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The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs

repost from old blog dated 10/13/10

JobsI highly recommend that you read this book by Carmine Gallo, “The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs: How to be Insanely Great in Front of Any Audience.” If you give lectures like I do, you’ll surely appreciate the great tips in this book!  Click here for a Slideshare presentation that summarizes the book.

I’m no Steve Jobs when I give my presentations. 🙂 I’m not comfortable at all moving away from the podium just yet. But since I’ve read this book, I’ve done my best to eliminate the clutter from my slides.  It has been so difficult for me to get rid of the bullet points! I’ve added more pictures and tried limiting the number of words per slide to take advantage of what psychologists call the “Picture Superiority Effect (PSE)”.  Apparently, concepts are more likely to be remembered if they are presented as pictures rather than words.

Then there’s the rule of  three, an old presentation technique that’s not so easy to adhere to when you’re given a broad topic to discuss. But I’ve found that planning your presentation around three major points makes it simpler both to develop and deliver. Structuring your presentation with this rule in mind also makes it easier for your audience to remember your talk’s important points. Politicians and advertisers have taken advantage of this rule of three. Take a look at the following examples:

Stop, look and listen.

I came. I saw. I conquered.

Sex, lies and videotape

Government of the people, by the people, for the people

The good, the bad and the ugly

Even the time spent making the presentation can be divided into three’s: one-third of the time for collecting and organizing ideas, one-third for creating the slides and one-third for rehearsing!  How much time do you spend on preparing for a presentation? According to Carmine Gallo, design experts recommend spending 90 hours for a presentation that has 30 slides. 🙂 Wow! I must admit I need to work on rehearsing – I spend most of the time finishing my slides the night before the lecture, ha! ha!

“One more thing …” Don’t you just love it when Steve Jobs says that? Anyway, the book advises that “you reveal a holy shit moment.” How does one do that in a medical presentation? It’s difficult but I’ve realized that this “moment” happens when you reach out to the audience. I remember giving a presentation on prolactinoma in pregnancy at a convention. People noticeably perked up when I shared that I had a prolactinoma and had conceived while on bromocriptine!  On another occasion, I was talking about personal digital assistants (PDAs). I sensed a great connection with the audience when I showed a picture of my very first PDA – the PalmPilot Professional with its monochrome screen and triple A batteries. 🙂 I guess I just have to work on making more of those moments happen.
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