By Mikal E. Belicove|For Entrepreneur.com|May 8, 2012
Whenever I’m asked to speak to a group — whether it’s a large gathering like a college commencement, or a smaller one like those found at a local chamber of commerce’s monthly breakfast — I think of Steve Jobs, the master presenter. The co-founder of Apple didn’t just focus on statistics or technology in his communications; he sold the benefits of his company’s products.
Take a quick look at Jobs’ keynote address introducing the iPhone during the 2007 Macworld Conference & Expo. Visuals were used to illustrate a point, not to fill space or entertain. And no matter how brief or long the Jobs-led dog-and-pony show, you left the venue with a full understanding of what was presented.
We can all take some communications cues from Steve Jobs. Here are five that I recently came across from Jim Confalone, co-founder and creative director of ProPoint Graphics, a New York-based professional presentation design firm.
1. Know the one critical point in your presentation — then make it clear. Steve Jobs recognized that the human mind couldn’t process a mountain of material in one sitting. Any information or data that isn’t driving a specific message can be a distraction that weakens the impact of your presentation. Use only visuals that support your one point.
2. Acknowledge why people are listening to you. Your audience is in the room for a particular reason. It’s critical to understand why they’re listening to you so you can tune your presentation in a manner that makes them more receptive listeners. The same talk might play out very differently if it’s given to shareholders, engineers…
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