It doesn’t matter if you prefer Microsoft PowerPoint or Apple Keynote to develop and deliver presentations, there is a lot you can learn from Apple’s talks at the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), let’s take a look at their 2012 WWDC. Many executives took to the stage to unveil new MacBooks, the newest version of the OS X operating system (Mountain Lion), and iOS 6 for cellular devices. All the featured Apple speakers are skilled presenters, but the first half an hour of the keynote provides an MBA course in presentation skills that are suitable even for business coaches. Listed below are eight techniques you can adopt to enhance your very next demonstration.
Your audience will provide you about 90 minutes to catch their attention. If you are boring right from the gate, then your audience will tune out and it is going to be very tricky to re-engage them as a trusted advisor. Apple always has something up its sleeve. At the WWDC 2012 the audience expected to see Apple CEO Tim Cook open the keynote. Rather they got Siri, the iPhone personal assistant. Siri warmed up the audience, literally, with jokes. A new and enhanced Siri was a part of the demonstration so it made sense that Apple would choose to shine the spotlight on it. Start powerful or you risk losing your audience.
Avoid bullet points
There are no bullet points in an Apple presentation. There are photographs, images, and words, but no bullet points. A slide full of bullets and text is the least effective way to provide information. Here is a trick, however. If you would like to show a list of things, for instance, features, benefits, technical specs, etc, put a picture on the remaining side and the listing on the right. It may be beneficial to find a strategic copywriter to do this, although they usually deal in lots of text, they often know how to work their way around an engaging presentation as well. Apple spokespeople do this often in each demonstration. After Tim Cook provided an outline of the seminar, his slide displayed an image of a WWDC badge on the left and a list of five things on the right. If you will need to list things, place them into the right of an image and animate each product separately so they drop into the slide at a time.
Put numbers into context
Tim Cook and other Apple speakers show statistics by placing the numbers into a circumstance that’s related to the audience, which is particularly useful for when business coaches are performing small business coach training. Cook said there were 400 million reports on Apple’s App Store. More impressive, he said, that makes it the shop with the greatest number of credit cards anywhere online. This is a technique that Cook uses quite efficiently, in interviews and demonstrations, Cook will seldom deliver a statistic without including one sentence which puts it into perspective. Other Apple executive corporate speakers do something similar. When vice president Phil Schiller introduced the new MacBook Pro in 2012, he said it was only 0.71 inches.
Instead of allowing the viewers to figure out just how thin that is, Schiller put his finger together with the computer and said, it is thinner than my finger. Never has there been a laptop this thin, this mild, and this powerful for private use. Do not just deliver statistics; place them into context using clever sales copywriting.
Keep number slides simple
Cook delivered lots of impressive data: 400 million accounts on the program store, 650,000 programs, 225,000 programs for the iPad, 30 billion programs downloaded, etc. Whenever Cook said a statistic, the number was the only text on the slide. When Cook explained that 30 billion apps were downloaded from the program shop, his slide read: 30 Billion. Avoid the temptation to mess the slides with extraneous details. Also, think creatively when delivering statistics. Cook reported that Apple had composed $5 billion worth of tests to programmers. When he delivered the statistic, the slide showed the picture of a check made out to ‘programmers,’ in the sum of 5,000,000,000. Important numbers should stand by themselves.
Share the stage
Cook doesn’t dominate the presentation. Instead he presents several characters in the story. In the first half an hour of this presentation the audience heard from Cook, Phil Schiller, many program developers, and Apple designer Jony Ive (Ive and the programmers were shown in movie clips). Several other executives demonstrated new products later in the live demonstration. Can you watch a film with a single character? Why would you expect an audience to enjoy a demonstration with just a single person? If you cannot physically share the stage with someone else from your business, introduce them through video or promote some audience participation. A presentation should not be about you.
Apple does not wait for bloggers to determine what the headline is. Apple creates and provides the headline for all its products. It’s not tough to get the headline. Every new Apple product and key features is summarized in one sentence and the sentence is repeated in the live demonstration and on the homepage of this Apple website. As an instance, when Phil Schiller introduced a brand new MacBook Pro, he advised the audience that Apple engineers had re-envisioned the customer laptop. The Apple.com home page instantly reflected the new message with the words, “Introducing MacBook Pro. It’s a whole new vision for the notebook.”Don’t wait for somebody else to position your product. Do it for them.
Deliver wow moments
Molecular biologist John Medina in the University of Washington Medical School likes to state that the mind doesn’t listen to boring things. An Apple demonstration is never dull. Rather than simply displaying the new MacBook Pro, Phil Schiller built it up by showing a slide using a laptop computer draped beneath a black curtain, this is the most beautiful computer We have ever produced, Schiller said when he finally revealed the laptop. Don’t be dull. A little drama never hurts.
Inspire your audience
Like his Predecessor and mentor, Steve Jobs, Cook does not only sell products; he enjoys inspiring his audience too, after all, he is considered one of the top business advisors. After delivering several impressive statistics, Cook said, what we do together is much more important than any set of numbers could ever reflect. Our aim has always been to do good work and also to make a difference in people’s lives. Nothing makes us happier than to see countless thousands of programmers around the globe using our hardware and software to make and discuss their latest, best ideas. Cook then introduced a video showing examples of special programs making a difference in people’s lives. At the conclusion of the demonstration, Cook commented, we’re so proud of those products. Finally, it is why people come to work at Apple, to create products that empower individuals, to make a difference. The products we make, together with the programs you produce, essentially change the world. A Fantastic presentation delivers information efficiently. A fantastic presentation inspires, and this was just in 2012. Apple have continued to innovate and find new ways to impress and engage their audience at the annual Apple WWDC.