How to present like Steve Jobs
12 August 2021 - 5 min
Steve Jobs was one of the world's greatest public speakers. Full auditoriums were ecstatic when he presented. Not only that, he even created a need for his brand among the public. Apple became (and continues to be) wildly popular. How did the CEO become such a good presenter? What are the secrets to captivate and excite the audience? And how do you apply those skills yourself?
When you look back on Steve Jobs' presentations, any of them, you notice that he pulls you straight into his story. What is that about? Jobs ensures that there's a tension curve from the first second, he lets you know that something big is coming and then he postpones telling you what it is. Creating this type of tension or excite people? You can do that too! There are a few handy tricks you use for that. Think of a quote, anecdote or one-liner that drop in at the beginning.
'Stay hungry, stay foolish' — Steve Jobs
Not every quote is appropriate. Obviously, it has to fit your message. Also, you don't want to make it uncomfortable for your audience, so be careful not to hurt or offend anyone when you make a statement or tell an anecdote. Keep it lighthearted and simple.
The golden combination: passion and humor
There's one thing you can't ignore: Steve Jobs spoke with a good dose of passion. Say it yourself, it's even contagious. Have you ever been taught by a teacher who got all excited about what he was saying? Probably you remembered his story better than that of the teacher who stood in front of the class without passion. If you believe in your own story and are enthusiastic, so is your audience.
Everyone likes to laugh. A joke always works well to keep the attention. Even if you don't see the participants during a webinar, if joke with enough conviction, your viewers will also believe it's funny. And even if can't see anyone laugh, at least you'll having a good time yourself. Humor makes your story stick better, and it excites viewers. The same applies to jokes as to quotes: keep it lighthearted and simple. You don't want to miss the mark by hurting someone.
Use your voice — or shut up
When is it nice to listen to someone? And how do you tell a story yourself? Checking and comparing these questions can help you become better at presenting. Above all, don't be too critical. A moment's reflection on what you are doing may give you insight into how a small adjustment in your voice makes it easier for the viewer to listen to. Someone who talks very monotonously or sounds like reading something off a page is not nice to listen to. Before you know, you’re yawning behind the desk and debating a third (ok, fourth) cup of coffee. Watching a good presenter inspires you. YouTube is full of videos of speakers, so make sure to take a look at their strategies. It is difficult to judge yourself when you talk. So record it! Uncomfortable but also beneficial.
Storytelling relies just as much on what you don't say as on what you do say. When you use silence in your story, you keep calm and give the audience time to absorb what you say. Balance is key. Throughout your presentation, you want to maintain the pace. The purpose of a pause is to create calm in your story, and not to recover after every sentence you speak.
Use body language
It's not just your voice that tells a story. Your body is just as important. It's useful to be aware of this because you can use your body to give your presentation extra power. What impression do you want to make? Are you going to stand or sit? Whether you stand or sit makes a big difference in an active or relaxed setting.
One of the advantages of a webinar is that you don't fully have to be in the picture. With most webinar hosts' only the upper body is in the picture and they don't walk. With just your upper body, you are already giving away a lot. Remember to adopt an open and active posture, so no arms crossed. A lot of people struggle with knowing where to put their hands. Tip: Holding something in your hand can be a real game changer. Then you have something to do with your hands, without fidgeting restlessly. Think about a pen or presentation card. You still maintain an open posture without feeling uncomfortable about your hands.
Practicing your body language can be done in many ways, like studying videos of well-known presenters without sound. You'll be able to really see what their body language is saying. You can also do this by filming yourself. It may be confrontational, but it helps you see how you can improve.
Tell a story
Presenting well goes beyond telling your story with good intonation and powerful body language. Not everyone has a long attention span and keeps their eyes open when you are purely sharing info. Let's take a look again at our great example of this blog: Steve Jobs.
Jobs' presentations were quite long and yet everyone remained captivated. Afterward, people easily recounted what he had told them. He created an experience, told a story. Remember, ''1000 songs in your pocket''? The iPod. When he introduced the first iPhone, he first excited the audience with three separate parts. A new iPod, an evolutionary phone and a new Internet communication device. As it turned out, it was 1 device: the iPhone. Steve Jobs built suspense by first getting his audience lyrical about the three separate parts. He made it visual and showed everyone what they could do with one of the three parts alone. Then the audience went wild because it became even more exciting. There was an element of surprise and had a story.
Wrapping your information in a story builds suspense which keeps people's attention. In addition, the info sticks better when you tell a story instead of just dry info. Playing on the empathy of your audience is a good trick to deliver your message as effectively as possible and keep the viewers captivated.
Practice makes perfect
No one is good at anything without practicing (okay, unless someone is very talented). Practice makes everyone better. Rumor has it that Steve Jobs rehearsed his presentation about 150 times before he was ready to present in front of a real audience. He knew his story inside and out. If you have confidence in yourself and know what you want to say, you come across more convincing than if you are unsure whether you have said everything. Definitely important when you are trying to sell something.
When it comes to practicing, there are a few helpful tips. Remember the power of repeating, it will not be perfect the first time, but it will undoubtedly get better and better. It also helps to write out your text, read it out loud and then write down the most important keywords. Once you have mastered your text a bit, the real work can begin. Time to fine-tune it with all your freshly learned presentation skills. When to pause, how to use body language and how to draw people into your story. Don't forget to film yourself, that's the best way to learn. As a bonus, you will also get used to presenting in front of a camera!
Relax and enjoy
Finally, there is one thing most important: don't forget to enjoy! Hosting a webinar is a lot of fun and with your good preparation, almost nothing can go wrong. You are ready to start your story relaxed. The more you enjoy it, the more the viewers will too.
Still nervous about your live webinar? No problem. Pre-recording an automated webinar and broadcasting it as if it were live is still an option!
The on demand webinar series
03 September 2021 - 2 min
Get to know more about the benefits of the on demand webinar serie.
How to pass your webinar assessment
28 June 2021 - 3 min
A webinar is not just fun to watch. It is also the ideal way to take an assessment.