Steve Jobs, the CEO of Apple, is a public speaking legend, and in The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs, author Carmine Callo aims to give you everything you need in order to be "insanely great in front of any audience" (as he puts it).
When I started of reading the book I was not that enthusiastic. The book repeats a lot of the speaking basics that are covered by other authors on the same subject. A very good overview for someone who has not read many public speaking books.

But later on in the book it became more interesting for me, as Gallo goes into the detail of a number of keynote addresses by Steve. As it turns out, Gallo is a speaking coach who works a lot in the high tech sector, a field I recognize since my local clients often are in the Israeli technology industry.
Flicking back through the pages, here are some of the ideas I highlighted:
  • The book made be reconsider my aversion towards video in presentations (because it causes so many technological problems). Maybe 10 years later, technology has moved on and it is time to think about incorporating (very short) fragments of video.
  • "Your audience does not care about your product, people care about themselves". A good reminder when creating presentations that need to sell technology products loaded with features.
  • The concept of "reality distortion field", being such a good speaker that the audience is basically ready to accept anything from you
  • A reminder how important headlines are
  • A reminder how important it is to practice (if there is one public speaking tip that is important, this one is it). And building on this: you actually need to practice in order to sound spontaneous and speak naturally. Winging a presentation with improvised language and "uhs" and "ohs" does not sound spontaneous and natural.
  • That you need to be Steve Jobs in order to dress like Steve Jobs in a key note presentation.
  • The important of "signalling" making it completely and utterly obvious what the point of your slide/image is. No brain puzzles for your audience.
  • Great speakers remain calm and confident when something unexpected happened, see this video full of Apple bloopers:

All in all, I enjoyed reading this book. It is particularly useful if you belong to one of two categories: 1) people who have not read a lot of public speaking books before (this is a good overview), 2) people who have not read a lot of books about Steve Jobs before (I am part of this one).
Here is a 7 minute video by Carmine Gallo in which he talks about many of the topics that are discussed in the book as well.

Disclosure: links on this blog to Amazon are affiliate links, I earn a small commission when you buy products through them.

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