The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs: A book review by Bob Morris

The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs: How to Be Insanely Great in Front of Any Audience
Carmine Gallo
McGraw-Hill (2010)

Let’s face it, few (if any) of those who read this book will then be “insanely great in front of any audience.” That’s not why Carmine Gallo wrote it. Rather, his purpose is to help his readers to present their ideas to anyone, anywhere, anytime “with the power of believing in themselves and in their story.” Obviously, there are valuable lessons to be learned from what Steve Jobs does and how he does it. He brings so many resources to bear on each presentation. They include (1) a thorough understanding of the given subject, (2) a passionate interest in it, (3) rigorous and extensive preparation, (4) total self-confidence and physical presence that command attention, (5) brilliant insights that are thoroughly developed, and (6) sharp focus on what is most interesting and most important to the audience…and on nothing else. I have seen Jobs in action several times and can attest to the power and impact of what he says and how he says it.

Note: Visit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hd_ptbiPoXM and upload his commencement speech at Stanford in 2005. Once you’ve seen and heard it, you will never forget it.

The various “tips” that Gallo early in his narrative may seem simple but don’t be fooled. All of the greatest public speakers will tell you that it took them many years (about 10,000 hours) of deliberate practice to master them.

Here are three:

• Answer the One Question That Matters Most: Those in the audience are asking the same question, “Why should I care.” Disregard this question and you will lose the audience almost immediately.

• Develop a Messianic Sense of Purpose: Gallo notes that Jobs was worth more than $100 million by the time he was 25 and it didn’t natter to him at all. That wasn’t what he was about. “Understanding this one fact will help you unlock the secret behind Jobs’s extraordinary charisma.”

• Introduce the Antagonist: In each of Jobs’s greatest presentations, he introduces a common enemy against which everyone unites, becomes emotionally engaged, prepares to do battle, agrees to make sacrifices, etc.

As I suggested earlier, few (if any) of those who read this book will then be “insanely great in front of any audience.” However, there are valuable lessons to be learned from what Steve Jobs does and how he does it. I commend Carmine Gallo on his brilliant organization and presentation of so much material. As perhaps he would agree, much of his success as a writer is explained by how he has learned from “an insanely great” role model.

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