuasion, and charisma. Succeeding at this stepseparates mediocre commu- nicators from extraordinary ones.Most people fail to think through their story. Effective communicatorsplan effectively, develop compelling messages and headlines, make iteasy for their listeners to follow the narrative, and introduce acommon enemy to build the drama. The seven chapters--orscenes--in Act 1 will help set the foundation for presentation success.Each scene will be followed by a short summary of spe- cific andtangible lessons you can easily apply today. Lets review the sceneshere: SCENE 1: "Plan in Analog." In this chapter, you will learn howtruly great presenters such as Steve Jobs visualize, plan, and createideas well before they open the presentation software. SCENE 2:"Answer the One Question That Matters Most." Your listeners areasking themselves one question and one question only: "Whyshould I care?" Disregard this question, and your audience willdismiss you. SCENE 3: "Develop a Messianic Sense of Purpose."Steve Jobs was worth more than $100 million by the time he was12 CREATE THE STORY twenty-five, and it didnt matter to him.Understanding this one fact will help you unlock the secretbehind Jobss extraor- dinary charisma. SCENE 4: "CreateTwitter-Like Headlines." The social networking site has changedthe way we communicate. Developing headlines that fit into140-character sentences will help you sell your ideas morepersuasively. SCENE 5: "Draw a Road Map." Steve Jobs makes hisargument easy to follow by adopting one of the most powerfulprinciples of persuasion: the rule of three. SCENE 6:"Introduce the Antagonist." Every great Steve Jobs presentationintroduces a common villain that the audience can turn against.Once he introduces an enemy, the stage is set for the next scene.SCENE 7: "Reveal the Conquering Hero." Every great Steve Jobspresentation introduces a hero the audience can rally around.The hero offers a better way of doing something, breaks fromthe status quo, and inspires people to embrace innovation. SCE N E 1 1 ENECS1 ENECS 1 ENECS Plan in AnalogMarketing is really theater. It`s like staging a performance.JOHN SCULLEY S teve Jobs has built a reputation in the digitalworld of bits and bytes, but he creates stories in the very old-world tradition of pen and paper. His presentations aretheatrical events intended to generate maximum pub- licity, buzz, andawe. They contain all of the elements of great plays or movies: conflict,resolution, villains, and heroes. And, in line with all great moviedirectors, Jobs storyboards the plot before picking up a "camera" (i.e., GUIDE TO PERFECT PRESENTATION TO MBA STUDENST
  • 11. SAAB MARFIN MBAopening the presentation software). It`s marketing theater unlike anyother. Jobs is closely involved in every detail of a presentation: writ-ing descriptive taglines, creating slides, practicing demos, and makingsure the lighting is just right. Jobs takes nothing for granted. He doeswhat most top presentation designers recom- mend: he starts onpaper. "There`s just something about paper and pen and sketchingout rough ideas in the `analog world in the early stages that seems tolead to more clarity and better, more creative results when we finallyget down to representing our ideas digitally," writes Garr Reynolds inPresentation Zen.1 Design experts, including those who createpresentations for Apple, recommend that presenters spend themajority of their time thinking, sketching, and scripting. Nancy Duarteis the genius behind Al Gores An Inconvenient Truth. Duarte suggeststhat a presenter spend up to ninety hours to create an hour-longpresentation that contains thirty slides. However, only one-34 CREATE THE STORY third of that time should be dedicated tobuilding the slides, says Duarte.2 The first twenty-seven hours arededicated to research- ing the topic, collecting input from experts,organizing ideas, collaborating with colleagues, and sketching thestructure of the story. Bullets Kill Think about what happenswhen you open PowerPoint. A blank- format slide appears thatcontains space for words--a title and subtitle. This presents aproblem. There are very few words in a Steve Jobs presentation.Now think about the first thing you see in the drop-down menuunder Format: Bullets & Numbering. This leads to the secondproblem. There are no bullet points in a Steve Jobs presentation.The software itself forces you to cre- ate a template that representsthe exact opposite of what you need to speak like Steve! In fact, asyou will learn in later scenes, texts and bullets are the least effectiveway to deliver informa- tion intended to be recalled and acted upon.Save your bullet points for grocery lists. Visually engagingpresentations will inspire your audience. And yes, they require a bitof work, especially in the planning phase. As a communicationscoach, I work with CEOs and other top executives on their media,presentation, and public speaking skills. One of my clients, astart-up entrepreneur, had spent sixty straight days in Bentonville,Arkansas, to score an appointment with Wal-Mart. His technologyintrigued com- pany executives, who agreed to a beta test, a trialrun. Wal-Mart asked him to present the information to a group ofadvertis- ers and top executives. I met with my client over a periodof days at the offices of the Silicon Valley venture capital firm thatinvested in his company. For the first day, we did noth- ing butsketch the story. No computer and no PowerPoint--just pen andpaper (whiteboard, in this case). Eventually we turned the sketchesinto slide ideas. We needed only five slides for a fifteen-minutepresentation. Creating the slides did not take as much time asdeveloping the story. Once we wrote the narrative, GUIDE TO PERFECT PRESENTATION TO MBA STUDENST
  • 12. SAAB MARFIN MBA PLAN IN ANALOG 5 designing theslides was easy. Remember, its the story, not the slides, that willcapture the imagination of your audience. The Napkin Test A pictureis the most powerful method for conveying an idea. Instead ofbooting up your computer, take out a napkin. Some of the mostsuccessful business ideas have been sketched on the back of anapkin. One could argue that the napkin has been more important tothe world of business ideas than PowerPoint. I used to think that"napkin stories" were just that--stories, from the imagination ofjournalists. That is until I met Richard Tait, the founder of Cranium. Iprepared him for an interview on CNBC. He told me that during across-country flight from New York to Seattle, he took out a smallcocktail napkin and sketched the idea of a board game in whicheveryone had a chance to excel in at least one category, a game thatwould give everyone a chance to shine. Cranium became a worldwidesen- sation and was later purchased by Hasbro. The original conceptwas simple enough to write on a tiny airline napkin. One of themost famous corporate napkin stories involves Southwest Airlines. Alawyer at the time, Herb Kelleher met with one of his clients, RollinKing, at the St. Anthonys Club, in San Antonio. King owned a smallcharter airline. He wanted to start a low-cost commuter airline thatavoided the major hubs and instead served Dallas, Houston, and SanAntonio. King sketched three circles, wrote the names of the citiesinside, and connected the three--a strikingly simple vision. Kelleherunderstood immediately. Kelleher signed on as legal counsel (helater became CEO), and the two men founded Southwest Airlines in1967. King and Kelleher would go on to reinvent airline travel in theUnited States and build a corporate culture that would earnSouthwests place among the most admired companies in the world.Never underestimate the power of a vision so simple that it can fit ona napkin!6 CREATE THE STORY The Story Takes Center Stage In BeyondBullet Points, Cliff Atkinson stresses, "The single most importantthing you can do to dramatically improve your pre- sentations is tohave a story to tell before you work on your PowerPoint file."3Atkinson advocates a three-step storyboard approach to creatingpresentations: Writing Sketching Producing Only afterwriting--scripting--the scenes does he advocate thinking visuallyabout how the slides will look. "To write a script, you need tomomentarily set aside PowerPoint design issues like fonts, colors,backgrounds, and slide transitions. Although it might soundcounterintuitive, when you write a script first, you actually expandyour visual possibilities, because writing defines your purposebefore you start designing. A script unlocks the undiscovered powerof PowerPoint as a visual story- telling tool in ways that mightsurprise and delight you and your audiences."4 With a completedscript in hand, youll be ready to sketch and "produce" theexperience. The script, however, must come first. Nine Elementsof Great Presentations Persuasive presentation scripts contain nine GUIDE TO PERFECT PRESENTATION TO MBA STUDENST
  • 13. SAAB MARFIN MBAcommon ele- ments. Think about incorporating each of thesecomponents before you open the presentation program, whetheryou work in PowerPoint, Keynote, or any other design software.Some of these concepts will be explored in more detail later, but fornow keep them in mind as you develop your ideas. HEADLINEWhat is the one big idea you want to leave with your audi- ence? Itshould be short (140 characters or less), memorable, and written inthe subject-verb-object sequence. When Steve Jobs unveiled theiPhone, he exclaimed, "Today Apple reinvents the PLAN IN ANALOG 7 phone!"5Thats a headline. Headlines grab the attention of your audience andgive people a reason to listen. Read USA Today for ideas. Here aresome examples from Americas most popular daily newspaper:"Apples Skinny MacBook Is Fat with Features" "Apple UnleashesLeopard Operating System" "Apple Shrinks iPod" PASSIONSTATEMENT Aristotle, the father of public speaking, believed thatsuccess- ful speakers must have "pathos," or passion for their subject.Very few communicators express a sense of excitement about theirtopic. Steve Jobs exudes an almost giddy enthusiasm every time hepresents. Former employees and even some journal- ists have claimedthat they found his energy and enthusiasm completely mesmerizing.Spend a few minutes developing a pas- sion statement by filling in thefollowing sentence: "Im excited about this product [company, initiative,feature, etc.] because it ." Once you have identified thepassion statement, dont be bashful--share it. THREE KEY MESSAGESNow that you have decided on your headline and passion state- ment,write out the three messages you want your audience to receive. Theyshould be easily recalled without the necessity of looking at notes.Although Scene 5 is dedicated to this subject, for now keep in mindthat your listeners can recall only three or four points in short-termmemory. Each of the key messages will be followed by supportingpoints. METAPHORS AND ANALOGIES As you develop key messagesand supporting points, decide on which rhetorical devices will makeyour narrative more engag- ing. According to Aristotle, metaphor is"the most important thing by far." A metaphor--a word or phrase thatdenotes one8 CREATE THE STORY thing and is used to designate another forpurposes of compar- ison--is a persuasive tool in the bestmarketing, advertising, and public relations campaigns. Jobs usesmetaphors in conver- sations and presentations. In one famousinterview, Jobs said, "What a computer is to me is the mostremarkable tool that we have ever come up with. Its the equivalentof a bicycle for our minds."6 Sales professionals are fond ofsports metaphors: "Were all playing for the same team"; "This isnt ascrimmage; its for real"; or "Were batting a thousand; lets keep itup." While sports metaphors work fine, challenge yourself to breakaway from what your audience expects. I came across an interestingmeta- phor for a new antivirus suite of applications from Kaspersky.The company ran full-page ads (the one I saw was in USA Today) GUIDE TO PERFECT PRESENTATION TO MBA STUDENST
  • 14. SAAB MARFIN MBAthat showed a dejected medieval soldier in a full suit of armorwalking away, with his back toward the reader. The headline read,"Dont be so sad. You were very good once upon a time." Themetaphor compared todays Internet security technologies(Kasperskys competitors) to slow, cumbersome medieval armor,which of course is no match for todays military technology. Thecompany extended the metaphor to the website with an image of asuit of armor and the same tagline. The metaphor was con- sistentthroughout the companys marketing material. Analogies areclose cousins of metaphors and also are very effective. An analogyis a comparison between two different things in order to highlightsome area of similarity. Analogies help us understand concepts thatmight be foreign to us. "The microprocessor is the brain of yourcomputer" is an analogy that works well for companies such as Intel.In many ways, the chip serves the same function in the computer asa brain serves in a human. The chip and the brain are two differentthings with like features. This particular analogy is so useful that itis widely picked up by the media. When you find a strong analogythat works, stick with it and make it consistent across yourpresenta- tions, website, and marketing material. Jobs likes to havefun with analogies, especially if they can be applied to Microsoft.During an interview with the Wall Street Journals Walt Mossberg, PLAN IN ANALOG 9 Jobs pointedout that many people say iTunes is their favorite application forWindows. "Its like giving a glass of ice water to someone in hell!"7DEMONSTRATIONS Jobs shares the spotlight with employees, partners,and prod- ucts. Demos make up a large part of his presentations.When Jobs unveiled a new version of the OS X operating system, code-named Leopard, at Apples Worldwide Developers Conference(commonly abbreviated WWDC, the annual conference is an Appleevent to showcase new software and technologies) in June 2007, hesaid Leopard had three hundred new features. He chose ten to discussand demonstrate, including Time Machine (automated backup), BootCamp (runs Windows XP and Vista on Mac), and Stacks (fileorganization). Instead of simply list- ing the features on a slide andexplaining them, he sat down and showed the audience how theyworked. He also chose the features he wanted the press to highlight.Why leave it to the media to decide which of three hundred newfeatures were the most compelling? He would tell them. Does yourproduct lend itself to a demonstration? If so, script it into thepresentation. Your audience wants to see, touch, and experience yourproduct or service. Bring it to life. I worked with Goldman Sachsinvestors to prepare the CEO of a Silicon Valley semiconductorstart-up that was about to go public. The company shrinks chips thatcreate audio sound for mobile computers. As we were planning theinvestor presenta- tion, the CEO pulled out a chip the size of afingernail and said, "You wouldnt believe the sound that thisgenerates. Listen to this." He turned up the volume on his laptop andplayed music that impressed those of us who were in the room. It was GUIDE TO PERFECT PRESENTATION TO MBA STUDENST
  • 15. SAAB MARFIN MBAa no- brainer to use the same demonstration (with a more dramaticbuildup) when the executive pitched the company to investors. The IPOwent on to become a huge success. An investor who had underwrittenthe company later called me and said, "I dont know what you did, butthe CEO was a hit." I didnt have the heart to say that I stole the ideafrom the Steve Jobs playbook.10 CREATE THE STORY PARTNERS Jobs shares the stage withkey partners as well as his products. In September 2005, Jobsannounced that all of Madonnas albums would be available oniTunes. The pop star herself suddenly appeared via webcam andjoked with Jobs that she had tried to hold out as long as possiblebut got tired of not being able to download her own songs.Whether its an artist or an industry partner like the CEOs of Intel,Fox, or Sony, Jobs often shares the stage with people whocontribute to Apples success. CUSTOMER EVIDENCE ANDTHIRD-PARTY ENDORSEMENTS Offering "customer evidence" ortestimonials is an important part of the selling cycle. Fewcustomers want to be pioneers, especially when budgets are tight.Just as recruiters ask for ref- erences, your customers want to hearsuccess stories. This is especially critical for small companies. Yoursales and marketing collateral might look great in that glossyfour-color brochure, but it will be met with a healthy degree ofskepticism. The number one influencer is word of mouth.Successful product launches usually have several customers whowere involved in the beta and who can vouch for the product.Incorporate customer evi- dence into your pitch. Including a quoteis simple enough, but try going one step further by recording ashort testimonial and embedding the video on your site and in yourpresentation. Even better, invite a customer to join you in person(or via web- cam) at a presentation or an important sales meeting.Do you have third-party reviews of your product? Always usethird-party endorsements when available. Word of mouth is one ofthe most effective marketing tools available, and when yourcustomers see an endorsement from a publication or an individ-ual they respect, it will make them feel more comfortable abouttheir purchasing decisions. VIDEO CLIPS Very few presentersincorporate video into their presentations. Jobs plays video clipsvery often. Sometimes he shows video of employees talking abouthow much they enjoyed working PLAN IN ANALOG 11 on a product.Jobs is also fond of showing Apples most recent television ads. Hedoes so in nearly every major new product announcement and hasbeen doing so since the launch of the famous Macintosh 1984 SuperBowl ad. Hes been known to enjoy some ads so much that he showedthem twice. Near the end of his presentation at Apples WWDC in June2008, Jobs announced the new iPhone 3G, which connects tohigher-speed data networks and costs less than the iPhone that wascurrently on the market. He showed a television ad with the tagline"Its finally here. The first phone to beat the iPhone." When the GUIDE TO PERFECT PRESENTATION TO MBA STUDENST
  • 16. SAAB MARFIN MBAthirty-second spot ended, a beaming Jobs said, "Isnt that nice? Wantto see it again? Lets roll that again. I love this ad."8 Including videoclips in your presentation will help you stand out. You can show ads,employee testimonials, scenes of the product or of people using theproduct, and even customer endorsements. What could be morepersuasive than hear- ing directly from a satisfied customer--if not inperson, then through a short video clip embedded in your presentation?You can easily encode video into digital formats such as MPEG 1,Windows Media, or Quicktime files, all of which will work for mostpresentations. Keep in mind that the average viewed clip on YouTubeis 2.5 minutes. Our attention spans are shrinking, and video, whileproviding a great way to keep the audience engaged, can be overusedif left to run too long. Use video clips in your presentations, but avoidclips that run much longer than two to three minutes. Video is aterrific tool for even the most nontechnical of pre- sentations. I washelping the California Strawberry Commission prepare for a series ofpresentations set to take place on the East Coast. Commissionmembers showed me a short video of strawberry growers expressingtheir love of the land and the fruit. The images of strawberry fieldswere gorgeous, and I sug- gested they create a digital file of the videoclip and embed it in the presentation. In the presentation itself, theyintroduced the video by saying something like this: "We realize thatyou probably have never visited a California strawberry field, so wedecided to bring the farmers to you." The video clip was the12 CREATE THE STORY most memorable part of the presentation,and the East Coast editors loved it. FLIP CHARTS, PROPS, ANDSHOW-AND-TELL There are three types of learners: visual (themajority of people fall into this category), auditory (listeners), andkinesthetic (peo- ple who like to feel and touch). Find ways toappeal to everyone. A presentation should comprise more than justslides. Use white- boards, flip charts, or the high-tech flip chart--atablet PC. Bring "props" such as physical products for people to see,use, and touch. In Scene 12, youll learn much more about reachingthe three types of learners. Most communicators get so caughtup in the slides: Which font should I use? Should I use bullets ordashes? Should I include a graph here? How about a picture there?These are the wrong questions to be asking in the planning stage.If you have a tangible product, find other ways outside of the slidedeck to show it off. On October 14, 2008, Steve introduced a newline of MacBooks carved out of one piece of aluminum, a "unibodyenclosure." After Jobs discussed the manufacturing process, Appleemployees handed out examples of the new frame so audiencemembers could see it and touch it for themselves. Incorporatingall of these elements in a presentation will help you tell a storyworth listening to. Slides dont tell sto- ries; you do. Slidescomplement the story. This book is software agnostic; it avoids adirect comparison between PowerPoint and Keynote because thesoftware is not the main character in an effective presentation--thespeaker is. Jobs himself started using Apples Keynote software in GUIDE TO PERFECT PRESENTATION TO MBA STUDENST
  • 17. SAAB MARFIN MBA2002, so what are we to make of the extraordinary presentationsJobs gave dating back to 1984? The software is not the answer. Thefact that Steve Jobs uses Keynote instead of PowerPoint does notmean your presentation will look more like his if you make theswitch. You will, however, win over your audience by spendingmore time creating the plot than producing the slides. Use anotepad or whiteboard to script your ideas. It will help you visualizethe story and simplify its components. When Jobs PLAN IN ANALOG 13 AristotlesOutline for Persuasive Arguments A Steve Jobs presentation followsAristotles classic five-point plan to create a persuasive argument:1. Deliver a story or statement that arouses the audiences interest.2. Pose a problem or question that has to be solved or answered.3. Offer a solution to the problem you raised. 4. Describe specificbenefits for adopting the course of action set forth in your solution.5. State a call to action. For Steve, its as simple as saying, "Now goout and buy one!" returned to Apple in 1996, taking over for oustedGil Amelio, he found a company with more than forty differentproducts, which confused the customer. In a bold move, he radicallysimplified the product pipeline. In Inside Steves Brain, Leander Kahneywrites that Jobs called senior management into his office. "Jobs drew avery simple two-by-two grid on the white- board. Across the top hewrote `Consumer and `Professional, and down the side, `Portableand `Desktop. "9 Under Jobs, Apple would offer just fourcomputers--two notebooks and two desk- tops--aimed at consumerand professional users. This is one of many stories in which we learnthat Jobs does his best thinking when hes thinking visually. Whetheryou plan best on a white- board, a yellow legal pad, or Post-it notes,spend time in analog before jumping to digital. Your ultimatepresentation will be far more interesting, engaging, and relevant.14 CREATE THE STORY DIREC TOR S NOT ESStart planning before you open the presentation soft- ware.Sketch ideas on paper or whiteboards. Incorporate some, ifnot all, of the following nine ele- ments to make yourpresentation come alive: headline, passion statement, threekey messages, analogies, demonstrations, partner showcase,customer evidence, video clips, and props. Speakinglike Jobs has little to do with the type of pre- sentationsoftware you use (PowerPoint, Keynote, etc.) and everything todo with how you craft and deliver the story. SCE N E 2 2 ENECS2 ENECS 2 ENECS Answer the OneQuestion That Matters Most Youve got to start with thecustomer experience and work back toward the technology--notthe other way around. STEVE JOBS, MAY 25, 1997, WORLDWIDEDEVELOPERS CONFERENCE I n May 1998, Apple launched a splashynew product aimed at shoring up its dwindling share of thecomputer market, which had sunk to under 4 percent. When Jobsunveiled the new translucent iMac, he described the reason for GUIDE TO PERFECT PRESENTATION TO MBA STUDENST
  • 18. SAAB MARFIN MBAbuilding the computer, the target market, and the benefit customerswould see from buying the new system: Even though this is afull-blown Macintosh, we are targeting this for the number one useconsumers tell us they want a computer for, which is to get on theInternet simply and fast. Were also targeting this for education.They want to buy these. Its perfect for most of the things they do ininstruction . . . We went out and looked at all of the consumerproducts out there. We noticed some things about them prettymuch universally. The first is they are very slow. They are all usinglast years processor. Secondly, they all have pretty crummy displayson them . . . likely no networking on them . . . old- generation I/Odevices, and what that means is they are1516 CREATE THE STORY lower performance and harder to use . . .and these things are uuugly! So, let me tell you about iMac.1After describing the weaknesses of current products in thepreceding excerpt, Jobs drew a verbal road map for his audience,listing the features he would explain in more detail. (Learn moreabout drawing a road map in Scene 5.) The audience learned thatthe new iMac was fast ("it screams") and that it had a "gorgeous"fifteen-inch display, a large amount of built-in memory, andcomponents that would make accessing a network easier for stu-dents and home users. In one of his typical surprise moments, Jobsthen walked to the center of the stage and pulled the cover off thenew computer. Your audience wants to be informed, educated,and enter- tained: informed about your product, educated on howit works, and entertained while learning about it. Above all, peoplewant to know the answer to one question: Why should I care? Letstake a closer look at that iMac excerpt. Jobs told the audience,"what that means is . . ." Jobs connects the dots for his listeners.Although he might leave the industry in the dark about futureApple releases, he never leaves his audience guessing when theproduct is finally introduced. Why should you care about Applesnew computer, MP3 player, phone, or gadget? Dont worry. Jobs willtell you. The Rumors Are True For years, Apple had a rivalry withIntel--even setting fire to an Intel bunny man in a 1996 TV spot.One decade later, Apple put its rivalry to rest and announced thatIntel processors would power its new Macintosh systems, replacingIBMs PowerPC chips. On June 6, 2005, Jobs announced the switchat Apples Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco.Rumors of the switch had been floating around for months, andmany observers expressed concern about the transition. Reportersfor eWeek magazine found it difficult to believe Apple would swapthe PowerPC for Intel, since the PowerPC had worked well for thebrand. Developers were grumbling. Jobs had ANSWER THE ONE QUESTION THAT MAT TERS MOST17 to convince the audience that the switch was the right thing to do.His presentation was enormously persuasive in chang- ing peoplesopinions because, using plain and direct language, he answered the GUIDE TO PERFECT PRESENTATION TO MBA STUDENST
  • 19. SAAB MARFIN MBAone question that mattered most: Why should Apples customers anddevelopers care? Yes, its true. We are going to begin the transitionfrom PowerPC to Intel processors. Now, why are we going to dothis? Didnt we just get through going from OS 9 to OS X? Isnt thebusiness great right now? Because we want to make the bestcomputers for our customers looking forward. Now, I stood up heretwo years ago and promised you this [slide shows desktop computerwith 3 GHz], and we havent been able to deliver it to you. I think alot of you would like a G5 in your PowerBook, and we havent beenable to deliver it. But these arent even the most important reasons.As we look ahead, though we have some great products now, wecan envision some amazing products we want to build for you, andwe dont know how to build them with the future PowerPC road map.Thats why were going to do this.2 Jobs articulated the argument soconvincingly that few people in the audience that day left without ahigh degree of confidence that the transition had been the right thingfor Apple, its developers, and its customers. Why Should I Care? Duringthe planning phase of your presentation, always remem- ber that itsnot about you. Its about them. The listeners in your audience areasking themselves one question--"Why should I care?" Answering thatone question right out of the gate will grab peoples attention andkeep them engaged. I was preparing a CEO for a major analystpresentation and asked how he planned to kick it off. He offered thisdry, boring, and confusing introduction: "Our company is a premierdeveloper of intelligent semiconductor intellectual property solutionsthat dramatically accelerate complex system-on-a-chip designs while18 CREATE THE STORY Channel Your Best Steve Jobs ImpressionIn the summer of 2006, Intel released a processor branded Core 2Duo. The "duo" stood for dual-core, meaning there were twocores, or brains, on each microprocessor. That may not soundexciting, but if you answer the one question that matters--Whyshould I care?--it becomes very interesting. Take two scenarios:In both scenarios, a customer walks into a computer store andasks the salesperson for information about notebook computers.The sales professional in the first scenario has not read this bookand fails to answer the one question that matters. Thesalesperson in the second scenario is more likely to win the sale,by virtue of channeling his or her inner Steve Jobs and answeringthe one question on the mind of the customer: Why should I care?Scenario One CUSTOMER: Hi, Im looking for a notebookcomputer that is light and fast and includes a DVD.SALESPERSON: You should look for an Intel Core 2 Duo.CUSTOMER: OK. I didnt know Intel makes computers.SALESPERSON: They dont. CUSTOMER: Can you tell me more?SALESPERSON: An Intel dual-core processor has two perfor-mance engines that simultaneously process data at a fasterrate. CUSTOMER: Oh. Maybe I should look somewhere else.Of course the customer in this scenario will look some- whereelse. Although the salesperson was technically accurate, the GUIDE TO PERFECT PRESENTATION TO MBA STUDENST
  • 20. SAAB MARFIN MBAcustomer had to work far too hard to figure out how the newsystem would make the persons life better. It took too muchbrainpower, and as youll learn, the brain is a lazy piece of meatthat tries to preserve energy. Make the brain work too hard, andyoull lose your audience. The customer had one question in mindand one question only. The salesperson failed to answer it andseemed indifferent, even arrogant. Lets ANSWER THE ONE QUESTION THAT MAT TERS MOST19 try it again. This time, the salesperson will do a stellar Steve Jobsimpression. Scenario Two SALESPERSON: Hi, can I help you findsomething? CUSTOMER: Sure. Im looking for a notebook computer.One that is light and fast and includes a DVD. SALESPERSON:Youve come to the right place. We have a huge selection of smallnotebooks that are blazingly fast. Have you considered a systemwith an Intel Core 2 Duo? CUSTOMER: Not really. Whats that?SALESPERSON: Think of the microprocessor as the brain of yourcomputer. Now, with these Intel chips, you get two brains in onecomputer. What that means to you is that you can do a lot of funand productive stuff at the same time. For example, you candownload music while your computer is running a full virus scan inthe background, and it wont slow down the system at all. Yourproduc- tivity applications will load much faster, you can workon multiple documents at the same time, your DVDs will play muchbetter, and you get much longer bat- tery life on top of it! Andthats not all: the displays are gorgeous. CUSTOMER: Great.Please show me those computers! In this scenario, the salespersonspoke in plain English, used tangible examples to make the productrelevant, and answered the only question that really mattered to thecus- tomer: Why should I care about the processor? Retailers who traintheir sales staffs to describe products in this way will stand out fromthe competition. Come to think of it, there is a retailer that doesexactly that--Apple. Walk into most any Apple store, and you will begreeted by enthusiastic men and women who are eager to explain howApple products will make your life better.20 CREATE THE STORY minimizing risk." I was dumbfounded andsuggested he take a page from the Steve Jobs playbook, eliminatingall of the buzz- words such as intelligent and solutions and simplyanswering one question: Why should your customers care aboutyour product? The CEO revised his introduction. He decided towalk onstage and ask everyone to take out his or her cell phone. Hesaid, "Our company creates software that is used to build the chipsinside many of the phones youre holding up. As those chips getsmaller and cheaper, your phones will get smaller, last longer on asingle charge, and play music and video, all thanks to ourtechnology working behind the scenes." Which introductionwould be more effective in grabbing your attention? The secondone, of course. It is free of jargon and, by answering the onequestion that matters, gives the audi- ence a reason to listen.Reporters are skilled at answering the one question for their GUIDE TO PERFECT PRESENTATION TO MBA STUDENST
  • 21. SAAB MARFIN MBAreaders. Pay attention to product descriptions in the New YorkTimes or USA Today. Articles are written to be followed andunderstood. For example, on January 20, 2009, Cisco Systemsannounced that it planned a big push into the server market, acategory dominated by IBM, HP, and Dell. The product would be aserver with virtualization software. Now, virtualization is one of themost complicated concepts to explain. Wikipedia defines servervirtualization as "a method of partitioning a physical servercomputer into multiple servers such that each has the appearanceand capabilities of running on its own ded- icated machine."3 Gotit? Didnt think so. The New York Times Ashlee Vance took adifferent approach: "Virtualization prod- ucts let companies runnumerous business applications, rather than just one, on eachphysical server, allowing them to save electricity and get more outof their hardware purchases."4 The difference, of course, is thatVance answered the one question on the minds of herreaders--What does "virtualiza- tion" mean to me? In this case, sheidentified her audience as investors, IT decision makers, andbusiness leaders who would care about such things. ANSWER THE ONE QUESTION THAT MAT TERS MOST21 Your listeners are asking themselves, "Why should I care?" If yourproduct will help your customers make money, tell them. If it helpsthem save money, tell them. If it makes it easier or more enjoyable forthem to perform a particular task, tell them. Tell them early, often, andclearly. Jobs doesnt leave people guessing. Well before he explains thetechnology behind a new product or feature, he explains how it willimprove the experience people have with their computers, musicplayers, or gadgets. Table 2.1 offers a review of some otherexamples of how Jobs sells the benefit behind a new product orfeature. TABLE 2.1 JOBS SELLING THE BENEFIT DATE/PRODUCTBENEFIT January 7, 2003 "Using Keynote is like having aprofessional Keynote presentation graphics department to createyour slides. software This is the application to use whenyour presentation really counts."5 September 12,2006 "The all-new iPod nano gives music fans iPod nanomore of what they love in their iPods--twice thestorage capacity at the same price, an incredibletwenty-four-hour battery life, and a gorgeousaluminum design in five brilliant colors."6 January15, 2008 "With Time Capsule, all your irreplaceable TimeCapsule backup photos, movies, and documents are service forMacs running automatically protected and incredibly easy LeopardOS to retrieve if they are ever lost."7 June 9, 2008"Just one year after launching the iPhone, iPhone 3G werelaunching the new iPhone 3G. Its twice as fast athalf the price."8 September 9, 2008 "Genius lets youautomatically create playlists Genius feature for iTunes from songsin your music library that go great together, withjust one click."9 GUIDE TO PERFECT PRESENTATION TO MBA STUDENST
  • 22. SAAB MARFIN MBA22 CREATE THE STORY Avoid Self-Indulgent, Buzzword-FilledWastes of Time Answer the one question in all of your marketingmaterials: website, presentation slides, and press releases. Thepeople who should know better--public relationsprofessionals--are often the worst violators of this rule. Themajority of press releases are usually self-indulgent,buzzword-filled wastes of time. Few members of the press evenread press releases, because the documents fail to answer the onequestion that matters most to a reporter--Why should my readerscare? As a journalist, Ive seen thousands of press releases andrarely, if ever, covered a story based on one. Most otherjournalists would concur. Far too many press releases focus oncorporate changes (management appointments, new logos, newoffices, etc.) that nobody cares about, and if people shouldhappen to care, the information is far from clear. Read pressreleases issued on any given day, and you will go numb trying tofigure out why anyone would care about the information.For fun, I took a few samples from press releases issued withinhours of one another. The date does not matter. The majority ofall press releases violate the same fundamental principles ofpersuasion: " Industries announced todaythat it has signed an exclusive distribution agreement with .Under terms of the agreement, will be theexclu- sive national distributor of sdiesel exhaust fluid." Now, seriously, who cares? I wish I couldtell you how the new distribution agreement benefits anyone,even shareholders. I cant, because the rest of the press releasenever answers the question directly. "has been named 2008 Pizza Chain of the Year by PizzaMarketplace." The press ANSWER THE ONE QUESTION THAT MAT TERS MOST 23release said this honor comes after the chain delivered consistentprofits, six quarters of same-store sales increases, and a newmanagement team. Now, if the chain offered its customers a specialdiscount to cele- brate this honor, it would be newsworthy, but thepress release mentions nothing that distinguishes this pizza chainfrom the thousands of other pizza parlors. This type of release fallsunder the "look at us" category-- announcements that are largelymeaningless to anyone outside the executive suites. "has announced the addition of the `Annual Report on Chinas SteelMarket in 2008 and the Outlook for 2009 report to their offering."Really? Im sure millions of people around the world were waiting forthis new report! Just kidding. This is another example of a wastedopportunity. If this release had started with one new, eye-openingpiece of infor- mation from the new report, I might have beenslightly more interested. However, that would have meant put-ting the reader first, and, sadly, most PR pros who write pressreleases intended for journalists have never been trained asjournalists themselves. Heres another gem, courtesy of an electric GUIDE TO PERFECT PRESENTATION TO MBA STUDENST
  • 23. SAAB MARFIN MBAcompany in Hawaii: " today announced thathas been named president and CEO, effective January 1, 2009.replaces , who stepped down as president and CEOin August of this year." We also learned that the new CEO hasthirty-two years of experience in the utilities industry and has livedon the big island for twenty years. Isnt that wonderful? Doesnt itgive you a warm feeling? Again, this press release represents a lostopportunity to connect with the companys investors24 CREATE THE STORY and customers. If the release hadstarted with one thing that the new CEO planned to doimmediately to improve service, it would have been far moreinteresting and newsworthy. For the most part, pressreleases fail miserably at generat- ing interest because they dontanswer the one question that matters most to the reader. Do notmake the same mistake in your presentation, publicity, andmarketing material. Nobody has time to listen to a pitch orpresentation that holds no benefit. If you pay close attention toJobs, you will see that he doesnt "sell" products; he sells the dreamof a better future. When Apple launched the iPhone in early 2007,CNBC reporter Jim Goldman asked Jobs, "Why is the iPhone soimpor- tant to Apple?" Jobs avoided a discussion of shareholdervalue or market share; instead, he offered the vision of a betterexperi- ence: "I think the iPhone may change the whole phoneindustry and give us something that is vastly more powerful interms of making phone calls and keeping your contacts. We havethe best iPod weve ever made fully integrated into it. And it hasthe Internet in your pocket with a real browser, real e-mail, and thebest implementation of Google Maps on the planet. iPhone bringsall this stuff in your pocket, and its ten times easier to use."10 Jobsexplains the "why" before the "how." Your audience doesnt careabout your product. People care about themselves. According toformer Apple employee and Mac evangelist Guy Kawasaki, "Theessence of evangelism is to passionately show people how you canmake history together. Evangelism has little to do with cash flow,the bottom line, or co-marketing. It is the purest and mostpassionate form of sales because you are selling a dream, not atangible object."11 Sell dreams, not products. ANSWER THE ONE QUESTION THAT MAT TERS MOST 25DIREC TOR S NOT ES Ask yourself, "Why should my listener careabout this idea/information/product/service?" If there is only onething that you want your listener to take away from the conversation,what would it be? Focus on selling the benefit behind the product.Make the one thing as clear as possible, repeating it at least twice inthe conversation or presentation. Eliminate buzzwords and jargon toenhance the clarity of your message. Make sure the one thing isconsistent across all of your marketing collateral, including pressreleases, website pages, and presentations.This page intentionally left blank GUIDE TO PERFECT PRESENTATION TO MBA STUDENST
  • 24. SAAB MARFIN MBA SCE N E 3 3 ENECS 3ENECS 3 ENECS Develop a Messianic Senseof Purpose Were here to put a dent in the universe.STEVE JOBS N ew Yorks luxury, Upper West Side apartmentbuild- ing, the San Remo, is located on Seventy-Fifth Streetwith commanding views of Central Park. Its most famousresidents read like a whos who of contempo- rary culture: TigerWoods, Demi Moore, Dustin Hoffman, Bono, and, at one time, a youngman on a mission--Steve Jobs. In 1983, Jobs was aggressivelycourting then PepsiCo president John Sculley. Apple desperatelywanted to bring in someone with Sculleys marketing and managingexperience, but despite Steves charm, Sculley failed to budge. Theposi- tion would require that Sculley relocate his family to the WestCoast, and it paid less than he wanted. One sentence would changeeverything. One sentence that would transform Apple, shift thetrajectory of Sculleys career, and begin Jobss amazing path from whizkid to failure to hero and, finally, to legend. In his book Odyssey,Sculley recounts the conversation that would lead to his decision totake the job. The conversation 2728 CREATE THE STORY also provided one of the most famousquotes in the history of corporate America. According toSculley, "We were on the balconys west side, facing the HudsonRiver, when he [Jobs] finally asked me directly: `Are you going tocome to Apple? `Steve, I said, `I really love what youre doing. Imexcited by it; how could anyone not be captivated? But it justdoesnt make sense. Steve, Id love to be an adviser to you, to helpyou in any way. But I dont think I can come to Apple. "Sculley said Jobss head dropped; he paused and stared at theground. Jobs then looked up and issued a challenge to Sculley thatwould "haunt" him. Jobs said, "Do you want to spend the rest ofyour life selling sugared water or do you want a chance to changethe world?"1 Sculley said it was as if someone delivered a stiff blowto his stomach. The Reality Distortion Field Sculley hadwitnessed what Apples vice president Bud Tribble once describedas Jobss "reality distortion field": an ability to convince anyone ofpractically anything. Many people cannot resist this magnetic pulland are willing to follow Jobs to the promised land (or at least tothe next cool iPod). Few people can escape the Jobs charisma, amagnetism steeped in passion for his products. Observers havesaid that there is something about the way Jobs talks, theenthusiasm that he conveys, that grabs everyone in the room anddoesnt let go. Even journalists who should have built up animmunity to such gravitational forces cannot escape the influence. GUIDE TO PERFECT PRESENTATION TO MBA STUDENST
  • 25. SAAB MARFIN MBAWired .com editor Leander Kahney interviewed Jobs biographer AlanDeutschman, who described a meeting with Jobs: "He uses yourfirst name very often. He looks directly in your eyes with thatlaser-like stare. He has these movie-star eyes that are veryhypnotic. But what really gets you is the way he talks--theressomething about the rhythm of his speech and the incredibleenthusiasm he conveys for whatever it is hes talking about that isjust infectious."2 DEVELOP A MESSIANIC SENSE OF PURPOSE 29Do What You Love Deutschman said the Steve Jobs "X" factor is "theway he talks." But what exactly is it about the way he talks that pullsyou in? Jobs speaks with passion, enthusiasm, and energy. Jobshimself tells us where his passion comes from: "Youve got to findwhat you love. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, andthe only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is greatwork. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If youhavent found it yet, keep looking. Dont settle."3 We all have aunique purpose. Some people, such as Jobs, identify that purpose froman early age; others never do, because they are caught up in catchingup with the Joneses. One sure way to lose sight of your purpose is tochase money for the sake of chasing money. Jobs is a billionaire andan extraordinary communicator precisely because he followed hisheart, his pas- sion. The money, he most certainly knew, would come.FINDING YOUR CORE PURPOSE What is your core purpose? Once youfind it, express it enthusias- tically. One of the most profoundexperiences of my journalism career happened during an interviewwith Chris Gardner. Actor Will Smith played Gardner in the movie ThePursuit of Happyness. In That Craziness, We See Genius I think youalways had to be a little different to buy an Apple computer. I thinkthe people who do buy them are the creative spirits in this world.They are the people who are not out just to get a job done; theyreout to change the world. We make tools for those kinds of people . . .We are going to serve the people who have been buying ourproducts since the beginning. A lot of times, people think theyrecrazy. But in that craziness, we see genius. And those are the peoplewere making tools for.4 STEVEJOBS30 CREATE THE STORY In the eighties, the real-life Gardnerpursued an unpaid internship to become a stockbroker. He washomeless at the time, spending nights in the bathroom of anOakland, California, subway sta- tion. To make the situation evenharder, Gardner took care of his two-year-old son. The two slepttogether on the bathroom floor. Every morning, Gardner would puton the one suit he had, drop his son off at a very questionable daycare, and take his classes. Gardner finished top of his class,became a stockbroker, and earned many millions of dollars. For aBusinessWeek column, I asked him, "Mr. Gardner, how did you findthe strength to keep going?" His answer was so profound that Iremember it to this day: "Find something you love to do so much, GUIDE TO PERFECT PRESENTATION TO MBA STUDENST
  • 26. SAAB MARFIN MBAyou cant wait for the sun to rise to do it all over again."5 InBuilt to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies, authors JimCollins and Jerry Porras studied eighteen leading companies. Theirconclusion: individuals are inspired by "core values and a sense ofpurpose beyond just making money."6 From his earliest interviews,it becomes clear that Jobs was more motivated by creating greatproducts than by calculating how much money he would make atbuilding those products. In a PBS documentary, Triumph of theNerds, Jobs said, "I was worth over a million dollars when I wastwenty-three, and over ten million dollars when I was twenty-four,and over a hundred million dollars when I was twenty-five, and itwasnt that impor- tant, because I never did it for the money."7 Inever did it for the money. This phrase holds the secret betweenbecoming an extraor- dinary presenter and one mired in mediocrityfor the rest of your life. Jobs once said that being "the richest manin the cemetery" didnt matter to him; rather, "going to bed at nightsaying weve done something wonderful, thats what matters tome."8 Great presenters are passionate, because they follow theirhearts. Their conversations become platforms to share that passion.Malcolm Gladwell shares a fascinating observation in Outliers. Heargues that most of the leaders who are responsible for thepersonal computing revolution were born in 1955. Thats the magicyear, he says. According to Gladwell, the chronol- ogy makes sensebecause the first "minicomputer," the Altair, DEVELOP A MESSIANIC SENSE OF PURPOSE 31was introduced in 1975, marking one of the most importantdevelopments in the history of personal computers. He states: "If youwere more than a few years out of college in 1975, then you belongedto the old paradigm. You had just bought a house. Youre married. Ababy is on the way. Youre in no position to give up a good job andpension for some pie-in-the-sky $397 computer kit."9 Likewise, if youwere too young, you would not be mature enough to participate in therevolution. Gladwell speculates that the ideal age of tech industrytitans was around twenty or twenty-one, those born in 1954 or 1955.Steve Jobs was born on February 24, 1955. He was born at the righttime and in the right neighborhood to take advantage of the moment.Gladwell points out that Jobs is one of an amazing number oftechnology leaders born in 1954 and 1955 (including Bill Gates, PaulAllen, Steve Ballmer, Eric Schmidt, Scott McNealy, and others).Gladwells conclusion is that these men became suc- cessful preciselybecause computers were not big moneymakers at the time. They werecool, and these men loved to tinker. The message, claims Gladwell, is:to achieve success, do what you find interesting. Do what you love,and follow your core purpose. As Jobs has said, your heart knowswhere it wants to be. THE LUCKIEST GUYS ON THE PLANET On May 30,2007, Steve Jobs and Bill Gates shared the stage in a rare jointappearance at the technology conference D: All Things Lust for It Ina New York Times article after the launch of the MacBook Air, JohnMarkoff wrote about witnessing Steves enthusiasm in person. GUIDE TO PERFECT PRESENTATION TO MBA STUDENST
  • 27. SAAB MARFIN MBAMarkoff spent thirty minutes with Jobs after the con- ference andnoted that Jobss passion for personal computing came across evenmore so than it did when he was performing onstage. Jobs excitedlytold Markoff, "Im going to be the first one in line to buy one of these.Ive been lusting after this."1032 CREATE THE STORY Digital. Wall Street Journal columnists WaltMossberg and Kara Swisher covered a variety of topics with the twotech titans. In response to a question about Bill Gatess "second act"as a philan- thropist, Jobs credited Gates for making the world abetter place because Gatess goal wasnt to be the richest guy in thecemetery. You know, Im sure Bill was like me in this way. I mean,I grew up fairly middle-class, lower middle-class, and I neverreally cared much about money. And Apple was so successfulearly on in life that I was very lucky that I didnt have to careabout money then. And so Ive been able to focus on work andthen later on, my family. And I sort of look at us as two of theluckiest guys on the planet because we found what we loved todo, we were at the right place at the right time, and weve gottento go to work every day with superbright people for thirty yearsand do what we love doing. And so its hard to be happier thanthat. And so I dont think about legacy much. I just think aboutbeing able to get up every day and go in and hang around thesegreat people and hopefully cre- ate something that other peoplewill love as much as we do. And if we can do that, thats great.11Nowhere in that quote do you hear Jobs speak of wealth, stockoptions, or private planes. Those things are nice, but they dontmotivate Jobs. His drive comes from doing what he loves--designing great products that people enjoy. Rally People to a BetterFuture Donald Trump once remarked, "If you dont have passion,you have no energy, and if you dont have energy, you have noth-ing." It all starts with passion. Passion stirs the emotions of yourlisteners when you use it to paint a picture of a more meaning- fulworld, a world that your customers or employees can play a part increating. Marcus Buckingham interviewed thousands ofemployees who excelled at their jobs during his seventeen years atthe DEVELOP A MESSIANIC SENSE OF PURPOSE 33Oprah Shares Jobss Secret to Success Follow your passion. Do whatyou love, and the money will follow. Most people dont believe it, butits true.12 OPRAH WINFREY Galluporganization. After interviewing thousands of peak per- formers, hearrived at what he considers the single best definition of leadership:"Great leaders rally people to a better future," he writes in The OneThing You Need to Know.13 According to Buckingham, a leadercarries a vivid image in his or her head of what a future could be."Leaders are fas- cinated by the future. You are a leader if, and only if,you are restless for change, impatient for progress, and deeply dissat-isfied with the status quo." He explains, "As a leader, you are neversatisfied with the present, because in your head you can see a better GUIDE TO PERFECT PRESENTATION TO MBA STUDENST
  • 28. SAAB MARFIN MBAfuture, and the friction between `what is and `what could be burnsyou, stirs you up, propels you forward. This is leadership."14 Jobssvision must have certainly burned him, stirred him, and propelled himforward. Jobs once told John Sculley he dreamed that every person inthe world would own an Apple computer. But Jobs did not stop there.He shared that dream with all who would listen. True evangelists aredriven by a messianic zeal to create new experiences. "It wascharacteristic of Steve to speak in both vivid and sweeping language,"writes Sculley. " `What we want to do, he [Steve Jobs] explained, `is tochange the way people use com- puters in the world. Weve got someincredible ideas that will revolutionize the way people use computers.Apple is going to be the most important computer company in theworld, far more important than IBM. "15 Jobs was never motivated tobuild computers. Instead, he had a burning desire to create tools tounleash human potential. Once you understand the difference, youllunderstand what sparked his famous reality distortion field.34 CREATE THE STORY An Incredible Journey Apple was thisincredible journey. I mean, we did some amazing things there.The thing that bound us together at Apple was the ability tomake things that were going to change the world. That was veryimportant. We were all pretty young. The average age in thecompany was mid to late twenties. Hardly anybody had familiesat the beginning, and we all worked like maniacs, and thegreatest joy was that we felt we were fashioning collective worksof art much like twentieth-century physics. Something importantthat would last, that people contributed to and then could give tomore people; the amplification factor was very large.16STEVE JOBS What Computers and Coffee Have in CommonLee Clow, chairman of TBWA/Chiat/Day, the agency behind some ofApples most notable ad campaigns, once said of Jobs, "From thetime he was a kid, Steve thought his products could change theworld."17 Thats the key to understanding Jobs. His charisma is aresult of a grand but strikingly simple vision--to make the world abetter place. Jobs convinced his programmers that they werechanging the world together, making a moral choice againstMicrosoft and making peoples lives better. For example, Jobs gavean interview to Rolling Stone in 2003 in which he talked about theiPod. The MP3 player was not simply a music gadget, but muchmore. According to Jobs, "Music is really being reinvented in thisdigital age, and that is bringing it back into peoples lives. Its awonderful thing. And in our own small way, thats how were goingto make the world a better place."18 Where some people see aniPod as a music player, Jobs sees a world in which people can easilyaccess their favorite songs and carry the music along with themwherever they go, enriching their lives. DEVELOP A MESSIANIC SENSE OF PURPOSE 35Jobs reminds me of another business leader whom I had the pleasureof meeting, Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz. Prior to our interview, Iread his book, Pour Your Heart into It. Schultz is pas- sionate about GUIDE TO PERFECT PRESENTATION TO MBA STUDENST
  • 29. SAAB MARFIN MBAwhat he does; in fact, the word passion appears on nearly every page.But it soon became clear that he is not as pas- sionate about coffee ashe is about the people, the baristas who make the Starbucksexperience what it is. You see, Schultzs core vision was not to make agreat cup of coffee. It was much big- ger. Schultz would create anexperience; a third place between work and home where people wouldfeel comfortable gather- ing. He would build a company that treatspeople with dignity and respect. Those happy employees would, inturn, provide a level of customer service that would be seen as a goldstandard in the industry. When I reviewed the transcripts from my timewith Schultz, I was struck by the fact that the word coffee rarelyappeared. Schultzs vision had little to do with coffee and every- thingto do with the experience Starbucks offers. "Some managers areuncomfortable with expressing emo- tion about their dreams, but itsthe passion and emotion that will attract and motivate others," writeCollins and Porras.19 Communicators such as Steve Jobs and HowardSchultz are passionate about how their products improve the lives oftheir customers. Theyre not afraid to express it. Coffee, computers,iPods--it doesnt matter. What matters is that they are moti- vated bya vision to change the world, to "leave a dent in the universe." Thisbook is filled with techniques to help you sell your ideas moresuccessfully, but no technique can make up for a lack of passion foryour service, product, company, or cause. The secret is to identifywhat it is youre truly passionate about. More often than not, its not"the widget," but how the widget will improve the lives of yourcustomers. Here is an excerpt from an interview Jobs gave Wiredmagazine in 1996: "Design is a funny word. Some people think designmeans how it looks. But of course, if you dig deeper, its really how itworks. The design of the Mac wasnt what it looked like, although thatwas part of it. Primarily, it was how it worked. To design somethingreally well, you have to get it. You have to really grok what its allabout. It takes a36 CREATE THE STORY The Charismatic Leader When Iwasnt sure what the word charisma meant, I met Steve Jobs andthen I knew.20 FORMER APPLE CHIEF SCIENTISTLARRY TESLER passionate commitment to really thoroughlyunderstand some- thing, chew it up, not just quickly swallow it.Most people dont take the time to do that."21 Yes, grok is theword Jobs used. Just as Howard Schultz isnt passionate about theproduct itself, coffee, Jobs isnt passionate about hardware. Hespassionate about how design enables something to work morebeautifully. Think Different Los Angeles ad agencyTBWA/Chiat/Day created an Apple televi- sion and print advertisingcampaign that turned into one of the most famous campaigns incorporate history. "Think Different" debuted on September 28,1997, and became an instant clas- sic. As black-and-white imagesof famous iconoclasts filled the screen (Albert Einstein, MartinLuther King, Richard Branson, John Lennon, Amelia Earhart,Muhammad Ali, Lucille Ball, Bob Dylan, and others), actor Richard GUIDE TO PERFECT PRESENTATION TO MBA STUDENST
  • 30. SAAB MARFIN MBADreyfuss voiced the narration: Heres to the crazy ones. Themisfits. The rebels. The trouble- makers. The round pegs in thesquare hole. The ones who see things differently. Theyre notfond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. Youcan quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. Aboutthe only thing you cant do is ignore them. Because they changethings. They push the human race forward. And while some maysee them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the peoplewho are crazy enough to think they can change the world are theones who do.22 DEVELOP A MESSIANIC SENSE OF PURPOSE 37The campaign won a ton of awards, became a cult favorite, and lastedfive years, which is an eternity in the life cycle of ad campaigns. Thecampaign reinvigorated the publics appetite for all things Apple,including an interest in one of the most influ- ential iconoclasts in thecomputer world, Steve Jobs himself. In The Second Coming of SteveJobs, Alan Deutschman, who, as mentioned earlier, was pulled intoJobss reality distortion field, describes a meeting between Jobs andNewsweeks Katie Hafner, the first outsider to see the new "ThinkDifferent" ads. According to Deutschman, Hafner arrived at Applesheadquar- ters on a Friday morning and waited a long time for Jobs toshow up. "Finally he emerged. His chin was covered by stubble. He wasexhausted from having stayed up all night editing footage for the`Think Different television spot. The creative directors at Chiat/Daywould send him video clips over a satellite connec- tion, and he wouldsay yes or no. Now the montage was finally complete. Steve sat withKatie and they watched the commercial. Steve was crying. `Thats whatI love about him, Katie recalls. `It wasnt trumped up. Steve wasgenuinely moved by that stupid ad. "23 Those ads touched Jobsdeeply because they reflected every- thing that pushed Jobs toinnovate, excel, and succeed. He saw himself in the faces of thosefamous people who advanced the human race and changed the world.As a journalist, I learned that everyone has a story to tell. I realize weare not all creating computers that will change the way people live,work, play, and learn. Notwithstanding, the fact is that most of us areselling a product or working on a proj- ect that has some benefit tothe lives of our customers. Whether you work in agriculture,automobiles, technology, finance, or any number of other industries,you have a magnificent story to tell. Dig deep to identify that whichyou are most passionate about. `Once you do, share that enthusiasmwith your listeners. People want to be moved and inspired, and theywant to believe in something. Make them believe in you. "Theres anold Wayne Gretzky quote that I love," Steve Jobs once said: " `I skate towhere the puck is going to be, not where it38 CREATE THE STORY has been. Weve always tried to do that atApple. Since the very, very beginning. And we always will."24DIREC TOR S NOT ES Dig deep to identify your true passion.Ask yourself, "What am I really selling?" Heres a hint: its notthe widget, but what the widget can do to improve the lives GUIDE TO PERFECT PRESENTATION TO MBA STUDENST
  • 31. SAAB MARFIN MBAof your customers. What youre selling is the dream of abetter life. Once you identify your true passion, share it withgusto. Develop a personal "passion statement." In one sen-tence, tell your prospects why you are genuinely excitedabout working with them. Your passion statement will beremembered long after your companys mission statement isforgotten. If you want to be an inspiring speaker but you arenot doing what you love, consider a change. After interview-ing thousands of successful leaders, I can tell you that, whileits possible to be financially successful in a job you hate, youwill never be considered an inspiring com- municator.Passion--a messianic zeal to make the world a betterplace--makes all the difference. SCE N E 4 4 ENECS 4ENECS 4 ENECS Create Twitter-Like HeadlinesToday Apple reinvents the phone! STEVE JOBS,MACWORLD 2007 " W elcome to Macworld 2008. There issomething clearly in the air today."1 With that openingline, Steve Jobs set the theme for what would ultimatelybe the big announcement of his keynote presentation--theintroduction of an ultrathin note- book computer. No other portablecomputer could compare to this three-pound, 0.16-inch-thin"dreambook," as some observ- ers called it. Steve Jobs knew thateveryone would be searching for just the right words to describe it, sohe did it for them: "MacBook Air. The worlds thinnest notebook."The MacBook Air is Apples ultrathin notebook computer. The best wayto describe it is as, well, the worlds thinnest note- book. Search for"worlds thinnest notebook" on Google, and the search engine willreturn about thirty thousand citations, most of which were writtenafter the announcement. Jobs takes the guesswork out of a newproduct by creating a one-line descrip- tion or headline that bestreflects the product. The headlines work so well that the media willoften run with them word for word. You see, reporters (and youraudience) are looking for a category in which to place your productand a way of describing the product in one sentence. Take the workout of it and write the headline yourself.3940 CREATE THE STORY 140 Characters or Less Jobs createsheadlines that are specific, are memorable, and, best of all, can fitin a Twitter post. Twitter is a fast-growing social networking sitethat could best be described as your life between e-mail and blogs.Millions of users "tweet" about the daily hap- penings in their livesand can choose to follow the happenings of others. Twitter ischanging the nature of business communi- cation in a fundamentalway--it forces people to write concisely. The maximum post--ortweet--is 140 characters. Characters include letters, spaces, andpunctuation. For example, Jobss description of the MacBook Airtakes thirty characters, includ- ing the period: "The worlds thinnestnotebook." Jobs has a one-line description for nearly every GUIDE TO PERFECT PRESENTATION TO MBA STUDENST
  • 32. SAAB MARFIN MBAproduct, and it is carefully created in the planning stage well beforethe pre- sentation, press releases, and marketing material arefinished. Most important, the headline is consistent. On January 15,2008, the day of the MacBook Air announcement, the headline wasrepeated in every channel of communication: presentations,website, interviews, advertisements, billboards, and posters. InTable 4.1, you see how Apple and Jobs consistently deliv- ered thevision behind MacBook Air. Most presenters cannot describetheir company, product, or service in one sentence. Understandably,it becomes nearly Setting the Stage for the Marketing Blitz Theminute Jobs delivers a headline onstage, the Apple publicity andmarketing teams kick into full gear. Posters are dropped downinside the Macworld Expo, billboards go up, the front page of theApple website reveals the product and headline, and ads reflectthe headline in newspapers and mag- azines, as well as ontelevision and radio. Whether its "1,000 songs in your pocket" or"The worlds thinnest notebook," the headline is repeatedconsistently in all of Apples marketing channels. CREATE TWIT TERLIKE HEADLINES 41TABLE 4.1 JOBSS CONSISTENT HEADLINES FOR MACBOOK AIRHEADLINE SOURCE "What is MacBook Air? In aKeynote presentation sentence, its the worlds thinnest notebook."2"The worlds thinnest notebook."3 Words on Jobss slide "This is theMacBook Air. Its the Promoting the new notebook in a thinnestnotebook in the world."4 CNBC interview immediately afterhis keynote presentation "We decided to build the worlds A secondreference to MacBook Air thinnest notebook."5 in the sameCNBC interview "MacBook Air. The worlds thinnest Tagline thataccompanied the notebook." full-screen photographof the new product on Apples home page"Apple Introduces MacBook Air-- Apple press release The WorldsThinnest Notebook."6 "Weve built the worlds thinnest Steve Jobsquote in the Apple press notebook."7 releaseimpossible to create consistent messaging without a preparedheadline developed early in the planning stage. The rest of thepresentation should be built around it. Today Apple Reinvents thePhone On January 9, 2007, PC World ran an article that announcedApple would "Reinvent the Phone" with a new device that com- binedthree products: a mobile phone, an iPod, and an Internetcommunicator. That product, of course, was the iPhone. The iPhonedid, indeed, revolutionize the industry and was rec- ognized by Timemagazine as the invention of the year. (Just two years after its release,by the end of 2008, the iPhone had grabbed 13 percent of thesmartphone market.) The editors at PC42 CREATE THE STORY World did not create the headlinethemselves. Apple provided it in its press release, and Steve Jobsreinforced it in his keynote presentation at Macworld. Applesheadline was specific, memo- rable, and consistent: "AppleReinvents the Phone." During the keynote presentation in which GUIDE TO PERFECT PRESENTATION TO MBA STUDENST
  • 33. SAAB MARFIN MBAJobs unveiled the iPhone, he used the phrase "reinvent the phone"five times. After walking the audience through the phones features,he hammered it home once again: "I think when you have a chanceto get your hands on it, youll agree, we have reinvented thephone."8 Jobs does not wait for the media to create a headline.He writes it himself and repeats it several times in his presenta-tion. Jobs delivers the headline before explaining the details of theproduct. He then describes the product, typically with a demo, andrepeats the headline immediately upon ending the explanation.For example, here is how Jobs introduced GarageBand for the firsttime: "Today were announcing something so cool: a fifth app thatwill be part of the iLife family. Its name is GarageBand. What isGarageBand? GarageBand is a major new pro music tool. But its foreveryone."9 Jobss slide mirrored the headline. When he announcedthe headline for GarageBand, the slide on the screen read:"GarageBand. A major new pro music tool." Jobs followed theheadline with a longer, one-sentence description of the product."What it does is turn your Mac into a pro-quality musicalinstrument and complete recording studio," Jobs told the audience.This is typical Jobs method for introducing a product. He revealsthe headline, expands on it, and hammers it home again and again.The Excitement of the Internet, the Simplicity of Macintosh Theoriginal iMac (the "i" stood for Internet) made getting on the Webeasier than ever. The customer had to go through only two steps toconnect to the Internet. ("Theres no step three," actor JeffGoldblum declared in one popular ad.) The introduction CREATE TWIT TERLIKE HEADLINES 43captured the imagination of the computer industry in 1998 and wasone of the most influential computer announcements of the decade.According to, the iMac redeemed Steve Jobs, who hadreturned to Apple in 1997, and it saved Apple itself at a time when themedia had pronounced the company all but dead. Jobs had to createexcitement about a product that threw some common assumptionsout the window--the iMac shipped with no floppy drive, a bold moveat the time and a decision met with considerable skepticism. "iMaccombines the excitement of the Internet with the sim- plicity ofMacintosh," Jobs said as he introduced the computer. The slide on thescreen behind Jobs read simply: "iMac. The excitement of the Internet.The simplicity of Macintosh." Jobs then explained whom the computerwas created to attract: con- sumers and students who wanted to geton the Internet "simply and fast."10 The headlines Steve Jobscreates work effectively because they are written from the perspectiveof the user. They answer the question, Why should I care? (See Scene2.) Why should you care about the iMac? Because it lets you experience"the excite- ment of the Internet with the simplicity of Macintosh." OneThousand Songs in Your Pocket Apple is responsible for one of thegreatest product headlines of all time. According to author LeanderKahney, Jobs himself settled on the description for the original iPod.On October 23, 2001, Jobs could have said, "Today were introducing a GUIDE TO PERFECT PRESENTATION TO MBA STUDENST
  • 34. SAAB MARFIN MBAnew, ultraportable MP3 player with a 6.5-ounce design and a 5 GBhard drive, complete with Apples legendary ease of use." Of course,Jobs did not say it quite that way. He simply said, "iPod. One thousandsongs in your pocket."11 No one could describe it better in moreconcise language. One thousand songs that could fit in your pocket.What else is there to say? One sentence tells the story and alsoanswers the question, Why should I care? Many reporters coveringthe event used the description in the headline to their articles.Matthew Fordahls headline in the Associated Press on the day of theannouncement read, "Apples44 CREATE THE STORY New iPod Player Puts `1,000 Songs inYour Pocket. "12 Apples headline was memorable because it meetsthree criteria: it is con- cise (twenty-seven characters), it is specific(one thousand songs), and it offers a personal benefit (you cancarry the songs in your pocket). Following are some otherexamples of Apple headlines that meet all three criteria. Althoughsome of these are slightly lon- ger than ten words, they can fit in aTwitter post: "The new iTunes store. All songs are DRM-free."(Changes to iTunes music store, January 2009) "Theindustrys greenest notebooks." (New MacBook family ofcomputers, introduced in October 2008) "The worlds mostpopular music player made even better." (Introduction of thefourth-generation iPod nano, September 2008) "iPhone3G. Twice as fast at half the price." (Introduction of iPhone 3G,July 2008) "It gives Mac users more reasons to love their Macand PC users more reasons to switch." (Introduction of iLife `08,announced July 2007) "Apple reinvents the phone."(Introduction of iPhone, January 2007) "The speed andscreen of a professional desktop system in the worlds bestnotebook design." (Introduction of the seventeen- inchMacBook Pro, April 2006) "The fastest browser on the Mac andmany will feel its the best browser ever created." (Unveiling ofSafari, January 2003) Keynote Beats PowerPoint in the Battle ofthe Headlines Microsofts PowerPoint has one big advantage overApples Keynote presentation software--its everywhere. Microsoftcom- mands 90 percent of the computing market, and among the10 percent of computer users on a Macintosh, many still use CREATE TWIT TERLIKE HEADLINES 45Headlines That Changed the World When the "Google guys," SergeyBrin and Larry Page, walked into Sequoia Capital to seek funding fortheir new search- engine technology, they described their companyin one sentence: "Google provides access to the worlds informa-tion in one click." Thats sixty-three characters, ten words. An earlyinvestor in Google told me that with those ten words, the investorsimmediately understood the implications of Googles technology.Since that day, entrepreneurs who walk into Sequoia Capital havebeen asked for their "one-liner," a headline that describes theproduct in a single sentence. As one investor told me, "If you cannotdescribe what you do in ten words or less, Im not investing, Im not GUIDE TO PERFECT PRESENTATION TO MBA STUDENST
  • 35. SAAB MARFIN MBAbuying, Im not interested. Period." Following are some moreexamples of world-changing headlines that are ten words or less:"Cisco changes the way we live, work, play, and learn."--Cisco CEOJohn Chambers, who repeats this line in interviews andpresentations "Starbucks creates a third place between work andhome." --Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, describing his idea toearly investors "We see a PC on every desk, in everyhome."--Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, expressing his vision toSteve Ballmer, who, shortly after joining the company, was second-guessing his decision. Ballmer, currently Microsofts CEO, saidGatess vision convinced him to stick it out. With a per- sonal networth of $15 billion, Ballmer is glad he did. PowerPoint softwaredesigned for Macs. While the actual num- bers of presentationsconducted on PowerPoint versus Keynote are not publicly available, itssafe to say that the number of Keynote presentations given daily isminuscule in comparison with PowerPoint. Although most presentationdesigners who46 CREATE THE STORY are familiar with both formats prefer towork in the more ele- gant Keynote system, those same designerswill tell you that the majority of their client work is done inPowerPoint. As I mentioned in Scene 1, this book is softwareagnostic because all of the techniques apply equally to PowerPointor Keynote. That said, Keynote is still the application that SteveJobs prefers, and the Twitter-like headline he created to introducethe software was certainly an attention grabber. "This is anotherbrand-new application that we are announcing here today, and it iscalled Keynote," Jobs told the audience at Macworld 2003. Then:Keynote is a presentation app for when your presentation reallycounts [slide reads: "When your presentation really counts"]. AndKeynote was built for me [slide reads: "Built for me"]. I needed anapplication to build the kind of slide show that I wanted to showyou at these Macworld keynotes: very graphics intensive. We builtthis for me; now I want to share it with you. We hired a low-paidbeta tester to beta test this app for an entire year, and here he is[audience laughs as screen shows photo of Jobs]. Rather than abunch of slides about slides, let me just show you [walks to stageright to demo the new software].13 Again, we see aremarkable consistency in all of Apples mar- keting materialsurrounding the new product launch. The Apple press release forKeynote described it as "The application to use when yourpresentation really counts."14 This headline can eas- ily fit in aTwitter post and, without revealing the details, tells a story in onesentence. A customer who wanted more details could read thepress release, watch Jobss demonstration, or view the online demoon Apples website. Still, the headline itself offered plenty ofinformation. We learned that it was a new application specificallyfor presentations and made for those times when presentations canmake or break your career. As a bonus, it was built for Jobs. Formany people who give frequent GUIDE TO PERFECT PRESENTATION TO MBA STUDENST
  • 36. SAAB MARFIN MBA CREATE TWIT TERLIKE HEADLINES 47presentations, that headline was enough to pique their interest andgive the software a try. Journalists learn to write headlines on thefirst day of J-school. Headlines are what persuade you to readparticular stories in newspapers, magazines, or blogs. Headlinesmatter. As individuals become their own copywriters for blogs,presenta- tions, Twitter posts, and marketing material, learning towrite catchy, descriptive headlines becomes even more important toprofessional success. DIREC TOR S NOT ES Createyour headline, a one-sentence vision statement for yourcompany, product, or service. The most effec- tive headlines areconcise (140 characters maximum), are specific, and offer apersonal benefit. Consistently repeat the headline in yourconversations and marketing material: presentations, slides,brochures, collateral, press releases, website. Remember,your headline is a statement that offers your audience a vision ofa better future. Its not about you. Its about them.This page intentionally left blank SCE N E 5 5 ENECS 5ENECS 5 ENECS Draw a Road Map Today we areintroducing three revolutionary products. STEVE JOBS,REVEALING THE iPHONE O n January 9, 2007, thousands of Macfaithful watched as Steve Jobs delivered an electrifyingannouncement. "Today Apple reinvents the phone," Jobs saidas he revealed the iPhone for the first time to the public.1 Beforedelivering that headline, however, Jobs added to the drama andsuspense when he told the audience that Apple would introduce notone, but three revolutionary products. He identified the first one as awide-screen iPod with touch con- trols. This met with a smattering ofapplause. Jobs said the second product would be a revolutionarymobile phone. The audience cheered that announcement. And thethird, said Jobs, was a breakthrough Internet communications device.At this point, the audience members sat back and waited for what theythought would be further product descriptions and perhaps somedemos of the three new devices--but the real thrill was yet to come.Jobs continued, "So, three things: a wide-screen iPod with touchcontrols, a revolutionary mobile phone, and a break- through Internetcommunications device. An iPod, a phone, and an Internetcommunicator. An iPod, a phone--are you get- ting it? These are notthree separate devices. This is one device, and we are calling itiPhone." The audience went wild, and Jobs basked in the glow ofnailing yet another product launch that would solidify Apples role asone of the worlds most innovative companies.4950 CREATE THE STORY Jobs draws a verbal road map for hisaudience, a preview of coming attractions. Typically these roadmaps are outlined in groups of three--a presentation might bebroken into "three acts," a product description into "three features,"a demo into "three parts." Jobss love of threes can be traced back GUIDE TO PERFECT PRESENTATION TO MBA STUDENST
  • 37. SAAB MARFIN MBAat least as early as the original Macintosh introduction on January24, 1984. Appearing at the Flint Center, in Cupertino, California,Jobs told the audience, "There have only been two milestoneproducts in our industry: the Apple II in 1977 and the IBM PC in1981. Today we are introducing the third industry milestoneproduct, the Macintosh. And it has turned out insanely great!"2Verbal guideposts serve as road maps, helping your listeners followthe story. When coaching clients to appear in the media, I alwaysinstruct them to create an easy-to-follow story by clearly outliningthree or, at the most, four main points before filling in the details.When this technique is followed, reporters will often take extensivenotes. If the spokesperson misses a point, reporters will ask,"Didnt you say you had three points? I heard only two." A verbalroad map of three things will help your lis- teners keep their place.See Figure 5.1. Figure 5.1 Jobs sticks to the rule of three in hispresentations. ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images DRAW A ROAD MAP 51 It is wellestablished that we can hold only small amounts of information inshort-term, or "active," memory. In 1956, Bell Labs research scientistGeorge Miller published a classic paper titled "The Magical NumberSeven, Plus or Minus Two." Miller cited studies that showed we have ahard time retaining more than seven to nine digits in short-termmemory. Contemporary scientists have put the number of items wecan easily recall closer to three or four. So, it should not be surprisingthat Jobs rarely offers more than three or four key message points. Asfor that, in a Steve Jobs presentation, the number three is much morecommon than four. Steve understands that the "rule of three" is one ofthe most powerful concepts in communication theory. Why GoldilocksDidnt Encounter Four Bears Listeners like lists. But how many pointsshould you include in the list? Three is the magic number.Comedians know that three is funnier than two. Writers know thatthree is more dramatic than four. Jobs knows that three is morepersuasive than five. Every great movie, book, play, or presentationhas a three-act structure. There were three mus- keteers, not five.Goldilocks encountered three bears, not four. There were threestooges, not two. Legendary NFL coach Vince Lombardi told his playersthere were three important things in life: family, religion, and theGreen Bay Packers. And the U.S. Declaration of Independence statesthat Americans have a right to "life, liberty, and the pursuit ofhappiness," not simply life and liberty. The rule of three is afundamental principle in writ- ing, in humor, and in a Steve Jobspresentation. The U.S. Marine Corps has conducted extensiveresearch into this subject and has concluded that three is more effec-tive than two or four. Divisions within the marines are divided intothree: a corporal commands a team of three; a sergeant52 CREATE THE STORY commands three rifle teams in a squad; acaptain has three pla- toons; and so on. If the marines were kindenough to study this stuff, why should we reinvent the wheel? Goahead and use it. So few communicators incorporate the rule of GUIDE TO PERFECT PRESENTATION TO MBA STUDENST
  • 38. SAAB MARFIN MBAthree in their pre- sentations that you will stand apart simply bydoing so. The rule of three--it works for the marines, it works forJobs, and it will work for you. At the Apple WorldwideDevelopers Conference on June 6, 2005, Jobs announced the switchfrom IBMs PowerPC chips to Intel microprocessors. "Lets talk abouttransitions," Jobs said. The Mac in its history has had two majortransitions so far [begins to outline three points]. The first one,68K to PowerPC. That transition happened about ten years ago inthe mid- nineties. The PowerPC set Apple up for the next decade.It was a good move. The second major transition has been evenHow the Rule of Three Can Improve Your Golf Game During abreak from writing this chapter, I took a golf lesson from a localcoach. Any golfer will tell you that the toughest part of the gameis remembering the dozens of small moves that ultimately resultin a fluid swing: posture, grip, takeaway, balance, hinging, weightshift, follow-through, and other variables. Problems occur whenyou think about too many things at the same time. The marineshave found that giving directions in groups of three makes iteasier for soldiers to fol- low the directions. So, I asked myinstructor to give me three directives, and three only, to improvemy swing. "Fine," he said. "Today youre going to focus on closingyour hips, shifting your weight to the right side on the backswing,and making a full follow-through. So, think hips, shift,follow-through." Hips, shift, follow. Thats it. The instructionworked wonders, and since that day, my golf game has improvedconsiderably. The rule of three--good for presentations andgood for golf, too! DRAW A ROAD MAP 53 bigger.And thats the transition from OS 9 to OS X that we just finished afew years ago. This was a brain transplant. And although theseoperating systems vary in name by just one [digit], they are worldsapart in technology. OS X is the most advanced operating system onthe planet, and it has set Apple up for the next twenty years. Todayits time to begin a third transition. We want to constantly be makingthe best com- puters for you and the rest of our users. Its time for athird transition. And yes, its true. We are going to begin the transi-tion from PowerPC to Intel processors [emphasis added].3 Revealingthe narrative in groups of three provides direction for your audience. Itshows people where youve been and where youre going. In thepreceding excerpt, Jobs sets the theme of "transitions," and we assumethere will be at least a third tran- sition because, as Jobs explains, theMac has already had two of them. He also builds the drama with eachpoint. The first transition was a "good move." The second was "evenbigger." By extension, the third must be bigger still. ApplesThree-Legged Stool At the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference inSeptember 2008, Jobs displayed a slide of a stool with three legs. "Asyou know, theres three parts to Apple now," he said. "The first part, ofcourse, is the Mac. The second part is our music businesses, the iPodand iTunes. And the third part is now the iPhone." Jobs introduced the GUIDE TO PERFECT PRESENTATION TO MBA STUDENST
  • 39. SAAB MARFIN MBAexecutives who would speak about the Mac and the iPod business.Jobs would take the iPhone portion himself. As he launched into theiPhone discussion, Jobs once again provided a road map for hislisteners--this time, a road map in four parts: "In a few weeks, itsgoing to be the iPhones first birthday. We shipped our first iPhone onJune 29. It was an amazing introduction, the most amazing one weveever had. iPhone has had tremendous critical acclaim. Its the phonethat has changed phones forever. But we have mountains to climb toreach the next level. What are these challenges? The first,54 CREATE THE STORY The USA Today Method Journalistsare trained to distill complex ideas into specific points, ortakeaways. Read USA Today, Americas most popular newspaper,and you will find that most articles condense main points intogroups of three. When Intel rolled out a faster chip called Centrino2, Michelle Kessler covered it for the newspa- per. Kessleroutlined three specific benefits and explained why each wasimportant--why they matter: Battery life. "The best laptop inthe world isnt worth much when its battery dies. Intels newchip features an ultra low power processor and otherenergy-saving tools." Graphics. "Laptops traditionally uselow-end graphics chips. But now 26 percent have powerfulstand-alone graphics chips and more people watch movies,play games, and use graphics- intensive programs."Wireless Internet. "Intels new chip line features the latestversion of Wi-Fi, known as 802.11n. Later this year it plans toroll out chips using a new wireless Internet standard, WiMax,which can send a signal over several miles." 4 Kessler proves thatyou can take the most complex technology --or idea--anddescribe it in three concise points. Ed Baig also writes for USAToday, reviewing some of the latest technology products. Aftertesting Microsofts new operating system (Windows 7) in its beta,or test mode, Baig focused on three highlights: Gettingaround. "Icons on the task bar are bigger and you can arrangethem in any way you choose." Security. "Windows 7 wontconstantly bog you down with annoying security messagesevery time you try to load pro- grams or change settings."Compatibility. "Even as a beta, Windows 7 recognized myprinter and digital camera."5 DRAW A ROAD MAP 55 Baig,Kessler, and other top reporters write their material in manageablechunks to make it easier to read. So does Jobs. He writes the contentof his presentation just as a USA Today reporter would review aproduct: headline, introduction, three points, conclusion. 3Gnetworking--faster networking. Second, enterprise support. Third,third-party application support. And fourth, we need to sell iPhone inmore countries." After providing that verbal preview of the fourpoints he would discuss in more detail, Jobs returned to the first point."So, as we arrive at iPhones first birthday, were going to take it to thenext level, and today were introducing the iPhone 3G."6 This is a GUIDE TO PERFECT PRESENTATION TO MBA STUDENST
  • 40. SAAB MARFIN MBAremarkably consistent technique in Jobss presenta- tions. He outlinesthree or four points, returns to the first point, explains each one inmore depth, and then summarizes each point. This is a simple recipefor ensuring your audience will retain the information you are sharing.Jobs and Ballmer Share a Love of Threes In January 2009, MicrosoftCEO Steve Ballmer opened the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.It was his first key- note speech at the conference, replacing Bill Gates,who had moved on to his philanthropic pursuits. Over fifteen years, ithad become a tradition for Microsoft to open the conference, andGates had delivered nearly every keynote. As a presenter, Ballmer wasmuch different from Gates. He exuded passion, energy, andexcitement. He stripped his talk of esoteric jargon and technicalbuzzwords. Ballmer also understood the value of the rule of three inproviding a verbal road map for his listeners.56 CREATE THE STORY How the Rule of Three Helped DuPontFace an Economic Meltdown In his book Leadership in the Eraof Economic Uncertainty, management guru Ram Charan wroteabout the global giant DuPont and how it aggressively respondedto the economic meltdown in 2008. Chief executive Chad Hollidaymet with the companys top leaders and economists, formulatinga crisis plan that was implemented within ten days. DuPont hadsixty thousand employees at the time. Every employee met with amanager who explained in plain English what the company had toaccomplish. Employees were then asked to identify three thingsthat they could do immediately to conserve cash and reduce costs.The company had decided that if employees felt overwhelmed,they wouldnt take any action. Three, how- ever, was amanageable and meaningful number that would spark employeesto take action. The groups of three just kept coming. Here are afew examples from his keynote: "I want to spend time withyou talking about the economy, our industry, and the work thatwe are doing at Microsoft." "When I think about opportunities,in my mind I frame it in three key areas. The first is theconvergence of the three screens people use every day: the PC,the phone, and the TV . . . The second major area is how youwill interact with your computer and other devices in a morenatural way . . . and the last area of opportunity is what I callconnected experiences." "Looking back, there were three thingsthat made Windows and the PC successful. First, the PC enabledthe best applica- tions and let them work together. Second, thePC enabled more choice in hardware. And, third, the Windowsexperience helped us all work together." DRAW A ROAD MAP 57"Were on track to deliver the best version of Windows ever. Wereputting in all the right ingredients--simplicity, reliability, andspeed."7 Ballmer used groups of three no fewer than five times in onepresentation, making his speech much easier to follow than any ofGatess keynotes. Although theres no love lost between Apple andMicrosoft, both Ballmer and Jobs understand that explain- ing GUIDE TO PERFECT PRESENTATION TO MBA STUDENST
  • 41. SAAB MARFIN MBAcomplex technology in language thats easy to follow is the first stepto creating excitement among their existing and future customers. TheRoad Map as an Agenda Jobs kicked off Macworld 2008 with the verbalequivalent of an agenda (there are no agenda slides in a Steve Jobspresentation, just verbal road maps). "Ive got four things Id like totalk to you about today, so lets get started," he said. The first one is Leopard. Im thrilled to report that we havedelivered over five million copies of Leopard in the first ninety days.Unbelievable. Its the most successful release of Mac OS X ever . . .Number two is about the iPhone. Today happens to be the twohundreth day that the iPhone went on sale. Im extraordinarilypleased that we have sold four million iPhones to date . . . OK,number three. This is a good one, too. Number three is about iTunes.Im really pleased to report that last week we sold our four billionthsong. Isnt that great? On Christmas Day we set a new record, twentymillion songs in one day. Isnt that amazing? Thats our new one-dayrecord . . . So, that brings us to number four. There is something inthe air. What is it? Well, as you know, Apple makes the bestnotebooks in the business: the MacBook and the MacBook Pro. Well,today were introducing a third kind of notebook. Its called theMacBook Air . . ." 858 CREATE THE STORY What the Worlds Greatest SpeechwritersKnow Ted Sorensen, John F. Kennedys speechwriter, believed thatspeeches should be written for the ear and not for the eye. Hisspeeches would list goals and accomplishments in a numberedsequence to make it easier for listeners. Kennedys speech to ajoint session of Congress on May 25, 1961, offers a perfectexample of Sorensens technique. In calling for a majorcommitment to explore space, Kennedy said: First, I believethat this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal,before this decade is out, of land- ing a man on the moon andreturning him safely to earth. No single space project in thisperiod will be more impressive to mankind, or more importantfor the long-range exploration of space . . . Secondly, anadditional twenty-three million dollars, together with the sevenmillion already available, will accelerate development of theRover nuclear rocket . . . Third, an additional fifty milliondollars will make the most of our present leadership, byaccelerating the use of space satellites for worldwidecommunications. Fourth, an additional seventy-five milliondollars will help give us at the earliest possible time a satellitesystem for worldwide weather observation. Let it be clear that Iam asking the Congress and the country to accept a firmcommitment to a new course of action, a course which will lastfor many years and carry heavy costs . . . If we are to go onlyhalfway, or reduce our sights in the face of difficulty, in myjudgment it would be better not to go at all.9 U.S.president Barack Obama, a fan of Kennedys speeches, adoptedsome of Sorensens rules to make his own speeches more GUIDE TO PERFECT PRESENTATION TO MBA STUDENST
  • 42. SAAB MARFIN MBAimpactful. Here are some samples from Obamas speeches thatfollow the rule of three, beginning with the speech that put himon the map, his keynote address at the 2004 Democratic NationalConvention: DRAW A ROAD MAP 59 Ibelieve that we can give our middle class relief and provideworking families with a road to opportunity . . . I believe we canprovide jobs to the jobless, homes to the homeless, and reclaimyoung people in cities across America from violence and despair . . .I believe that we have a righteous wind at our backs and that aswe stand on the crossroads of history, we can make the rightchoices and meet the challenges that face us.10 As illustrated in thisexcerpt, Obama not only breaks up his speeches into paragraphs ofthree sentences but also often delivers three points within sentences.When Obama took the oath of office to become Americasforty-fourth president on Tuesday, January 20, 2009, he delivered ahistorical address to some two million people who gathered to watchthe speech in person and millions more on television around theworld. Obama made frequent use of threes in the speech: "Istand here today humbled by the task before us, grateful for thetrust you have bestowed, mindful of the sacrifices born by ourancestors." "Homes have been lost, jobs shed, businessesshuttered." "Our health care is too costly, our schools fail too many,and each day brings further evidence that the ways we use energystrengthen our adversaries and threaten our planet." "Today I sayto you that the challenges we face are real, they are serious, andthey are many." "Our workers are no less productive than whenthis crisis began, our minds no less inventive, our goods andservices no less needed than they were last month or last year."11Every time Jobs announced a numeral, his slide contained just oneimage--the number itself (1, 2, 3, and 4). We will explore thesimplicity of Jobss slide design more thoroughly in Scene 8, but fornow keep in mind that your slides should mirror your narrative. Thereis no need to make the slides complicated.60 CREATE THE STORY Jobs not only breaks up hispresentations into groups but also describes features in lists ofthree or four items. "There are three major breakthroughs in iPod,"Jobs said in 2005. "The first one is, its ultraportable" [5 GB, onethousand songs in your pocket]. "Second, weve built in Firewire"[Jobs explained how Firewire enabled a download of an entire CD infive to ten sec- onds, versus five to ten minutes via a USBconnection]. "Third, it has extraordinary battery life," Jobs said.12He then described how the iPod provided ten hours of battery life,ten hours of continuous music. This chapter could easily havebecome the longest in the book, because every Steve Jobspresentation contains verbal road maps with the rule of threeplaying a prominent role. Even when hes not using slides in atraditional keynote presenta- tion, Jobs is speaking in threes. Jobskicked off his now famous Stanford commencement address by GUIDE TO PERFECT PRESENTATION TO MBA STUDENST
  • 43. SAAB MARFIN MBAsaying, "Today I want to tell you three stories from my life."13 Hisspeech followed the outline. He told three personal stories from hislife, explained what they taught him, and turned those stories intolessons for the graduates. Applying the Rule of Three Asweve learned, business leaders often prepare for major tele- visioninterviews or keynote presentations by structuring their messagearound three or four key points. I know, because I train them to doso! Here is how I would apply the advice from Scenes 4 and 5 toprepare for an interview on the topic of this book. First, I wouldcreate a headline of no more than 140 characters: "Deliver apresentation like Steve Jobs." Next, I would write three big ideas: (1)Create the story, (2) Deliver the experience, and (3) Package thematerial. Under each of the three ideas, I would include rhetoricaldevices to enhance the narrative: sto- ries, examples, and facts.Following is an example of how an abbreviated interview mightunfold: DRAW A ROAD MAP 61REPORTER: Carmine, tell us more about this book. CARMINE: ThePresentation Secrets of Steve Jobs reveals, for the first time, how todo deliver a presentation like Steve Jobs. The Apple CEO isconsidered one of the most electrifying speakers in the world today.This book walks you through the very steps he uses to sell hisideas. Best of all, anyone can learn these techniques to improve hisor her very next presentation. REPORTER: OK, so where would westart? CARMINE: You can deliver a presentation like Steve Jobs [repeatthe headline at least twice in a conversation] if you follow thesethree steps: First, create the story. Second, deliver the experience.And third, package the material. Lets talk about the first step,creating the story . . . Jimmy Vs Famous Speech On March 4, 1993,college basketball coach Jimmy Valvano gave one of the mostemotional speeches in recent sports history. Valvano had led NorthCarolina State to the NCAA championship in 1983. Ten years later,dying of cancer, Valvano accepted the Arthur Ashe Courage &Humanitarian Award. Valvanos use of the rule of three provided thetwo most poi- gnant moments of the speech (emphasis added):To me, there are three things we all should do every day. We shoulddo this every day of our lives. Number one is laugh. You shouldlaugh every day. Number two is think. You should spend some timein thought. And number three is, you should have your emotionsmoved to tears--could be happiness or joy. But think about it. Ifyou laugh, you think, and you cry, thats a full day . . . Cancer cantake away all my physical ability. It cannot touch my mind; it cannottouch my heart; and it cannot touch my soul. And those threethings are going to carry on forever. I thank you and God bless allof you.1462 CREATE THE STORY As you can tell in this example, providinga road map of three parts creates an outline for a short interview, amuch longer interview, or an entire presentation. Yourlisteners brains are working overtime. Theyre consum- ing words, GUIDE TO PERFECT PRESENTATION TO MBA STUDENST
  • 44. SAAB MARFIN MBAimages, and sensory experiences, not to mention conducting theirown internal dialogues. Make it easy for them to follow yournarrative. DIREC TOR S NOT ES Create a listof all the key points you want your audi- ence to know aboutyour product, service, company, or initiative.Categorize the list until you are left with only three majormessage points. This group of three will provide the verbalroad map for your pitch or presentation. Under each of yourthree key messages, add rhetorical devices to enhance thenarrative. These could include some or all of the following:personal stories, facts, examples, analogies, metaphors, andthird-party endorsements. SCE N E 6 6 ENECS 6ENECS 6 ENECS Introduce theAntagonist Will Big Blue dominate the entire computerindustry? Was George Orwell right? STEVE JOBS I nevery classic story, the hero fights the villain. The same storytellingoutline applies to world-class presentations. Steve Jobs establishesthe foundation of a persuasive story by introducing his audience toan antagonist, an enemy, a problem in need of a solution. In 1984, theenemy was "Big Blue." Apple is behind one of the most influentialtelevision ads in history and one in which we begin to see thehero-villain scenario playing out in Jobss approach to messaging. Thetele- vision ad, 1984, introduced Macintosh to the world. It ran onlyonce, during the January 22 Super Bowl that same year. The LosAngeles Raiders were crushing the Washington Redskins, but morepeople remember the spot than the score. Ridley Scott, of Alienfame, directed the Apple ad, which begins with shaven-headed droneslistening to their leader (Big Brother) on a giant screen. An athleticblonde, dressed in skimpy eighties-style workout clothes, is runningwith a sledgehammer. Chased by helmeted storm troopers, the girlthrows the ham- mer into the screen, which explodes in a blindinglight as the drones sit with their mouths wide open. The spot endswith 6364 CREATE THE STORY a somber announcer saying, "On January24, Apple Computer will introduce Macintosh and youll see why1984 wont be like 1984."1 Apples board members hadunanimously disliked the com- mercial and were reluctant to run it.Jobs, of course, supported it, because he understood the emotionalpower behind the clas- sic story structure of the hero and villain.He realized every protagonist needs an enemy. In the case of thehistoric 1984 television ad, IBM represented the villain. IBM, amainframe computer maker at the time, had made the decision tobuild a competitor to the worlds first mass-market home computer,the Apple II. Jobs explained the ad in a 1983 keynote presentationto a select group of Apple salespeople who previewed the sixty-second television spot. "It is now 1984," said Jobs. "It appearsIBM wants it all. Apple is perceived to be the only hope to offer IBMa run for its money . . . IBM wants it all and is aiming its guns on its GUIDE TO PERFECT PRESENTATION TO MBA STUDENST
  • 45. SAAB MARFIN MBAlast obstacle to industry control: Apple. Will Big Blue dominate theentire com- puter industry? The entire information age? WasGeorge Orwell right?"2 With that introduction, Jobs steppedaside as the assembled salespeople became the first publicaudience to see the commer- cial. The audience erupted into athunderous cheer. For another sixty seconds, Steve remainedonstage basking in the adulation, his smile a mile wide. His posture,body language, and facial expression said it all--I nailed it!Problem + Solution = Classic Jobs Introducing the antagonist (theproblem) rallies the audience around the hero (the solution). Jobsstructures his most excit- ing presentations around this classicstorytelling device. For example, thirty minutes into one of hismost triumphant pre- sentations, the launch of the iPhone atMacworld 2007, he spent three minutes explaining why the iPhoneis a product whose time has come. The villains in this case includedall the current INTRODUCE THE ANTAGONIST65 smartphones on the market, which, Jobs would argue, werent verysmart. Listed in the left column of Table 6.1 are excerpts from theactual presentation; the right column shows the words or describesthe images on the accompanying slides.3 Pay atten- tion to how theslides act as a complement to the speaker. TABLE 6.1 JOBSS iPHONEKEYNOTE PRESENTATION STEVES WORDSSTEVES SLIDES "The most advanced phones are calledSmartphone `smartphones, so they say." "They typically combine aphone plus Smartphone e-mail plus a baby Internet."Phone + Email + Internet "The problem is they are not so smart andSmartphone they are not so easy to use. Theyre really Not sosmart. Not so easy complicated. What we want to do is make ato use. leapfrog product that is way smarter than any mobile devicehas ever been." "So, were going to reinvent the phone.Revolutionary UI Were going to start with a revolutionary userinterface." "It is the result of years of research and RevolutionaryUI development." Years of research &development "Why do we need a revolutionary user Image offour existing interface? Here are four smartphones: thesmartphones: Motorola Q, Motorola Q, BlackBerry, Palm Treo, NokiaBlackBerry, Palm Treo, and E62--the usual suspects."Nokia E62 "Whats wrong with their user interface? The The tophalf of each image problem with them is in the bottom forty.fades away, leaving just Its this stuff right there [points to keyboardsthe bottom half-- on the phones]. They all have these thekeyboard keyboards that are there whether you need them or not. Andthey all have these controlcontinued66 CREATE THE STORY TABLE 6.1 JOBSS iPHONE KEYNOTEPRESENTATION (continued) STEVES WORDSSTEVES SLIDES buttons that are fixed in plastic and are thesame for every application. Well, every application wants a slightly GUIDE TO PERFECT PRESENTATION TO MBA STUDENST
  • 46. SAAB MARFIN MBAdifferent user interface, a slightly optimized set of buttons justfor it. And what happens if you think of a great idea six monthsfrom now? You cant add a button to these things. Theyre alreadyshipped. So, what do you do?" "What were going to do is get rid ofImage of iPhone all these buttons and just make a giant screen.""How are we going to communicate with Image of iPhone on itsside; this? We dont want to carry around a a stylus fades inmouse. So, what are we going to do? A stylus, right? Were going touse a stylus." "No [laughs]. Who wants a stylus? You haveWords appear next to to get them out, put them away--you loseimage: them. Yuck. Nobody wants a stylus." Who wants astylus? "So, lets not use a stylus. Were going to use Stylus fadesout of frame the best pointing device in the world--a asimage of index finger pointing device that were all born with.appears next to iPhone Were born with ten of them. Well use ourfingers." "We have invented a new technology called Fingerfades out, and `multi-touch, which is phenomenal." wordsappear: Multi-Touch "It workslike magic. You dont need a Words reveal upper right: stylus.Its far more accurate than any touch Works like magic displaythats ever been shipped. It ignores No stylus unintendedtouches. Its supersmart. You Far more accurate can domulti-finger gestures on it, and boy Ignores unintended havewe patented it!" [laughter] touchesMulti-finger gestures Patented INTRODUCE THE ANTAGONIST 67 Makenote of how Jobs asks rhetorical questions to advance the story. "Whydo we need a revolutionary user interface?" he asked beforeintroducing the problem. He even raises prob- lems to his ownsolution. When he introduced the concept of replacing the keyboardwith a touch screen, he rhetorically asked, "How are we going tocommunicate with this?" His ready answer was, "Were going to use thebest pointing device in the world . . . our fingers." Nobody reallycares about your product or Apples products or Microsofts or anyother companys, for that matter. What people care about is solvingproblems and making their lives a little better. As in the smartphoneexample in Table 6.1, Jobs describes the pain theyre feeling, givesthem a reason for their pain (usually caused by competitors), and, asyou will learn in Scene 7, offers a cure. Making His Case to CNBC "Whyin the world would Apple want to jump into the handset market withso much competition and so many players?" asked CNBCs JimGoldman in one of the few interviews Jobs granted immediately afterthe iPhone announcement. Jobs answered the question by posing aproblem in need of a solution: "We used all the handsets out there,and boy is it frustrating. Its a category that needs to be reinvented.Handsets need to be more power- ful and much easier to use. Wethought we could contribute something. We dont mind if there areother companies mak- ing products. The fact is there were one billionhandsets sold in 2006. If we just got 1 percent market share, thats ten GUIDE TO PERFECT PRESENTATION TO MBA STUDENST
  • 47. SAAB MARFIN MBAmillion units. Weve reinvented the phone and completely changed theexpectations for what you can carry in your pocket." "What messageis this sending to your competitors?" asked Goldman. "Were aproduct company. We love great products. In order to explain what ourproduct is, we have to contrast it to what products are out there rightnow and what people use," said Jobs.4 This last sentence reveals Jobssapproach to crafting68 CREATE THE STORY a persuasive story. Explanations of newproducts or services require context, a relevance to a problem inyour customers life that is causing that person "pain." Once thepain is established, your listener will be much more receptive to aproduct or service that will alleviate that pain. The AppleReligion In his book Buyology, marketing guru Martin Lindstromequates Apples message with the same powerful ideas that propelwide- spread religions. Both appeal to a common vision and aspecific enemy. "Most religions have a clear vision," writesLindstrom. "By that I mean they are unambiguous in their missions,whether its to achieve a certain state of grace or achieve a spiritual goal.And, of course, most companies have unambiguous missions aswell. Steve Jobss vision dates back to the mid-1980s when he said,`Man is the creator of change in this world. As such he should beabove systems and structures, and not subordinate to them.Twenty years and a few million iPods later, the company stillpursues this vision."5 According to Lindstrom, who spent yearsstudying the common traits of lasting brands, religions and brandssuch as Apple have another quality in common: the idea ofconquer- ing a shared enemy. "Having an identifiable enemy givesus the chance not only to articulate and showcase our faith, butalso to unite ourselves with our fellow believers . . . this us-versus-them strategy attracts fans, incites controversy, creates loyalty, andgets us thinking--and arguing--and, of course, buying."6 Will ItEat Me? Establishing the antagonist early is critical to persuasion,because our brains needs a bucket--a category--in which to placea new idea. Think about it this way: your brain craves meaningbefore details. According to scientist John Medina, our brains wereformed to see the big picture. Medina says that when primitive INTRODUCE THE ANTAGONIST 69 man sawa saber-toothed tiger, he asked himself, "Will it eat me?" and not "Howmany teeth does it have?" The antagonist gives your audience thebig picture. "Dont start with the details. Start with the key ideas and,in a hier- archical fashion, form the details around these largernotions," writes Medina in his book Brain Rules.7 In presentations,start with the big picture--the problem--before filling in the details(your solution). Apple unveiled the Safari Web browser duringMacworld 2003, designating it the fastest browser on the Mac. Safariwould join several other browsers vying for attention in the face ofMicrosofts juggernaut--Internet Explorer. At his persuasive best, Jobsset up the problem--introducing the antagonist-- simply by asking a GUIDE TO PERFECT PRESENTATION TO MBA STUDENST
  • 48. SAAB MARFIN MBArhetorical question: "Why do we need our own browser?"8 Beforedemonstrating the new features--filling in the details--he needed toestablish a reason for the products existence. Jobs told theaudience that there were two areas in which competitors such asInternet Explorer, Netscape, and others fell short: speed andinnovation. In terms of speed, Jobs said Safari would load pages threetimes faster than Internet Explorer on the Mac. In the area ofinnovation, Jobs discussed the limita- tions of current browsers,including the fact that Google search was not provided in the maintoolbar and that organizing book- marks left a lot to be desired. "Whatwe found in our research is that people dont use bookmarks. Theydont use favorites very much because this stuff is complicated andnobody has figured out how to use it," Jobs said. Safari would fix theproblems by incorporating Google search into the main toolbar andadding features that would allow users to more easily navigate back toprevious sites or favorite Web pages. One simple sentence is all youneed to introduce the antago- nist: "Why do you need this?" This onequestion allows Jobs to review the current state of the industry(whether it be brows- ers, operating systems, digital music, or anyother facet) and to set the stage for the next step in his presentation,offering the solution.70 CREATE THE STORY The $3,000-a-Minute Pitch Duringone week in September, dozens of entrepreneurs pitch theirstart-ups to influential groups of media, experts, and investors attwo separate venues--TechCrunch 50 in San Francisco and DEMOin San Diego. For start-up founders, these high-stakespresentations mean the difference between success andobsolescence. TechCrunch organizers believe that eight minutesis the ideal amount of time in which to communicate an idea. Ifyou cannot express your idea in eight minutes, the thinking thegoes, you need to refine your idea. DEMO gives its presenterseven less time--six minutes. DEMO also charges an $18,500 feeto present, or $3,000 per minute. If you had to pay $3,000 aminute to pitch your idea, how would you approach it? Theconsensus among venture capitalists who attend thepresentations is that most entrepreneurs fail to create anintriguing story line because they jump right into their productwithout explaining the problem. One investor told me, "You needto create a new space in my brain to hold the information youreabout to deliver. It turns me off when entrepreneurs offer asolution without setting up the prob- lem. They have a pot ofcoffee--their idea--without a cup to pour it in." Your listenersbrains have only so much room to absorb new information. Its asif most presenters try to squeeze 2 MB of data into a pipe thatcarries 128 KB. Its simply too much. A company calledTravelMuse had one of the most outstand- ing pitches in DEMO2008. Founder Kevin Fleiss opened his pitch this way: "The largestand most mature online retail seg- ment is travel, totaling morethan $90 billion in the United States alone [establishes category]. GUIDE TO PERFECT PRESENTATION TO MBA STUDENST
  • 49. SAAB MARFIN MBAWe all know how to book a trip online. But booking is the last 5percent of the process [begins to introduce problem]. The 95percent that comes before book- ing--deciding where to go,building a plan--is where all the heavy lifting happens. AtTravelMuse we make planning easy by seamlessly integratingcontent with trip-planning tools to pro- vide a complete experience [offers solution]."9 By introducing INTRODUCE THE ANTAGONIST 71 thecategory and the problem before introducing the solution, Fleisscreated the cup to pour the coffee into. Investors are buying astake in ideas. As such, they want to know what pervasive problemthe companys product addresses. A solution in search of a problemcarries far less appeal. Once the problem and solution areestablished, inves- tors feel comfortable moving on to questionsregarding the size of the market, the competition, and the businessmodel. The Ultimate Elevator Pitch The problem need not take long toestablish. Jobs generally takes just a few minutes to introduce theantagonist. You can do so in as little as thirty seconds. Simply create aone-sentence answer for the following four questions: (1) What do youdo? (2) What problem do you solve? (3) How are you different? (4) Whyshould I care? When I worked with executives at LanguageLine, inMonterey, California, we crafted an elevator pitch based on answers tothe four questions. If we did our job successfully, the following pitchshould tell you a lot about the company: "LanguageLine is the worldslargest provider of phone interpretation services for com- panies whowant to connect with their non-English-speaking customers [what itdoes]. Every twenty-three seconds, someone who doesnt speakEnglish enters this country [the problem]. When he or she calls ahospital, a bank, an insurance company, or 911, its likely that aLanguageLine interpreter is on the other end [how its different]. Wehelp you talk to your customers, patients, or sales prospects in 150languages [why you should care]." The Antagonist: A ConvenientStorytelling Tool Steve Jobs and former U.S. vice president turnedglobal warming expert Al Gore share three things in common: acommitment72 CREATE THE STORY to the environment, a love for Apple (AlGore sits on Apples board), and an engaging presentation style.Al Gores award-winning documentary, An Inconvenient Truth, is apresentation designed with Apples storytelling devices in mind.Gore gives his audience a reason to listen by establishing aproblem everyone can agree on (critics may differ on the solu- tion,but the problem is generally accepted). Gore begins hispresentation--his story--by setting the stage for his argument. Ina series of colorful images of Earth taken from various spacemissions, he not only gets audiences to appre- ciate the beauty ofour planet but also introduces the problem. Gore opens with afamous photograph called "Earthrise," the first look at Earth fromthe moons surface. Then Gore reveals a series of photographs inlater years showing signs of global warming such as melting ice GUIDE TO PERFECT PRESENTATION TO MBA STUDENST
  • 50. SAAB MARFIN MBAcaps, receding shorelines, and hurricanes. "The ice has a story totell us," he says. Gore then describes the villain in more explicitterms: the burning of fos- sil fuels such as coal, gas, and oil hasdramatically increased the amount of carbon dioxide in the earthsatmosphere, causing global temperatures to rise. In one ofthe most memorable scenes of the documentary, Gore explains theproblem by showing two colored lines (red and blue) representinglevels of carbon dioxide and average tem- peratures going back sixhundred thousand years. According to Gore, "When there is morecarbon dioxide, the temperature gets warmer." He then reveals aslide that shows the graph climbing to the highest level of carbondioxide in our planets history-- which represents where the level istoday. "Now if youll bear with me, I want to really emphasize thisnext point," Gore says as he climbs onto a mechanical lift. Hepresses a button, and the lift carries him what appears to be atleast five feet. He is now parallel with the point on the graphrepresenting current CO2 emissions. This elicits a small laugh fromhis audience. Its funny but insightful at the same time. "In lessthan fifty years," he goes on to say, "its going to continue to go up.When some of these children who are here are my age, hereswhere its going to be." At this point, Gore presses the button again,and the lift INTRODUCE THE ANTAGONIST 73 carrieshim higher for about ten seconds. As hes tracking the graph upward,he turns to the audience and says, "Youve heard of `off the charts?Well, heres where were going to be in less than fifty years."10 Itsfunny, memorable, and powerful at the same time. Gore takes facts,figures, and statistics and brings them to life. Gore uses many ofthe same presentation and rhetorical tech- niques that we see in aSteve Jobs presentation. Among them are the introduction of theenemy, or the antagonist. Both men introduce an antagonist early,rallying the audience around a common purpose. In a Jobspresentation, once the villain is clearly established, its time to openthe curtain to reveal the character who will save the day . . . theconquering hero. DIREC TOR S NOT ES Introduce theantagonist early in your presentation. Always establish theproblem before revealing your solution. You can do so bypainting a vivid picture of your customers pain point. Set up theproblem by ask- ing, "Why do we need this?" Spend sometime describing the problem in detail. Make it tangible. Build thepain. Create an elevator pitch for your product using the four-step method described in this chapter. Pay particular attention toquestion number 2, "What problem do you solve?" Remember,nobody cares about your product. People care about solvingtheir problems.This page intentionally left blank SCE N E 7 7 ENECS7 ENECS 7 ENECS Reveal the ConqueringHero The only problem with Microsoft is they just GUIDE TO PERFECT PRESENTATION TO MBA STUDENST
  • 51. SAAB MARFIN MBAhave no taste. And I dont mean that in a small way. I meanthat in a big way. STEVE JOBS S teve Jobs is amaster at creating villains--the more treacherous, the better.Once Jobs introduces the antago- nist of the moment (thelimitation to current products), he introduces the hero, revealingthe solution that will make your life easier and more enjoyable. Inother words, an Apple product arrives in time to save the day. IBMplayed the antagonist in the 1984 television ad, as discussed in Scene6. Jobs revealed the ad for the first time to a group of internal sales-people at an event in the fall of 1983. Before showing the ad, Jobsspent several minutes painting "Big Blue" into a character bent onworld domination. (It helped that IBM was known as Big Blue at thetime. The similar ring to Big Brother was not lost on Jobs.) Jobs madeBig Blue look more menacing than Hannibal Lecter: It is 1958. IBMpasses up the chance to a buy a new, fledgling company that hasinvented a new technology called xerogra- phy. Two years later,Xerox is born, and IBM has been kicking itself ever since. It is tenyears later. The late sixties. Digital Equipment, DEC, and othersinvent the minicomputer. IBM7576 CREATE THE STORY dismisses the minicomputer as toosmall to do serious com- puting and therefore unimportant totheir business. DEC grows to become amultihundred-million-dollar corpora- tion, while IBM finallyenters the minicomputer market. It is now ten years later. Thelate seventies. In 1977, Apple, a young, fledgling company on theWest Coast, invents the Apple II, the first personal computer aswe know it today [introduces the hero]. IBM dismisses thepersonal computer as too small to do serious computing andunimportant to their business [the villain overlooking the herosqualities]. The early eighties. In 1981, Apple II has become theworlds most popular computer, and Apple has grown into a $300million company, becoming the fastest-growing corporation inAmerican business history. With over fifty competitors vying for ashare, IBM enters the personal computer market in November1981, with the IBM PC. 1983. Apple and IBM emerge as theindustrys strongest competitors, each selling over $1 billion inpersonal computers in 1983 [David has now matched Goliath].The shakeout is in full swing. The first major firm goes bankrupt,with others teetering on the brink. It is now 1984. It appears IBMwants it all [the hero is about to spring into action]. Apple isperceived to be the only hope to offer IBM a run for its money.Dealers initially welcoming IBM with open arms now fear anIBM-dominated and -controlled future. They are increasingly anddesperately turning back to Apple as the only force that willensure their future freedom.1 The audience broke out intowild cheers as Jobs created a classic showdown. Jobs played hisbest James Bond. Just as the villain is about to destroy the world,Bond--or Jobs--enters the scene and calmly saves the day. Ian GUIDE TO PERFECT PRESENTATION TO MBA STUDENST
  • 52. SAAB MARFIN MBAFleming would be proud. The Heros Mission The heros missionin a Steve Jobs presentation is not nec- essarily to slay the bad guy,but to make our lives better. The REVEAL THE CONQUERING HERO 77introduction of the iPod on October 23, 2001, demonstrates thissubtle but important difference. It helps to understand the state ofthe digital music industry at the time. People were carrying portableCD players that looked monstrous compared with todays tiny iPods.The few existing digital music players were big and clunky or simplynot that use- ful due to a small storage capacity that allowed only afew dozen songs. Some products, such as the Nomad Jukebox, werebased on a 2.5-inch hard drive and, while portable, were heavy andwere painfully slow to transfer songs from a PC. Battery life was soshort that the devices were pretty much useless. Recognizing aproblem in need of a solution, Jobs entered as the conquering hero."Why music?" Jobs asked rhetorically. "We love music. And its alwaysgood to do something you love. More importantly, music is a part ofeveryones life. Music has been around forever. It will always be around.This is not a speculative market. And because its a part of everyoneslife, its a very large target market all around the world. But interest-ingly enough, in this whole new digital-music revolution, there is nomarket leader. No one has found a recipe for digital music. We foundthe recipe." Once Jobs whetted the audiences appetite byannouncing that Apple had found the recipe, he had set the stage. Hisnext step would be to introduce the antagonist. He did so by takinghis audience on a tour of the current landscape of portable musicplayers. Jobs explained that if you wanted to listen to music on the go,you could buy a CD player that held ten to fifteen songs, a flash player,an MP3 player, or a hard-drive device such as the Jukebox. "Lets lookat each one," Jobs said. A CD player costs about $75 and holdsabout ten to fifteen songs on a CD. Thats about $5 a song. You canbuy a flash player for $150. It holds about ten to fifteen songs, orabout $10 a song. You can go buy an MP3 CD player that costs$150, and you can burn up to 150 songs, so you get down to adollar a song. Or you can buy a hard-drive Jukebox player for $300.It holds about one thousand songs and costs thirty78 CREATE THE STORY cents a song. We studied all these, andthats where we want to be [points to "hard drive" category onslide]. We are intro- ducing a product today that takes us exactlythere, and that product is called iPod. With that, Jobsintroduced the hero, the iPod. The iPod, he said, is an MP3 musicplayer that plays CD-quality music. "But the biggest thing aboutiPod is that it holds a thousand songs. This is a quantum leapbecause for most people, its their entire music library. This is huge.How many times have you gone on the road and realized you didntbring the CD you wanted to listen to? But the coolest thing aboutiPod is your entire music library fits in your pocket. This was neverpossible before."2 By reinforcing the fact that ones entire musiclibrary could fit in a pocket, Jobs reinforces the heros (iPod) most GUIDE TO PERFECT PRESENTATION TO MBA STUDENST
  • 53. SAAB MARFIN MBAinnovative quality, reminding the audience that this was neverpossible until Apple appeared to save the day. After the iPodsintroduction, Knight-Ridder columnist Mike Langberg wrote anarticle in which he pointed out that Creative (the maker of theoriginal Nomad Jukebox) saw the opportu- nity in portable musicplayers before Apple and unveiled a 6 GB hard-drive player inSeptember 2000; Apple followed with its first iPod a year later."But," he noted, "Creative lacks Apples not-so-secret weapon:founder, chairman, and chief evangelist, Steve Jobs."3 "Im aMac." "Im a PC." The "Get a Mac" advertising campaign kicked off in2006 and quickly became one of the most celebrated andrecognizable television campaigns in recent corporate history.Comedian John Hodgman plays "the PC," while actor Justin Longplays the "Mac guy." Both are standing against a stark whitebackground, and the ads typically revolve around a story line inwhich the PC character is stuffy, slow, and frustrated, whereas theMac has a friendly, easygoing personality. The ads play out thevillain (PC) and hero (Mac) plot in thirty-second vignettes. REVEAL THE CONQUERING HERO 79 Inone early ad (Angel/Devil), the Mac character gives PC an iPhoto book.An "angel" and a "devil" appear (the PC character dressed in a whitesuit and a red suit). The angel encourages PC to compliment Mac,while the devil prods PC to rip the book in half. The metaphor is clear.Im a Mac/Im a PC could be titled "Im the good guy/Im the bad guy."4Once the hero is established, the benefit must be made clear. The onequestion that matters to people--Why should I care?-- must beanswered immediately. In an ad titled Out of the Box, both characterspop out of boxes. The conversation goes like this: MAC: Ready to getstarted? PC: Not quite. Ive got a lot to do. Whats your big plan?MAC: Maybe make a home movie, create a website, try out mybuilt-in camera. I can do it all right out of the box. What aboutyou? PC: First, Ive got to download those new drivers, I have to erasethe trial software that came on my hard drive, and Ive got a lot ofmanuals to read. MAC: Sounds like youve got a lot of stuff to dobefore you do any stuff. Im going to get started, because Im kindof excited. Let me know when youre ready. [Jumps out of box]PC: Actually, the rest of me is in some other boxes. Ill meet upwith you later. Some observers have criticized Apples campaign,saying it smacked of smug superiority. Whether you like the ads orhate them, there is no question they are effective, if only to keeppeople talking about Apple. In fact, the ads were so success- ful thatMicrosoft countered with an ad campaign of its own showing famousand not-so-famous people in all walks of life proudly proclaiming, "Ima PC." But Apple had landed the first punch, painting the PC as nerdyand Apple as the cool kid you really want to be like. The Microsoft adsare fun to watch but lack the emotional punch of Apples ads, for onereason--theres no villain.80 CREATE THE STORY Problem and Solution in Thirty SecondsWith more than ten thousand applications available for the iPhone, GUIDE TO PERFECT PRESENTATION TO MBA STUDENST
  • 54. SAAB MARFIN MBAthe App Store has been a resounding success for Apple. Thecompany features some individual apps in television and print adsfor the iPhone and iPod Touch. The television ads are effectivebecause in thirty seconds they paint a picture of a problem andoffer a solution. For example, in one ad for an app called Shazam,a narrator says, "You know when you dont know what song isplaying and its driving you crazy? [introduces problem] With theShazam app, you just hold up your iPhone to the song, and withinsec- onds you will know who sings it and how to get it."5 Thetaglines are always the same: "Thats the iPhone. Solving lifesdilemmas one app at a time." In thirty seconds, thecommercials succeed in raising a prob- lem and solving thoseproblems one app at a time. The ads prove that establishingproblems and offering solutions need not be time consuming.Dont spend too much time getting to the punch line. JobsDoesnt Sell Computers; He Sells an Experience After identifyingthe villain and introducing the hero, the next step in the Applenarrative is to show how the hero clearly offers the victim--theconsumer--an escape from the villains grip. The solution must besimple and free of jargon. Visit the Apple site, for instance, and youwill find the top reasons "why youll love a Mac."6 The list includesspecific benefits and largely avoids complicated technical language.As a case in point, instead of saying that a MacBook Pro comes withan Intel Core 2 Duo 2.4 GHz, 2 GB, 1,066 MHz, DDR3 SDRAM, and a250 GB Serial ATA 5,400 rpm, the site lists direct benefits to thecustomer: "Its gor- geous inside and out; it does what a PC does,only better; it has the worlds most advanced operating system, andthen some; its a pleasure to buy and own." You see, your targetcustomers are REVEAL THE CONQUERING HERO 81 notbuying a 2.4 GHz multicore processor. They are buying the experiencethe processor provides. Unlike his competitors, Jobs largely avoidsmind-numbing data, stats, and jargon in his presentations. DuringMacworld 2006, Jobs added his famous "One more thing" signaturephrase near the end of the presentation. The one more thing turnedout to be the new MacBook Pro with an Intel Core 2 micropro- cessor,marking the first Intel chips in Mac notebooks. Jobs took a fewminutes to clearly outline the problem and introduce the herostangible benefits, in plain and simple language. "Theres been thispesky little problem in the PowerBooks," Jobs said. "Its not a secretthat weve been trying to shoehorn a G5 [IBM microprocessor] into thePowerBook and have been unable to do so because of its powerconsumption. Its unrealistic in such a small package. Weve doneeverything possible engineer- ingwise. Weve consulted every possiblehigher authority [shows a slide with a photograph of the pope,drawing a huge laugh]." Replacing the existing microprocessor withan Intel Core Duo, Jobs explained, yielded much better performance ina smaller package. Today we are introducing a new notebookcomputer we are calling the MacBook Pro. It has an Intel Core Duo GUIDE TO PERFECT PRESENTATION TO MBA STUDENST
  • 55. SAAB MARFIN MBAchip in it, the same as were putting in the new iMac, which meansthere will be dual processors in every MacBook Pro. What does thisyield? Its four to five times faster than the PowerBookG4. Thesethings are screamers . . . The new MacBook Pro is the fastest Macnotebook ever. Its also the thinnest. Its got some amazing newfeatures. It has a 15.4-inch wide-screen display that is as bright asour cinema displays. Its a gorgeous dis- play. Its got an iSightcamera built in. Now you can have videoconferencing right out of thebox on the go. Its great. Videoconferencing to go. This is heaven.7You may or may not agree that a portable webcam is "heaven," butJobs knows his audience and voices what is, to those pres- ent, aserious problem in need of a solution.82 CREATE THE STORY This skill, the ability to create a villainand sell the benefit behind the heros solution, is a Steve Jobsmessaging technique that appears in nearly every presentation andinterview he gives. When Jobs agreed to be interviewed forSmithsonians oral and video history series, he said thatperseverance sepa- rates the successful entrepreneurs from thenonsuccessful ones. Perseverance, he said, comes from passion."Unless you have a lot of passion about this, youre not going tosurvive. Youre going to give it up. So, youve got to have an idea ora problem or a wrong that you want to right that youre passionateabout. Otherwise, youre not going to have the perseverance tostick it through. I think thats half the battle right there."8 Jobs is the Indiana Jones of business. Just as great movie char-acters vanquish the villain, Jobs identifies a common enemy,conquers that enemy, and wins over the hearts and minds of hisaudience as he walks off into the sunset, leaving the world a bet-ter place. DIREC TOR S NOT ES Describe thestate of the industry (or product category) as it currentlystands, followed by your vision of where it could be.Once you have established the antagonist--your cus- tomerspain point--describe in plain English how your company,product, or service offers a cure for that pain. Remember,Steve Jobs believes that unless youre pas- sionate about aproblem that you want to make right, you wont have theperseverance to stick it out. INTE RM ISSION 1 1 NOISSIMRETNI1 NOISSIMRETNI 1 NOISSIMRETNI Obey the Ten-Minute Rule Y our audience checks out after ten minutes. Not ineleven minutes, but ten. We know this valuable fact thanks tonew research into cognitive functioning. Simply put, the braingets bored. According to molec- ular biologist John Medina, "The brainseems to be making choices according to some stubborn timingpattern, undoubt- edly influenced by both culture and gene."1 Medinasays peer-reviewed studies confirm the ten-minute rule, as do his ownobservations. In every college course Medina teaches, he asks thesame question: "Given a class of medium interest, not too boring andnot too exciting, when do you start glancing at the clock, wondering GUIDE TO PERFECT PRESENTATION TO MBA STUDENST
  • 56. SAAB MARFIN MBAwhen the class will be over?" The answer is always exactly thesame--ten minutes. Steve Jobs does not give the brain time to getbored. In a thirty- minute period, his presentations includedemonstrations, a second or even third speaker, and video clips. Jobsis well aware that even his gifts of persuasion are no match for a tiredbrain constantly seeking new stimuli. Exactly ten minutes into hispresentation at Macworld 2007-- and not a second more--Jobsrevealed a new Apple television commercial for iTunes and iPods (theone with a dark silhouette of people dancing in front of brightlycolored backgrounds-- the silhouettes are holding iPods, and thestark white earphones noticeably stick out). "Isnt that great?" Jobs saidas the commer- cial ended.2 Jobs essentially provided an"intermission" between8384 CREATE THE STORY the first act of his presentation (music)and the second (the launch of Apple TV, a product designed to playiTunes content on a widescreen TV). Obey the ten-minute ruleand give your listeners brains a break. Here we go . . . on to Act 2:delivering the experience. AC T 2 Deliver the Experience Steve Jobs does not deliver a presentation. He offers anexperience. Imagine visiting New York City to watch anaward-winning play on Broadway. You would expect to seemultiple characters, elaborate stage props, stunning visualbackgrounds, and one glorious moment when you knew that themoney you spent on the ticket was well worth it. In Act 2, you willdiscover that a Steve Jobs presentation contains each of theseelements, helping Jobs create a strong emotional con- nectionbetween himself and his audience. Just as in Act 1, each scene willbe followed by a summary of specific and tangible lessons you caneasily apply today. Following is a short description of each scene inthis act: SCENE 8: "Channel Their Inner Zen." Simplification is akey feature in all of Apples designs. Jobs applies the sameapproach to the way he creates his slides. Every slide is simple,visual, and engaging. SCENE 9: "Dress Up Your Numbers." Data ismeaningless without context. Jobs makes statistics come alive and,most important, discusses numbers in a context that is relevant tohis audience. 8586 DELIVER THE EXPERIENCE SCENE 10: "Use `Amazingly ZippyWords." The "mere mortals" who experience an "unbelievable"Steve Jobs presen- tation find it "cool," "amazing," and"awesome." These are just some of the zippy words Jobs usesfrequently. Find out why Jobs uses the words he does and whythey work. SCENE 11: "Share the Stage." Apple is a rare companywhose fortunes are closely tied to its cofounder. Despite the factthat Apple has a deep bench of brilliant leaders, many observerssay Apple is a one-man show. Perhaps. But Jobs treats presen-tations as a symphony. SCENE 12: "Stage Your Presentation withProps." Demonstrations play a very important supporting role in GUIDE TO PERFECT PRESENTATION TO MBA STUDENST
  • 57. SAAB MARFIN MBAevery Jobs presentation. Learn how to deliver demos withpizzazz. SCENE 13: "Reveal a `Holy Shit Moment." From hisearli- est presentations, Jobs had a flair for the dramatic. Justwhen you think you have seen all there is to see or heard allthere is to hear, Jobs springs a surprise. The moment is plannedand scripted for maximum impact. SCE N E 8 8 ENECS8 ENECS 8 ENECS Channel Their InnerZen Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. STEVEJOBS, QUOTING LEONARDO DA VINCI S implicity is one of themost important concepts in all Apple designs--from computers,to music players, to phones, and even to the retail storeexperience. "As tech- nology becomes more complex, Applescore strength of knowing how to make very sophisticated technologycompre- hensible to mere mortals is in ever greater demand,"1 Jobstold a New York Times columnist writing a piece about the iPod in2003. Apples design guru, Jony Ive, was interviewed for the sameNew York Times article and noted that Jobs wanted to keep theoriginal iPod free of clutter and complexity. What the team removedfrom the device was just as important as what they kept in. `Whatsinteresting is that out of that simplicity, and almost that unashamedsense of simplicity, and expressing it, came a very different product.But difference wasnt the goal. Its actually very easy to create adifferent thing. What was exciting is starting to realize that itsdifference was really a consequence of this quest to make it a verysimple thing,"2 Ive said. According to Ive, complexity would havemeant the iPods demise. Jobs makes products easy to use byeliminating features and clutter. This process of simplificationtranslates to the way Jobs8788 DELIVER THE EXPERIENCE designs his slides as well. "Itslaziness on the presenters part to put everything on one slide,"writes Nancy Duarte.3 Where most presenters add as many wordsas possible to a slide, Jobs removes and removes and removes.A Steve Jobs presentation is strikingly simple, visual, and devoid ofbullet points. Thats right--no bullet points. Ever. Of course, thisraises the question, would a PowerPoint presentation withoutbullets still be a PowerPoint presentation? The answer is yes, and amuch more interesting one. New research into cog- nitivefunctioning--how the brain works--proves that bullet points arethe least effective way to deliver important informa- tion.Neuroscientists are finding that what passes as a typicalpresentation is usually the worst way to engage your audience."The brain is fundamentally a lazy piece of meat," writes Dr.Gregory Berns in Iconoclast.4 In other words, the brain doesnt liketo waste energy; it has evolved to be as efficient as possible.Presentation software such as PowerPoint makes it far too easy tooverload the brain, causing it to work way too hard. OpenPowerPoint, and the standard slide template has room for a title GUIDE TO PERFECT PRESENTATION TO MBA STUDENST
  • 58. SAAB MARFIN MBAand subtitles, or bullets. If you are like most presenters, you write atitle to the slide and add a bullet, a subbullet, and often a sub-subbullet. The result looks like the sample slide in Figure 8.1.Title Bullet SubbulletSub-subbullet Bullet SubbulletSub-subbullet Bullet SubbulletSub-subbullet - Really in the weedsFigure 8.1 A typical, boring PowerPoint template. CHANNEL THEIR INNER ZEN 89 Thisslide format gives me the willies. It should scare the heck out of you,too. Designer Garr Reynolds calls these creations "slideuments," anattempt to merge documents with slides. "People think they are beingefficient and simplifying things," according to Reynolds. "A kind ofkill-two-birds-with-one-stone approach. Unfortunately, the only thing`killed is effective communication."5 Reynolds argues that PowerPoint,used effec- tively, can complement and enhance a presentation. He isnot in favor of ditching PowerPoint. He is, however, in favor of ditch-ing the use of "ubiquitous" bulleted-list templates found in bothPowerPoint and Keynote. "And its long past time that we real- izedthat putting the same information on a slide in text form that iscoming out of our mouths usually does not help--in fact, it hurts ourmessage."6 Creating Steve Jobs€like slides will make you stand outin a big way, if only because so few people create slides the way hedoes. Your audience will be shocked and pleased, quite simplybecause nobody else does it. Before we look at how he does it, though,lets explore why he does it. Steve practices Zen Buddhism. Accordingto biographers Jeffrey Young and William Simon, Jobs began studyingZen in 1976.7 A Zen Buddhist monk even officiated at his wedding toLauren Powell in 1991. A central principle of Zen is a concept calledkanso, or simplic- ity. According to Reynolds, "The Japanese Zen artsteach us that it is possible to express great beauty and conveypowerful mes- sages through simplification."8 Simplicity and theelimination No More Pencils Weve been trained since youth toreplace paying attention with taking notes. Thats a shame. Youractions should demand attention. (Hint: bullets demand note taking.The minute you put bullets on the screen you are announcing, "Writethis down, but dont really pay attention to it now.") People donttake notes when they go to the opera.9SETH GODIN, SETHS BLOG90 DELIVER THE EXPERIENCE of clutter is a design component thatJobs incorporates into his products and slides. In fact, mosteverything about his approach to life is all-out Zen. In 1982,photographer Diana Walker took a portrait of Jobs in the livingroom of his house. The room was huge, with a fire- place andceiling-to-floor windows. Jobs sat on a small rug on a wooden floor.A lamp stood next to Jobs. Behind him were a record player andseveral albums, some of which were strewn on the floor. Now, Jobscould surely have afforded some furniture. He was, after all, worthmore than $100 million when the pho- tograph was taken. Jobs GUIDE TO PERFECT PRESENTATION TO MBA STUDENST
  • 59. SAAB MARFIN MBAbrings the same minimalist aesthetic to Apples products. "One ofthe most important parts of Apples design process issimplification," writes Leander Kahney in Inside Steves Brain.10"Jobs," says Kahney, "is never interested in technology fortechnologys sake. He never loads up on bells and whistles,cramming features into a product because theyre easy to add. Justthe opposite. Jobs pares back the complexity of his products untilthey are as simple and as easy to use as possible."11 WhenApple first started in the 1970s, the companys ads had tostimulate demand for computers among ordinary consumers who,frankly, didnt quite see the need for these new devices. Accordingto Kahney, "The ads were written in simple, easy- to-understandlanguage with none of the technical jargon that dominatescompetitors ads, who, after all, were trying to appeal to acompletely different market--hobbyists."12 Jobs has kept hismessages simple ever since. The influential German painter HansHofmann once said, "The ability to simplify means to eliminate theunnecessary so that the necessary may speak." By removingclutter--extra- neous information--from his products andpresentations, Jobs achieves the ultimate goal: ease of use andclarity. Macworld 2008: The Art of Simplicity To gain a fullerappreciation of Jobss simple slide creations, I have constructed atable of excerpts from his Macworld 2008 keynote presentation.The column on the left in Table 8.1 CHANNEL THEIR INNER ZEN 91contains his actual words, and the column on the right contains thetext on the accompanying slides.13 In four slides, Jobsspresentation contained fewer words by far than what most otherpresenters cram onto one slide alone. Cognitive researchers like JohnMedina at the University of Washington have discovered that theaverage PowerPoint slide contains forty words. Jobss first four slideshave a grand total of seven words, three numbers, one date, and nobullet points. Lets Rock On September 9, 2008, Jobs revealed newfeatures for the iTunes music store and released new iPod models forthe holiday season. Prior to the event--dubbed "LetsRock"--observers speculated TABLE 8.1 EXCERPTS FROM JOBSSMACWORLD 2008 KEYNOTE STEVES WORDSSTEVES SLIDES "I just want to take a moment and look back to2007 2007. Two thousand seven was an extraordinary year for Apple.Some incredible new products: the amazing new iMac, the awesomenew iPods, and of course the revolutionary iPhone. On top of that,Leopard and all of the other great software we shipped in 2007." "Itwas an extraordinary year for Apple, and I want Thank you. to justtake a moment to say thank you. We have had tremendous support byall of our customers, and we really, really appreciate it. So, thank youfor an extraordinary 2007." "Ive got four things Id like to talk to youabout 1 today, so lets get started. The first one is Leopard." "Imthrilled to report that we have delivered over 5,000,000 copiesfive million copies of Leopard in the first ninety delivered in first GUIDE TO PERFECT PRESENTATION TO MBA STUDENST
  • 60. SAAB MARFIN MBA3 days. Unbelievable. Its the most successful release months ofMac OS X ever."92 DELIVER THE EXPERIENCE that Jobs might be in ill health, givenhis gaunt appearance. (In January 2009, Apple revealed that Jobswas losing weight due to a hormone imbalance and would take aleave of absence for treatment.) Jobs addressed the rumor as soonas he stepped onstage. He did so without saying a word about it.He let a slide do the talking (see Table 8.2).14 It was simple andunexpected. It generated cheers and deflected the tension. The restof the introduction was equally as compelling for its simplicity.Make note of the words and figures on the slides in the table. Thewords on the slide match the exact words that Jobs uses to deliverhis message. When Jobs says, "Were going to talk about music," theonly word the audience sees is "Music." The words act as acomplement. If you deliver a point and your slide has too manywords-- and words that do not match what you say--youraudience will have a hard time focusing on both you and the slide.In short, wordy slides detract from the experience. Simple slideskeep the focus where it belongs--on you, the speaker. EmpiricalEvidence Empirical studies based on hard data, not opinions, provethat keeping your slides simple and free of extraneous informationis the best way to engage your audience. Dr. Richard Mayer teacheseducational psychology at the University of California, SantaBarbara, and has been studying multimedia learning since 1991.His theories are based on solid, empirical studies published inpeer-reviewed journals. In a study titled "A Cognitive Theory ofMultimedia Learning," Mayer outlined fundamental principles ofmultimedia design based on what scientists know about cog- nitivefunctioning. Steve Jobss slides adhere to each of Mayers principles: MULTIMEDIA REPRESENTATION PRINCIPLE "It is better to presentan explanation in words and pictures than solely in words," writesMayer.15 According to Mayer, learners can CHANNEL THEIR INNER ZEN 93TABLE 8.2 EXCERPTS FROM JOBSS 2008 "LETS ROCK"PRESENTATION STEVES WORDS STEVES SLIDES"Good morning. Thank you for coming this The reports of mydeath morning. We have some really exciting stuff are greatlyexaggerated. to share with you. Before we do, I just wanted to mentionthis [gestures toward screen]." "Enough said. So, lets get on with thereal Music topic of this morning, which is music. Were going totalk about music today, and weve got a lot of fun, new offerings." "So,lets start with iTunes." iTunes "iTunes, of course, is theubiquitous music and Image of iTunes video player married with thelargest online home page content store in the world." "iTunes nowoffers over eight and a half 8,500,000 songs million songs. Itsamazing. We started with two hundred thousand. We now have overeight and a half million songs." "Over one hundred and twenty-fivethousand 125,000 podcasts podcasts." "Over thirty thousand GUIDE TO PERFECT PRESENTATION TO MBA STUDENST
  • 61. SAAB MARFIN MBAepisodes of TV shows." 30,000 episodes of 1,000TV shows "Twenty-six hundred Hollywood movies." 2,600Hollywood movies "And, as of very recently, we now offer over3,000 applications for three thousand applications for iPhone andiPhone & iPod Touch iPod Touch." "And over the years, weve built up agreat 65,000,000 accounts customer base. Were very pleased towith credit cards announce that weve got over sixty-five millionaccounts in iTunes now. Its fantastic: sixty-five million customers."94 DELIVER THE EXPERIENCE Two-Minute Warning The taskof leaders is to simplify. You should be able to explain where youhave to go in two minutes.16 JEROEN VAN DERVEER, CEO, ROYAL DUTCH SHELL more easily understand materialwhen it is presented in both words and pictures. In Mayersexperiments, groups that were exposed to multisensoryenvironments--texts and pictures, ani- mation, and video--alwayshad much more accurate recall of the information, in some casesup to twenty years later! CONTIGUITY PRINCIPLE "When giving amultimedia explanation, present correspond- ing words andpictures contiguously rather than separately," Mayer advises.17 InMayers experiments, he exposed students to certain types ofinformation and then tested them on what they had learned. Thosestudents who had read a text containing captioned illustrationsnear the corresponding words performed 65 percent better thanthose students who had read only plain text. Mayer says thisprinciple is not surprising if you know how the brain works. Whenthe brain is allowed to build two mental representations of anexplanation--a verbal model and a visual model--the mentalconnections are that much stronger. SPLIT-ATTENTION PRINCIPLEMayer also advises, "When giving a multimedia explanation, presentwords as auditory narration rather than visual on-screen text."18When presenting information, words delivered orally have greaterimpact than words read by your audience on a slide. Having toomany words to process overloads the brain. COHERENCE PRINCIPLE"When giving a multimedia explanation," writes Mayer, "use fewrather than many extraneous words and pictures."19 Shorter pre-sentations with more relevant information are more consistent CHANNEL THEIR INNER ZEN 95 withcognitive-learning theories. In sum, adding redundant or irrelevantinformation will impede, rather than aid, learning. Mayer says anideal slide would contain an image along with a simple line drawingdirecting the eye to the area that you want the viewer to see. This iscalled "signaling," and it is based on the scientific premise that youraudience should not have to waste cognitive resources trying to findtheir place on the screen. Now, keep this in mind as we return to the"Lets Rock" event. About six minutes into the presentation, Jobsdescribed a new feature available on iTunes--Genius (see Table8.3).20 What could be easier to follow than simple line arrowspoint- ing to the relevant area of a slide? Line drawings, few words,and a rich library of colorful images and photographs make up the GUIDE TO PERFECT PRESENTATION TO MBA STUDENST
  • 62. SAAB MARFIN MBAmajority of Jobss slides. Simplicity--the elimination of clut- ter--isthe theme that ties them all together. The "McPresentation" Criticsonce derided USA Today as "McPaper" for its short, easy-to-readstories. Theyre not laughing now. USA Today boasts the largestcirculation of any newspaper in the United States. Readers love thecolorful and bold graphics, charts, and photographs. After USAToday launched in 1982, many daily newspapers had no choice butto follow with shorter stories, splashes of color, and morephotographs. USA Today became famous for its "snapshots,"stand-alone charts carried on the lower left of the main sections (i.e.,News, Sports, Money, Life). They are easy-to-read statistical graph-ics that present information on various issues and trends in avisually appealing way. These graphics are among the best learningtools to create more visual slides. Study them. Youll see RichardMayers theory in action. Statistics share the slide with images,making the information more memorable. For an index of USA Today"snapshots," visit news/snapndex.htm.96 DELIVER THE EXPERIENCE TABLE 8.3 MORE EXCERPTS FROMJOBSS 2008 "LETS ROCK" PRESENTATION STEVES WORDSSTEVES SLIDES "Were introducing a new feature called Genius.Genius Genius is pretty cool." "What Genius does isautomatically allow you to Automatically make make playlistsfrom songs in your music library playlists from songs that gogreat together, with just one click. It in your library that gohelps you rediscover music from your own greattogether--with music library and make great playlists that youjust one click probably wouldnt think of making any other way,and it really works well with just one click." "So, thats what Geniusis. Heres what it looks Image of an iTunes like. Lets say yourelistening to a song--in my library screen shot with case, a BobDylan song." a song highlighted "Theres aGenius button down here in the Animated circle corner. Youpush that, and voil€--youve appears and surrounds madea Genius playlist. In addition, you can small Genius logo atbring up the Genius sidebar that makes bottom right ofscreen recommendations from the iTunes store of music youmight want to buy." "So, how does all this work? Well, weve gotSimple cloud line the iTunes store in the cloud, and weve addeddrawing with Genius Genius algorithms to it."logo inside "So, youve got your music library. If you turn onImage of iTunes music Genius, its going to send up informationabout library; arrow appears your music library to iTunes so wecan learn moving up from iTunes about your musical tastes.This information is to cloud sent completely anonymously.""But its not just information from you, because Many images ofiTunes we are going to combine your information with musiclibraries appear the knowledge of millions of iTunes users as well."alongside original "And so, youre going to send your informationArrow up from original up, and so are they." GUIDE TO PERFECT PRESENTATION TO MBA STUDENST
  • 63. SAAB MARFIN MBAimage to cloud, followed bymore than a dozen arrows fromother images CHANNEL THEIR INNER ZEN 97STEVES WORDS STEVES SLIDES "And as thathappens, Genius just gets Genius logo in cloud smarter, andsmarter, and smarter." replaced with word"Smarter" "Everybody benefits. When we send back Arrowappears moving down Genius results to you, they are tailoreddownward from cloud to to your music library." iTuneslibrary image "So, automatically make playlists from songs in yourlibrary that go great together, with just one click. Thats what Genius isabout." [moves to demo] White Space According to Garr Reynolds,there is a clear Zen aesthetic to Jobss slides. "In Jobss slides, youcan see evidence of restraint, simplicity, and powerful yet subtle useof empty space."21 Top designers such as Reynolds say the biggestmistake business professionals make is filling up every centimeter ofthe slide. Nancy Duarte describes white space as giving yourslides visual breathing room. "Visible elements of a slide oftenreceive the most focus. But you need to pay equal attention to howmuch space you leave open . . . Its OK to have clear space-- clutteris a failure of design."22 Duarte says its "laziness" on the part of thepresenter to put everything on one slide. Dense information andclutter requires too much effort for your audience. Simplicity ispowerful. Empty space implies elegance, quality, and clarity. To seeexamples of how design- ers use space, visit some slide designcontest winners at Picture Superiority Effect Bynow I hope you have decided to gather up your current slides,especially those with bullet points, and burn them. At least burn themdigitally by deleting them and emptying your recycle bin98 DELIVER THE EXPERIENCE so you can never retrieve thoseslides again. The argument for the visual representation of ideas issuch a powerful concept that psychologists have a term for it: thepicture superiority effect (PSE).23 Researchers have discovered thatvisual and verbal infor- mation are processed differently alongmultiple "channels" in your brain. What this means for you and yournext presentation is simple: your ideas are much more likely to beremembered if they are presented as pictures instead of words.Scientists who have advanced the PSE theory believe it repre- sentsa powerful way of learning information. According to John Medina,a molecular biologist at the University of Washington School ofMedicine, "Text and oral presentations are not just less efficientthan pictures for retaining certain types of infor- mation; they areway less efficient. If information is presented orally, peopleremember about 10 percent, tested seventy-two hours afterexposure. That figure goes up to 65 percent if you add apicture."24 Pictures work better than text because the brain seeswords as several tiny pictures. According to Medina, "My text GUIDE TO PERFECT PRESENTATION TO MBA STUDENST
  • 64. SAAB MARFIN MBAchokes you, not because my text is not enough like pictures butbecause my text is too much like pictures. To our cortex,unnervingly, there is no such thing as words."25 Steves Love ofPhotos On June 9, 2008, Steve Jobs announced the introduction ofthe iPhone 3G at the WWDC. He used eleven slides to do so,employing the concept of PSE to its fullest. Only one slide con-tained words ("iPhone 3G"). The others were all photographs. Takea look at Table 8.4.26 Given the same information, a mediocrepresenter would have crammed all of it onto one slide. It wouldhave looked something like the slide in Figure 8.2. Which do youfind more memorable: Jobss eleven slides or the one slide with abulleted list of features? When Steve Jobs introduced theMacBook Air as "the worlds thinnest notebook," one slide showed aphotograph of the new CHANNEL THEIR INNER ZEN 99TABLE 8.4 JOBSS WWDC 2008 KEYNOTE STEVES WORDSSTEVES SLIDES "As we arrive at iPhones first birthday, Photo ofbirthday cake, with were going to take it to the next level." whitefrosting, strawberries, and one candle inthe middle "Today were introducing the iPhone iPhone 3G 3G.Weve learned so much with the first iPhone. Weve taken everythingweve learned and more, and weve created the iPhone 3G. And itsbeautiful." "This is what it looks like [turns and Side view of iPhone,so slim gestures toward screen; audience that its hard to seeon the laughs]. Its even thinner at the edges. slide and takes upvery little Its really beautiful." space--an example ofusing empty space to communicatean idea "Its got a full plastic back. Its really Full-screen view of theback nice." "Solid metal buttons." Another side view ofthe device, where buttons arevisible "The same gorgeous 3.5-inch display." Photo of front,showing display "Camera." Close-up photo ofcamera "Flush headphone jack so you can use Close-up ofheadphone jack any headphones you like." "Improved audio.Dramatically Another photo from top of the improved audio."device "Its really, really great. And it feels Returns to first side-vieweven better in your hand, if you can photo believe it." "Its reallyquite wonderful. The iPhone 3G iPhone 3G."100 DELIVER THE EXPERIENCE iPhone 3GThinner at the edges Full plastic backSolid metal buttons 3.5-inch displayBuilt-in camera Flush headphone jackImproved audio Figure 8.2 Dull slides have no images and toomany words. computer on top of an envelope, which was evenlarger than the computer itself. Thats it. No words, no text boxes,no graphs, just the photo. How much more powerful can you get?The picture says it all. For illustrative purposes, I created the slidein Figure 8.3 as an example of a typical slide that a mediocrepresenter would have created to describe a technical product. GUIDE TO PERFECT PRESENTATION TO MBA STUDENST
  • 65. SAAB MARFIN MBA(Believe it or not, this mock slide is gorgeous compared with manyslides I have actually seen in technical presentations delivered bysub- par presenters.) Its a mishmash of fonts, styling, and text.Not memorable and truly awful. In contrast, Figure 8.4 showsone of Jobss slides from the Macbook Air presentation. Themajority of his slides for this presentation looked very similar,featuring mostly photographs. He referred customers to the Applewebsite for more technical information; visuals dominated thekeynote. Clearly, presenting a technical product in such a way asJobs did for the Macbook Air is far more effective. It takesconfidence to deliver your ideas with photographs instead ofwords. Since you cant rely on the slides text as a crutch, you musthave your message down cold. But thats the difference betweenJobs and millions of average communicators in business today.Jobs delivers his ideas simply, clearly, and confidently. SimplifyEverything Simplicity applies to Jobss slides as well as the wordshe care- fully chooses to describe products. Just as Jobss slidesare free CHANNEL THEIR INNER ZEN101 MACBOOK AIRDisplay 13.3 inch LED-backlit glossy widescreen display€ Support for millions of colors € Supportedresolutions: -1280 by 800 (native)-1024 by 768 (pixels) -4:3 (aspect ratio)Storage Size & Weight 120 GB hard disk drive Height:0.16€0.76 inch or (0.4€1.94 cm)128GB solid-state drive Battery Power Width: 12.8 inches (32.5 cm)Integrated 37-watt hour lithium- Depth: 8.94 inches (22.7 cm)polymer Weight: 3.0 pounds (1.36 kg) 45WMagSafe power adapterMagSafe power port Processor & Memory4.5 hours of wireless productivity 1.6ghzprocessor - 6MB shared L2 cashe1066 MHz frontside bus 2GB of 1066 MHz DDR 3SDRAM Figure 8.3 An ugly slide with too much information, too manydifferent fonts, and inconsistent styling. Figure 8.4 Jobss slides arestrikingly simple and visually engaging. TONY AVELAR/AFP/GettyImages102 DELIVER THE EXPERIENCE Einsteins Theory of SimplicityIf you cant explain it simply, you dont understand it well enough.ALBERT EINSTEIN from extraneous text, so are his words. Forexample, in October 2008, Apple unveiled a new line ofenvironmentally friendly MacBook computers. There are twoprincipal ways Jobs could have described the computers. Thecolumn on the left in Table 8.5 is technically accurate but wordy;the text in the column on the right is what Jobs actually said.27Jobs replaces lengthy sentences with descriptions that could fit ina Twitter post (see Scene 4). Simple sentences are simply easier torecall. Table 8.6 shows other examples of how Jobs could have GUIDE TO PERFECT PRESENTATION TO MBA STUDENST
  • 66. SAAB MARFIN MBAdescribed a new product, compared with what he actually said.Plain English Campaign If you need help writing crisp, clearsentences, the Plain English Campaign can help. Since 1979, thisUK-based organization has been leading the fight to getgovernments and corporations to simplify their communications.The site is updated weekly with examples of the most complex,unintelligible business language submitted by readers around theworld. The organizers define plain English as writing that theintended audience can read, TABLE 8.5 DESCRIBING THEENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY MACBOOK WHAT STEVECOULD HAVE SAID WHAT STEVE ACTUALLY SAID Thenew MacBook family meets the most "They are the industrysstringent Energy Star standards and greenest notebooks."contains no brominated flame retardants. It uses only PVC-freeinternal cables and components and features energy-efficientLED-backlit displays that are mercury free. CHANNEL THEIR INNER ZEN 103TABLE 8.6 POSSIBLE VERSUS ACTUAL DESCRIPTIONS IN JOBSSPRESENTATIONS WHAT STEVE COULD HAVE SAID WHATSTEVE ACTUALLY SAID MacBook Air measures 0.16 inch at its "Itsthe worlds thinnest thinnest point, with a maximum height ofnotebook." 0.76 inch. Time Capsule is an appliance combining"With Time Capsule, plug an 802.11n base station with a server-gradeit in, click a few buttons, hard disk that automatically backs upand voil€--all the Macs in everything on one or more Macs runningyour house are backed up Leopard, the latest release of the Mac OS Xautomatically." operating system. Mac OS X features memoryprotection, pre- "Mac OS X is the most emptive multitasking, andsymmetric multi- technically advanced processing. It includesApples new Quartz personal computer 2D graphics engine based onthe Internet- operating system ever." standard portable documentformat. understand, and act upon the first time they read (or hear) it.The website has free guides on how to write in plain English as well asmarvelous before-and-after examples, such as the ones in Table8.7.28 Nearly everything you say in any memo, e-mail, or presen-tation can be edited for conciseness and simplicity. Remember thatsimplicity applies not just to the words on the slides but also to thewords that come out of your mouth. Author and advertising expertPaul Arden says that people go to a presentation to see you, not toread your words. He offers this tip: "Instead of giving people thebenefit of your wit and wisdom (words), try painting them a picture.The more strikingly visual your presentation is, the more people willremember it."29 Leonardo da Vinci stated, "Simplicity is the ultimatesophis- tication." One of the most celebrated painters in history, heunderstood the real power of simplicity, as does Steve Jobs. When youdiscover this concept for yourself, your ideas will become far morepersuasive than you could ever imagine.104 DELIVER THE EXPERIENCE TABLE 8.7 BEFORE-AND-AFTEREXAMPLES FROM THE PLAIN ENGLISH CAMPAIGN BEFORE GUIDE TO PERFECT PRESENTATION TO MBA STUDENST
  • 67. SAAB MARFIN MBAAFTER If there are any points on which you require If you haveany explanation or further particulars we shall be questions,please call. glad to furnish such additional details as may berequired by telephone. High-quality learning environments are aChildren need good necessary precondition for facilitation andschools to learn enhancement of the ongoing learning process.properly. It is important that you shall read the notes, Pleaseread the notes advice and information detailed opposite thenbefore you fill in the complete the form overleaf (all sections) priorform. Then send it to its immediate return to the Council by wayback to us as soon as of the envelope provided.possible in the envelope provided.DIREC TOR S NOT ES Avoid bullet points. Always. Well,almost always. Bullet points are perfectly acceptable onpages intended to be read by your audience, like books,documents, and e-mails. In fact, they break up the textquite nicely. Bullet points on presentation slides should beavoided. Pictures are superior. Focus on onetheme per slide, and complement that theme with aphotograph or image. Learn to create visually aestheticslides. Above all, keep in mind that you do not have to bean artist to build slides rich in imagery. for a list of resources. SCE N E 9 9 ENECS 9ENECS 9 ENECS Dress Up Your NumbersWe have sold four million iPhones to date. If you divide fourmillion by two hundred days, thats twenty thousand iPhonesevery day on average. STEVE JOBS O nOctober 23, 2001, Apple launched a digital music player thatwould revolutionize the entire music industry--the iPod. At$399, however, it was an expensive gadget. The iPod storedsongs on a five- gigabyte drive, but the number itself--5 GB--meantvery little to the average music lover. In his keynote presentation, Jobsmade that number more meaningful by saying that 5 GB providedenough storage for one thousand songs. While that sounds moreimpressive, it still did not provide a compelling value, since com-petitors were offering devices containing more storage at a lower price.But wait, Jobs assured his audience, theres more. Jobs said the newiPod weighed 6.5 ounces and was so small that it could "fit in yourpocket." When Jobs pulled one out of his own pocket, it immediatelyclicked with the audience. The iPods slogan said it all: "1,000 songs inyour pocket."1 Rarely do numbers resonate with people until thosenum- bers are placed in a context that people can understand, and thebest way to help them understand is to make those numbers relevantto something with which they are already familiar. Five gigabytes maymean nothing to you, but one thousand songs105106 DELIVER THE EXPERIENCE in your pocket opens up anentirely new way for you to enjoy music. Jobs dresses up GUIDE TO PERFECT PRESENTATION TO MBA STUDENST
  • 68. SAAB MARFIN MBAnumbers to make them more interesting. Rolling Stone reporterJeff Goodell once asked Jobs what he thought about Applesmarket shares being "stuck" at 5 percent in the United States. (Theinterview took place in 2003. As of this writing, Apples marketshare of the computer industry is 10 percent.) The average readermight consider a 5 percent market share to be tiny. Jobs put thenumber in perspective when he described it this way: "Our marketshare is greater than BMW or Mercedes in the car industry. And yet,no one thinks BMW or Mercedes are going away and no one thinkstheyre at a tremen- dous disadvantage because of their marketshare. As a matter of fact, theyre both highly desirable productsand brands."2 A 5 percent market share sounded low but becamemuch more interesting when Jobs put it into context using theautomobile analogy. Comparing Apples market share to that of two admiredbrands told the story behind the numbers. Twice as Fast at Halfthe Price Data transfers on the original iPhone were often painfullyslow on AT&Ts standard cellular network (EDGE). Apple solved theproblem with the launch of iPhone 3G on June 9, 2008. In thepresentation, Jobs said the new iPhone was 2.8 times faster thanEDGE, but he didnt stop there. Jobs put the figure into a con- textthat normal Web surfers would understand and appreciate. Heshowed two images back to back--a National Geographic websiteloading on the EDGE network and also on the new 3G high-speednetwork. The EDGE site took fifty-nine seconds to fully load. The3G site took only twenty-one seconds.3 Further, Apple offeredcustomers a bonus by lowering the price. According to Jobs,consumers would be getting a phone that was twice as fast at halfthe price. Average presenters spew num- bers with no context,assuming their audience will share their excitement. Jobs knowsthat numbers might have meaning to the most ardent fans but arelargely meaningless to the majority DRESS UP YOUR NUMBERS 107 ofpotential customers. Jobs makes his numbers specific, rele- vant, andcontextual. Specific. Relevant. Contextual. Lets take a look at twoother examples in which Jobs made numbers specific, relevant, andcontextual. On February 23, 2005, Apple added a new iPod to itslineup. The iPod featured 30 GB of storage. Now, most consumerscould not tell you what 30 GB means to them. They know its "better"than 8 GB, but thats about it. Jobs would never announce a numberthat big without context, so he broke it down in language his audiencecould understand. He said 30 GB of storage is enough memory for7,500 songs, 25,000 photos, or up to 75 hours of video. Thedescription was specific (7,500 songs, versus "thousands" of songs),relevant to the lives of his audience (people who want mobile access tosongs, photos, and video), and contextual because he chose tohighlight numbers that his core audience of consumers would careabout most. In a second example, Jobs chose Macworld 2008 to holda two-hundreth-day birthday celebration for the iPhone. Jobs said, "Im GUIDE TO PERFECT PRESENTATION TO MBA STUDENST
  • 69. SAAB MARFIN MBAextraordinarily pleased that we have sold four mil- lion iPhones todate." He could have stopped there (and most presenters would havedone just that), but Jobs being Jobs, he continued: "If you divide fourmillion by two hundred days, thats twenty thousand iPhones every dayon average." Jobs could have stopped there as well, but he kept going,adding that the iPhone had captured nearly 20 percent of the marketin that short period. OK, you might be saying, surely Jobs would havestopped there. He didnt. "What does this mean in terms of theoverall market?" he asked.4 He then showed a slide of the U.S.smartphone mar- ket share with competitors RIM, Palm, Nokia, andMotorola. RIMs BlackBerry had the highest market share at 39 percent.The iPhone came in second at 19.5 percent. Jobs then comparediPhones market share to that of all of the other remaining com-petitors. Jobs concluded that the iPhone matched the combined108 DELIVER THE EXPERIENCE market share of the remainingthree competitors--in the first ninety days of shipments. Thenumbers, of course, were very specific, relevant to the category,and, above all, contextual (Jobs was addressing investors). Bycomparing the iPhone against well- established competitors, Jobsmade this achievement--selling four million units in the firstquarter--far more remarkable. Dress Up Numbers with AnalogiesWhen I worked with SanDisk executives to prepare them for amajor announcement at the 2008 Consumer Electronics Show inLas Vegas, we took a page from the Steve Jobs playbook. Themaker of flash memory cards was introducing a card small enoughto fit into a cell phones micro SD slot. Thats very tiny. Even biggernews was that it held 12 GB of storage in that small form factor.Now, only gadget geeks would find 12 GB exciting. So, we had todress up the numbers € la Steve Jobs. Our final announcementwent something like this: "Today were announcing the first 12GB memory card for cell phones. It has fifty billion transistors.Think of each tran- sistor as an ant: if you were to put fifty billionend to end, they would circle the globe twice. What does this meanto you? Enough memory to store six hours of movies. Enoughmemory to listen to music while traveling to the moon . . . andback!" The number 12 GB is largely uninteresting unless youtruly understand the implications of the achievement and what itmeans to you. When SanDisk compared fifty billion transistors tothe number of ants that could circle the globe, the company wasusing an analogy to jazz up the numbers. Analogies point outsimilar features between two separate things. Sometimes,analogies are the best way to put numbers into a context thatpeople can understand. The more complex the idea, the moreimportant it is to use rhetorical devices such as analogies tofacilitate understanding. For example, on November 17, 2008,Intel released a power- ful new microprocessor named the Core i7.The new chip represented a significant leap in technology, packing730 million GUIDE TO PERFECT PRESENTATION TO MBA STUDENST
  • 70. SAAB MARFIN MBA DRESS UP YOUR NUMBERS 109transistors on a single piece of silicon. Engineers described thetechnology as "breathtaking." But thats because theyre engi- neers.How could the average consumer and investors appreciate theprofound achievement? Intels testing chief, John Barton, found theanswer. In an interview with the New York Times, Barton said anIntel processor created twenty-seven years ago had 29,000 transistors;the i7 boasted 730 million transistors on a chip the same size. Heequated the two by comparing the city of Ithaca, New York (population29,000), with the continent of Europe (population 730 million). "Ithacais quite complex in its own right, if you think about all that goes on. Ifwe scale up the population to 730 million, we come to Europe at aboutthe right size. Now take Europe and shrink it until it all fits in the sameland mass as Ithaca."5 Number Smiths Every industry has numbers,and nearly every presenter in every industry fails to make numbersinteresting and meaningful. For the rest of this scene, lets examineseveral examples of individ- uals and companies who haveaccomplished what Jobs does in every presentation--make numbersmeaningful. DEFINING ONE THOUSAND TRILLION On June 9, 2008, IBMissued a press release touting a superfast supercomputer. As its namesuggests, Roadrunner is one really quick system. It operates at onepetaflop per second. Whats a petaflop? Glad you asked. Its onethousand trillion calculations per second. IBM realized that the numberwould be meaning- less to the vast majority of readers, so it added thefollowing description: How fast is a petaflop? Lots of laptops. Thatsroughly equiva- lent to the combined computing power of 100,000of todays fastest laptop computers. You would need a stack oflaptops 1.5 miles high to equal Roadrunners performance.110 DELIVER THE EXPERIENCE It would take the entirepopulation of the earth--about six billion--each of us working ahandheld calculator at the rate of one second per calculation,more than 46 years to do what Roadrunner can do in one day.If it were possible for cars to improve their gas mileage over thepast decade at the same rate that supercomputers haveimproved their cost and efficiency, wed be getting 200,000miles to the gallon today.6 The comparisons were compelling andcaught the attention of the media. Conduct a Google search for"IBM + Roadrunner + 1.5 miles" and the search returns nearlytwenty thousand links to articles that use IBMs comparison wordfor word from the press release. The analogy works. $700BILLION BAILOUT The bigger the number, the more important it isto place the number into a context that makes sense to youraudience. For example, in October 2008, the U.S. governmentbailed out banks and financial institutions to the tune of $700billion. Thats the numeral 7 followed by eleven zeros, a number solarge that few of us can get our minds around it. San Jose MercuryNews reporter Scott Harris put the number into a context hisSilicon Valley readers could understand: $700 billion is twenty-fivetimes the combined wealth of the Google guys. It is the equivalent GUIDE TO PERFECT PRESENTATION TO MBA STUDENST
  • 71. SAAB MARFIN MBAof 350 billion venti lattes at Starbucks or 3.5 billion iPhones. Thegov- ernment could write checks for $2,300 to every man, woman,and child in America or provide free education for twenty-threemillion college students. Few people can grasp the concept of 700billion, but they know lattes and college tuitions. Those numbersare specific and relevant.7 CHIPPING DOWN $13 TRILLIONEnvironmental groups go to great lengths to make numbers moremeaningful. They must if they hope to persuade individ- uals tobreak deeply ingrained habits and routines that might contributeto damaging climate change. The numbers are sim- ply too big(and seemingly irrelevant) without connecting the DRESS UP YOUR NUMBERS 111 dots. Forexample, try telling someone that in 2006 alone, the United Statesproduced thirteen trillion pounds of carbon diox- ide (CO2). It soundslike a humongous number, but what does it mean? There is no context.Thirteen trillion could be small or large in comparison with othercountries. And frankly, what would it mean to the average person? Thenumber itself wont persuade people to change their habits. AlGores website,, breaks the number down further,claiming the average American is responsible for 44,000 pounds ofCO2 emissions per year, while the world average is 9,600 pounds perindividual.8 Thats specific and contextual. The site then makes thenumber even more relevant by tell- ing its readers what might happenif that number doesnt come down: heat waves will be more frequentand intense, droughts and wildfires will occur more often, and morethan a million species could be driven to extinction in the next fiftyyears. Scientists at NOAA (National Oceanic and AtmosphericAdministration) are also catching on. Senior scientist Susan Solomononce told the New York Times that if the burning of fos- sil fuelscontinues at its present rate, carbon dioxide emissions could reach450 parts per million. What does that figure mean? According toSolomon, at 450 parts per million, rising seas will threaten coastalareas around the world, and western Australia could expect 10 percentless rainfall. "Ten percent may not seem like a high number," saidSolomon, "but it is the kind of number that has been seen in majordroughts in the past, like the Dust Bowl."9 Whether or not youbelieve in global warming, climate change experts such as Al Gore andSusan Solomon are mas- ters at making large numbers meaningful,and by doing so, they hope to persuade governments and individualsto take the action they deem necessary to solve the problem. CHANGEYOUR DIET OR PAY THE ULTIMATE PRICE What if you knew nothingabout blood pressure and a doctor told you your blood pressure was220 over 140? Would you be motivated to change your diet andexercise habits? Perhaps not until those numbers are put into contextthat makes sense to112 DELIVER THE EXPERIENCE you. One doctor I know once told apatient, "Your blood pres- sure is 220 over 140. We consider 120over 80 to be normal. Your blood pressure is severely high. Thatmeans you have a much higher risk of having a heart attack, GUIDE TO PERFECT PRESENTATION TO MBA STUDENST
  • 72. SAAB MARFIN MBAkidney disease, and stroke. In fact, with numbers this high, youcould drop dead at any minute by blowing your gourd. The arteriesin your brain will literally burst." By being specific, relevant, andcontextual, the doctor made his point and motivated his patient tomake changes right away! Regardless of what industry yourein, the numbers you throw around will have little impact on youraudience unless and until you make them meaningful. Numbersout of context are sim- ply unimpressive. Whether yourepresenting the data behind a new technology or a particularmedical condition, comparing the number to something yourlisteners can relate to will make your message far more interesting,impactful, and ultimately persuasive. DIREC TOR SNOT ES Use data to support the key theme of yourpresentation. As you do, consider carefully the figures youwant to present. Dont overwhelm your audience with toomany numbers. Make your data specific, relevant,and contextual. In other words, put the numbers into acontext that is relevant to the lives of your listeners.Use rhetorical devices such as analogies to dress up yournumbers. SCE N E 10 01 E N E C S01 E N E C S 01 E N E C S Use "AmazinglyZippy" Words Plug it in. Wirrrrrr. Done. STEVE JOBS,DESCRIBING THE SONG TRANSFER FEATURE OF THE FIRSTIPOD, FORTUNE, NOVEMBER 2001 S teve Jobs introduced anupgrade to the iPhone at Apples Worldwide DevelopersConference on June 9, 2008. The iPhone 3G was twice as fast asthe original model, supporting the speedier third-generationAT&T data network. A 3G network has a potential transfer speed of 3Mbps, versus 144 Kbps on a slower, 2G (second-generation) network.Simply put, 3G is better for accessing the Internet and down- loadinglarge multimedia files on a mobile phone. Jobs made it even simpler."Its amazingly zippy," he said.1 Jobs speaks in simple, clear, anddirect language, free of the jargon and complexity so common inbusiness communications. Jobs is one of the few business leaders whocould confidently call a product "amazingly zippy." In an interview forFortune maga- zine, he was asked to describe the interface of Applesnew OS X operating system. "We made the buttons on the screen lookso good, youll want to lick them," he said.2 Even if you think Jobs isgrandstanding from time to time, his choice of words puts a smile onyour face. He chooses words that are fun, tangible, and uncommon inmost professional business presentations.113114 DELIVER THE EXPERIENCE Jobs, Gates, and the Plain EnglishTest Seattle Post Intelligencer tech reporter Todd Bishop wrote aclever piece at the urging of his readers. He ran the transcriptsfrom four presentations in 2007 and 2008 (Steve Jobss Macworldkey- notes and Bill Gatess Consumer Electronics Showpresentations) through a software tool that analyzes language. In GUIDE TO PERFECT PRESENTATION TO MBA STUDENST
  • 73. SAAB MARFIN MBAgeneral, the lower the numerical score, the more understandablethe language. Bishop used an online software tool providedby UsingEnglish .com.3 The tool analyzes language based on fourcriteria: 1. Average number of words per sentence. 2.Lexical density--how easy or difficult a text is to read. Textwith "lower density" is more easily understood. In this case, alower percentage is better. 3. Hard words--average number ofwords in a sentence that contain more than three syllables. Inthis case, a higher percentage is worse because it implies thatare more "hard words" in the text that are generally lessunderstood by the average reader. 4. Fog index--thenumber of years of education a reader theoretically wouldrequire to understand the text. For example, the New YorkTimes has a fog rating of 11 or 12, while some academicdocuments have a fog rating of 18. The fog index simplymeans that short sentences written in plain English receive abetter score than sentences written in complicated language.It should be no surprise that Jobs did noticeably better than Gateswhen their language was put to the test. Table 10.1 com- paresthe results for both 2007 and 2008.4 In each case, Jobsperforms significantly better than Gates when it comes to usingterms and language people can eas- ily understand. Jobss wordsare simpler, his phrases are less abstract, and he uses fewer wordsper sentence. USE "AMAZINGLY ZIPPY" WORDS 115TABLE 10.1 LANGUAGE COMPLEXITY: STEVE JOBS VERSUS BILLGATES BILL GATES,INTERNATIONAL STEVE JOBS, CONSUMERPRESENTER/EVENT MACWORLD ELECTRONICS SHOWJobss 2007 Macworld Keynote and Gatess 2007 CES Keynote Averagewords/ 10.5 21.6 sentence Lexical density16.5% 21.0% Hard words 2.9% 5.11%Fog index 5.5 10.7 Jobss 2008 MacworldKeynote and Gatess 2008 CES Keynote Average words/ 13.7918.23 sentence Lexical density 15.76% 24.52% Hardwords 3.18% 5.2% Fog index 6.799.37 Table 10.2 compares some exact phrases from the 2007presentations. Excerpts from Bill Gatess remarks are in the rightcolumn.5 The left column contains excerpts from Steve Jobs.6 WhereGates is obtuse, Jobs is clear. Where Gates is abstract, Jobs is tangible.Where Gates is complex, Jobs is simple. Now, I can hear you saying,"Bill Gates might not speak as simply as Jobs, but hes the richest guyin the world, so he must have done something right." Youre correct.He did. Gates invented Windows, the operating system installed in 90per- cent of the worlds computers. You, however, did not. Youraudience will not let you get away with language theyll accept116 DELIVER THE EXPERIENCE TABLE 10.2 VERBIAGE IN GATESS2007 CES KEYNOTE VERSUS JOBSS 2007 MACWORLDKEYNOTE BILL GATES, 2007 INTERNATIONAL GUIDE TO PERFECT PRESENTATION TO MBA STUDENST
  • 74. SAAB MARFIN MBASTEVE JOBS, 2007 MACWORLD CONSUMER ELECTRONICS SHOW"You know, it was just a year "The processors are now opening theago that I was up here and memory capability up to 64-bit, andannounced that we were going thats a transition were makingwithout to switch to Intel processors. a lot of incompatibility,without paying It was a huge heart transplant a lot of extramoney. Software, the to Intel microprocessors. And old 32-bitsoftware, can run, but if you I said that we would do it over needto get more space, its just there." the coming twelve months. Wedid it in seven months, and its been the smoothest and mostsuccessful transition that weve ever seen in the history of ourindustry." "Now Id like to tell you a few "The process weve beenthrough over things about iTunes that this year--there wasa beta 2--got are pretty exciting . . . We out to over twomillion people. The are selling over five million releasecandidate, which was our last songs a day now. Isnt thatchance for feedback, got out to over unbelievable? Thatsfifty-eight five million. We had a lot of in-depth songs everysecond of every things where we went in and sat and minuteof every hour of every interviewed people using Windows day."Vista in family situations. We did that inseven different countries. We did incredibleperformance simulation, getting over sixtyyears equivalent of performance testingwith all the common mix of applicationsthat were out there." "Weve gotawesome TV shows "Microsoft Office has got a new on iTunes.As a matter of fact, user interface; its got new ways of we haveover 350 TV shows connecting up to Office Live services thatyou can buy episodes from and SharePoint, but the discoverabilityon iTunes. And Im very pleased of the richness is advanceddramatically to report that we have now by that userinterface." sold fifty million TV shows on iTunes. Isnt thatincredible?" USE "AMAZINGLY ZIPPY" WORDS 117 fromGates. If your presentations are confusing, convoluted, and full ofjargon, you will miss an opportunity to engage and excite yourlisteners. Strive for understanding. Avoid lexical density. You mighthave noticed that many of Jobss favorite words are the type of wordsmost people use in everyday watercooler conversation: "amazing,incredible, gorgeous." Most presenters change their language for apitch or presentation. Jobs speaks the same way onstage as he doesoffstage. He has confidence in his brand and has fun with the wordshe chooses. Some critics might say his language borders on hyperbole,but Jobs echoes the sentiments shared by millions of his customers.Of course, you should use words that authentically represent yourservice, brand, or product. A financial adviser recom- mending amutual fund to a client would appear insincere (and probablydishonest) if he or she said, "This new mutual fund will revolutionize GUIDE TO PERFECT PRESENTATION TO MBA STUDENST
  • 75. SAAB MARFIN MBAthe financial industry as we know it. Its amazing, and you need toinvest your money in it right now." Instead, the financial adviser couldsay, "Mutual funds are amazing products that will help your moneygrow while lowering your risk. There are thousands of funds available,but Im especially excited about a new one. Let me tell you more aboutit . . ." In the latter statement, our financial adviser has chosen wordsthat are simple and emotional while still maintaining his or her pro-fessionalism and integrity. Dont be afraid of using simple wordsand descriptive adjec- tives. If you genuinely find a product "amazing,"go ahead and say so. After all, if youre not excited about it, how doyou expect the rest of us to be? Avoid Jargon Creep Jargon rarelycreeps into Jobss language. His words are con- versational and simple.Jargon--language that is specific to a particular industry--creates aroadblock to the free and easy exchange of ideas. I have attendedcountless meetings in which two people who work for differentdivisions of the same com- pany cannot understand the jargon usedby the other. Jargon and118 DELIVER THE EXPERIENCE buzzwords are meaningless andempty and will most certainly make you less understandable andtherefore less persuasive. Mission statements are the worstculprits of jargon creep. Mission statements typically are long,convoluted, jargon-laden paragraphs created in multiplecommittee meetings and destined to be forgotten. They are repletewith jargon and murky words you will rarely hear from Jobs, suchas "synergy," "principle- centered," and "best of breed." Theseexpressions are nonsense, yet on any given day, employees incompanies around the world are sitting in committee meetings tosee just how many such words can be crammed into a singlesentence. Apples mission statement, on the other hand, issimple, clear, and impactful. Its full of emotive words and tangibleexamples. It reads (emphasis added): Apple ignited thepersonal computer revolution in the 1970s with the Apple II andreinvented the personal computer with the Macintosh. Today,Apple continues to lead the industry in innovation with itsaward-winning computers, OS X oper- ating system, and iLifeand professional applications. Apple is also spearheading thedigital media revolution with its iPod portable music and videoplayers and iTunes online store, and has entered the mobilephone market with its revolution- ary iPhone.7 The wordsJobs chooses to announce a new product have three characteristics:they are simple, concrete, and emotionally charged.Simple. Free of jargon and with few syllables. Concrete. Veryspecific phrases. Short, tangible descriptions instead of long,abstract discussions. Emotional. Descriptive adjectives.Examples of each of these three characteristics appear in Jobssintroduction of the MacBook Air: "This is the MacBook Air. You canget a feel for how thin it is [concrete]. It has a full-size keyboard anddisplay [simple]. Isnt it amazing [emotional]? This is what it looks GUIDE TO PERFECT PRESENTATION TO MBA STUDENST
  • 76. SAAB MARFIN MBA USE "AMAZINGLY ZIPPY" WORDS 119 AGuru Who Keeps It Simple It was hard to miss financial guru SuzeOrman in 2008 and 2009 when the global financial markets werecollapsing. In addition to appearing on her own CNBC show, thebestselling author was a frequent guest on shows such as "Oprah"and "Larry King Live." Banks and financial companies were alsousing her in advertisements meant to alleviate their custom- ersfears. I interviewed Orman several times and found her to besurprisingly candid about the secret to her success as acommunicator. "How do you make complicated financial topicseasy to understand?" I once asked. "Too many people want toimpress others with the infor- mation they have so others think thespeaker is intelligent," Orman responded.8 "But Suze," I said, "Ifyour message is too simple, dont you risk not being taken seriously?"I dont care what people think about it. All I care about is that theinformation Im imparting empowers the listener or reader of mymaterial . . . If your intention is to impart a message that will createchange for the person listening, then if you ask me, it is respectfulto that person to make the message as simple as possible. Forexample, if I gave you directions to how to get to my house, youwould want me to give you the simplest directions to get there.If I made it more complicated, you would not be bet- ter off. Youmight get aggravated and give up. If it were simple, chances areyou will get in your car and try to get to my house rather thangiving up and saying its not worth it. Others criticize simplicitybecause they need to feel that its more complicated. If everythingwere so simple, they think their jobs could be eliminated. Its ourfear of extinction, our fear of elimination, our fear of not beingimportant that leads us to communicate things in a more complexway than we need to."9120 DELIVER THE EXPERIENCE like. Isnt it incredible [emotional]?Its the worlds thinnest note- book [simple]. It has a gorgeous13.3-inch wide-screen display and a phenomenal full-sizedkeyboard [emotional and concrete]. Im stunned our engineeringteam could pull this off [emotional]."10 Table 10.3 lists evenmore examples of specific, concrete, and emotional phrases fromthe Jobs repertoire of language. This is just a small sample. EveryJobs presentation contains similar language. Jargon: A SureWay to Upset Jack Welch Jack Welch made the observation,"Insecure managers create complexity." During his twenty yearsas GEs top executive, the conglomerate grew from $13 billion inrevenue to $500 billion. Welch was on a mission to "declutter"everything about the company, from its management processesto its communica- tion. He despised long, convoluted memos,meetings, and presentations. In his book Jack: Straightfrom the Gut, Welch describes meetings that left him"underwhelmed." If you wanted to upset the new CEO, all youhad to do was talk over his head. Welch would say, "Lets pretendwere in high school . . . take me through the basics." He GUIDE TO PERFECT PRESENTATION TO MBA STUDENST
  • 77. SAAB MARFIN MBArecounts his first meeting with one of his insurance leaders.Welch asked some simple questions about terms he wasunfamiliar with. He writes, "So I inter- rupted him to ask: `Whatsthe difference between facultative and treaty insurance? Afterfumbling through a long answer for several minutes, an answer Iwasnt getting, he finally blurted out in exasperation, `How doyou expect me to teach you in five minutes what it has taken metwenty-five years to learn! Needless to say, he didnt lastlong."11 Speaking in jargon carries penalties in a society thatvalues speech free from esoteric, incomprehensible bullshit.Speaking over peoples heads may cost you a job or prevent youfrom advancing as far as your capabilities might take youotherwise. USE "AMAZINGLY ZIPPY" WORDS 121TABLE 10.3 SPECIFIC, CONCRETE, AND EMOTIONAL PHRASES INJOBSS PRESENTATIONS EVENT PHRASE Apple MusicEvent, 2001 "The coolest thing about iPod is your entiremusic library fits in your pocket."12 Introduction of the worlds "Iasked you to buckle up. Now I want first seventeen-inch widescreenyou to put on your shoulder harness."13 notebook, Macworld 2003Referencing the current "The number one lust object."14Titanium PowerBook, Macworld 2003 Describing the new "Itsstunning. It is the most incredible seventeen-inch PowerBook,product we have ever made. Look at that Macworld 2003screen. Its amazing. Look at how thin it is. Isntthat incredible? When its closed, its only oneinch think. Its beautiful, too. This is clearly themost advanced notebook computer ever madeon the planet. Our competitors havent evencaught up with what we introduced two yearsago; I dont know what theyre going to do aboutthis."15 Jobss description of the "Insanely great." originalMacintosh Persuading PepsiCo president "Do you want to spend therest of your life John Sculley to become selling sugared water ordo you want a Apples CEO chance to change the world?"Quote in Triumph of the Nerds "Were here to put a dent in theuniverse."16 Discussing CEO Gil Amelios "The products suck!Theres no sex in them reign at Apple anymore!"17 Jobscreating a new word "iPod Touch is the funnest iPod weve everfor the launch of a new iPod, created."18 September 2008 Unveilingthe first seventeen- "A giant leap beyond PC notebooks. inchnotebook computer, Miraculously engineered."19 January 7,2003122 DELIVER THE EXPERIENCE Some people will look at thelanguage in this table and say Jobs is a master of hype. Well, hypeis hype only if theres no "there" there. It would be hard to arguewith Jobs that the Macintosh (the first easy-to-use computer witha graphical inter- face and mouse) wasnt "insanely great" or thatproducts like the MacBook Air arent "stunningly" thin. Jobs GUIDE TO PERFECT PRESENTATION TO MBA STUDENST
  • 78. SAAB MARFIN MBAisnt a hype-master as much as hes the master of the catchphrase.The folks at Apple think long and hard about the words used todescribe a product. Language is intended to stir up excitement andcreate a "must-have" experience for Apples cus- tomers. Theresnothing wrong with that. Keep in mind that the majority ofbusiness language is gobbledygook--dull, abstract, andmeaningless. Steve Jobs is anything but dull. Inject some zip intoyour words. Its Like This . . . Another way to add zip to yourlanguage is to create analogies, comparing an idea or a product toa concept or product familiar to your audience. When Steve Jobsshakes up a market category with the introduction of an entirelynew product, he goes out of his way to compare the product tosomething that is widely understood, commonly used, and wellknown. Here are some examples: "Apple TV is like a DVDplayer for the twenty-first century" (Introduction of Apple TV,January 9, 2007) "iPod Shuffle is smaller and lighter than apack of gum" (Introduction of iPod Shuffle, January 2005)"iPod is the size of a deck of cards" (Introduction of iPod,October 2001) When you find an analogy that works, stick withit. The more you repeat it, the more likely your customers are toremember it. If you do a Google search for articles about theproducts just mentioned, you will find thousands of links with theexact comparisons that Jobs himself used. Following are the three USE "AMAZINGLY ZIPPY" WORDS 123 ACure for Bad Pitches Dont sell solutions; create stories instead. TheNew York Times columnist David Pogue loves a good pitch. He saysthe major- ity of his columns come from pitches. What he doesntwant to hear is jargon. Surprisingly, PR professionals are among theworst offenders (surpassed only by bureaucrats, senior man- agers,and IBM consultants). Pogue argues that buzzwords (terminologysuch as "integrated," "best of breed," "B2B," and "consumer-centric")are unnecessary. The ideal pitch is a short paragraph telling Pogueexactly what the product is and does. For example, one companywrote Pogue and said it had a new laptop that could be droppedfrom six feet, could be dunked in water, and could survivethree-hundred-degree heat and still work. This clever descriptionwas enough to grab Pogues attention. The Bad Pitch blog is amust-read for PR, marketing, and sales professionals. The sitecarries actual pitches from PR pro- fessionals who should knowbetter than to issue impenetrable jargon masking as a press release.Heres an example: "Hope youre well. Id like to introduce youto , a new, place-based out-of-home digi- tal network thatdelivers relevant, localized media within the rhythm of consumersdaily rituals, like afternoon coffee or sandwiches at lunch." Thisparticular pitch came from a company that puts video billboards indelis. Why couldnt they just say that? Its too simple, thats why.People are afraid of simplicity. This is not an isolated example. Thesite is updated daily with pitches from large and small PR agenciesas well as small and large corporations. Apple pitches rarely make GUIDE TO PERFECT PRESENTATION TO MBA STUDENST
  • 79. SAAB MARFIN MBAthe site, because the companys press releases tell a story in thesame conversational language that Jobs uses in his presentations.As the sites mantra explains, "A good pitch disappears and turnsinto the story; a bad pitch becomes the story." Follow the blog postsat DELIVER THE EXPERIENCE analogies just reviewed (in theformat of a search phrase) and the number of links to articlesusing those phrases: Apple TV + DVD player for twenty-firstcentury: 40,000 links iPod Shuffle + pack of gum: 46,500 linksiPod + deck of cards: 227,000 links Your listeners and viewersare attempting to categorize a prod- uct--they need to place theconcept in a mental bucket. Create the mental bucket for them. Ifyou dont, you are making their brains work too hard. According toEmory University psychol- ogy professor Dr. Gregory Berns, thebrain wants to consume the least amount of energy. That means itdoesnt want to work too hard to figure out what people are tryingto say. "The efficiency principle has major ramifications," he states."It means the brain takes shortcuts whenever it can."20 Analogiesare shortcuts. Nothing will destroy the power of your pitch morethor- oughly than the use of buzzwords and complexity. Yourenot impressing anyone with your "best-of-breed, leading-edge,agile solutions." Instead, you are putting people to sleep, los- ingtheir business, and setting back your career. Clear, concise, and"zippy" language will help transform your prospects intocustomers and customers into evangelists. Delight your custom-ers with the words you choose--stroke their brains dopaminereceptors with words that cause them to feel good whenever theythink of you and your product. People cannot follow your vision orshare your enthusiasm if they get lost in the fog. Word Fun withTitles Your customers are your most potent evangelists. I recall aconversation with one of my clients, Cranium founder RichardTait, who said he sold one million games with no advertising, allword of mouth. "Never forget that your customers are your salesforce," he told me. His customers--he calls them"Craniacs"--want to have fun. Since fun was the name of thegame, so to speak, Tait USE "AMAZINGLY ZIPPY" WORDS 125decided that every facet of the company should have some whimsyassociated with it. He started with job titles. Cranium employees areallowed to make up their own titles. For example, Tait is not CraniumsCEO. He is the Grand Poo-Bah. No kidding. Its on his business card.You might think its silly, but Ill tell you that when I first walked intothe companys Seattle headquarters, I was hit with a wave of fun,enthusiasm, and engagement the likes of which I had never seenbefore and I have never seen since. DIREC TOR S NOT ESUnclutter your copy. Eliminate redundant language, buzzwords,and jargon. Edit, edit, and edit some more. Run your paragraphsthrough the UsingEnglish tool to see just how "dense" it is.Have fun with words. Its OK to express enthusiasm for your GUIDE TO PERFECT PRESENTATION TO MBA STUDENST
  • 80. SAAB MARFIN MBAproduct through superlatives or descriptive adjec- tives. Jobsthought the buttons on the Macintosh screen looked so good thatyou would want to "lick" them. Thats confidence.This page intentionally left blank SCE N E 11 11 E N E C S11 E N E C S 11 E N E C S Share the StageDont be encumbered by history. Go out and createsomething wonderful. ROBERT NOYCE, INTEL COFOUNDERA t Macworld on January 10, 2006, Jobs announcedthat the new iMac would be the first Apple computer with anIntel processor inside. Earlier the previous year, Jobs hadannounced that the "brain transplant" would begin in June 2006. OnJanuary 10, he told the audience that he wanted to give everyone anupdate on the schedule. As he began, dry-ice-created smoke waftedupward in the middle of the stage. A man walked out wearing thefamous bunny suit worn in Intels ultrasterile microprocessormanufacturing plants. The man was carrying a wafer, one of the thin,round slices of silicon from which chips are made. He walked over toJobs and shook hands. As the lights came up, it became obvious thatthe person in the bunny suit was none other than Intel CEO PaulOtellini. "Steve, I wanted to report that Intel is ready," Otellini said ashe handed Jobs the wafer. "Apple is ready, too," said Jobs. "We starteda partnership less than a year ago to make this happen," Jobs told theaudience. "Our teams have worked hard together to make this happenin record time. Its been incredible to see how our engineers havebonded and how well this has gone."1 Otellini credited the Apple teamin return. The two men talked about the achievement, they shookhands again, and Otellini left the stage. Jobs then turned to theaudience and revealed the surprise: Apple would be rolling out thefirst Mac with Intel 127128 DELIVER THE EXPERIENCE processors, not in June asoriginally announced, but today. See Figure 11.1. Fewcompanies are more closely associated with their found- ers thanApple is with Jobs. Regardless, Jobs himself is more than happy toshare the spotlight with employees and partners onstage. A Jobspresentation is rarely a one-man play. He features supportingcharacters who perform key roles in the narrative. Microsoftfounder Bill Gates was one of the most unexpected partners toshare the stage with Jobs. In 1997, at the Macworld Expo in Boston,Jobs, who had recently returned to Apple as interim CEO, told theaudience that in order to restore Apple to health, somerelationships had to be revisited. He announced that MicrosoftsInternet Explorer would be the default browser on the Macintoshand that Microsoft would make a strategic investment of $150million in the company. On that note, he introduced a "specialguest," live via satellite. When Bill Gates appeared, you could hearsome cheering, along with a lot of boos. Gates spoke for a fewminutes and graciously expressed his admiration for what Apple GUIDE TO PERFECT PRESENTATION TO MBA STUDENST
  • 81. SAAB MARFIN MBAhad accomplished. Figure 11.1 Steve Jobs sharing the stage withIntel CEO Paul Otellini. Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images SHARE THE STAGE 129 Jobsreturned to the stage and, knowing that many people would beunhappy, sounded like a stern father as he admon- ished the audienceto embrace the relationship. "If we want to move forward and seeApple happy and prospering, we have to let go of this notion that forApple to win, Microsoft has to lose," Jobs said. "If we screw up, its notsomebody elses fault; its our fault . . . If we want Microsoft Office onthe Mac, wed better treat the company that puts it out with a little bitof gratitude."2 Great actors are often said to be "giving"; they helpother actors in the scene give better performances. When Jobs intro-duces another person onstage--an employee, a partner, or a formernemesis such as Gates--hes the most giving of perform- ers.Everyone needs to shine for the good of the show. The Brain CravesVariety The brain doesnt pay attention to boring things. Not that Jobsis boring. Far from it. However, our brains crave variety. No one, nomatter how smooth and polished, can carry an audience for longbefore his or her listeners start to glance at their watches. Greatspeechwriters have known this for years. Speeches written for John F.Kennedy, Ronald Reagan, and Barack Obama were scripted to last nolonger than twenty minutes. A Jobs keynote presentation lasts muchlonger, of course, closer to 1.5 hours, but Jobs keeps it interesting byincorporating demonstrations, video clips, and--veryimportant--guest speakers. Know What You Dont Know In October2008, Apple introduced new MacBook laptops crafted from singleblocks of aluminum. The design breakthrough allowed Apple to buildmobile computers that were lighter and stronger than previousdesigns. "Lets talk about notebooks. We want to talk about sometechnologies and discoveries that weve made that help us buildnotebooks in some new ways," Jobs said.3 However, instead ofdescribing the new process himself, Jobs introduced Jony Ive, Applessenior vice president of design.130 DELIVER THE EXPERIENCE Ive walked onstage, Jobs took aseat, and Ive gave the audi- ence a six-minute crash course onnotebook design. He explained how the new process allowedApple to start with a 2.5-pound slab of aluminum and carve it outuntil the final frame weighed just one-quarter of a pound. Theresult was a stronger, thinner, and lighter computer. Jobs retookthe stage and concluded the segment by thanking Ive andreaffirming the headline of the segment: "A new way to buildnotebooks." Jobs may have his hands all over Apple, but he knowswhat he doesnt know. Jobs shares the spotlight with other actors,who add credibility and excitement to the plot. Your Best SalesTool When Apple launched an online movie-rental service, Jobsannounced the list of studios that would make films available foronline rentals via iTunes. The list included all the heavy-weights--Touchstone, Sony, Universal, MGM, Walt Disney, andothers. Still, Apple faced skepticism. The company was launch- ing GUIDE TO PERFECT PRESENTATION TO MBA STUDENST
  • 82. SAAB MARFIN MBAa movie-rental service in a field with established competitors suchas Blockbuster and Netflix. Apple was betting that people wouldwant the choice of watching their movies on their com- puters,iPods, iPhones, or wide-screen television sets via Apple TV. Jobsadded credibility to the initiative by sharing the stage with one ofApples key partners. "We have support from every major studio,"said Jobs. "The first studio to sign up was Twentieth Century Fox.Weve developed a really great working relationship with Fox. Itsmy pleasure to introduce the chairman and CEO of TwentiethCentury Fox, Jim Gianopulos." An enthusiastic Gianopulosbounded onto the stage and talked about what people want: greatmovies; easy access; conve- nience; control over where, when, andhow they watch movies; and the ability to take the movie withthem wherever they go. "When Steve came to us with the idea, itwas a no-brainer. It was the most exciting, coolest thing weveever heard," Gianopulos said. "Video rentals are not a new thing.But there was music SHARE THE STAGE 131 and theniPod. There was the phone and then iPhone. Apple does things in anintuitive, insightful, and innovative way. It will be a transformativeversion of the rental model, and were incredibly excited about it. Wecouldnt be happier and prouder of our partnership."4 Gianopuloshad provided Jobs with a companys best sales tool--a customersendorsement. Best of all, the two men appeared side by side. Areference is good. A customer or partner physically sharing the stageis even better. Number One Reason People Buy Your customers arealways mindful of budgets, but in tough eco- nomic times they areeven more so, casting a critical eye on every last dollar. Prospects donot want to act as a beta group. Your product must deliver what itpromises--saving your customers money, making them money, orproviding the tools to make more efficient use of the money they have.Testimonials and endorse- ments are persuasive because, asdiscussed earlier, word of mouth is the number one influencer ofpurchasing decisions. Successful companies know that a pool ofreputable and satisfied customers is critical for sales success. In fact,some com- panies even have specific employees whose job it is togather case studies and distribute them to their prospects. Most smallbusiness owners do not have the resources to designate a "case study"specialist, but they can easily adopt some of the tech- niques used bythe worlds most successful companies. One proven strategy is to steala page from the Apple playbook and invite your customers to sharethe spotlight, either in person, on video, or, at the very least, throughquotes. Dont forget the media. Sharing the stage with publica-tions that rave about your product will bolster your message. Jobs hasa love-hate relationship with the media, but for pre- sentationpurposes, theres a lot of love in the room. In the first few minutes ofhis Macworld 2008 keynote address, Jobs announced that Leopard (thelatest version of the OS X operat- ing system) had sold five millioncopies in its first ninety days, GUIDE TO PERFECT PRESENTATION TO MBA STUDENST
  • 83. SAAB MARFIN MBA132 DELIVER THE EXPERIENCE Twenty-First-Century Case StudyThe case study remains an important marketing tool. Most of usare familiar with white papers or simple case studies featured ona companys website, but as video and audio become much lessexpensive to create and distribute online, some innovativecompanies are tapping into the power of YouTube to delivercustomer evidence. Buying a $200 Flip video recorder, creatingan inexpensive video of a customer testimonial, and posting iton YouTube carries as much weight as a slick marketingproduction. Posting video and audio testimonials on your siteand incorporating them into your presentations will add anothervaluable layer of authenticity and credibility to your story.If you are a business owner or an entrepreneur, it is impor- tantto develop a list of customers you can use as references. In fact,a customer who offers a testimonial is worth more than one whodoesnt. Look for customers who will help you win newcustomers. Then, give them a reason to offer a reference. Thiscould be as simple as offering a deeper relationship with yourcompany, such as providing more access to you or your staffwhen your customer has questions. Other benefits might includeaccess to product teams, input into new designs or products,and visibility. Give your partners a reason to participate, andonce they do, incorporate them into your presentations. Mostcustomers will not be available for your presentation, but try thenext best thing: insert a video testimonial into your presentation.It might not have the same impact as Paul Otellini appearingonstage with Jobs, but it might give you a step up on yourcompetitors. marking the most successful release of OS X. He alsomade sure that everyone knew that Leopard had been a hit withthe media. "The press has been very kind. Its been a critical suc-cess as well as a commercial success," said Jobs.5 As Jobs readreviews from major technology influencers, a slide appeared SHARE THE STAGE 133 with theirquotes. Here are the endorsements, along with their sources: "Inmy view, Leopard is better and faster than Vista."--Walt Mossberg,Wall Street Journal "Leopard is powerful, polished, and carefullyconceived." --David Pogue, New York Times "With Leopard,Apples operating system widens its lead esthetically andtechnologically."--Ed Baig, USA Today "Its by far the bestoperating system ever written for the vast majority ofconsumers."--Ed Mendelson, PC magazine The last quote drew laughs.The irony of PC magazines favorably reviewing a Mac gave theaudience a chuckle. Reading favorable reviews is a common techniquein a Steve Jobs presentation. Although Americans rate journalistsamong the least trustwor- thy professionals (only one step abovepoliticians), a favorable endorsement from a top-tier media outlet orblogger still carries weight, giving buyers confidence that they aremaking a wise choice. Successful companies that launch a splashynew product usu- ally have tested it with a group of partners who have GUIDE TO PERFECT PRESENTATION TO MBA STUDENST
  • 84. SAAB MARFIN MBAagreed to endorse it publicly or distribute review copies to the mediaand influencers. This arrangement gives those companies instantreferences, endorsements, and testimonials. Your customers need areason to believe in you, and they want to minimize the risk associatedwith a new product or service. Having experts, customers, or partnerstestify to the effectiveness of your product will help you overcome thepsychological barrier to participation. Give Credit Where Credits DueEmployees also get top billing in a Steve Jobs presentation. At theconclusion of Macworld 2007, Jobs said, "I want to high- light thefolks who worked on these products. Would all of the folks whoworked on todays products please stand up? Lets give them a roundof applause. Thank you so much. I also cant leave134 DELIVER THE EXPERIENCE without thanking the families.They havent seen a lot of us in the last six months. Without thesupport of our families, we couldnt do what we do. We get to dothis amazing work. They understand when were not home fordinner on time because weve got to be in the lab, working onsomething because the intro is coming up. You dont know howmuch we need you and appreciate you. So, thank you."6 Itsvery easy to make the presentation all about you and your product.Dont forget to credit the people who make it possible. It showsyour customers that you are a person of integrity, and, by praisingyour employees or colleagues publicly, you inspire them to workharder for you. Finally, Jobs shares the stage with his audience,his customers, often thanking them profusely. He kicked offMacworld 2008 by recapping the previous year. "I just want to takea moment to say thank you. We have had tremendous supportfrom all of our customers, and we really, really appreciate it. So,thank you for an extraordinary 2007."7 Jobs built a rapport withhis audi- ence by acknowledging the people who matter--thepeople who build the products and the people who buy them.Jobs Even Shares the Stage . . . with Himself! Steve Jobs is theonly person who can invite another Steve Jobs onstage. In 1999,"ER" star Noah Wyle traded in his scrubs for blue jeans, playingJobs in the TV movie Pirates of Silicon Valley. In a practical joke atthe 1999 Macworld Expo in New York, Wyle appeared onstage tokick off the keynote. At first glance (and to people seated far away),he looked like Jobs--blue jeans, black mock, and running shoes.Wyle had the same mannerisms and even used some of Jobssfamous phrases. "This is going to be a great Macworld," he said."Theres something happening here. The resurgence of Apple.Youre going to see great new products today. Some insanely greatnew products. Some really, totally, wildly, insanely great newproducts!" The audience went crazy when the real Jobs showed up. SHARE THE STAGE 135 Jobs had aton of fun with Wyle, telling the actor that he was blowing theimpression. Jobs showed Wyle how he should act, talk, and walk if hereally wanted to nail the impersonation. Jobs told the audience, "Iinvited Noah here to see how I really act and because hes a better me GUIDE TO PERFECT PRESENTATION TO MBA STUDENST
  • 85. SAAB MARFIN MBAthan me!" "Thank you. Im just glad youre not mad about the movie,"said Wyle. "What? Me upset? Its just a movie," said Jobs. "But if youdo want to make things right, you could get me a part on `ER. "8The exchange generated a huge laugh and the bit showed that Jobscould poke some fun at himself. I still havent seen any other presenterwho could share the stage with himself! DIREC TOR S NOTES Upon release of a new product or service, make sure youhave customers who tested the product and are avail- able toback your claims. Media reviews are also helpful, especially fromhighly reputable publications or popular blogs. Incorporatetestimonials into your presentation. The easiest way is tovideotape your customer talking about your product, edit thetape to no more than two min- utes in length, and insert it intoyour presentation. Publicly thank employees, partners, andcustomers. And do it often.This page intentionally left blank SCE N E 12 21 E N E C S21 E N E C S 21 E N E C S Stage YourPresentation with Props Jobs has turned his keynotespeeches at Macworld into massive media events. They aremarketing theater, staged for the worlds press.LEANDER KAHNEY I ndustry observers credit Apple for redefiningnotebook com- puter design with its MacBook family of computersunveiled on October 14, 2008. As described in the preceding chapter,Jobs had solicited Apple designer Jony Ive to explain the pro- cess ofmaking the computer. The new MacBooks were built with a frame(unibody enclosure) crafted from a single block of aluminum. It doesntsound impressive, but it represented a feat of engineering thatproduced thinner, lighter, more rug- ged notebooks that looked a lotcooler than their predecessors. About twenty-five minutes into theOctober presentation, Jobs discussed the new aluminum frame. Hecould have talked about it and perhaps shown a photograph or two,but Jobs being Jobs, he went above and beyond. He turned thepresentation into a kinesthetic experience, letting the audience ofanalysts and reporters see and touch the frame for themselves."This is what the unibody looks like. Its especially beauti- ful," Jobssaid as he held up a sample frame.137138 DELIVER THE EXPERIENCE "Its a much more rigid, strongerconstruction. Its so cool, Id like you to see it. If we can get thelights up, Id actually like to pass one of these around so you cansee how beautiful and high- tech this is." At this point,Apple representatives who had been positioned at the end of eachrow handed audience members samples of the aluminum framesto pass around. As people touched and examined the frames forthemselves, Jobs joked, "We need them back," eliciting a laughfrom the audience. For the next sixty seconds, Jobs did not say aword. He let the product speak for itself. Jobs thenchanneled his inner John Madden and provided color commentary GUIDE TO PERFECT PRESENTATION TO MBA STUDENST
  • 86. SAAB MARFIN MBAas the audience members continued to exam- ine the frames:"Teams of hundreds of people have worked on this for many, manymonths to figure out how to design these things and manufacturethem economically. This is a tour de force of engineering."Jobs remained silent for the next thirty seconds until every- onehad a chance to handle the frames. "OK. A precision unibodyenclosure. Youre the first to get your hands on one," Jobs said ashe closed the section and moved on to another fea- ture of thenew notebooks.1 Using props, Jobs had transformed what couldhave been a boring explanation into an interesting, multisensoryexperience. Kawasaki Method Jobs introduces stage props inevery presentation, usually dur- ing demonstrations. In TheMacintosh Way, Guy Kawasaki writes that master communicatorsgive good demo. "The right demo doesnt cost much," he pointsout, "but it can counteract your competitors marketing andadvertising. A great demo informs the audience about yourproduct, communicates the benefits of owning your product, andinspires the audience to take action."2 Kawasaki describes the fivequalities of an outstanding demon- stration. According toKawasaki, good demos are as follows: STAGE YOUR PRESENTATION WITH PROPS139 Short. A good demo does not suck the wind out of youraudience. Simple. A good demo is simple and easy to follow. "Itshould communicate no more than one or two key messages. Thegoal is to show the audience enough to get them tantalized butnot so much that they get bewildered."3 Sweet. A good demo"shows the hottest features and differen- tiates your product fromthe competitions." Theres more: "You have to show realfunctionality, though. Imagine that every time you show a featuresomeone shouts, `So what? " 4 Swift. A good demo is fast paced."Never do anything in a demo that lasts more than fifteenseconds."5 Substantial. A good demo clearly demonstrates howyour product offers a solution to a real-world problem your audi-ence is experiencing. "Customers want to do things with yourproduct, so they want to know how the product works."6 As notedin Scene 9, Jobs nailed all of Kawasakis conditions for a good demowhen he launched the iPhone 3G at the WWDC in October 2008. Thephone ran on the faster, 3G cellular net- works, an upgrade to thesecond-generation (2G) wireless data networks. Jobss words from thepresentation are listed in the left column of Table 12.1, and the rightcolumn describes the corresponding slides.7 In a brief demo, Jobshad met Kawasakis criteria for a great demo. Its short. TheEDGE-versus-3G demo lasted less than two minutes. Itssimple. What could be more simple than showing two websitesloading on a smartphone? That was as complicated as it got.Its sweet. Jobs placed the 3G network in a head-to-head face- offwith its primary competitor, the EDGE network. Its swift. Jobskeeps the demo moving but remains silent at critical points tobuild the drama. Its substantial. The demo resolves a real-world GUIDE TO PERFECT PRESENTATION TO MBA STUDENST
  • 87. SAAB MARFIN MBAproblem: wait- ing an excruciatingly long time for graphically richsites to load.140 DELIVER THE EXPERIENCE TABLE 12.1 JOBSS GREAT DEMOAT THE 2008 WWDC STEVES WORDS STEVESSLIDES "Why do you want 3G? Well, you want Photographs oftwo icons: one it for faster data downloads. And representsthe Internet, and the theres nowhere you want faster datasecond represents e-mail downloads than the browser anddownloading e-mail attachments." "So, lets take a look at thebrowser. Animated image of two Weve taken an iPhone 3G and,at the iPhones loading a website same place and samelocation, weve simultaneously: the same downloaded awebsite on the EDGE National Geographic website networkand one using 3G." begins loading on each; the leftiPhone is on the EDGE network, andthe one on the right is using the newiPhone 3G network "Lets see how we do." [Jobs remainsWebsite loading on both iPhone silent as both images continue toload images on the screen; its a site with a lot of imagesand a complex layout] "Twenty-one seconds on 3G; [waits3G site has completely loaded, silently for an additional thirtyseconds, while EDGE phone is still crossing his hands in front ofhis body, loading smiling, watching the audience-- elicitslaughs] fifty-nine seconds on EDGE. Same phone, same location:3G is 2.8 times faster. Its approaching Wi-Fi speeds. Its amazinglyzippy!" History-Making Demo Demonstrations and props playa role in every Steve Jobs pre- sentation, some of which are morehistory-making than others. "Were going to make some historytoday," Steve Jobs said as he kicked off Macworld 2007. Thehistory-making event was the introduction of the iPhone:"We want to reinvent the phone," Jobs said. "I want to show youfour things: the phone app, photos, calendar, and SMS STAGE YOUR PRESENTATION WITH PROPS 141text messaging [texting between two cell phones]--the kind of thingsyou would find on a typical phone--in a very untypical way. So, lets goahead and take a look." As he always does, Jobs walked to stage right(the audiences left) to sit down and con- duct the demo, giving theaudience a clear view of the screen. "You see that icon in thelower-left corner of the phone? I just push it, and boom, I have thephone. Now Im in Contacts. How do I move around Contacts? I justscroll through them. Lets say I want to place a call to Jony Ive. I justpush here, and I see Jony Ives contact with all his information. If I wantto call Jony, all I do is push his number. Ill call his mobile numberright now." The phone rings, and Ive picks up to say hello. Jobscontinued, "Its been two and a half years, and I cant tell you howthrilled I am to make the first public phone call with iPhone." At thispoint in the demo, Apples VP of corpo- rate marketing, Phil Schiller,calls in. Jobs places Ive on hold and conferences in the two callers todemonstrate one-click confer- encing. Jobs proceeds to demonstrate GUIDE TO PERFECT PRESENTATION TO MBA STUDENST
  • 88. SAAB MARFIN MBAthe SMS texting function, followed by the photo package that camestandard in the iPhone. "We have the coolest photo management appever--certainly on a mobile device, but I think maybe ever." Jobs thenshows off the capabilities of the photo gallery, using his fingers towiden, pinch, and manipulate the images. "Pretty cool," he says. "Isntthis awesome?"8 Jobs appeared genuinely thrilled with the newfeatures and, as he often does when demonstrating new prod- ucts,looked like a kid in a candy store. Having Fun with Demos Dont forgetto have fun with demos. Jobs certainly does. He concluded the iPhonedemonstration by showing how to put Google Maps to work on thedevice. He searched for a Starbucks in San Francisco near MosconeWest, the site of the conference. A list of Starbucks stores appeared onthe phone, and Jobs said, "Lets give them a call." A Starbucksemployee picked up and said, "Good morning. Starbucks. How can Ihelp you?" "Yes," said Jobs. "Id like to order four thousand lattes togo, please. No, just kidding. Wrong number. Good-bye."9 This142 DELIVER THE EXPERIENCE Props Galore for an Italian TV HostIm always looking for communicators who, like Jobs, push theenvelope and create exciting ways to engage an audience. Iverarely seen anyone use more props than a young Italian entre-preneur and television host, Marco Montemagno.Montemagno frequently speaks on the topic of Internet culture,showing Italians why the Internet should be embraced and notfeared. He presents to groups as large as three thou- sandpeople in places such as Rome, Milan, and Venice. Since themajority of people in his audience are Web novices, he useslanguage that everyone can understand (well, assuming youknow Italian). His slides are very simple and visual; he oftenemploys just photographs, animation, and video. But what trulydifferentiates Montemagno from the majority of presenters is hisunbelievable number of props and demonstrations. Here arethree guidelines he follows to create dynamic moments: 1. Giveyour audience something to do. Montemagnos audiencemembers get a pen and paper before taking their seats. Duringthe presentation, he asks them to turn to the person next tothem and, in thirty seconds, sketch the per- sons portrait.After that, he asks them to write the title of their favorite song,movie, and so forth. They then pass the paper around,continuing until each paper has changed hands up to fivetimes. Everyone eventually takes home a piece of paper thatonce belonged to someone else. The exercise is intended todemonstrate how information is shared among individualsacross networks. 2. Ask someone to share the stage. In otherparts of his presentation, Montemagno will ask for volunteersto join him onstage. In one exercise, he asks them to fold aT-shirt. Most people will take about twenty seconds and foldthe shirt in a conventional way. When theyre done, he showsa popular YouTube video of someone demonstrating how to GUIDE TO PERFECT PRESENTATION TO MBA STUDENST
  • 89. SAAB MARFIN MBAfold a shirt in five seconds. Montemagno then dupli- cates thefeat as the audience cheers. His point is that the STAGE YOUR PRESENTATION WITH PROPS 143Internet can instruct on a deep, intellectual level, but it can alsomake the most mundane tasks easier. 3. Make use of your skillsonstage. Montemagno is a former world-ranked table tennis playerand works that unique skill into his presentations. He invitesanother professional player onstage, and the two hit the ball backand forth quickly and effortlessly. As they do, Montemagno,speaking into a wire- less headset, compares table tennis to theInternet. Steve Jobs has elevated presentations to an art form, butfew of us will ever introduce a product as world-changing as arevolutionary new computer. This fact is all the more reason to findnew, exciting ways to engage your audience. To see video clips ofMontemagno in action, visit his site: exchange eliciteda huge laugh. Jobs had literally crank-called a Starbucks as part of thedemo. Jobs has so much fun show- ing off new products that hisenthusiasm leaps off the stage and rubs off on everyone in attendance.It is precisely because he has fun that people enjoy watching him. Inanother prime example of having fun with demos, Jobs took somequirky photographs of himself while introducing a feature called PhotoBooth on October 12, 2005. Photo Booth is a software application forusing a Web camera to take photo- graphs and video. "Now I wantto show you Photo Booth," said Jobs. "This is an incredible way to havesome fun. I can just go ahead and take my picture." Jobs looked intothe built-in Web camera on the computer and smiled for a fewseconds as his photograph was snapped and appeared on-screen. Hesaid, "Isnt that great? Let me show you some pretty cool effects." Jobsproceeded to snap comical photographs of himself using features suchas Thermal, X-Ray, and Andy Warhol. "But it gets even better," Jobssaid as he smiled and rubbed his hand together. "We decided to put inthe144 DELIVER THE EXPERIENCE teenage effects."10 Jobs snappedmore photographs of himself as the software distorted his faceinto funny shapes--squeezing it, widening it, and otherwisecontorting the images. The audience roared as Jobs relished themoment. Focus on the One Thing Each new Apple product orapplication contains numerous ben- efits and features, but Jobswill often highlight just one. Think of it like a movie trailer thatteases the audience by revealing only the best parts. If people wantthe full experience, theyll have to watch the movie. AtWWDC in October 2007, Jobs spent most of the keynotepresentation discussing OS X Leopard, but, as he often does, hehad "one more thing" for the audience. Jobs introduced Safari forWindows, the "most innovative browser in the world and now thefastest browser on Windows." After telling the audience that hewould like to show them the new browser, he walked to stage right,took his seat behind a computer, and started the Add Pizzazz to GUIDE TO PERFECT PRESENTATION TO MBA STUDENST
  • 90. SAAB MARFIN MBAOnline Meetings Seventy new Web meetings are launched everyminute on software platforms such as WebEx, according to Cisco,which purchased the online meeting service. Today popularonline "webinar" and collaboration tools, including WebEx, CitrixGoToMeeting, Adobe Connect, and Microsoft Office Live Meeting,allow you to add some high-tech pizzazz to demos. For example,you can create polls and receive instant feed- back. Salesprofessionals can conduct a live demonstration of a productfrom a computer--drawing, highlighting, and pointing to areasright on the screen. Better yet, those same sales professionalscan turn over mouse control to the client or prospect, letting thecustomer on the other end see, touch, and "feel" the product.Demonstrations are important ele- ments in any presentation,offline or online. STAGE YOUR PRESENTATION WITH PROPS 145demo. He told the audience that what he really wanted to show off wasSafaris speed compared with Internet Explorer (IE 7). The demoscreen showed both browsers side by side. Jobs loaded a series ofwebsites simultaneously on both. Safari accom- plished the task in6.64 seconds, while IE 7 took 13.56 seconds to accomplish the sametask. "Safari is the fastest browser on Windows," Jobs concluded.11The entire demo took less than three minutes. It could have lastedmuch longer, but Jobs chose to focus on one feature and one featureonly. Jobs doesnt over- whelm his audience. Just as he eliminatesclutter on slides, his demos are likewise free of extraneous messages.In 2006, Apple added a podcast studio to GarageBand, a tool bundledinto the iLife suite of applications intended to make it easy for users tocreate and distribute multimedia content. "Weve added a lot of greatstuff to GarageBand," said Jobs, "but Im going to focus on one thing todemo today, and that is we have added a podcast studio toGarageBand. We think GarageBand is now going to be the best tool inthe world to create podcasts. Its pretty great. Let me go ahead andgive you a demo." Jobs walked to stage right, sat down, and createda short podcast in four steps. First, Jobs recorded the audio track andhad loads of fun with it. He even stopped the first recording andstarted over because the audience caused him to laugh so hard. Jobsrecorded the following: "Hi, Im Steve. Welcome to my weekly podcast,`Supersecret Apple Rumors, featuring the hottest rumors about ourfavorite company. I have some pretty good sources inside Apple, andthis is what Im hearing: the next iPod will be huge, an eight-pounderwith a ten-inch screen! Well, thats all for today. See you next week."After making the playful recording, Jobs walked through the next threesteps, showing the audience how to add artwork and backgroundmusic. Once done, he played the podcast and said, "Pretty cool, huh?That is the podcast studio, which is now built into GarageBand."12Although Jobs did a nice demonstration of the podcast studio, it couldnot compete with the first release of GarageBand in 2005: "Todaywere announcing something so cool: a fifth app that will be part of theiLife family. Its name is GarageBand. What is GUIDE TO PERFECT PRESENTATION TO MBA STUDENST
  • 91. SAAB MARFIN MBA146 DELIVER THE EXPERIENCE GarageBand? GarageBand is amajor new pro music tool. But its for everyone. Im not a musician,so to help me demo GarageBand, we asked a friend, John Mayer, tohelp us."13 Jobs took a seat behind a computer, and Mayer satdown at a mini keyboard hooked to the Mac. As Mayer played, Jobsmanipulated the sound to make the piano resemble a bass, a choir,a guitar, and other instruments. Jobs then laid down multipletracks, creating a bandlike sound. He took care to explain what hewas doing at every step, to show the audience just how easy it wasto create a studio-like experience. Jobs must have rehearsed thedemo for hours, because he looked like an expert musician.Nevertheless, Jobs knows what he doesnt know, and sometimes,as in the case of GarageBand, it makes more sense to bring in anoutsider who speaks directly to the intended audience. Element of Surprise Jobs stunned developers when heannounced a transition that had been rumored but largelydismissed--the transition from IBM/Motorola PowerPC chips toIntel processors. During the 2005 WWDC, where he made theannouncement, Jobs acknowl- edged that one of the majorchallenges would be to make sure The Next-Best Thing to JohnMayer Of course, youre not going to persuade John Mayer toperform at your next event, but do think about creative ways toreach your target audience. I watched an entrepreneur pitchinghis new Web service to venture capitalists in San Francisco. Theservice was geared to the teenage market, so it didnt makesense for a forty-something entrepreneur to demonstrate it.Instead, the founder introduced the company and then passedthe demo off to two teens (a boy and a girl), who talked abouttheir experience with the site and what they especially lovedabout it. The demo was different, engaging, and ultimatelysuccessful. STAGE YOUR PRESENTATION WITH PROPS 147OS X would run efficiently on Intel chips. Having some fun with theaudience, he said that the OS X had been "living a double life" for fiveyears, secretly being developed to run on both PowerPC and Intelprocessors "just in case." The result, said Jobs, was that Mac OS X is"singing on Intel processors." He then hit the audience with theunexpected: "As a matter of fact, this system Ive been using . . ." Hisvoice trails off, he flashes a knowing smile, and the audience laughswhen it sinks Connect with Three Types of Learners Demonstrationshelp speakers make an emotional connection with every type oflearner in the audience: visual, auditory, and kinesthetic. Visuallearners. About 40 percent of us are visual learners, people wholearn through seeing. This group retains infor- mation that ishighly visual. To reach visual learners, avoid cramming too muchtext onto the screen. Build slides that have few words and plentyof pictures. Remember: individuals are more likely to act oninformation they have a connection with, but they cannot connect GUIDE TO PERFECT PRESENTATION TO MBA STUDENST
  • 92. SAAB MARFIN MBAwith anything that they have not internalized. Visual learnersconnect through seeing. Auditory learners. These people learnthrough listening. Auditory learners represent about 20 to 30percent of your audience. Individuals who learn through listeningbenefit from verbal and rhetorical techniques that are featured inAct 3. Tell personal stories or use vivid examples to support yourkey messages. Kinesthetic learners. These people learn bydoing, mov- ing, and touching. In short, they are "hands-on." Theyget bored listening for long periods. So, include activities inyour presentation to keep kinesthetic learners engaged: passaround objects as Jobs did with the aluminum frame, conductwriting exercises, or have them participate in demonstrations.148 DELIVER THE EXPERIENCE in that the system is running onnew Intel processors. "Lets have a look," Jobs says as he walks tothe side of the stage. He sits down and begins exploring many ofthe conventional computer tasks, such as calendar functions,e-mail, photographs, brows- ing, and movies, loading andworking quickly and effortlessly. He concluded the two-minutedemo by saying, "This is Mac OS X running on Intel."14 TheCEO Sidekick Ciscos Jim Grubb plays the sidekick to CEO JohnChambers. Grubbs title is, literally, Chief Demonstration Officer.Nearly every Chambers presentation involves a demonstration,and Grubb is Chamberss go-to guy for some sixty events a year.The demonstrations are unique and truly remarkable. Ciscoreplicates a scenario onstage complete with furniture and props:it could be an office, a retail store, or rooms of a house. In ademonstration at the 2009 Consumer Electronics Show in LasVegas, Chambers and Grubb called a doctor in a remote locationthousands of miles away and, using Ciscos TelePresencetechnology, which lets you see a person as though he or she isright in front of you, held a medical evalua- tion over thenetwork. Chambers enjoys needling Grubb with lines such as"Are you nervous, Jim? You seem a little tense," or "Its OK if youmess up. Ill just fire you." Most of the jokes between the twomen are scripted but are still funny as Grubb just smiles, laughsit off, and continues with the demonstration--the perfectstraight man. Grubb studied music and theater in col- lege. Hispolished performance reflects his training. Although it appearseffortless, he and his staff spend countless hours in the labtesting and practicing, not only to simplify complicatednetworking technology so its easy to understand in a fifteen-minute demonstration but also to make sure it works, so hisboss doesnt get mad! STAGE YOUR PRESENTATION WITH PROPS 149The launch of the iPhone in 2007 also provided Jobs with a memorableprop. He showed the audience how they could listen to their favoritemusic by playing one of his favorite songs from the Red Hot ChiliPeppers. A phone call interrupted the music and a photo of Apples VPof Marketing, Phil Schiller, appeared on the phone. Jobs answered it GUIDE TO PERFECT PRESENTATION TO MBA STUDENST
  • 93. SAAB MARFIN MBAand talked to Schiller who was standing in the audience on anotherphone. Schiller requested a photograph; Jobs retrieved it and e-mailedit, and went back to listening to his song. Jobs is a showman,incorporating just the right amount of theater to make features comealive. DIREC TOR S NOT ES Build in a product demoduring the planning phase of your presentation. Keep the demoshort, sweet, and substantial. If you can introduce anotherperson on your team to participate in the demonstration, do so.Commit to the demo. Comedians say a joke works only if youcommit to it. In the same way, commit to your demo, especiallyif your product has any entertainment value at all. Have fun withit. Provide something for every type of learner in youraudience: visual, auditory, and kinesthetic.This page intentionally left blank SCE N E 13 31 E N E C S31 E N E C S 31 E N E C S Reveal a "HolyShit" Moment People will forget what you said, peoplewill forget what you did, but people will never forget how youmade them feel. MAYA ANGELOU E very officeworker has seen a manila envelope. But where most people see amanila envelope as a means of distrib- uting documents, SteveJobs sees a memorable moment that will leave his audience inawe. "This is the MacBook Air," he said in January 2008, "so thin iteven fits inside one of those envelopes you see floating around theoffice." With that, Jobs walked to the side of the stage, picked up onesuch envelope, and pulled out a notebook computer. The audiencewent wild as the sound of hundreds of cameras clicking and flashingfilled the auditorium. Like a proud parent showing off a newborn, Jobsheld the computer head-high for all to see. "You can get a feel for howthin it is. It has a full-size keyboard and full-size display. Isnt itamazing? Its the worlds thinnest notebook," said Jobs.1 The photoof Jobs pulling the computer from the envelope proved to be the mostpopular of the event and was carried by major newspapers, magazines,and websites. The dramatic intro- duction even sparked anentrepreneur to build a carrying sleeve for the MacBook Air that lookedlike, you guessed it, a manila envelope. See Figure 13.1.151152 DELIVER THE EXPERIENCE Figure 13.1 Jobs holding up theMacBook Air after dramatically removing it from an office-sizedmanila envelope. TONY AVELAR/AFP/Getty Images WhenJobs slipped the computer out of the envelope, you could hear thegasps in the room. You knew most people in the audience that daywere thinking, "Holy shit. Thats thin!" ABC News declared, "TheMacBook Air has the potential to reshape the laptop industry. Thelaptop fits inside a standard office manila envelope, which is howJobs presented it as the showstopper of this years conference ofall things Apple."2 The "showstopper" had been planned all along.Well before Jobs enacted the stunt in front of an audience, pressreleases had been written, images created for the website, and ads GUIDE TO PERFECT PRESENTATION TO MBA STUDENST
  • 94. SAAB MARFIN MBAdeveloped showing a hand pulling the notebook from a manilaenvelope. The "holy shit" moment had been scripted to elicit anemotional response; the presentation as theater. Raising aProduct Launch to an Art Form On January 24, 2009,Macintosh celebrated its twenty-fifth anniversary. ApplesMacintosh had reinvented the personal REVEAL A "HOLY SHIT" MOMENT 153computer industry in the eighties. A computer with a mouse andgraphical user interface was a major transformation from the oldcommand-line interfaces prevalent then. The Mac was much easier touse than anything IBM had at the time. The Macs introduction was alsoone of the most spellbinding product launches of its day. Theunveiling took place a quarter- century earlier during the Appleshareholders meeting, held at the Flint Center at De Anza College,near the Apple campus. All 2,571 seats were filled as employees,analysts, shareholders, and media representatives buzzed withanticipation. Jobs (dressed in gray slacks, a double-breasted jacket,and bow tie) kicked off the presentation with a quote by his favor- itemusician, Bob Dylan. After describing the features of the newcomputer, Jobs said, "All of this power fits into a box that is one-thirdthe size and weight of an IBM PC. Youve just seen pictures ofMacintosh. Now Id like to show you Macintosh in person. All of theimages you are about to see on the large screen are being generatedby whats in that bag." He pointed to a canvas bag in the center of thestage. After a pause, he walked to center stage and pulled theMacintosh computer out of the bag. He plugged it in, inserted a floppydisk, and stood aside. The lights darkened, the Vangelis theme fromChariots of Fire began to play, and a series of images scrolled acrossthe screen (MacWrite and MacPaint, which came free with the Mac). Asthe music faded, Jobs said, "Now, weve done a lot of talking aboutMacintosh recently, but today for the first time ever, Id like to letMacintosh speak for itself." On that cue, Macintosh spoke in adigitized voice: "Hello, I am Macintosh. It sure is great to get out ofthat bag. Unaccustomed as I am to public speaking, Id like to sharewith you a maxim I thought of the first time I met an IBM main- frame:Never trust a computer you cant lift. Obviously, I can talk right now,but Id like to sit back and listen. So, it is with considerable pride that Iintroduce a man who has been like a father to me: Steve Jobs."3 Thecrowd went wild, standing, cheer- ing, hollering. Letting Macintoshspeak for itself was a brilliant technique to garner the most buzz andpublicity. Twenty-five years later, the154 DELIVER THE EXPERIENCE YouTube video clip from thatportion of the announcement has been viewed half a million times.Jobs had created a memorable moment that people would talkabout for decades. A genuine showstopper. One ThemeThe secret to creating a memorable moment is to identify the onething--the one theme--that you want your audience to rememberafter leaving the room. Your listeners should not need to reviewnotes, slides, or transcripts of the presentation to recall the one GUIDE TO PERFECT PRESENTATION TO MBA STUDENST
  • 95. SAAB MARFIN MBAthing. They will forget many of the details, but they will remember100 percent of what they feel. Think about the one thing Applewanted you to know about MacBook Air: its the worlds thinnestnotebook. Thats it. A customer could learn more by visiting thewebsite or an Apple store; the presentation was meant to create anexperience and to bring the headline to life. It struck an emotionalconnection with the listener. Jobs had one key message that hewanted to deliver about the first iPod: it fits one thousand songs inyour pocket. The message The Mental Post-it Note "Thebrain doesnt pay attention to boring things," writes scientistJohn Medina. It does pay attention to an "emotionally chargedevent," as Medina explains: "The amygdala is chock- full of theneurotransmitter dopamine . . . When the brain detects anemotionally charged event, the amygdala releases dopamine intothe system. Because dopamine greatly aids memory andinformation processing, you could say the Post-it note reads `Remember this! " 4 According to Medina, ifyou can get the brain to put what amounts to a chemical Post-itnote on an idea or a piece of information, the item will be more"robustly processed" and easily remembered. As you couldimagine, this concept applies to business professionals as wellas teachers and parents! REVEAL A "HOLY SHIT" MOMENT 155 wassimple and consistent in presentations, press releases, and the Applewebsite. However, it remained a tagline until Jobs brought it to life inOctober 2001. Just as a playwright sets the stage early and revealsthe plot over time, Jobs never gives away the big moment right out ofthe gate. He builds the drama. Jobs took the stage to introduce theiPod and, slowly, added layers to the message until he hit the big note."The biggest thing about iPod is that it holds a thousand songs," Jobssaid. "To have your whole music library with you at all times is aquantum leap in listening to music." (A device that carried a thousandsongs wasnt unique at the time; what came next was the big news.)"But the coolest thing about iPod is your entire music library fits inyour pocket. Its ultraportable. iPod is the size of a deck of cards."Jobss slide showed a photograph of a card deck. "It is 2.4 inches wide.It is four inches tall. And barely three-quarters of an inch thick. This istiny. It also only weighs 6.5 ounces, lighter than most of the cellphones you have in your pockets right now. This is whats soremarkable about iPod. It is ultraportable. This is what it looks like."Jobs showed a series of photographs. He still hadnt shown the actualdevice. "In fact, I happen to have one right here in my pocket!" Jobsthen took a device out of his pocket and held it up high, as theaudience cheered. He had his photo opp. He concluded, "This amazinglittle device holds a thousand songs and goes right in my pocket."5The headline in the New York Times read: "1,000 Songs in YourPocket." Jobs could not have written a better headline. Actually, he didwrite it! He also created an emotionally charged event that planted theheadline into the dopamine-dumping frontal cortex of his listeners GUIDE TO PERFECT PRESENTATION TO MBA STUDENST
  • 96. SAAB MARFIN MBAbrains. Dropping a Welcome Bombshell Jobs returned to Apple as theinterim CEO in 1997. He dropped the "interim" from his title two andhalf years later. Instead of156 DELIVER THE EXPERIENCE Deliver Memorable Stories Amemorable moment need not be a major new productannouncement. (After all, few of us will announce break-through products like iPod.) Something as simple as a personalstory can be memorable. I once worked with a major growerof organic produce. The executives were preparing apresentation and filled it with mind-numbing statistics to provethat organic was better than conventionally grown fruits andvegetables. The statistics provided supporting points, but therewas no emotionally charged event, until a farmer turned to meand told me the following story: "Carmine, when I worked for aconventional farm, I would come home and my kids would wantto hug me, but they couldnt. Daddy had to take a shower first,and my clothes had to be washed and disinfected. Today I canwalk right off the lettuce field and into the waiting arms of mykids, because there is nothing toxic on my body to harm them."Several years later, I cannot recall any of the statistics this com-pany presented, but I remember the story. The story became theemotionally charged highlight of the presentation. simplyannouncing that news via a press release as most CEOs would do,Jobs created an experience out of it. At the end of two-hourpresentation on January 5, 2000, Jobs said, almost as an aside,"There is one more thing." But he did not break the newsimmediately. He built the anticipation. Jobs first acknowledged thepeople at Apple who had been working on the Internet strategy hehad just described in the presenta- tion, asking them to stand forapplause. He publicly thanked his graphics and advertisingagencies as well. Then he dropped the news. "Everyone atApple has been working extra hard these two and a half years. Andduring this time, Ive been the interim CEO. I have another job atPixar as the CEO, which I love. I REVEAL A "HOLY SHIT" MOMENT 157 hopethat after two and a half years, weve been able to prove to ourshareholders at Pixar that maybe we can pull this interim CEO thing off.So, Im not changing any of my duties at either Pixar or Apple, but Impleased to announce today that Im drop- ping the `interim title." Theaudience went nuts; people leaped from their seats, yelling, hollering,and cheering. Jobs was hum- bled and made it clear that he did notdeserve all the credit for Apples resurgence. "Youre making me feelfunny, because I get to come to work every day and work with themost talented peo- ple on the planet. I accept your thanks on the partof everyone at Apple," Jobs concluded.6 Revolutionary Product ThatChanges Everything Twenty-six minutes into his Macworld 2007keynote presenta- tion, Jobs had just finished a discussion of Apple TV.He took a swig of water and slowly walked to the center of the stage,not saying a word for twelve seconds. He then told a story that would GUIDE TO PERFECT PRESENTATION TO MBA STUDENST
  • 97. SAAB MARFIN MBAlead to one of the greatest product announcements in corporatehistory. Weve discussed several elements of this presentation,including Jobss use of headlines and the rule of three. For thisdiscussion, lets examine a longer section of the segment. As you cansee from the excerpt in Table 13.1, Jobs took his time to reveal thenews that would rattle the industry and change the way millions ofpeople access the Internet on the go.7 Once the laughter subsided,Jobs spent the rest of the presenta- tion explaining the currentlimitations of existing smartphones, unveiling the actual iPhone, andreviewing its key features. Anyone who saw the entire presentation willmost likely tell you that the three-minute introduction described in thetable was the most memorable part of the entire keynote. Take noteof how Jobs heightened anticipation to create the experience. He couldeasily have said: "The next product we would like to introduce is callediPhone. Its Apples first entry into the smartphone market. Heres whatit looks like. Now let158 DELIVER THE EXPERIENCE TABLE 13.1 EXCERPT FROM JOBSSMACWORLD 2007 PRESENTATION STEVES WORDSSTEVES SLIDES "This is a day Ive been looking Image of Applelogo forward to for two and a half years. Every once in a while,a revolutionary product comes along that changes everything.One is very fortunate if you get to work on just one of these inyour career. Apple has been very fortunate. Its been able tointroduce a few of these into the world." "In 1984, weintroduced the Full-screen photo of Macintosh; theMacintosh. It didnt just change date "1984" appears at the upperApple; it changed the whole left next to the imagecomputer industry." "In 2001, we introduced the firstFull-screen photo of the original iPod. It didnt just change the wayiPod; the date "2001" appears at the we all listen to music; itchanged upper left the entire music industry." "Well, todaywe are introducing Back to image of Apple logo threerevolutionary products of this class." "The first one is awide-screen iPod Only image on slide is an artistic with touchcontrols." rendering of iPod; words beneaththe image: "Widescreen iPod with touchcontrols" "The second is a revolutionary Single artisticrendering of a phone, mobile phone." with thewords "Revolutionary mobile phone""And the third is a breakthrough Single rendering of a compass,with Internet communications device." the words"Breakthrough Internet communicator" REVEAL A "HOLY SHIT" MOMENT 159STEVES WORDS STEVES SLIDES "So, three things: awide-screen The three images appear on the iPod with touchcontrols, a same slide, with the words "iPod, revolutionarymobile phone, Phone, Internet" and a breakthrough Internetcommunications device." "An iPod, a phone, and an Internet Threeimages rotate communicator. An iPod, a phone-- are you getting it? GUIDE TO PERFECT PRESENTATION TO MBA STUDENST
  • 98. SAAB MARFIN MBAThese are not three separate devices." "This is one device, and we areText only, centered on slide: calling it iPhone." "iPhone""Today Apple is going to reinvent Text only: "Apple reinvents the thephone!" phone" "And here it is." [laughter] A gagimage appears: its a photo of iPod, butinstead of a scroll wheel, an artist had put anold-fashioned rotary dial on the MP3 playerme tell you more about it." Not very memorable, is it? By con- trast,the actual introduction whetted the audiences appetite with everysentence. After Jobs outlined the revolutionary prod- ucts of the past,a listener could be thinking, "I wonder what this third revolutionaryproduct will be. Oh, I see: Jobs is going to announce three newproducts of this class. Cool. Wait. Is it three? Oh my gosh, hes talkingabout one product! All of those features in one product. This Ive gotto see!" Every Steve Jobs presentation--major product announce-ments and minor ones--is scripted to have one moment that will leaveeveryone talking. The product takes center stage, but Jobs plays therole of director. Jobs is the Steven Spielberg of corporate presentations.What do you remember most from Spielbergs movies? Spielbergalways has one scene that sticks in your memory for years: IndianaJones pulling a pistol to kill the160 DELIVER THE EXPERIENCE swordsman in Raiders of the LostArk, the opening scene of Jaws, or E.T. asking to phone home. Inthe same way, Jobs creates one moment that will define theexperience. Jobs has changed many things about hispresentation style over the past thirty years, including hiswardrobe, slides, and style. Through it all, one thing has remainedconsistent--his love of drama. DIREC TOR S NOTES Plan a "holy shit" moment. It need not be a break-through announcement. Something as simple as telling apersonal story, revealing some new and unexpectedinformation, or delivering a demonstration can help create amemorable moment for your audience. Movie directors suchas Steven Spielberg look for those emo- tions that upliftpeople, make them laugh, or make them think. People cravebeautiful, memorable moments. Build them into yourpresentation. The more unex- pected, the better.Script the moment. Build up to the big moment before layingit on your audience. Just as a great novel doesnt give awaythe entire plot on the first page, the drama should build inyour presentation. Did you see the movie The Sixth Sense,with Bruce Willis? The key scene was at the end of themovie--one twist that the majority of viewers didnt seecoming. Think about ways to add the element of surprise toyour presentations. Create at least one memorable momentthat will amaze your audience and have them talking wellafter your presentation is over. Rehearse the big moment. Donot make the mistake of creating a memorable experienceand having it bomb because you failed to practice. It must GUIDE TO PERFECT PRESENTATION TO MBA STUDENST
  • 99. SAAB MARFIN MBAcome off crisp, polished, and effortless. Make sure demoswork and slides appear when theyre supposed to. INTE RM ISSION 2 2 NOISSIMRETNI2 NOISSIMRETNI 2 NOISSIMRETNI Schiller Learnsfrom the Best P hil Schiller had some mighty big shoes to fill onJanuary 6, 2009. Schiller, Apples vice president of worldwideproduct marketing, replaced Steve Jobs as the keynote presenterat Macworld. (Apple had earlier announced that this would be thecompanys last year of participation in the event.) Schiller had theunfortunate role of being compared with his boss, who had more thanthirty years of experience on the big stage. Schiller was smart,however, and delivered a product launch that contained the bestelements of a typical Steve Jobs presentation. Following are seven ofSchillers tech- niques that Jobs himself would surely have used had hegiven the keynote:1 Create Twitter-like headlines. Schiller set thetheme of the day right up front. "Today is all about the Mac," hetold the audience. This opening is reminiscent of how Jobs openedthe two preceding Macworld shows. Jobs told the 2008 audiencethat something was in the air, foreshadowing the MacBook Airannouncement, and in 2007, Jobs said that Apple was going tomake history that day. It sure did when Jobs later introduced theiPhone. Draw a road map. Schiller verbally outlined a simpleagenda at the beginning of his presentation and provided verbalreminders along the way. Just as Jobs uses the rule of three todescribe products, Schiller also introduced the presenta- tion asthree separate categories. "I have three new things to tell youabout today," he said (accompanying slide read: "3 New Things").The first was a new version of iLife. The second161162 DELIVER THE EXPERIENCE product he discussed was a newversion of iWork. Finally, the third was a new MacBookseventeen-inch Pro notebook computer. Dress upnumbers. As his boss does, Schiller added meaning to numbers.He told the audience that 3.4 million customers visit an Applestore every week. To give his audience a relevant perspective,Schiller said, "Thats one hundred Macworlds each and everyweek." Stage the presentation with props. Demonstrations playa prominent role in every Steve Jobs presentation. Schiller alsoused the technique smoothly and effectively. As Jobs likelywould have done had he given the presentation, Schiller satdown at a computer on the stage and demonstrated severalnew features that come standard in 09 versions of iLife andiWork. My favorite demo was the new Keynote 09, which comescloser than ever to letting everyday users create Jobs- likeslides without an expertise in graphic design. Share the stage.Schiller did not hog the spotlight. He shared the stage withemployees who had more experience in areas that wererelevant to the new products he introduced. For a demo ofiMovie 09, a new version of the video-editing soft- ware, GUIDE TO PERFECT PRESENTATION TO MBA STUDENST
  • 100. SAAB MARFIN MBASchiller deferred to an Apple engineer who actually created thetool. When Schiller revealed the new seventeen- inch MacBookPro, he said the battery was the most innovative feature of thenotebook computer. To explain further, Schiller showed a videothat featured three Apple employees describ- ing how theywere able to build a battery that lasted eight hours on a singlecharge without adding to the notebooks size, weight, or price.Create visual slides. There are very few words on a Steve Jobsslide, and there were few on Schillers slides as well. The firstfew slides had no words at all, simply photographs. Schillerstarted by giving the audience a tour of some of the new Applestores that had opened around the world the past year. Therewere no bullet points on Schillers slides. When Schiller didpresent a list of features, he used the fewest words possibleand often paired the words with an image. You can view the SCHILLER LEARNS FROM THE BEST 163slide set yourself by watching the actual keynote presentation on theApple website or visiting Deliver a "holy shit"moment. In true Steve Jobs fashion, Schiller surprised the audienceby announcing "just one more thing" to close his presentation. Heapplied the rule of three as he had done earlier, but this time toiTunes. He said there were three new things for iTunes in 2009: achange to the pricing structure, the ability of iPhone customers todownload and buy songs on their 3G cellular network, and the factthat all iTunes songs would be DRM free (i.e., without copyprotection). Schiller received a big round of applause when heannounced that eight million songs would be DRM free "startingtoday" and got an even bigger round of applause when he said thatall ten million songs on iTunes would be DRM free by the end ofthe quarter. Schiller knew that DRM-free songs in iTunes would bethe big headline of the day, and he saved it for last. Theannouncement did, indeed, dominate the news coverage thatfollowed.This page intentionally left blank AC T 3 Refine and Rehearse So far, weve learned how Steve Jobs plans his presenta- tions.Weve talked about how he supports the narrative through hiswords and slides. Weve discussed how he assembles the cast,creates demos, and wows his audi- ence with one dynamic momentthat leaves everyone in awe. Finally, youll learn how Jobs refines andrehearses his presenta- tion to make an emotional connection with theaudience. This final step is essential for anyone who wants to talk,walk, and look like a leader. Lets preview the scenes in this act:SCENE 14: "Master Stage Presence." How you say something is asimportant as what you say, if not more so. Body language andverbal delivery account for 63 to 90 percent of the impres- sionyou leave on your audience, depending upon which study you cite.Steve Jobss delivery matches the power of his words. SCENE 15:"Make It Look Effortless." Few speakers rehearse more than Steve GUIDE TO PERFECT PRESENTATION TO MBA STUDENST
  • 101. SAAB MARFIN MBAJobs. His preparation time is legendary among the people closestto him. Researchers have discovered exactly how many hours ofpractice it takes to achieve mastery in a given skill. In this chapter,youll learn how Jobs confirms these theories and how you canapply them to improve your own presentation skills.165166 REFINE AND REHEARSE SCENE 16: "Wear the AppropriateCostume." Jobs has the easiest wardrobe selection in the world:its the same for all of his presentations. His attire is so wellknown that even "Saturday Night Live" and "30 Rock" pokedsome good- natured fun at him. Learn why its OK for Jobs todress the way he does but it could mean career suicide if youfollow his lead. SCENE 17: "Toss the Script." Jobs talks to theaudience, not to his slides. He makes strong eye contactbecause he has practiced effectively. This chapter will teach youhow to prac- tice the right way so you, too, can toss the script.SCENE 18: "Have Fun." Despite the extensive preparation thatgoes into a Steve Jobs presentation, things dont always goaccording to plan. Nothing rattles Jobs, because his first goal isto have fun! SCE N E 14 41 E N E C S41 E N E C S 41 E N E C S Master StagePresence I was hooked by Steves energy and enthusiasm.GIL AMELIO S teve Jobs has a commanding presence. His voice,ges- tures, and body language communicate authority,confidence, and energy. Jobss enthusiasm was on full display atMacworld 2003. Table 14.1 shows his actual words as well as thegestures he used to introduce the Titanium PowerBook.1 The words heverbally emphasized in his presenta- tion are in italics. The wordsJobs uses to describe a product are obviously important, but so is thestyle in which he delivers the words. He punches key words in everyparagraph, adding extra emphasis to the most important words in thesentence. He makes expan- sive gestures to complement his vocaldelivery. Well examine his body language and vocal delivery moreclosely later in the chapter, but for now, the best way to appreciate hisskill is to call on a guest speaker who pales in comparison. "Whos Mr.Note Card?" During the iPhone introduction at Macworld 2007, Jobsinvited Cingular/AT&T CEO Stan Sigman to join him onstage and toshare a few words about the partnership. Sigman took the floor andsucked the energy right out of the room. He immediately167168 REFINE AND REHEARSE TABLE 14.1 JOBSS MACWORLD 2003PRESENTATION STEVES WORDS STEVESGESTURES "Two years ago, we introduced a Raises indexfinger landmark product for Apple. The Titanium PowerBookinstantly became the best notebook in the industry. Thenumber one lust object." "Every review said so." Pullshands apart, palms up "And you know what? Nobody hasHolds up two fingers on right caught up with it in two years." GUIDE TO PERFECT PRESENTATION TO MBA STUDENST
  • 102. SAAB MARFIN MBAhand "Almost every reviewer today still says Chops air with lefthand it is the number one notebook in the industry. No one iseven close." "This is important for Apple because Makes anexpansive gesture we believe that someday notebooks are withboth hands even going to outsell desktops . . . We want to replace even more desktops with notebooks." "So,how do we do this? Whats next? Gestures, moving hand in aWell, the Titanium PowerBook is a broad stroke from right to leftmilestone product, and its not going away. But were going to stepit up a notch to attract even more people from a desktop to anotebook." "And how do we do that? We do that Pauseswith this." "The new seventeen-inch PowerBook. A Anotherexpansive gesture, seventeen-inch landscape screen." handspulled apart, palms up "Its stunning." Pauses"And when you close it, it is only one Makes thin gesture with leftinch thick." hand "The thinnest PowerBook ever.Let me Walks to stage right while go ahead and show you one. Ihappen maintaining eye contact with to have one right here."audience MASTER STAGE PRESENCE 169STEVES WORDS STEVES GESTURES "It is the mostincredible product we Picks up computer and have ever made."opens it "The new seventeen-inch PowerBook. Its Holds upcomputer to show amazing. Look at that screen." screen"Look at how thin it is. Isnt it incredible? Shuts computer and holdsIts beautiful, too." it up "This is clearly the mostadvanced Smiles and looks directly at notebook computer evermade on the audience planet. Our competitors havent evencaught up with what we introduced two years ago; I dont know whattheyre going to do about this." put his hands into his pockets andproceeded to deliver his com- ments in a low-key monotone. Worst ofall, he pulled note cards out of his jacket pocket and started readingfrom them word for word. As a result, Sigmans delivery became morehalting, and he lost all eye contact with the audience. He continued forsix long minutes that seemed like thirty. Observers were fidgeting,waiting for Jobs to return. A post on CNNs international blog read:"Sigman . . . read stiffly from a script, pausing awkwardly to consultnotes. By contrast, the silver-tongued Jobs wore his trademark blacktur- tleneck and faded blue jeans . . . Jobs is one of the best showmenin corporate America, rarely glancing at scripts and quick withoff-the-cuff jokes." Bloggers were relentless during Sigmans talk.Among the comments: "Whos Mr. Note Card?"; "Blah, blah, blah, andblah"; "Painfully bad"; and "A snoozer." Sigman left AT&T that sameyear. wrote: "Sigman is perhaps best remembered byApple fans as completely negating Jobss Reality Distortion Field in anincident which left almost half of the entire keynote audience soundasleep. He has been sentenced to a cruel afterlife of being the butt ofroughly 99 percent of Scott Bournes jokes [Bourne is a Mac pundit andpodcaster] . . . And what will Stan do in retirement? Word is hes GUIDE TO PERFECT PRESENTATION TO MBA STUDENST
  • 103. SAAB MARFIN MBA170 REFINE AND REHEARSE thinking of giving public speakingworkshops to underprivi- leged youth."2 Sigman spentforty-two years at AT&T, rising from the lowest rungs in thecompany to running its wireless division. Yet, to many peopleunfamiliar with his leadership, Sigmans appear- ance at Macworldwill be his lasting legacy. It wasnt Sigmans fault. He had to followthe master. And, unfortunately, this book wasnt out yet to helphim prepare! Three Techniques to Improve Body LanguageSteve Jobs resigned from Apple in 1985 after losing a board- roombattle for control of the company in a power struggle with thenCEO John Sculley. He would remain away for eleven years,returning triumphantly when Gil Amelio, Apples CEO in 1996,announced that Apple was going to buy Jobss NeXT for $427million. "I was hooked by Steves energy and enthusi- asm," Ameliowrote in On the Firing Line: My Five Hundred Days at Apple. "I doremember how animated he is on his feet, how his full mentalabilities materialize when hes up and moving, how he becomesmore expressive."3 Jobs comes alive when he is up and movingonstage. He has seemingly boundless energy. When hes at hisbest, Jobs does three things anyone can, and should, do toenhance ones speak- ing and presentation skills: he makes eyecontact, maintains an open posture, and uses frequent handgestures. EYE CONTACT Great communicators such as Jobsmake appreciably more eye contact with the audience than averagepresenters. They rarely read from slides or notes. Jobs doesnteliminate notes entirely. He often has some notes tucked out ofview during demonstra- tions. Apples presentation software,Keynote, also makes it easy for speakers to see speakers noteswhile the audience sees the slides displayed on the projector. IfJobs is reading, nobody can MASTER STAGE PRESENCE 171 tell. Hemaintains eye contact with his audience nearly all the time. He glancesat a slide and immediately turns his attention back to where itbelongs--on those watching. Most presenters spend too much timereading every word of text on a slide. During demonstrations,mediocre presenters will break eye contact completely. Research hasdiscovered that eye contact is associated with honesty, trustworthiness,sincerity, and confidence. Avoiding eye contact is most oftenassociated with a lack of confidence and leadership ability. Breakingeye contact is a surefire way to lose your connection with youraudience. Jobs can make solid eye contact with his listeners becausehe practices his presentations for weeks ahead of time (see Scene 15).He knows exactly whats on each slide and what hes going to saywhen the slide appears. The more Jobs rehearses, the more he hasinternalized the content, and the easier it is for him to connect with hislisteners. The majority of presenters fail to practice, and it shows.The second reason why Jobs can make solid eye contact is that hisslides are highly visual. More often than not, there are no words at allon a slide--just photographs (see Scene 8 and Scene 17). When there GUIDE TO PERFECT PRESENTATION TO MBA STUDENST
  • 104. SAAB MARFIN MBAare words, they are few--sometimes just one word on a slide. Visualslides force the speaker to deliver the information to those whom themessage is intended to reach-- the audience. OPEN POSTURE Jobsrarely crosses his arms or stands behind a lectern. His pos- ture is"open." An open posture simply means he has placed nothing betweenhimself and his audience. During demos, Jobs sits parallel to thecomputer so nothing blocks his view of the audience or the audiencesview of him. He performs a func- tion on the computer andimmediately turns to the audience to explain what he just did, rarelybreaking eye contact for a long stretch of time. In Jobss earlypresentations, most notably the 1984 Macintosh introduction, hestood behind a lectern. He abandoned the lectern soon after and hasnever used one172 REFINE AND REHEARSE since (with the exception of his 2005Stanford commencement address). See Figure 14.1. HANDGESTURES Jobs emphasizes nearly every sentence with a gesturethat com- plements his words. Some old-fashioned speakingcoaches still instruct clients to keep their hands at their sides. Imnot sure where this started, but its the kiss of death for anyspeaker hop- ing to captivate an audience. Keeping your hands atyour sides will make you look stiff, formal, and, frankly, a littleweird. Extraordinary communicators such as Jobs use moregestures than the average speaker, not fewer. Theres evenresearch to back up this observation. Dr. David McNeill, atthe University of Chicago, is known for his exhaustive research inthe area of hand gestures. Hes made it his passion since 1980. Hisresearch has shown that gestures and language are intimatelyconnected. In fact, the use of gestures can help presenters speakbetter by clearing up their thought process. Yes, he says, itactually takes concentrated effort not to Figure 14.1 Steve Jobsengages his audience with strong eye contact, hand gestures,and an open posture. JOHN G. MABANGLO/AFP/Getty Images MASTER STAGE PRESENCE 173 usegestures. McNeill has found that very disciplined, rigorous, andconfident thinkers use hand gestures that reflect the clarity of theirthinking--its like a window to their thought process. Use handgestures to emphasize your point. Be careful, however, that your handgestures do not become robotic or overrehearsed. In other words,dont copy Jobs and his manner- isms. Be yourself. Be authentic. Say Itwith Style Steve Jobs uses his voice as effectively as his gestures. Hiscon- tent, slides, and demos create excitement, but his delivery tiesthe package together. When he introduced the iPhone in January 2007,he told a magnificently woven story, and his vocal expression providedjust the right amount of drama. We reviewed the announcement andits slides in previous chapters. Now lets focus on how Jobs said whathe said. It is a package Is That a CEO or a Preacher? Few among ushave the public-speaking confidence to rival Cisco CEO JohnChambers. People are often shocked the first time they watch himgive a presentation. Like a preacher, Chambers roams among the GUIDE TO PERFECT PRESENTATION TO MBA STUDENST
  • 105. SAAB MARFIN MBAaudience. He spends only a minute or two onstage at the beginningof his presentation before stepping into the crowd. Chambers walksright up to people, looks them in the eye, calls some by name, evenplaces his hand on someones shoulder. Very few people have theconfidence to pull this off. I know as a fact that Chamberssconfidence is the result of hours of relentless practice. He knowsevery word on each of his slides, and he knows exactly what hesgoing to say next. Observers have said watching a Chamberspresentation is an "astonishing" experience. Be astonishing.Rehearse your pre- sentation, and pay close attention to your bodylanguage and verbal delivery.174 REFINE AND REHEARSE deal, after all. Great slides mean littlewithout a great delivery. A great story will fall flat if deliveredpoorly. Table 14.2 illustrates Jobss vocal delivery. Its from thesame iPhone presentation featured in Scene 13, with a focus on hisactual delivery. The words Jobs chose to emphasize are italicizedin the first column; the second column lists notes on his deliv- ery,including the moments when he pauses right after a phrase orsentence.4 Pay particular attention to pacing, pausing, and volume.Jobs varied his delivery to create suspense, enthusiasm, andexcitement. Nothing will do more to destroy all of the work youput into crafting a spectacular presentation than to deliver it in aboring monotone, which Jobs most certainly does not. Jobssvoice complemented the drama of the plot. He uses similar devicesin every presentation. This section details four related techniquesthat Jobs uses to keep his listeners engaged: inflection, pauses,volume, and rate. INFLECTION Jobs changes his inflection byraising or lowering the pitch of his voice. Think about how flat theiPhone launch would have sounded if all of his words had beendelivered with exactly the same tone. Instead, Jobs raised his pitchwhen he said, "Are you getting it?" and "This is one device." Jobshas some favorite descriptors that find their way into many of hispresentations: unbelievable, awesome, cool, and huge. Thesewords would not carry the same impact if the tone in which theyare delivered sounds exactly like the rest of the sentence. Jobsmodifies his tone frequently, keeping his listeners on the edge oftheir seats. PAUSES Nothing is more dramatic than awell-placed pause. "Today were introducing a third kind ofnotebook," Jobs told the Macworld audience in January 2008. Thenhe paused a few beats before saying, "Its called the MacBook Air."He paused again before the delivering the headline: "Its theworlds thinnest notebook." 5 Jobs does not rush hispresentation. He lets it breathe. He will often remain quiet forseveral seconds as he lets a key point MASTER STAGE PRESENCE 175TABLE 14.2 JOBSS 2007 iPHONE PRESENTATION STEVES WORDSSTEVES DELIVERY "This is a day Ive been looking forward to for twoPause and a half years." "Every once in a while, a revolutionary productPause comes along that changes everything." "Apple has been very GUIDE TO PERFECT PRESENTATION TO MBA STUDENST
  • 106. SAAB MARFIN MBAfortunate. Its been able to Pause introduce a few of these into theworld. In 1984, we introduced Macintosh. It didnt just change Apple; itchanged the whole computer industry." "In 2001, we introduced thefirst iPod." Pause "It didnt just change the way we all listento Pause music; it changed the entire music industry." "Well,today were introducing three revolutionary Pause products of thisclass. The first one" "is a wide-screen iPod with touch controls. ThePause second" "is a revolutionary mobile phone." Voicegrows louder "And the third" Pause "is abreakthrough Internet communications Pause device. So,three things: a wide-screen iPod with touch controls, a revolutionarymobile phone, and a breakthrough Internet communications device.""An iPod, a phone, and an Internet communciator." Voice growslouder "An iPod, a phone--are you getting it?" Speaks faster,voice grows louder "These are notthree separate devices. This is one Voice grows louder device,"still "and we are calling it iPhone." Voice gets evenlouder "Today Apple is going to reinvent the phone!" Loudestvolume of the presentation176 REFINE AND REHEARSE sink in. Most presenters sound asthough they are trying to rush through the material. In many ways,they are, because they scripted more material than the time allows.Jobs never hur- ries. His presentation is carefully rehearsed to givehim plenty of time to slow down, pause, and let his message takehold. VOLUME Jobs will lower and raise his voice to add drama.He typically does this when introducing a hot new product. Heoften lowers his voice as he builds up to the announcement andthen raises his volume to hit the big note. Hell do the opposite aswell. When he introduced the first iPod, he raised his voice andsaid, "To have your whole music library with you at all times is aquantum leap in listening to music." He then lowered his voice anddelivered the knockout: "But the coolest thing about iPod is yourentire music library fits in your pocket."6 Just as inflections andpauses keep your audience riveted to your every word, so does thevolume of your voice. RATE Jobs speeds up the delivery ofsome sentences and slows down for others. Demonstrations aretypically delivered at his normal rate of speech, but he slows downconsiderably when he delivers the headline or key message that hewants everyone to remember. When Jobs introduced the iPod forthe first time, he lowered his voice nearly to a whisper toemphasize the key takeaway. He also slowed the tempo of hissentences to build the drama. Table 14.3 offers highlights.7Act Like the Leader You Want to Be Do not make the mistake ofbelieving body language and vocal delivery are unimportant, "softskills." UCLA research scien- tist Albert Mehrabian studiedexpression and communication for his book Silent Messages.8 Hediscovered that nonverbal cues carry the most impact in aconversation. Tone of voice--vocal expression--was the second GUIDE TO PERFECT PRESENTATION TO MBA STUDENST
  • 107. SAAB MARFIN MBAmost influential factor. The third, and least important, were theactual words spoken. MASTER STAGE PRESENCE 177TABLE 14.3 EXCERPT FROM JOBS INTRODUCING THE iPOD, WITHDELIVERY NOTES STEVES WORDS STEVESDELIVERY "Now, you might be saying, `This is cool, but Slows downrate of speech Ive got a hard disk in my portable computer, my iBook.Im running iTunes. Im really happy. I dont get ten hours of batterylife on my iBook, but iBook has better battery life than any otherconsumer portable. " " `So, whats so special about iPod here? "Pauses and lowers volume "Its ultraportable. An iBook is portable, butSpeeds up rate of speech this is ultraportable. Let me show you what Imean." "iPod is the size of a deck of cards. It is 2.4 Slows down andlowers inches wide. It is four inches tall. And barely voicethree-quarters of an inch thick. This is tiny. It also only weighs 6.5ounces, lighter than most of the cell phones you have in your pocketsright now. This is whats so remarkable about iPod." "It isultraportable." Almost at a whisper To a largeextent, how Steve Jobs speaks and carries himself leaves his audiencewith a sense of awe and confidence in him as a leader. U.S. presidentBarack Obama once said the most valuable lesson he learned as heworked himself up from a com- munity organizer to the most powerfulperson on the planet was to "always act confident." People aremaking judgments about you all the time, but especially in the firstninety seconds of meeting you. How you deliver your words and whatyour body language says about you will leave your listenersdisillusioned or inspired. Steve Jobs is an electrifying communicatorbecause he is expressive in both voice and gesture.178 REFINE AND REHEARSE Bueller? Bueller? Ben Steinprovides us with one of the best examples of a horribly dull,monotone vocal delivery. In the 1986 movie Ferris Buellers DayOff, Ben Stein played a boring economics teacher. Steins mostfamous line in the movie occurred when he was takingattendance and Bueller (the Matthew Broderick character) wasnowhere to be found. In the driest monotone on film, Steinasked, "Bueller . . . ? Bueller . . . ? Bueller . . . ?" as the cameraflashed to an empty chair. In another scene, Stein discussed theHawley-Smoot Tariff Act and voodoo econom- ics. The looks onthe students faces are hilarious. One kid has his head on thedesk as drool is coming out of the side of his mouth. Steinscharacter is so boring, its funny. If Stein were to read atranscript of a Steve Jobs presenta- tion in the same manner inwhich he played the teacher, it would surely be one of thelongest, dullest presentations in the history of corporate America.This proves once again that words matter, but an effectivedelivery makes the difference. DIREC TOR S NOT ESPay attention to your body language. Maintain eye contact,have an open posture, and use hand gestures whenappropriate. Dont be afraid of using your hands. Research GUIDE TO PERFECT PRESENTATION TO MBA STUDENST
  • 108. SAAB MARFIN MBAhas shown that gestures reflect complex think- ing and givethe listener confidence in the speaker. Vary your vocaldelivery by adding inflection to your voice, raising orlowering your volume, as well as speed- ing up and slowingdown. Also, let your content breathe. Pause. Nothing is asdramatic as a well-placed pause. Record yourself. Watchyour body language, and listen to your vocal delivery.Watching yourself on video is the best way to improve yourpresentation skills. SCE N E 15 51 E N E C S51 E N E C S 51 E N E C S Make It LookEffortless Practice isnt the thing you do once youre good.Its the thing you do that makes you good. MALCOLMGLADWELL S teve Jobs is a master showman, working the stagewith precision. Every move, demo, image, and slide is insync. He appears comfortable, confident, and remark- ablyeffortless. At least, it looks effortless to the audience. Heres hispresentation secret: Jobs rehearses for hours. To be more precise:many, many hours over many, many days. "Jobs unveils Appleslatest products as if he were a particu- larly hip and plugged-in friendshowing off inventions in your living room. Truth is, the sense ofinformality comes only after grueling hours of practice," observed aBusinessWeek reporter. "One retail executive recalls going to aMacworld rehearsal at Jobss behest and then waiting four hoursbefore Jobs came off the stage to conduct an interview. Jobs considershis keynotes a competitive weapon. Marissa Mayer, a Google executivewho plays a central role in launching the search giants innovations,insists that up-and-coming product marketers attend Jobss key-notes. `Steve Jobs is the best at launching new products, she says.`They have to see how he does it. "1 How does he do it? TheBusinessWeek reporter provided the answer in the article: Steve Jobsputs in hours of grueling practice. When was the last time you couldsay that you devoted hours179180 REFINE AND REHEARSE of grueling practice to prepare for apresentation? The honest answer is probably "never." If you reallywant to talk the way Jobs does, plan on spending more timerehearsing every portion of your presentation. Glimpse Behindthe Magic Curtain In an article published in the Guardian onJanuary 5, 2006, for- mer Apple employee Mike Evangelist wroteabout his personal experience rehearsing a portion of ademonstration for a Jobs keynote: "To a casual observer thesepresentations appear to be just a guy in a black shirt and bluejeans talking about some new technology products. But they are infact an incredibly complex and sophisticated blend of sales pitch,product demonstration, and corporate cheerleading, with a dash ofreligious revival thrown in for good measure. They representweeks of work, pre- cise orchestration, and intense pressure forscores of people who collectively make up the `man behind the GUIDE TO PERFECT PRESENTATION TO MBA STUDENST
  • 109. SAAB MARFIN MBAcurtain. "2 According to Evangelists first-person account, Jobsbegins his preparation weeks in advance, reviewing products andtech- nologies he is going to talk about. Evangelist had beentapped to demo the new iDVD, Apples DVD-burning software, forMacworld 2001. Evangelist said his team spent hundreds of hourspreparing for a segment that lasted five minutes. Thats not a typo:hundreds of hours for a five-minute demo. Evangelist said Jobsrehearsed for two full days before the presentation, asking forfeedback from the product managers in the room. Jobs spends alot of time on slides, personally writing and designing much of thecontent, along with some help from the design team. "On the daybefore show time, things get much more structured, with at leastone and sometimes two complete dress rehearsals. Throughout itall Steve is extremely focused. While we were in that room, all hisenergy was directed at mak- ing this keynote the perfectembodiment of Apples messages."3 In the weeks before thekeynote, Evangelist saw the full range of Steves emotions fromdisappointment to elation. "I believe it MAKE IT LOOK EFFORTLESS 181 is one ofthe most important aspects of Steve Jobss impact on Apple: he haslittle or no patience for anything but excellence from himself orothers," Evangelist concluded.4 In October 1999, Time magazinereporter Michael Krantz was interviewing Jobs one day before theintroduction of a line of multicolored iMacs. Jobs was rehearsing thebig moment when he would announce, "Say hello to the new iMacs."The comput- ers were then supposed to glide out from behind a darkcurtain, but according to Krantz, Jobs was unhappy with the lighting.He wanted the lights to be brighter and to come up sooner. "Lets keepdoing it till we get it right, OK?" said Jobs.5 The shows lighting folkspracticed again and again as Jobs grew increas- ingly frustrated."Finally," Krantz reports, "they get it right, the five impec- cably lightediMacs gleaming as they glide forward smoothly on the giant screen.`Oh! Right there! Thats great! Jobs yells, elated at the very notion of auniverse capable of producing these insanely beautiful machines.`Thats perfect! he bellows, his voice booming across the emptyauditorium. `Wooh! And you know what? Hes right. The iMacs do lookbetter when the lights come on earlier."6 The scene that Krantzdescribed could be interpreted in one of two ways: either Jobs is amicroman- ager or, as one of Jobss friends observed in the article, "heis single-minded, almost manic, in his pursuit of quality andexcellence." What Steve Jobs, Michael Jordan, and Winston ChurchillHave in Common Psychology professor Dr. K. Anders Ericsson hasstudied top ath- letes such as Michael Jordan as well as superachieversin other walks of life: chess players, golfers, doctors, even dart throw-ers! Ericsson discovered that star performers refine their skills throughdeliberative practice. In other words, they do not just do the samething over and over, hoping to get better. Instead,182 REFINE AND REHEARSE they set specific goals, ask forfeedback, and continually strive to improve over the long run. GUIDE TO PERFECT PRESENTATION TO MBA STUDENST
  • 110. SAAB MARFIN MBAFrom Ericssons research, we have learned that star performerspractice specific skills again and again over many, many years.Ordinary speakers become extraordinary because they prac- tice.Winston Churchill was one of the foremost communicators of thetwentieth century. He was a master of persuasion, influ- ence, andmotivation. Churchill, too, deliberately practiced the skills requiredto inspire millions of British during the darkest days of World War II."He would prepare in the days before a big parliamentary speech,practicing quips or parries against any number of possibleinterjections. Churchill practiced so thor- oughly that he seemedto be speaking extemporaneously . . . he held his audiencespellbound," wrote Churchills granddaughter Celia Sandys andcoauthor Jonathan Littman in We Shall Not Fail. "The lesson issimple but requires lots of hard work. Practice is essential,particularly if you want to sound spontaneous."7 The worldsgreatest communicators have always known that "spon- taneity" isthe result of planned practice. You can speak the way Jobs does,but it takes practice. Jobs makes an elaborate presentation lookeasy because he puts in the time. In The Second Coming of SteveJobs, Paul Vais, a NeXT executive, was quoted as saying, "Everyslide was written like a piece of poetry. We spent hours on whatmost people would consider low-level detail. Steve would laborover the presenta- tion. Wed try to orchestrate and choreographeverything and make it more alive than it really is."8 Making yourpresentation "more alive" takes practice. Once you accept thissimple prin- ciple, your presentations will stand out in a sea ofmediocrity. Ten Thousand Hours to Mastery There are no"naturals." Steve Jobs is an extraordinary pre- senter because heworks at it. According to Malcolm Gladwell in Outliers, "Researchsuggests that once a musician has enough ability to get into a topmusic school, the thing that distin- guishes one performer fromanother is how hard he or she works. MAKE IT LOOK EFFORTLESS 183 Thats it.And whats more, the people at the very top dont work just harder oreven much harder than everyone else. They work much, muchharder."9 Although the observation Gladwell makes in Outliers appliesspecifically to musicians, the vast amount of research on the subject ofpeak performance shows that practice is the common thread amongall individuals who excel at a par- ticular task. Neuroscientist andmusician Daniel Levitin believes that the magic number is tenthousand. "The emerging picture of such studies is that tenthousand hours of practice is required to achieve the level of masteryassociated with being a world-class expert--in anything . . . In studyafter study, of composers, basketball players, fiction writ- ers,ice-skaters, concert pianists, chess players, master criminals, andwhat have you, this number comes up again and again. Of course, thisdoesnt address why some people dont seem to get anywhere whenthey practice, and why some people seem to get more out of theirpractice sessions than others, but no one has yet found a case in GUIDE TO PERFECT PRESENTATION TO MBA STUDENST
  • 111. SAAB MARFIN MBAwhich true world-class expertise was accom- plished in less time. Itseems that it takes the brain this long to assimilate all that it needs toknow to achieve true mastery."10 The ten-thousand-hours theory isconsistent with what we know about how the brain learns, according toLevitin and Gladwell. They say that learning requires consolidation inneu- ral tissue; the more experiences we have with a particular action,the stronger those connections become. Now lets do the math. Tenthousand hours is equivalent to roughly three hours a day, or twentyhours a week, over a period of ten years. To substantiate this theory,Gladwell tells the story of the Beatles, who performed together inHamburg over a long period before they hit it big. According toGladwell, before the Beatles enjoyed their first success in 1964, theyhad performed live together some twelve hundred times, sometimesfor eight hours at a stretch. This is an extraordinary feat, becausemost groups dont perform that often in their entire careers. The bandmembers became better and more confident the longer they playedtogether. "Incidentally," writes Gladwell, "the time that elapsedbetween their founding and their arguably greatest184 REFINE AND REHEARSE artistic achievements--Sgt. PeppersLonely Hearts Club Band and The Beatles [White Album]--is tenyears."11 With the ten-thousand-hours theory in mind, letsturn our attention once again to Jobs. Although Apple was foundedin 1976, Jobs and friend-cofounder Steve Wozniak startedattending meetings of the Homebrew Computer Club in 1974.Homebrew was an early computer-hobbyist club in Silicon Valley,California. It was at Homebrew that Jobs began tinkering andtalking about how computers could change the world. Exactly tenyears later, Jobs gave an outstanding presentation--theintroduction of the Macintosh in 1984. Most people who saw thatpresentation con- sider it to be a magnificent achievement, packedwith suspense, drama, and excitement. But remarkably, Jobscontinued to prac- tice, refine, and improve his presentation style.A decade later, in 1997, Jobs had returned to Apple and wasonstage at Bostons Macworld to discuss the steps he had taken torestore Apple to health. Everything about his performance that daywas more polished and natural than it had been in previous years.He had lost the lectern, walking comfortably across the stage, andhad started creating more visually engaging slides. Flashforward another ten years to Macworld 2007, which, in my opinion,is Jobss greatest presentation to date if you take into accountevery element of the keynote from start to finish. He hits homeruns in every presentation, but he hit a bases- loaded homer in2007. Everything clicked. Several sections of the presentation havebeen discussed throughout this book. The overall presentation wassmooth and polished, with dramatic highs and lows, confidentbody language, captivating verbal delivery, and gorgeous slides.The iPhone announcement had even overshadowed every productat the vastly larger Consumer Electronics Show, held the sameweek in Las Vegas. The chief misconception about Jobs is that GUIDE TO PERFECT PRESENTATION TO MBA STUDENST
  • 112. SAAB MARFIN MBAhe is a natural presenter, that he was born with the charisma thathe exhibits onstage. Not true. As research has shown, nobody is anatural. You can achieve the same level of proficiency of theworlds greatest communicators if you work at it much, muchharder than everyone else. MAKE IT LOOK EFFORTLESS 185Flushing Away $25,000 I once saw the executive of a major publiclytraded company give a keynote presentation to a large audience ofcustomers, press, and analysts. I later learned that the company hadspent upwards of $25,000 for professional designers to create slick,animated slides. That figure did not account for the lighting, audio,and venue. The most creative slides will fail to impress youraudience unless you practice your delivery; this guy did not practice,and it showed. Since he had not practiced coordinating his words tothe animation, the slides were off, and he lost his place numeroustimes. He stumbled through most of the presentation and at onepoint threw up his hands in exasperation! If you spend money andtime on a presenta- tion--and time is money--you owe it to yourselfto practice, practice, and practice some more! Make Video Your BestFriend Nearly every year, Im asked to work with CEOs who give majorpresentations at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Theconference is usually scheduled for the first full week in January, whichmeans were rehearsing over the holidays, often while the rest of thecompanys employees are off. Regardless, CEOs will show up forpractice, because they know how important it is. In one particularyear, after several days of rehearsals, one of my CEO clients took thestage in Vegas but had trouble with the slides. The clicker had failed,and the slides were not advancing. Most amateur speakers who dontspend enough time practicing would have frozen, calling even moreatten- tion to the problem. Not this guy. He was so well prepared thathe casually motioned to an assistant to advance the slides for him (werehearse contingency plans). He didnt miss a step and kept talking. Itdidnt end there: something was wrong with the computer; it hadlocked and would have to be rebooted for the186 REFINE AND REHEARSE slide show to continue. The assistantsimply shook his head, but the CEO stayed the course. Hecontinued to deliver the rest of the presentation with no slides. Hedid so effortlessly and confidently. He later told me thatwithout practice (which I had urged him to do), he would have losthis confidence and floundered in front of employees, analysts,investors, customers, and the media. When I asked employeesafter the presentation what they had thought, none of themrealized that anything had gone wrong. VIDEO TRAINING TIPSWe had used a video camera during rehearsals. Very few pre-senters watch themselves on camera, even though perfectlyappropriate camcorders are available for less than $300. I knowthat watching yourself on TV, especially a wide-screen, is not themost pleasant experience, but take my word for it: its essen- tial.Record your presentation and play it back. If possible, find GUIDE TO PERFECT PRESENTATION TO MBA STUDENST
  • 113. SAAB MARFIN MBAobjective friends and colleagues who will offer honest feedback.Use an external, clip-on microphone instead of the built-inmicrophone standard on all camcorders. Your voice will soundlouder, clearer, and more resonant. As you watch the video, payclose attention to these five areas: Eye contact. Commitmost of your presentation to memory to avoid reading fromnotes. Your slides should act as your cue. Public-speakingexpert Andrew Carnegie observed that notes destroy theintimacy between speaker and audience and make the speakerappear less powerful and confident. Notice that I didnt tell youto give the presentation "completely" without notes. Steve Jobskeeps notes out of his audiences sight. Only a careful observerwould spot him glancing at them. He refers to notes duringdemonstrations, but since the audiences atten- tion is on thedemo itself, his notes do not detract from the presentation.The notes he does keep onstage are also unob- trusive andsimple. He just needs to glance at them to find his place.Although its easier in Keynote than PowerPoint to have MAKE IT LOOK EFFORTLESS 187 anotes page for the speakers view, you should still strive to delivermost of your presentation with no notes at all. Body language. Isyour body language strong, confident, and commanding? Are yourarms crossed or open? Are you keep- ing your hands in your pocketsinstead of keeping an open posture? Do you fidget, rock, or haveother distracting habits? Are your gestures natural and purposeful orstiff and wooden? Remember that body language and verbal deliveryaccount for the majority of the impression you leave on yourlisteners. Your body language should reflect the confidence of yourwords. Filler words. Are you constantly using "um," "ah," and "youknow" to fill the space between thoughts? Just as text shouldnt fillevery inch of your slide, your words shouldnt fill every pausebetween sentences. Reviewing your performance is the best way toeliminate these often distracting fillers. Once you catch yourself afew times, you will be more aware of the habit next time. Awarenessis more than 90 percent of the solution! Vocal delivery. Vary thevolume and inflection of your voice to keep the attention of youraudience riveted on your words. Raise and lower your volume atdifferent points in your pre- sentation. Change your cadence.Varying the speed at which you talk will keep your presentation fromsounding monotone. Speed up at certain points and then slow down.Pause for impact. Again, nothing is as dramatic as a well-placedpause. Dont sound rushed. Let the presentation breathe. Energy.Do you look as if you rolled out of bed on a Sunday morning, or doyou appear vibrant, enthusiastic, and genuinely thrilled to be sharingyour story with the audience? We all enjoy being around people withenergy. They inspire us. They are stimulating, fun, and uplifting. Anenergetic person has pas- sion in his voice, a bounce in his step,and a smile on his face. Energy makes a person likable, and likabilityis a key ingredient in persuasive communications. Many business GUIDE TO PERFECT PRESENTATION TO MBA STUDENST
  • 114. SAAB MARFIN MBAprofessionals underestimate the energy level required to generateenthusi- asm among their listeners. Electrifying speakers such asJobs bring it. Jobs always has more energy than most other speakerswho share the stage with him.188 REFINE AND REHEARSE LEAVE YOUR COMFORT ZONEMost business professionals could use an energy boost. But howdo you project the right level of vigor without seeming over thetop? By weighing yourself on an energy scale. And on this scale,more is better. I often ask clients, "On a scale of one to ten--onebeing fast asleep and ten being wildly pumped up like motivationalspeaker Tony Robbins--tell me where you are right now." "Athree," most of my clients reply. "OK," I say, "what would it feellike to be a seven, eight, or nine? Give it a try." If theyrebeing honest, most presenters place themselves at a three to sixon the energy scale. That means there is plenty of room to raisetheir energy level. Energy is hard to describe, but you know itwhen you see it. Television host Rachael Ray has it. PresidentBarack Obama and Tony Robbins have it as well. These threeindividuals have dif- ferent styles, but they speak with energy.Try this exercise--practice leaving your comfort zone: Recordseveral minutes of your presentation as you would normally deliverit. Play it back, preferably with someone else watch- ing. Askyourself and the observer, "Where am I on the energy scale?" Nowtry it again. This time, break out of your comfort zone. Ham it up.Raise your voice. Use broad gestures. Put a big smile on your face.Get to a point where you would feel slightly awkward anduncomfortable if you actually delivered the pre- sentation that way.Now watch it again. Odds are your energy will be just right. Yousee, most people underestimate how little energy they actuallyhave during a presentation. When they are asked to go "over thetop" and to leave their comfort zone, they hit the right note.Five Steps to Rehearsing "Off-the-Cuff" Remarks With theeconomy plunging deeper into a recession, 2009 was a tough yearto introduce a new car, but automobile companies MAKE IT LOOK EFFORTLESS 189Caroline Kennedys, ah, um, You Know, Performance Filler words suchas "ah," "um," and "you know" should not disqualify someone frompublic office, nor should they limit a persons effectiveness as abusiness leader. All too often, though, fillers will diminish yourinfluence in the eyes of oth- ers. In early 2009, Caroline Kennedy hadexpressed interest in the New York Senate seat vacated by HillaryRodham Clinton, who became U.S. secretary of state. The mediaskewered Kennedys performance because of her verbal tendency topack her remarks with, um, you know, like, fillers. Kennedy said "youknow" more than thirty times in a two-minute interview. Listening forher filler words became sport among bloggers and radio talk-showhosts. She soon withdrew her name from consideration. Here arethree ways to eliminate fillers from your remarks before they detractfrom your message: Ask for feedback. Most of your colleagues are GUIDE TO PERFECT PRESENTATION TO MBA STUDENST
  • 115. SAAB MARFIN MBAafraid of offending you. When someone asks me for advice and Isee some real areas for improvement, I will be tough. At the sametime, as is true of most other people, I hesitate to offer unso-licited advice even when Im dying to say something that canimprove someones presentation skills. Likewise, since most of yourfamily, friends, and peers avoid critiques for fear of "insulting" you,they will not voluntarily tell you that your mannerisms are annoying!Perhaps if Kennedy had asked for honest feedback, someone mayhave said, "Caroline, before you pitch yourself to the governor asthe next New York senator, we need to work on how you answerthe inevitable questions. Your answers must be specific, inspiring,and free from the filler words you use in everyday conversation."Tap the glass. I came across this technique entirely by chance, andit worked out extremely well. I was helping a woman rehearse apresentation and noticed that every other word was "ah" or "um." Itbecame very distracting, so I told her I would tap a water glass witha spoon every time she used a filler word. My tapping becamefrequent--and irritating--prompting190 REFINE AND REHEARSE her to eliminate the fillers almostimmediately. Ive used it a few times since with equal success.Of course, this technique requires a second person to watchyou and to tap the glass during your presentation rehearsal.Record yourself, and play it back in the presence of others. Ifyou are serious about improving your presentation skills, recordyourself on video, and replay it with someone else in the room.You dont have to tape your entire presentation, just the firstfive minutes. That should give you all the information you needto make some adjustments. You might be floored to hear howmany filler words you use. For most people, simply watchingthemselves on video is enough to overcome some issues. Videofeedback is even more effective in the presence of others whocan pick up on some verbal mannerisms you might overlook.A few "um"s and "ah"s from time to time will not detract fromyour ability to persuade an audience, but a steady stream offillers can damage your efforts. The good news is that once youare made aware of the problem, you can easily follow thesuggestions here to reduce or eliminate them. cant put the brakeson designs and plans set in motion years ago. In January, I spoketo a group of auto executives who were designated spokespeoplefor new car models arriving soon to showrooms in North America.They were looking for advice on how to answer tough questionsfrom the media. The same day, U.S. secretary of state€designateHillary Clinton was field- ing questions from the Senate ForeignRelations Committee in a confirmation hearing. The AssociatedPress called her perfor- mance "smooth," and NBCs Tom Brokawsaid Clinton is known for her "legendary" preparation. I told theauto execs to prepare for tough questions in the same way thatClinton had probably prepared for her five-hour appearance. GUIDE TO PERFECT PRESENTATION TO MBA STUDENST
  • 116. SAAB MARFIN MBAIts a technique I call the "bucket method," and it is used in oneform or another by CEOs, politicians, and, yes, Steve Jobs, MAKE IT LOOK EFFORTLESS 191 whoseems to have ready answers to any question. You can use it toprepare for presentations, pitches, sales calls, or any other sit- uationin which you anticipate difficult or sensitive questions. 1. Identify themost common questions likely to be raised. Clinton expected aquestion about her husbands interna- tional foundation and itslist of donors. Critics had widely publicized the issue, saying herappointment would be a conflict of interest. She also knew thateach of the worlds hot spots at the time would be fair game: Gaza,Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, and others. For the car executives, the mostcommon question would be along the lines, "How do you expect tosell cars in this economy?" Or, "Will 2009 only get worse for theauto industry?" 2. Place the questions into "buckets," or categories.There might be only one question in a bucket, as in the case of theClinton Foundation, or there might be several, as in the case of thecarmakers and the economy. The point is to reduce the num- berof questions for which you must prepare. Its uncanny, but in myexperience training thousands of speakers, the majority ofquestions will fall into about seven categories. 3. Create the bestanswer you have for the category. And this is critical--the answermust make sense regardless of how the question is phrased. Youmust avoid getting pulled into a detailed discussion based on thewording of the question. For example, here is Clintons answerabout her husbands fund-raising efforts: "I am very proud to bethe president- elects nominee for secretary of state, and I am veryproud of what my husband and the Clinton Foundation and theassociated efforts hes undertaken have accomplished, as well."12She would have said exactly the same thing regard- less of howpointed the question from Republican senators was. 4. Listencarefully to the question, and identify a key word--a trigger--thatwill help you isolate the correct bucket from which to pull to youranswer. 5. Look the person in the eye and respond with confidence.192 REFINE AND REHEARSE "Well-prepared" speakers do notmemorize answers to hun- dreds of potential questions. Instead,they prepare answers to categories of questions. The way aquestion is phrased is secondary. Think about it this way: yourgoal is to launch a minipresentation within a presentation.You can use the bucket method to reframe the question in yourfavor. Lets assume that your companys product is more expensivethan a similar offering by one of your competitors. Lets alsoassume that there is a good reason behind the higher price. Theway the question is phrased is not as important as the answer youhave created for the category, which is "price." A conversationmight sound like this: CUSTOMER: Why are you charging 10percent more for the same product that I can get fromcompany X? YOU: Youre asking about price. [Here, "chargingmore" is the trigger for the answer that you prepared on GUIDE TO PERFECT PRESENTATION TO MBA STUDENST
  • 117. SAAB MARFIN MBA"price." Although the wording the customer chose is differentfrom the term you chose, it triggers your prepared responseon the subject.] We believe our product is priced competi-tively, especially for a product that improves the bottom linefor our clients by 30 percent on average. Its important toremember that we have the best service team in the industry.That means when you need support, youll get it. Our team isavailable to you 24-7. None of our competitors can say that.I know the CEO of a large publicly traded company who uses thismethod very effectively. For example, during one tough meeting,an analyst asked him to respond to some unfavorable commentsmade by his largest competitor. "Competition" was his triggerword. This CEO smiled and confidently maintained the high roadby saying, "Our view on competition is differ- ent from manyothers. Our view is that you play with class. We compete by givingour customers superior service and sharing our vision for wherewe see this industry going. As we get more successful, we seemore competitors entering the market. Its MAKE IT LOOK EFFORTLESS 193 part ofthe process of being a leader." With this one response, the CEOdeflected his competitors comments and reframed the issue to focuson his companys leadership. When former secretary of state HenryKissinger was asked how he handled media questions, he said, "Whatquestions do you have for my answers?" He had his answers alreadyprepared. The media is a tough audience, and these days so are yourcus- tomers. Dont let uncomfortable questions throw you off yourgame. Best Antidote to Nerves Relentless preparation is the single best wayto overcome stage fright: know what youre going to say, when youregoing to say it, and how youre going to say it. Too many people focusinward during their presentations, creating even more anxiety forthemselves. Theyll ask themselves, "Is my shirt wrinkled? What is thatperson in the third row thinking?" In other words, its all about you.Instead, go from "me" to "we." Shift the focus to what your product orservice means to the lives of your lis- teners, and be confident in yourpreparation. I have worked with several executives who are worthmillions (in some cases, billions) of dollars. Guess what? They getnervous speaking in front of groups. Funny thing about nerves,though--the more you practice, the less nervous you will be. I knowa world-famous business leader who gets very ner- vous before majorpresentations. He gets over it by preparing to the extreme. He knowsthe content on every slide and exactly what he is going to say. Hearrives early to the venue so that he can test the audio and projectorand advance through his slides. This particular executive even knowswhere the lights are in the room, so he is never in shadow. Thatspreparation! He might get nervous, but his routine makes him feelmuch more confi- dent, and he is considered one of the best speakersin corporate America. Golfer Vijay Singh hits thousands of balls a GUIDE TO PERFECT PRESENTATION TO MBA STUDENST
  • 118. SAAB MARFIN MBAday to prepare for a tournament. Olympic gold-medal winner MichaelPhelps194 REFINE AND REHEARSE swims fifty miles a week to preparefor a competition, and Steve Jobs spends hours of grueling practicebefore a keynote presenta- tion. Superstar performers in all fieldsleave nothing to chance. If you want to thrill any audience, steal apage from the Jobs playbook and start practicing!DIREC TOR S NOT ES Practice, practice, and practice somemore. Dont take anything for granted. Review every slide,every demo, and every key message. You should knowexactly what youre going to say, when youre going to say it,and how youre going to say it. Record yourpresentation. Spend a couple of hundred bucks on acamcorder and record yourself. You dont need to record theentire presentation. The first five minutes should give youplenty of information. Look for distracting body languageand verbal tics, or fillers. When possible, review the videowith someone else. Use the bucket method to prepare fortough questions. You will find that most lines of questionswill fall into one of seven categories. SCE N E 16 61 E N E C S61 E N E C S 61 E N E C S Wear theAppropriate Costume It is hard to think that a $2 billioncompany with 4,300-plus people couldnt compete with six peoplein blue jeans. STEVE JOBS, RESPONDING TO AN APPLE LAWSUITAGAINST HIM AFTER HE RESIGNED TO FORM NeXT Steve Jobs is the anti-Cher. In her Vegas concert, Cher and herdancers had 140 costume changes; Jobs has one costume forevery performance. For presentations, Jobs always wears a blackmock turtleneck, faded blue jeans, and white sneakers. If you want toget more specific, he wears a St. Croix sweater, Levis 501 blue jeans,and New Balance run- ning shoes. Not that it matters much, becauseyoure not going to dress like him. He can get away with it becausehes Steve Jobs and youre not. Seriously. When youre a businesslegend who is credited with reinventing the entire computer industry,you can show up in pretty much anything you want. Although mostpeople are familiar with Jobss black shirt and blue jeans attire (even"The Simpsons" cartoon creators dressed the Jobs character in jeansand a black mock for an epi- sode in 2008), Jobs did not always dressthis way. When Jobs was a young man trying to be taken seriously byinvestors and the public, he dressed much more conservatively. TheJobs of 195196 REFINE AND REHEARSE 1984 looked a lot different from theJobs of 2009. The first cover of Macworld magazine in January1984 showed Jobs standing behind a desk with three of theoriginal Macintosh computers. He was wearing a brown pin-stripedsuit, brown tie, and white shirt. Yes, Jobs once donned pinstripes.He wore an even more conservative outfit for the actualpresentation when he unveiled the Macintosh, appearing in a white GUIDE TO PERFECT PRESENTATION TO MBA STUDENST
  • 119. SAAB MARFIN MBAshirt, gray slacks, a dark blue double-breasted blazer, and a greenbow tie. Imagine, Jobs in a bow tie! Its true. Jobs is smart.His wardrobe always reflected the leader he wanted to become. Hewas well aware of the impression clothes could leave on people.While Jobs was away from Apple, he pitched his new company,NeXT, to Bank of America. Danl Lewin, NeXTs marketing executive,showed up at Jobss house in blue jeans to accompany him to themeeting. Jobs walked out wearing an expensive Brioni suit fromWilkes Bashford. "Hey," Jobs said, "were going to the bank today."1For Jobs, jeans were appropriate for the office, but not the bank.Now you might be confused. Jobs wore a suit to the bank andjeans in the office. What lesson does this hold for the rest of us? Atrue military hero, former U.S. Army ranger Matt Eversmann, oncegave me the best piece of wardrobe advice Id ever heard.Eversmann led troops in a fierce battle in Mogadishu, Somalia, inOctober 1993. The battle was turned into a movie called BlackHawk Down. I met Eversmann at a business conference and askedhim for some leadership advice I could share with my readers.Eversmann told me that great leaders dress a little better thaneveryone else. He said that when he would meet a subordinate forthe first time, his shoes were shinier, his whites were whiter, andhis pants were better pressed. I never forgot that piece ofadvice. I later interviewed George Zimmer, the founder of theMens Wearhouse clothing chain. Zimmer agreed with Eversmannbut added, "appropriate for the culture." It makes sense: youwouldnt show up for the company picnic in the same attire thatyou wear to the office. Also, dif- ferent companies have differentcultures. Apple is rebellious, creative, and committed to "thinkdifferent." Its OK for an WEAR THE APPROPRIATE COSTUME 197Apple employee to wear more informal attire than a Wall Streetexecutive. Once you invent a product that changes the world, we cantalk about dressing down. For now, heres the best wardrobe adviceyoull ever hear: always dress a little better than everyone else, butappropriate for the culture. DIREC TOR S NOT ESDress like the leader you want to become, not for the positionyou currently have. Great leaders dress a little better thaneveryone else in the room. Remember, when Jobs was lookingfor funding at the bank, he dressed in an expensive suit.Wear clothes that are appropriate for the culture. Steve Jobs canget away with a black mock, blue jeans, and running shoesbecause everything about his brand is built on the concept ofdisrupting the status quo. If youre going to dress like a rebel,dress like a well-off rebel. Jobs wears St. Croix sweaters. It mightlook like a black T-shirt--but at least he spends money on it.This page intentionally left blank SCE N E 17 71 E N E C S71 E N E C S 71 E N E C S Toss the ScriptBe a yardstick of quality. Some people arent used to an GUIDE TO PERFECT PRESENTATION TO MBA STUDENST
  • 120. SAAB MARFIN MBAenvironment where excellence is expected. STEVEJOBS S teve Jobs is the consummate presenter for twenty-first-century audiences who want to engage in conversations, notlectures. Jobs has a casual speaking style, an informal- ity that,as discussed in the preceding chapter, comes from hours of practice.Practice allows him to work largely without a script. Duringdemonstrations, Jobs conceals notes discreetly from the audience butnever reads them word for word. The notes serve only as cue cards forthe next step in the demonstration. Jobs per- forms largely withoutnotes for the majority of his presentation. As suggested in Scene 8,most presenters create "slideuments": documents masking as slides.Slideuments act as a crutch for medi- ocre presenters who read everyword on the slide, often turning their backs to the audience to do so.Jobs does have a script--largely in his head. His slides, which arehighly visual, act as a prompter. Each slide has one key idea and oneidea only. After Jobs pulled the new MacBook Air from a manilaenve- lope in the "holy shit" moment at Macworld 2008, he exploredthe new computer in more detail. As you can see in Table 17.1, hisslides contained very few words but contained just enough infor-mation to act as a prompter for one idea--one theme per slide.1Jobs went on to explain that MacBook Air had the same processor usedin all of Apples other notebooks and iMacs. He marveled at the factthat Intel could step up to the challenge,199200 REFINE AND REHEARSE TABLE 17.1 ONE THEME PER SLIDE ATJOBSS MACWORLD 2008 PRESENTATION STEVESWORDS STEVES SLIDES "Its the worldsthinnest notebook." Text only: "Worlds thinnestnotebook" "Open it up and it has a magnetic latch; Photo ofcomputer with the no hooks to catch on your clothing."words "Magnetic latch" on left sideof screen "Its a got a full-size, 13.3-inch wide- Photo ofcomputer with the screen display." words"13.3 inch widescreen" in themiddle of a black display "The display is gorgeous. It has anPhoto of computer with the LED-backlit display. It saves power, itswords "LED backlight " on left bright, and its instant on the minuteside of screen you open it." "On top of the display is a built-inPhoto of computer fades, iSight camera for videoconferencingrevealing iSight camera on top right out of the box."of display "Flip it down and there is a full-size Photo ofkeyboard with the keyboard. This is perhaps the bestwords "Full size keyboard" on notebook keyboard weve everleft side of screen shipped. Its a phenomenal keyboard.""Weve got a very generous track pad, Photo of computerstrack pad which is great. Weve also built in with the words"Multi-touch multi-touch gesture support." gestures"on left side of screen "Again, you can see how beautiful andPhoto of computer from its side thin this product is. Now, how did GUIDE TO PERFECT PRESENTATION TO MBA STUDENST
  • 121. SAAB MARFIN MBAwe fit with the words "How did we fit a Mac in here? Im stillstunned that our a Mac in here?" engineering team could pullthis off." "The real magic is in the electronics. This Photo ofmotherboard with is a complete Mac on a board. Whats soimage of a pencil alongside special about that? This is how big theit--the board is smaller than the board is [does not mention pencil;lets length of the pencil the visual speak for itself]. Its reallytiny. To fit an entire Mac on this thing was an amazing feat ofengineering." TOSS THE SCRIPT 201 STEVESWORDS STEVES SLIDES "We didnt compromise onperformance. Photo of Intel Core 2 Duo MacBook Air has theIntel Core 2 Duo. microprocessor This is a really speedyprocessor . . . a `screamer. " creating a chip with the same power butin a package that was 60 percent smaller. Jobs then introduced IntelCEO Paul Otellini, who gave Jobs a sample processor. The chip wasbarely visible to anyone sitting past the front row, but Jobs lit up theauditorium with his smile. "This is awesome technology," he said,making no attempt to conceal his enthusiasm. See Figure 17.1.Figure 17.1 Jobs shows genuine enthusiasm as he holds up the tinyIntel processor from the MacBook Air. TONY AVELAR/AFP/GettyImages202 REFINE AND REHEARSE Five Steps to Tossing the ScriptGreat actors rehearse for months before opening night. The audi-ence would walk out if an actor appeared onstage with a script inhand. We expect actors to speak naturally, not as though they hadmemorized lines, even though that is exactly what they did. Youraudience expects the same--a conversational speaker who,instead of rambling, hits each mark precisely. Following are fivesteps that will help you memorize your script while making youappear as natural as a gifted actor or a gifted presenter such asSteve Jobs: 1. Write your script in full sentences in the "notes"section of PowerPoint. This is not the time for extensiveediting. Simply write your ideas in complete sentences. Do try,however, to keep your ideas to no more than four or fivesentences. 2. Highlight or underline the key word from eachsen- tence, and practice your presentation. Run through yourscript without worrying about stumbling or forgetting a point.Glance at the key words to jog your memory. 3. Deleteextraneous words from your scripted sentences, leaving onlythe key words. Practice your presentation again, this timeusing only the key words as reminders. 4. Memorize the one keyidea per slide. Ask yourself, "What is the one thing I want myaudience to take away from the slide?" The visual on the slideshould complement the one theme. In this case, the visualbecomes your prompter. For example, when Jobs talked aboutthe Intel Core 2 Duo as the standard processor built into theMacBook Air, his slide showed only a photo of the processor.The "one thing" he wanted the audience to know was that GUIDE TO PERFECT PRESENTATION TO MBA STUDENST
  • 122. SAAB MARFIN MBAApple had built an ultrathin computer with no compromise inperformance. 5. Practice the entire presentation without notes,sim- ply using the slides as your prompter. By the time youexecute these five steps, you will have rehearsed each slidefour times, which is much more time than the average speakercommits to practicing a presentation. TOSS THE SCRIPT 203 Nowlets put the five-step method into practice. I came across an ad forVanguard no-load mutual funds.2 It showed two glasses of water; theglass on the left contained a small amount of water, and the glass onthe right was completely full. The headline read: "The lower the cost,the more you keep." Ads such as this one provide excellent examplesof how to create compelling visual slides. Assume the ad is one slide:Table 17.2 shows what a hypothetical script written with the five stepsin TABLE 17.2 APPLYING THE FIVE-STEP METHOD TO TOSSINGTHE SCRIPT STEP PRESENTATION SCRIPT 1 How much yourinvestment costs is very important and could have an impact onhow much money you make over the long run. In general, thelower the cost, the more you keep. Many investment firms saythey are low cost, but the fact is they charge six times more thanwe do. This can cost you thousands of dollars. For example, if youinvest $10,000 for twenty years at an 8 percent return, you wouldkeep $58,000 more with our fund versus the industry average. 2Your investment costs are very important and could have an impacton how much money you make over the long run. In general, thelower the cost, the more you keep. Many investment firms say theyare low cost, but the fact is they charge six times more than we do.This can cost you thousands of dollars. For example, if you invest$10,000 for twenty years at an 8 percent return, you would keep$58,000 more with our fund versus the industry average. 3Investment costs important Lower the cost, the more you keepSix times more Keep $58,000 more 4 The lower the cost, themore you keep. 5 Rehearse presentation with no notes. The slide oftwo water glasses--one empty, one full--should be enough toprompt you to deliver the information: the four bullets in step 3.204 REFINE AND REHEARSE mind might look like. (I created thecontent based on informa- tion in Vanguards marketing material.)When youre actually delivering the final presentation, if the notesgive you peace of mind, by all means, keep them avail- able. Amajor benefit of Apples Keynote presentation software is that itallows the speaker to see notes on the computer screen while theaudience sees the slide on the projector. This is harder, but notimpossible, to do with PowerPoint. However, regardless of thesoftware you use, if you practice enough, you will find that youdont need to rely on your notes at all. How to Use Notes WhenNotes Are a Must Notes are not inherently bad. In a rare glimpse athow Jobs actu- ally does use notes, a blogger took a photographof Jobss demo How Joel Osteen Inspires Millions Joel Osteenis the hugely popular pastor of Houstons Lakewood Church. He GUIDE TO PERFECT PRESENTATION TO MBA STUDENST
  • 123. SAAB MARFIN MBApreaches to some forty-seven thou- sand people a week whoshow up to see him in person and to millions of others ontelevision. Osteen speaks in a natural, conversational style andrarely misses a beat, despite creating thirty minutes of contentevery week. How does he do it? First, he commits. Osteen beginsworking on sermons on the Wednesday prior to his appearanceand spends the better part of four days practicing. Second, heuses notes but glances at them very discreetly. He places noteson a lectern but never stands behind the lectern. This approachlets him keep eye contact with the audience and maintain anopen posture. He never reads a full sentence from his notes.Instead, he walks behind the lectern, glances at his notes, andkeeps walk- ing to the opposite side, delivering his messagesdirectly to worshippers. TOSS THE SCRIPT 205 notes atMacworld 2007, famous for the release of the iPhone. The notes wereneatly bound, and color-coded tabs separated the sections. Thebloggers photo showed the booklet opened to the page where Jobsdemonstrated the Internet capabilities of iPhone. Four categories wereclearly marked in bold and a larger font: Mail, Safari, Widgets, andMaps.3 Under each main cate- gory, there were two to five supportingpoints. Lets take one in particular, the Maps section. Here is exactlywhat was printed on the page: MAPS MosconeWest Starbucks order 4,000 lattes to go Washington MonumentShow satellite Eiffel Tower, Colosseum Thats it. These notes wereall the prompting Jobs needed to walk his audience through aparticular section of the demo. Jobs began by telling his audiencethat he wanted to show them something "truly remarkable," GoogleMaps on iPhone. First, he opened up the application and zoomed in toa street- level view of San Francisco and Moscone West, the site ofMacworld. The second thing he did was to type "Starbucks" tosearch for a nearby coffee shop. He then called Starbucks on theiPhone and played the prank discussed in Scene 12, ordering fourthou- sand lattes to go. (I had no idea that the lattes gag was scripteduntil I saw the photograph of Jobss notes on the stage. He played itoff as if it was a spontaneous moment, showing, once again, that Jobstakes nothing for granted.) The third thing he did was visit theWashington Monument, double-tapping the screen to bring the mapcloser. Fourth, he selected the option to replace the map with satellitephotographs. He brought up a live image of the WashingtonMonument. "Isnt that incredible, right on my phone?" he said. Finally,he visited the Eiffel Tower and Roman Colosseum and showed both inthe satellite view. He concluded by saying, "Satellite imagery right206 REFINE AND REHEARSE on our phone. Unbelievable. Isnt thatincredible?"4 Jobs did rely on his script for the demo, but it hadbeen written and rehearsed extensively so that only a few keywords were all he needed to prompt him. Yes, Steve Jobsappears conversational, but by now you should know that being"conversational" requires a lot of practice. And how you practice GUIDE TO PERFECT PRESENTATION TO MBA STUDENST
  • 124. SAAB MARFIN MBAmakes all the difference. Use the slides as your teleprompter,sticking to one theme per slide and several sup- porting points. Ifyou forget some of your supporting points, you will at least havehit the main theme. Above all, toss the script. Notes will interferewith the emotional connection you need to establish with youraudience, detracting from the presentation experience. Theatricscan turn an average presentation into an extraordinary event. Ascript gets in the way. DIREC TOR S NOT ESDont read from notes except in special circumstances inwhich you must follow a step-by-step process, such as ademonstration. When you must read from notes, create nomore than three or four large-font bullet points on one notecard or sheet of paper. Create one note card per slide. Ifyoure using speakers notes in Keynote or PowerPointpresenta- tion software, keep your bullet points to no morethan three or four. One is even better. Use thevisuals on your slide to prompt you to deliver just one keytheme--one main message--per slide. Think "one theme perslide." SCE N E 18 81 E N E C S81 E N E C S 81 E N E C S Have FunEveryone wants a MacBook Pro because they are sobitchin. STEVE JOBS I n 2002, the Mac OS X wasbrand new, and Apple was striving to get customers and developersto embrace it. Jobs decided to put the issue to rest, literally, at theWorldwide Developers Conference. As the presentation began,Jobs was not onstage. Instead, white smoke surrounded a casket.Gloomy pipe-organ music played in the background. Jobs finallyemerged from behind a curtain, walked to the casket, lifted the lid,and pulled out a large-scale copy of OS 9, Apples previous operatingsystem. The audience got the joke immediately and started laughingand applauding. Jobs was committed to the joke and took it further.With a copy of OS 9 lying in the casket, Jobs pulled out a sheet ofpaper and eulogized the software. "Mac OS 9 was a friend to us all," hestarted. He worked tirelessly on our behalf, always posting ourappli- cations, never refusing a command, always at our beck andcall, except occasionally when he forgot who he was and needed tobe restarted. He came into this world in October of 1998 . . . We arehere today to mourn the passing of OS 9. He is in the great bitbucket in the sky, no doubt looking down upon this with that samesmile he displayed every time he booted. Mac OS 9 is survived byhis next generation, Mac207208 REFINE AND REHEARSE OS X . . . Please join me in amoment of silence as we remem- ber our old friend, Mac OS 9."1Jobs walked back to the casket, put the box back in, closed the lid,and gently laid a rose on the top. The audience ate it up. Jobsmade his point, and he had a lot of fun doing it. Jobs has fun,and it shows. Despite relentless planning and preparation, hours GUIDE TO PERFECT PRESENTATION TO MBA STUDENST
  • 125. SAAB MARFIN MBAand hours of rehearsal, and near-fanatical devotion to gettingevery slide and every demo just right, some- times things gowrong, but Jobs doesnt let the small stuff get to him. Hes goingto have fun, whether a demo works or not. "Lets take a look athow big this market is," said Jobs as he described the marketopportunity for the iPhone at Macworld 2007. Suddenly, his slidesfailed to advance. "My clickers not working," he said. As he walkedto the right of the stage to check the computer, the slide seemedto advance. "Oh, maybe it is working. No, its not." Jobs picked upanother clicker but it, too, failed to work. He smiled and said, "Theclicker is not working. Theyre scrambling backstage right now."2The audience laughed, and after a few more seconds of trying tofix the clicker, Jobs simply paused, smiled, and told the followingstory: You know, this reminds me, when I was in high school,Steve Wozniak and I--mostly Steve--made this little devicecalled a TV jammer. It was this little oscillator that put outfrequen- cies that would screw up the TV. Woz would have it inhis pocket. We would go out to a dorm at Berkeley, where hewas going to school, and a bunch of folks would be watching"Star Trek." He would screw up the TV, someone would go to fixit, and just as they had their foot off the ground, hed turn itback on, and then hed screw up the TV again. Within fiveminutes, hed have someone like this [contorts his body; seeFigure 18.1] . . . OK, it looks like its working now.3 In thisone-minute story, Jobs revealed a side of his personality that fewpeople get to see. It made him more human, engaging, and natural.He also never got flustered. I have seen even some experiencedpresenters get derailed over smaller problems. HAVE FUN 209 A YouTubeuser posted a five-minute clip showing dozens of Jobs "bloopers."4The number of things that have gone wrong is surprising given thelevel of extraordinarily detailed practice that goes into a Steve Jobskeynote. This blooper reel proves that even the best-laid plans goawry from time to time: a slide may not advance, a wrong slide maycome up, and a demo may not work. These things happen to even thebest-prepared presenter, and they can, and probably will, happen toyou at some point. The difference between mediocre presenters anda true mas- ter such as Jobs is that when demonstrations do not turnout as planned, Jobs reacts with a cool confidence. The audience seesa showman in complete control of his material. If something fails towork, Jobs does not dwell on it or call undue attention to theFigure 18.1 Jobs demonstrates a prank he and Apple cofounderSteve Wozniak would pull on unsuspecting college students. DavidPaul Morris/Getty Images210 REFINE AND REHEARSE issue. He smiles, has fun, explains tothe audience what they should have seen, and moves on. DontSweat the Small Stuff During a demonstration of Apple TV atMacworld 2008, Jobs brought up a live connection to Flickr, aphoto-sharing site. Jobs selected several categories to show the GUIDE TO PERFECT PRESENTATION TO MBA STUDENST
  • 126. SAAB MARFIN MBAaudience how photographs could be served from the site anddisplayed on a wide-screen television in a living room.Unfortunately, the screen went black. After about twenty secondsof trying to retrieve the images, Jobs simply turned to the audience,grinned, and said, "Well, Im afraid Flickr isnt serving up photos onthat one."5 Jobs doesnt let anything ruffle him onstage. Instead,he acknowledges the problem, continues the presentation,summa- rizes the material, and enjoys himself. He concluded theApple TV demonstration by saying, "All of this from yourwide-screen: movies, TV shows, music, podcasts, photos fromdot-Mac and-- when theyre serving up photos--Flickr! So, thatswhat I wanted to show you today. Isnt that incredible?"6 Jobsnever loses his enthusiasm. The demo might not have goneperfectly, but that doesnt diminish the joy he has for the product.No matter how much you prepare, something might, and probablywill, go differently from how you had planned. Notice that I did notsay something will go "wrong." It goes wrong only when you callattention to the issue or you let it ruin the rest of yourpresentation. People are there to hear you, to learn something newabout a product, service, or initiative that could improve their lives.When a demo fails to come off as smoothly as Jobs had rehearsed,he never loses his cool. He says something like, "Oops, thats notwhat I wanted" or "I need some help here, guys; this thing isntworking." He will take a few moments to get it work- ing, and hewill do so very calmly. In one presentation, Jobs could not get adigital camera to work, so he had some fun with it, tossed it to anApple employee in the front row, and said, "I need an expert to fixit. Its too HAVE FUN 211 technical for me.Its pretty awesome when it works."7 Thats it. Its pretty awesomewhen it works. Think about watching an ice-skater perform anintricately choreographed routine. You know that the slightest mistakecould land the skater on her butt. When it happens, you wince, but youhope the skater gets up to finish her routine on a high note. The sameapplies to your audience. Nobody expects per- fection except you.Your audience will forgive a blooper as long as you get back on yourfeet. During Jobss leave of absence for a liver transplant, much hadbeen written about what he revealed, how much he should haverevealed, and whether he should have revealed it sooner. Jobs wasclearly frustrated with the press, calling some report- ers to chastisethem about covering matters he wanted to keep private. Whilebloggers and reporters were scrambling to get the scoop on the exactnature of his illness, I was struck at how Jobs kept his trademark goodhumor. In September 2008, Jobs walked onstage at the WWDC andsaid, "Good morning. Thank you for coming this morning. We havesome really exciting stuff to share with you. Before we do, I justwanted to mention this." He pointed to the slide behind him, whichhad only one sentence: "The reports of my death are greatlyexaggerated." "Enough said," Job told the audience, and he promptly GUIDE TO PERFECT PRESENTATION TO MBA STUDENST
  • 127. SAAB MARFIN MBAcontinued with his presentation.8 The audi- ence laughed and cheered.The media and investors wanted more information, of course, butthats all that Jobs would give them at the moment, and he had funwith it at their expense. Now, Thats Infotainment! Most businesscommunicators lose sight of the fact that their audiences want to beinformed and entertained. Jobs approaches presentations asinfotainment; he teaches you something new and has fun doing it. Itsthe best of all worlds for his audience. Most business professionals donot smile nor relish the moment as much as they should. They get toocaught up in "presenta- tion mode" and lose the enthusiasm theyreally have about212 REFINE AND REHEARSE their company, product, or service.Jobs always walks onstage with a broad smile, an easy laugh, and ajoke or two (often at Microsofts expense). On October 16,2003, Jobs had finished the discussion of a new music alliancewith AOL and an explanation of the new iTunes features. Theaudience thought he was done, but Jobs had "just one morefeature" to talk about. He said it was a feature that "a lot of peoplethought we would never add till this happened." He pointed to theslide, which read: "Hell froze over." He said, "Im here to report toyou today that this has happened."9 And with that introduction,Jobs announced iTunes for Windows. The audience laughed evenharder when Jobs said, "iTunes for Windows is probably the bestWindows app ever written!" The audience was thrilled, and Jobshimself was clearly enjoying the reaction. Apple cofounderSteve Wozniak has said he and Jobs loved two things in common:electronics and pranks. From the early seventies when Jobs and"Woz" were building computers together in their parents garages,Jobs had a passion for bring- ing personal computing to themasses. That "spirit" comes across in every Steve Jobs presentation.A Steve Jobs presentation is passionate, exciting, informative, and,above all, fun. In many ways, it comes naturally, because its theway he has lived his life. When Jobs took his leave ofabsence in 2009, Apples shares plummeted on speculation overJobss health, a possible lack of new and exciting products, andpotential management changes. Observers wondered, would Applewithout Jobs be successful? Richard the Fun-Hearted I haveno secret. There are no rules to follow in business. I just workhard and, as I always have done, believe I can do it. Most of all,though, I try to have fun.RICHARD BRANSON HAVE FUN 213 One analyst,Shaw Wu, had a different take on all of it. Apple without Jobs wouldprosper, he argued, because his spirit had been "institutionalized." Wusaid Apple had an uncanny ability to attract hardworkingentrepreneurs who are looking to change the world. PC World saidthat Jobs, a master showman, had raised new product presentations toan art form and wished him a "speedy return to health" so Jobs couldhead up the company again and take the stage once more.10 For GUIDE TO PERFECT PRESENTATION TO MBA STUDENST
  • 128. SAAB MARFIN MBAmore than three decades, Jobs has cast his spell on the world. Andwhether youre a "Mac" or a "PC," we all owe Jobs a debt of gratitudefor a chance to join him on his "magic swirl- ing ship," to quote hisfavorite musician, Bob Dylan.11 Its been a magnificent ride, and if youpay close enough attention, Jobs can help you sell your ideas moresuccessfully than you ever thought possible. DIREC TOR SNOT ES Treat presentations as "infotainment." Your audiencewants to be educated and entertained. Have fun. Itll show.Never apologize. You have little to gain from calling attention toa problem. If your presentation hits a glitch, acknowledge it,smile, and move on. If it was not obvious to anyone but you, donot call attention to it. Change your frame of reference. Whensomething does not go exactly as planned, it did not "go wrong"unless you allow it to derail the rest of your presentation. Keepthe big picture in mind, have fun, and let the small stuff roll offyour back.This page intentionally left blank E NCOR E E R OCN EE R OCN E E R OCN E One More ThingStay hungry, stay foolish. STEVE JOBS S teveJobs keeps his audience guessing. Frequently, but not always,he will leave the audience with "just one more thing" before heends a presentation. For example, Jobs announced that hewould return as Apples full- time CEO (dropping the "interim" from histitle) as the "one more thing" at the conclusion of his Macworldpresentation on January 5, 2000. It is the element of surprise thataudiences have come to love and expect. Since his audience expects"one more thing," Jobs does not always deliver. A surprise would fail tosurprise if everyone knows its coming! So, in true Steve Jobsfashion, I would like to add just "one more thing" to this discussion.On June 12, 2005, shortly after a bout with a rare, curable form ofpancreatic cancer, Jobs gave the commencement address at StanfordUniversity. It became an Internet sensation. It is one of the mostpopular commence- ment addresses on YouTube, far more popularthan remarks of other famous commencement speakers such as Oprah;The Last Lecture author, Randy Pausch; or Harry Potters J. K. Rowling.Jobs crafted the speech using many of the same techniques that makehis presentations so electrifying. About the only thing absent that daywere slides. The rest is classic Steve Jobs. I have excerpted sections toillustrate how he applied his extraordinary messaging andpresentation skills to the now famous speech. I also urge you to watchthe full speech on the Stanford website.1215216 ENCORE Today I want to tell you three stories from my life.Thats it. No big deal. Just three stories. We again see therule of three (refer to Scene 5) playing a big role in Jobss message.He draws a road map for his listeners by telling them to expectthree stories--not one or four, but three. The structure of thespeech itself is strikingly simple: opening, three stories, conclusion. GUIDE TO PERFECT PRESENTATION TO MBA STUDENST
  • 129. SAAB MARFIN MBAThe first story is about connecting the dots. Here Jobs tells thefirst of three personal anecdotes. This one is about his droppingout of Reed College after six months. Jobs said it was scary at firstbut ultimately worked out, because it allowed him to continue totake courses he was interested in, such as calligraphy. Ten yearslater, he incorporated calligraphy fonts into the Macintosh,"connecting the dots." It was beautiful, historical, artisticallysubtle in a way that science cant capture, and I found itfascinating. Jobs found his passion for simplicity and design at anearly age. He discovered his core purpose, a messianic zeal tochange the world, and never looked back. Share your passion foryour sub- ject, and your enthusiasm will be contagious. Mysecond story is about love and loss. In this section, Jobs talksabout falling in love with computers at the age of twenty andsharing that passion with his friend "Woz." He talked aboutbuilding a $2 billion company in ten years and then, at the age ofthirty, being fired by Apples board of directors. Imconvinced that the only thing that kept me going was that I lovedwhat I did. Youve got to find what you love. ENCORE 217 Again, passion isa central theme in Jobss life. Jobs is con- vinced that hes successfulbecause he followed his heart, his true passion. Theres a lot of truthto it. Remember, none of his presentation techniques will work if youdont have genuine passion for your message. Find the one thing youlove to do so much that you cant wait for the sun to rise to do it allover again. Once you do, youll have found your true calling. My thirdstory is about death. This sentence begins the most poignant sectionof the speech. Jobs recalls the day doctors told him he had pancreaticcan- cer. He thought he had three to six months to live. The cancerturned out to be a very rare, curable form of the disease, but theexperience left an indelible impression on Jobs. No one wants to die.Even people who want to go to heaven dont want to die to get there.Jobs always has fun. He finds a way to inject humor into a mor- bidsubject. Your time is limited, so dont waste it living someone elseslife. Dont be trapped by dogma--which is living with the results ofother peoples thinking. Dont let the noise of oth- ers opinionsdrown out your own inner voice. This paragraph is an example of apowerful rhetorical device called anaphora, repetition of the sameword(s) in consecutive sentences. Think of Martin Luther Kings "I havea dream that . . . I have a dream . . . I have a dream today." Greatpolitical speakers from Churchill to King, from Reagan to Obama, haveall used anaphora to structure strong arguments. As Jobs dem-onstrates, this classic sentence structure need not be reserved forpolitical leaders. It is available to any person who wants to com- mandan audience.218 ENCORE And most important, have the courage to followyour heart and intuition. They somehow already know what youtruly want to become . . . stay hungry, stay foolish. Jobs endsthe speech with his headline, his key theme and advice--stay GUIDE TO PERFECT PRESENTATION TO MBA STUDENST
  • 130. SAAB MARFIN MBAhungry, stay foolish. As weve discussed, Jobs repeated his keytheme several times in a presentation. In this case, he repeats "stayhungry, stay foolish" three times in the concluding paragraph.Jobss speech reveals the secret to his success as a business leaderand communicator: do what you love, view setbacks asopportunities, and dedicate yourself to the passionate pursuit ofexcellence. Whether its designing a new computer, introducingnew gadgets, running Apple, overseeing Pixar, or giving a pre-sentation, Jobs believes in his lifes work. This is the last and mostimportant lesson Jobs can teach--the power of believing inyourself and your story. Jobs has followed his heart his whole life.Follow yours to captivate your audience. Youll be one step closerto delivering insanely great presentations. GUIDE TO PERFECT PRESENTATION TO MBA STUDENST