Art of presentation

I’m big fan of good and interesting presentations, especially if they make you think or change your life. Today I was browsing Mixergy talks (btw Andrew Warner is doing great job, although I’m missing that giant book shelf that he had behind in earlier episodes) and I saw talk The Presentation Secrets Of Steve Jobs – with Carmine Gallo. As the title says in this talk Andrew and Carmine are talking lot about Steve’s presentation skills and why he is the best presenter. I made couple of notes, so if  you don’t want to spent 1 hour watching interview on mixergy, here are couple of bullet points.

  • Tell a story – most of presenters are presenting just facts like dry numbers, graphs, long list of bullet points, … etc. You should start your presentation by telling a story. You should say, why the subject that you are talking about matter.
  • Educate your listeners –  when Marrisa Mayer had a presentation at SF Museum of Modern Art, she did’t start talking about what news she have. She start talking about search evolution. She said that in 1935 it would have taken you day and a half to find information on certain painting. Because you would have to travel to get to the library. Than she went through every decade, describing how search evolve. Her point was that what took you day and a half takes now 3 seconds.
  • 10 minutes rule – you will notice that every great presenter will take a ‘brake’ around 10 th minute of his/her talk. Reason is that human mind loose focus after 10 minutes and it doesn’t matter how good presenter you are.
  •  Intermezzo – is kind of brake that your brain need to re-focus on presentation. You should change interaction with your listeners by playing video or showing demo of your ‘thing’.
  • Twitter friendly headlines – did you notice that great presenters are not using slides with lot of texts on them ? The reason is, if you can’t formulate your idea in short twitter friendly headlines, your audience could misunderstood you or get quickly bored.
  • Numbers as equivalent of … – when Steve Jobs has been presenting iPod he says that device has 5GB big storage capacity which is equivalent of 1000 songs in your pocket. There was also ad called iPod 1000 songs in your pocket. If you saw that presentation did you remember that iPod had 5GB or that you can download 1000 songs to it? :)
  • Presentation are not just powerpoint/keynote – when you start working on presentation, to sit infront of your laptop and opening keynote should be the last thing that you should do. Start with sketches, draw a timeline, be creative and don’t be afraid to do something new and original.

During the interview Carmine mentioned couple of times Steve Jobs iPhone presentation  in 1997. Carmine also write a book called “The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs: How to Be Insanely Great in Front of Any Audience”.

To be honest, I like Steve Jobs presentation but my number one presentation is Identity 2.0 by Dick Hardt, you can watch it on youtube too.

Good luck with making your own great presentations.

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