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How to Give a Speech like Steve Jobs

Find out what you can learn from Steve Jobs' speaking style from media coach TJ Walker in this Howcast public speaking video.


So what can we learn from the speaking style of Steve Jobs? First of all, who was Steve Jobs? He was a tech guy. He was head of a big tech company. He gave technical speeches. But what does that mean? Most people, when they say they give technical speeches, what they mean is they turn their back to you. They point to a really complicated graph, with 29 different bullet points. That's what people think they're doing when they're giving so-called technical speeches.

Well, Steve Jobs gave technical speeches too, but he did it in a way that actually worked. When he used a slide, he used an image. If he wanted to talk about an iPhone, he showed a picture of an iPhone. He didn't put up text and 89 different bullet points of the specs.

When he wanted to demonstrate the thinness of one of his knew laptop computers he didn't put up a bullet point slide that said "Thinness .18 inches." That's not what he did. He had someone bring out an envelope and he simple pulled this new laptop out of the envelope to dramatize how thin it was. He realizes even though he's got the best technology in the world, often there's nothing better than a simple prop of a ten cent envelope. That made his point.

The other thing he did is he rehearsed a great deal. People who worked with him say he would obsess over his major presentations for weeks. He would rehearse for days because he understood how important this was. It's not something you just dash off at the last minute because there's no time.

If you're the CEO there's nothing more important than giving a great presentation to galvanize people's attention, to motivate them to want your product, to use your product. And that's why he was very careful to walk around the stage, to be conversational, to demonstrate. And when he used images that he projected, it wasn't about text. It was about one idea at a time, one visual at a time. That's what made Steve Jobs an effective communicator.

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