Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Steve Jobs, Presentations' Master

Steve Jobs will be remembered for his amazing ability to inform, persuade, and inspire an audience. He was able to comfortably walk around the stage and have an intimate, although dramatic, conversation with thousands. He came across as confident and competent because of his constant connection with his audience. How can you also gain freedom from a script?

Here’s some memorization techniques:

1.Clearly understand the information. Concentrate on communicating your ideas, rather than memorizing word for word. You can initially write out complete sentences, but edit down to key ideas on your notes' section of your slides. If your mind should go blank, you can pick up on the idea instead of searching for the specific words. Jobs used some notes, but very unobtrusively.

2.Choose a clear Organizational Pattern. For example, if you divide your presentation into Past, Present, and the Future, you can confidently move through the stages and end up in the future. If you state a Problem, you can move on to a Solution, then a Visualization Step and then an Action Step. A formula keeps you and your audience on track. Jobs always had a clear central theme, introduced his agenda of three-four main points and developed one key idea per slide that complemented his theme.

3.Memorize your beginning and ending statements. Write them out by hand. Putting pen to paper stimulates our brains and makes a more permanent connection in our brain.

4.Refer to storyboards. Print out 6-9 Power point slides on a single piece of paper and print as many sheets as you need. Keep these in sight so that you’re aware of the next slide and can compose meaningful transitions.

5.Rehearse. Jobs was a fanatic on rehearsing. Beware of spending so much time on content and visuals that you end up rehearsing in front of your audience. Schedule time to recite the information aloud as you walk up and down slowly and make gestures. This simple exercise will begin to integrate the speech into your body. Even if you stumble or forget, keep going and rehearse from beginning to end each time.

6.It’s useless to “cram.” Review, take a break, review and take another break to relax. The brain cannot absorb and store only so much information at a time. It takes more than six hours for memories to initially stabilize and be saved in long-term memory so that we can recall them later. It’s more beneficial for you to take a nap, a brisk walk, get a massage or listen to music than last minute cramming. Then you'll be in the mood to have fun and entertain, just like Jobs always did!

7. Study the Masters: Videos of Steve Jobs from 1983 to the present:

Photo by Matthew Yohe, SteveJobsMacbookAir.JPG. from Wikipedia Creative Commons

Book: The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs: How to be Insanely Great in Front of Any Audience by Carmine Gallo


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