Steve Jobs is famous for his incredible presentations at the MacWorld tradeshows. In past years he has used the stage to introduce such legendary products as the iPod and the iPhone and this year he introduced the "macbook air" notebook computer.
That is all very nice to know... but from a Toastmasters perspective, what can we learn from his recent presentation?
He was very well organized. He even numbered the key points he was going to make and told everyone up front that there were only four of them. (I know... 3 is the magic number for speeches, but we will try to cut Steve some slack.)
Next, he had good gestures. On a big stage it is important that your gestures are big enough for the audience to see. Steve did OK here... not exactly a Tall Tales contest speech, but, again, we will cut him some slack.
How about Props? This is where Steve really shined! What could be better than a standard inter-office mailing envelope to give everyone an idea of the size of the new macbook air? Everyone, even people in the back row could recognize this type of envelope... and I'm sure they were all hoping that there would be such an envelope (with a macbook air notebook enclosed) with their name on it!
Area of Improvement?
Every speech has something that can be improved and I'm sure many of you noticed that Steve Jobs thanked the audience in one of the pictures (shown in the following post).
The general Toastmasters wisdom is that you do not end your speech with a Thank You since your speech should have value to the audience and, in essence, they should be thankful that you gave it. On the other hand, Steve Jobs used the Thanks. section to build rapport with the audience... which means that maybe it was OK. We can cut him some slack.
Of course there were others who did NOT cut Steve any slack. Here is a excerpt from Presentation Zen blog....
Macobserver reported that Jobs's keynote Tuesday in San Francisco was not one of his "expectation-shattering presentations." They quoted Your Mac Life host Shawn King saying that "Jobs's performance seemed a little off." But as a commenter on the website said "...if Jobs had announced contact with an alien civilization, it wouldn't have 'shattered expectations.'"
In conclusion, it is clear that Steve Jobs intended to demonstrate his Toastmasters skills through his presentation... and, by the way, he introduced a couple new Apple products.
I'm sure we all look forward to his next speech in the Toastmasters manual!
If you would like to see his 90 minute keynote speech condensed into 60 seconds... check it out below.