Thursday, October 13, 2011
How Steve Jobs worked his magic
Yesterday's release of the iPad reminds me that I forgot to point you to last week's Financial Post column, which looked at Steve Jobs' secrets of public speaking.
The book is a useful review of standard speaking practices, with a dollop of passion and personality from the iconoclastic co-founder of Apple Computer. Author Carmine Gallo isn't a great writer, so the book rarely soars, but the general principles are worthwhile:
* "Answer the one question that matters most." Reduce complex situations to simple solutions.
* "Sell the benefit." Don't just describe your solution, explain why people should care (e.g., "Apple's Genius tool creates playlists from songs in your library that go great together, with just one click").
* "Create Twitter-like headlines." Examples: "Today Apple reinvents the phone!" "Keynote was built for me!"
* "One theme per slide." Focus on single images, not bullet points.
I was particularly pleased to see Gallo identify a story-telling device that I have seen Jobs use, but could never put a name to: “Introduce the Antagonist.” To make you see the world his way, Jobs sets out what’s wrong with the status quo before introducing his solution.