Steve Jobs: Legacy of a Presenter

If you’re like us, you were caught off guard by the recent loss of Apple CEO Steve Jobs. In retrospect, his recent resignation proved more ominous than most of us thought at the time. Despite his well-known battle with cancer and his somewhat gaunt appearance, no one was talking of Jobs’ imminent demise when the announcement of his death swept the Tweetverse and the blogosphere.

From its very beginnings, Apple has been an iconoclastic company and it’s innovative business models and unique designs continue to see the brand celebrated as a pop culture phenomenon as well as a groundbreaking tech leader. Jobs – of course – was a big reason for the character of the company and his unique business values and passions were always on display in his fantastic presentations.

Job’s presentations were works of a master communicator. His style on the stage was a big inspiration for anyone who aspires to be commanding in front of a crowd. However, we’d never aspire to be just like Jobs. He wouldn’t have liked that either. However, Jobs was a super speaker whose storytelling style created emotional experiences for his audiences and his example is one we should all borrow from.

Be Committed and Passionate About Your Message
Why would your audience believe in your pitch or your product if you don’t? Jobs and his Apple team relied on their own instincts and their own desires for how their product developments would roll-out. Apple has always been a market leader that defines what technology can be, confident that if they build it, their audience will be moved by one of Jobs’ presentations to find out just how much they want something they never even dreamed of. All of Apple’s innovative marketing campaigns began with Jobs setting the tone on stage.

Meet Your Audience Where They Are
Despite being one of the most prescient, innovative minds in the world, Jobs knew never to talk down to an audience. Spend time watching Jobs’ old presentations online. You’ll see a guy who is talking about new products most people have never imagined, that will change their lives in ways they never considered. However he always managed to speak in a manner that was broadly accessible across age groups and lifestyles no matter what amount of technical knowledge a person might have.

Practice, Practice, Practice
While Jobs was a visionary and a culture shaper par excellence, the one thing that makes his presentations so great is something anyone can do. Jobs’ simultaneous ease and dynamism on stage is only possible because he clearly plans and practices his stage appearances until he can run his talks backwards and forwards without missing a beat. Don’t forget – so can you!

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