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What was the Steve Jobs secret?

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in Office Technology,PowerPoint Tricks

As Jerry Seinfeld once pointed out, “If surveys show that Americans’ No. 1 fear is public speaking and their No. 2 fear is death… that means that at a funeral, the average American would rather be in the casket than doing the eulogy!”

The fear of public speaking affects our ability to effectively sell our ideas. And that fear is hard-wired into us, says Carmine Gallo. “The key is not to try to completely eliminate fear but to accept it, reframe it, and control it. Once you acknowledge, reframe, and control your fear, you may still experience the anxiety but you will have the tools to manage it and make your presentations easier on yourself—and your audience.”

Carmine Gallo writes the weekly leadership and communications column for BusinessWeek.com and is the author of the business best-seller The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs: How to Be Insanely Great in Front of Any Audience. He asks, “Would the father of the iPhone, iPad and Mac have been as successful without his other great achievement – the ability to communicate and convey his vision and passion?”

No question that Apple Inc. CEO Steve Jobs was one of the great innovators of our time. But that doesn’t explain his success. (As Calvin Coolidge once said, “Unrewarded genius is almost a proverb.”)

No. Jobs’ true genius lies in the ability to create presentations that persuade and inspire. Here were a few of his secrets, according to Gallo:

He followed the 10-40 Rule. “The first 10 slides in your PowerPoint presentation should contain no more than 40 words. I arrived at this method after learning that the average single slide contains 40 words. However, the most persuasive presentations I've ever seen—including many from Jobs—contain 40 or fewer words on the first 10 slides.”

He stood out among the millions of PowerPoint presentations that are mis-delivered every day. “Presentations are intended to transform minds—to engage, persuade, and ultimately motivate an audience to act. But most audiences see the same type of ineffective presentations, cluttered with words, charts, and bullet points.”

He knew that simple presentations are more memorable and leave a far deeper and longer-lasting impression. “The human brain interprets every letter as a picture,” says Gallo. “By filling your slides with words, you literally choke the brain on images that render it virtually incapable of making sense out of your slide. The most persuasive presentations strike a visual-verbal balance between words and pictures.”

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