There is no denying that Steve Jobs was one of the most charismatic presenters of all time. The launches of Macintosh and iPhone are considered classics and they are still watched in YouTube as educational material for communication experts.
Are there some things that can be learned from Jobs that could be useful in the work of Intellectual Property Expert?
When you are presenting or pitching to your client, client prospect or to your team, you are always faced with the question. How can I present this in a way that does not put my audience to sleep?
You may not have a revolutionary product such as iPhone to introduce but you have a lot of valuable information to deliver to your listeners. However, if you do not have the attention of your audience, it is useless to have that presentation or meeting in the first place.
Here are three lessons that can be derived from the master of persuasion, Jobs.
Jobs understood well that the presentation in not about the product.
The presentation is about the value that the product can bring to the audience. During a presentation, a meeting or a pitch, the listeners are always asking themselves, “Why should I care?”. As a presenter, if you cannot answer that question right from the beginning, your audience won’t listen.
Just like jobs said in 1997: “you’ve got to start with the customer experience and work back toward the technology—not the other way around.” In the field of IP, you got to start by showcasing the benefits of your presentation and then deliver the substance.
Jobs knew that as humans we have limited amount of brainpower to work with.
It is very rare to see a lot of text on the slides of the presentations by Jobs. At one particular moment our brain can concentrate only on one thing. If you are reading the slides, you cannot concentrate to the speaker. And when you are concentrated on the speaker, you are not concentrating on the slides.
The less text you have on the slides, the better. It challenges you to actually assimilate your topic so well that you can freely talk about the subject based on very narrow outline. You are also free to develop your ideas as you go.
Jobs was a masterful storyteller. Jobs knew that people can relate to stories because we are good at visualizing ourselves in them.
A good story hooks you in and lets you to live through the eyes of the hero who sees difficulties ahead. When Apple launched Macintosh in 1984, they made a compelling story of the threat of the Big Blue, which was representing IBM, the largest competitor of Apple in personal computing. Apple was the only hope to prevent industry dominance of IBM and stop Orwellian dystopia from happening.
Your story does not, obviously, have to be as edgy as Apple’s. However, if you can find a way to make your presentation alive through a story, you should definitely take advantage of that.