34 of 34 people found the following review helpful
When I bought this book I was slightly sceptical; after all, how could one person (Steve Jobs) be THAT good at presenting that a whole book could be dedicated to him?
As I read on I realised that the style of Steve Jobs is the key here. He uses simple words, simple pictures and powerful stories to convey his messages. Even a technical analysis of his presentations (lexical density, hard words, Fog index etc.) reveals that his messages are surprisingly simple yet paint the most powerful pictures.
Throughout the book there are references to threes; three bears, three elements of a good story and so on. And as if to follow suit, the book is also divided into three sections:
1. Create the story
2. Deliver the experience
3. Refine and rehearse.
Steve Jobs is a legendary presenter. Not many people would launch a world-beating computer (Macintosh) by quoting Bob Dylan! Yet Steve's simple, almost overly simple, presentations do exactly what they are supposed to do; they hold the audience and convey the message.
This book is full of technical support notes regarding the use of language, the effectiveness (or otherwise) of bullet points and the best way to construct a presentation. There are even a range of tips of getting the best from PowerPoint and a number of excellent insights into the way other legendary individuals communicate.
This is a great little book for anyone who has to, professionally or occasionally presents and conveys messages and offers so many simple and common sense ideas that it's a wonder why we have to sit through so many poor presentations.
Read this book and make your next presentation so much more memorable for all the RIGHT reasons.
31 of 32 people found the following review helpful
on 15 February 2010
Steve Jobs is considered one of the best presenters of all time. He walks on to the stage in blue jeans and a poloneck and just chats with the audience, effortlessly.
Jobs may have talent, but it doesn't come without effort. And he does everything right. If you read all the books on presentation design, Reynolds, Duarte, Atkins, Kawasaki, Williams, etc., you will find that Jobs is the case study that does it all.
He creates the story, the unforgettable headline; "Today Apple reinvents the phone", "The world's thinnest notebook", "One thousand songs in your pocket", the passion statement, the metaphors and analogies, he develops demonstrations and supporting slides.
More than anything, he answers the essential question: Why does it matter? Why does the audience want to know. Where does it hurt? And he answers without clutter, simplifies to emphasize.
Most of his slides, those that aren't pictures, are just a few words, in fact most of them would pass Reynolds' 'max six words on a slide' rule. The screen never competes with what he says, only supports and elevates.
Jobs might look like he is just ad libbing on stage, but the truth is he spends hours and days rehearsing. Every word and every gesture is scripted and refined and rehearsed and rehearsed and rehearsed. That is what it takes to be perfectly relaxed, just chatting with the audience.
His Macworld keynotes, which is where he really excels, are long, an hour, some times longer. That is why he 'chunks' his presentation. Every few minutes, ten at the most, something new happens, a demo, a guest, a video, something to re-engage the audience.
The author, Carmine Gallo, does a good job of analysing Jobs' presentation skills and presenting the underlying science which supports every thing he does.
It does not matter whether you are a professional speaker or just do the occasional presentation, if you read this book, your next one will be better, maybe totally different and amazingly much better. Nobody said that only Jobs can do it.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Let's face it, few (if any) of those who read this book will then be "insanely great in front of any audience." That's not why Carmine Gallo wrote it. Rather, his purpose is to help his readers to present their ideas to anyone, anywhere, anytime "with the power of believing in themselves and in their story." Obviously, there are valuable lessons to be learned from what Steve Jobs does and how he does it. He brings so many resources to bear on each presentation. They include (1) a thorough understanding of the given subject, (2) a passionate interest in it, (3) rigorous and extensive preparation, (4) total self-confidence and physical presence that command attention, (5) brilliant insights that are thoroughly developed, and (6) sharp focus on what is most interesting and most important to the audience...and on nothing else. I have seen Jobs in action several times and can attest to the power and impact of what he says and how he says it.
Note: Locate online and upload his commencement speech at Stanford University in 2005. Once you have seen and heard it, you will never forget it. You will also want to share it with recent school and college graduates.
Gallo cites a few tips early in his narrative. They may seem simple but don't be fooled. All of the greatest public speakers will tell you that it took them many years (about 10,000 hours) of deliberate practice to master them.
1. "Plan in Analog": Think of the presentation as a story that has a setting, a plot, characters, conflicts, increasing tensions because of unsolved problems and/or unanswered questions, a climax, and a brief concluding lesson.
2. "Answer the One Question That Matters Most": Those in the audience are asking the same question, "Why should I care." Disregard this question and you will lose the audience almost immediately.
3. "Develop a Messianic Sense of Purpose": Gallo notes that Jobs was worth more than $100 million by the time he was 25 and it didn't natter to him at all. That wasn't what he was about. "Understanding this one fact will help you unlock the secret behind Jobs's extraordinary charisma."
4. "Create Twitter-like Headlines": Develop headlines into 140-character sentences. Less is more.
5. "Draw a Road Map": Jobs effectively uses the most powerful principle of persuasion, The Rule of Three (i.e. three new products, three objectives, three barriers. three parts, three new features).
6. "Introduce the Antagonist": In each of Jobs's greatest presentations, he introduces a common enemy against which everyone unites, becomes emotionally engaged, prepares to do battle, agrees to make sacrifices, etc.
Note: It could be waste, a foreign country, the New York Yankees ("the Evil Empire"), a product, a competitor. Whatever.
7. "Reveal the Conquering hero": At each presentation, Jobs introduces a hero that the audience can rally around. It could be a person, a product, a goal, or a destination.
As I suggested earlier, few (if any) of those who read this book will then be
"insanely great in front of any audience." However, there are valuable lessons to be learned from what Steve Jobs does and how he does it. I commend Carmine Gallo on his brilliant organization and presentation of so much material. As perhaps he would agree, much of his success as a writer is explained by how he has learned from "an insanely great" role model.
32 of 35 people found the following review helpful
on 2 January 2010
And I read them all!
Over the years I have read many hundreds of books on public speaking. Lots of them regurgitate the same old, same old - but this is different.
Steve Jobs of Apple has reinvented the genre of public speaking as pitch. People queue up all night to get into one of his talks. What can we learn from him? A lot! The author is not just a Jobs fan but an expert public speaking coach.
Granted there's some repetition half way through and the Jobs love is a bit pukey at times, but it's worth hanging in there through that.
The book is NOT for first time speakers or nervey types wanting to get a little better, but if you are a speaker and have some experience of public speaking and want to learn how to be even more persuasive, no - wildly effective - get this book. I speak in front of hundreds of people everty week and have done so for years, and can't wait till tomorrow to implement some of the advice here.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 23 May 2010
This book was highly recommended and justifiable so. In the past I was frequently involved with giving presentations and doing product roll outs so am very familiar with what it takes to do it. I am about to begin doing this again on a large scale and at times it has seem daunting. Since reading the book, I am now SO excited to get started on doing. I will soon be able to use what I have learned and just KNOW it is going to have the impact I want.
The book is well laid out, writing style is enagaging but most of the tips and tricks are excellent. This book will be a constant reference for me going forward.
Having seen Jobs present, it is easy to see he is one of the best ever. I can only hope to be half as good, but this book will help me get there! A must read for anyone presenting!
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 22 March 2011
Reading this book alongside watching videos of Steve Job's on You Tube will help you develop the skill of public speaking/ presenting - though ultimately it all comes down to putting in the practice! As you will read Steve Job's sometinmes puts in over 100 hours of effort for a 60 minute slideshow. We may not all have that kind of time free in our schedules - but taking a smaller amount of time out to read this book (and others on the simple rule of 3) and then having a go will start you off on small steps to being better or more confident. I know it has helped me.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 7 November 2011
Easy to read and initially promising. When I got half way through I lost interest. I think this is because I wasn't reading anything new. It seemed like a repetition in style and content. It contained very few memorable ideas.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 31 March 2010
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 14 April 2010
I like the content of the book, but for a book about presentation skills I am quite surprised why it has such poor typography. The page spread, the often far too big number of different fonts on a single page, the pages generally far to full, the gimmicky 'frames'. This is a collection of typographical sins. Maybe one can't expect any better from a book layout company who call themselves in the imprint of this book 'interior designers'? It looks as if it was designed by somebody on a screen who never learnt what can be printed on real paper and what can't. What a shame, this book deserved better.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
I picked this book up in Changi airport a few years ago whilst waiting for a flight back to the UK, and was sufficiently interested by the parts I read to get hold of my own copy. Whilst reading it over the past day or two, I began to wonder if I'd've done better to finish it off whilst standing in the airport. It really only takes a few hours to read, but the amount of information it contains could be ingested in a much shorter period of time.
As the title suggests, the book uses examples from Steve Jobs's product presentations to suggest ways in which the reader's talks could be improved. I've been interested in the area of presentation skills for a while, and have already compiled my own list of do's and don'ts (some of which occurred to me while watching video of Jobs's talks), so I mainly found this book useful as reinforcing what (I think) I already knew about effective presentations: they focus on answering a single question, they're delivered with enthusiasm, and they've been thoroughly rehearsed. All of these things - and a few others - are described here, and are nicely illustrated with some passages from a few of Jobs's talks. Chief among these is his 2007 presentation which introduced the iPhone, to which the author returns again and again - for example - he uses it to directly demonstrate why a speaker who has a conversational, seemingly-spontaneous style (like Jobs) is better at engaging with the audience than one who reads from cue cards (like the CEO of Cingular, who was brought onstage to talk about the network for the iPhone).
This is all good stuff since - as the author points out - all the Jobs talks he refers to in the book are handily available on YouTube for our delectation and education. However, I was less enamoured by the way the author takes an uncritical - indeed, in places, embarrassingly fawning - view of his subject, as evidenced by his opening sentences: "Steve Jobs is the most captivating communicator on the world stage. No one else comes close." (p ix). Such an upfront statement, while eye-catching, ought to be enough to get you wondering whether a more measured approach would have been more compelling. You're still thinking about that when you come across the first illustration in the book: a stock photo of Jobs giving a talk, with the caption: "Apple's master showman turns presentations into theatrical experiences" (p xv). By the time we get to end of the book, the author's belief in his subject's dazzling talents has spread into areas where you would have thought it would be hard to go without the cooperation of Jobs (which wasn't forthcoming): "A Steve Jobs presentation is passionate, exciting, informative and, above all, fun. In many ways, it comes naturally, because it's the way he has lived his life." (p 212)
Such hagiography is a pity, because it spoils what could have been a handy resource. Other things that spoil it include the (very) occasional imprecision in the language: I didn't find his definitions of metaphor and analogy on p7 very illuminating, and he seems to think (p45) that second-guessing means changing your mind, rather than criticizing someone else's decisions. Apart from those nit-picks, I thought it a nice piece of work, although I still wonder whether it could have been improved by excising some of its excesses.