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Sell ‘em like Apples: 7 presentation tips from Steve Jobs

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in Leaders & Managers,Management Training,Office Communication,Workplace Communication

With competition for customers and clients keener than ever, your product-related presentations can make or break sales. Close the deal by sharpening your pitch with the methods of Apple Computer co-founder Steve Jobs, a widely acknowledged master of presentations.

While Jobs sells technology, you can use the same techniques to gain customers for practically any product or service.

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 customers benefit. Don’t bombard listeners with numbers. Instead of spouting facts about gigabytes and pixels, Jobs provides easily understood data that illustrates how products make life easier. Example: Jobs explained that the new iPod can hold 75 hours of video.

3. Use simple and colorful visuals. Tie visuals seamlessly to the script so that they’re two parts of the same message. Many presentations consist mostly of black-and-white text and numerous bullet points. Such graphics eventually become boring.

Find more techniques in Mastering Business Presentations

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. He starts with his signature introduction “… And one more thing,” which tells listeners something dramatic is about to happen.

6. Rehearse. Jobs speaks to audiences as if he’s chatting with a friend. Such a relaxed style takes practice, and Jobs does that for hours before every major presentation.

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


No matter where or when you’re in the spotlight, count on the tactics in Mastering Business Presentations to keep you cool, clear and persuasive:

Chapter 1: Map Your Best Route
Chapter 2: Build Your Confidence
Chapter 3: Warm Up for a Cool Presentation
Chapter 4: Care for Your Voice
Chapter 5: Make It Snappy for Bigwigs
Chapter 6: Charm a Small Group
Chapter 7: Win Over Large Audiences

Yes, I want to shine in every spotlight!

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