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Perk up your presentations: 7 tips from Apple’s Steve Jobs

by on
in Employee Benefits Program,HR Management,Human Resources

Issue: Dry, rambling HR presentations will cause employees to tune out.

Risk: When employees don't grasp what you said the first time, you'll receive more e-mails, calls and visits from confused workers.

Action: Make employees "get it" the first time. Try these presentation tips from a widely acknowledged master of presentations.

Say you hosted a presentation explaining the new performance-review system. You felt good. But weeks later, you're flooded with questions about the system. What happened? Maybe the problem was the way in which you explained it.

Sharpen your presentation techniques with these methods of Apple Computer co-founder Steve Jobs, a widely acknowledged presentation master:

1. Tell a story. Jobs recently started a presentation with "Like every classic story, I've divided it into three acts." Act I featured the new iMac. Act II introduced the new iPod. Act III centered on the new iTunes.

2. Explain how employees benefit. Don't bombard employees with facts. Get their attention by explaining first how they personally will benefit from the new 401(k) plan or office move. Jobs' presentations provide easily understood data that illustrate how products make life easier.

3. Use simple and colorful visuals. Tie visuals seamlessly to the script so that they're two parts of the same message.

4. Don't be afraid to have fun (at the appropriate moments). While demonstrating the iMac's camera, Jobs made funny faces and poked fun at himself.

5. Plan a good ending. At the end of his presentations, Jobs sometimes introduces a new product or feature.

6. Rehearse. Jobs speaks to audiences as if he's chatting with a friend.

7. Be relaxed but energetic and sincere. And don't superfluously use superlatives.

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