Many communicators consider Steve Jobs, Apple's co-founder and leader, to be the world's greatest corporate storyteller. One of Jobs' most ardent fans is communications coach Carmine Gallo, who decided to absorb thousands of Jobs' presentations to distill his magic formula.
I'm just finishing up Gallo's recently-released The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs and want to share a few of Jobs' most useful strategies with you. They're incredibly useful for program or fundraising communications, whether you're meeting with a major donor or presenting to your board:
- Brainstorm before you write a word or slide. Otherwise, your creativity and focus may be derailed by your outline.
- Stick to a single concept, the one and one only idea you want your listeners to take away, then support it with three key messages. The concept has to intersect with the interests and/or needs of your base — that's the point of connection.
- Express the concept with a memorable, visual headline or tagline. One of Jobs' most memorable headlines is Macbook Air, the world's thinnest notebook.
- Find the story in your theme, frame it in a hero/villain dichotomy and structure it as a three-act play (featuring the three key messages). Doing so makes the story easy and compelling to follow, a smooth journey.
- Replace bullet points with a simple word/image combo on your slides. Example: Jobs conveyed the slimness of the Air with an image of the notebook being pulled from an envelope.
Watch Jobs here to see his presentation magic in motion. If you're interested in learning more of Jobs' techniques, I highly recommend Gallo's book!
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