All profs should watch a Steve Jobs presentation.

An Apple store window covered in R.I.P. post-it notes.

When I watched the video of Steve Jobs delivering his keynote presentation at the WWDC on June 6, 2011, I, like many others, didn’t realize that it would be his last. Today, as I read his biography, ‘Steve Jobs’, by Walter Isaacson, one quickly realizes that he was not only a visionary, entrepreneur, and creative genius, but he was also a master at presenting. The eye-catching visuals on the big screen, the props, and the carefully scripted words, each choreographed with a facial expression or hand gesture, made some of his presentations more entertaining than a Lady Ga Ga or Justin Bieber concert (I just used those examples so I can put them in my ‘tags’). If you watch the video of his presentation at the Apple WWDC 2011, you’ll see some of his techniques in action. Here is a list of my own observations that I made while watching it:

  1. Use large visuals – a picture speaks 1000 words.
  2. If you have words on a slide, keep them to a minimum (don’t use long sentences); words are best used only in the introduction.
  3. Thank and appreciate your audience for attending…and mean it.
  4. Use the ‘Rule of 3’ in the introduction: “…going to talk about 3 things today…”
  5. Move around the stage, using your hands to emphasize key points.
  6. Incorporate humour; even if it is to laugh at yourself.
  7. Create a ‘theme line’ and use throughout the presentation (in this case, “It just works.”)
  8. Keep animations simple and use them to focus on key statements.
  9. Have a bottle of water nearby.
  10. Summarize/recap key areas once they have been discussed before moving onto the next section.
  11. Use voice intonation.
  12. Recap key points of the presentation at the end.
  13. Above all else, have passion for what you are talking about!
If you have watched other Steve Jobs keynote presentations, are there other tips that can be added to this list?


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