History Of Story Boarding Your Presentation English Language Essay

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Preparing a business presentation requires proper planning, research and organization. You need not only to keep your audience engaged with the information but also assure and inspire them to take action, once the presentation is over. To implement a successful presentation, you must start planning about it as in advance as possible. Developing a presentation requires several steps and techniques to be considered for effective communication.

The first name that ever comes in mind regarding effective presentation skills is Late Steve Jobs who appears to be the idol in the field of presentation skills. Steve Jobs always did a great job in front of any audience. He used the techniques that have turned the Apple CEO (Steve Jobs) into the world's one of the most extraordinary corporate storytellers. He sells the steak and the sizzle at the same time.For more than 3 decades, Jobs did a fabulous job of transforming the product launches into an art form, his presentations were intended to do 3 things: inform, educate and entertain. Here are some steps to accomplish them:

Begin by story boarding your presentation-

The first and the foremost step of preparing a presentation are to create a rough outline on how you plan to address your purpose. Draw or write the framework of the idea generated onto the paper, presented as a story. It should be developed after exercising the techniques like brainstorming, sketching etc.

Steve Jobs initially spend his time in preparing the presentation in the old world's format i.e. with a pen and paper, and emphasized on using techniques like in brainstorming, sketching or white boarding before creating the digital or power point presentation. Each and every element of the story that he wants to convey to the audience are first thoroughly thought, planned and at last collected before creating any slides. The collected data have always had all the elements of a great movie like a hero, a villain, stunning visuals and a supporting cast. And as a director, Steve Jobs prepares the story board for the presentation. Being a story teller, he thought that he is delivering the story and the digital slides are the complements to the story.

Set the theme for every idea-

It is necessary to create a theme which should be in a single sentence for every idea or product in order to concise it so that it can be used by the audience to categories the product. Once you identify your theme, make sure you deliver it several times throughout your presentation. These short descriptions can also be used as a headline by the media, and it must remain within the limit of 140-150 characters. Setting up clearly defined sections of your presentation, with an introduction, middle and conclusion contributes in reaffirming your point.

According to Steve Jobs, a description of a new product with a concise phrase is considered to be within the limit of 140 character Twitter post. These description or headlines enables the audience of the Apple's product to categories Apple's products.

For example, the introduction of MacBook Air in January 2008, where Jobs described it in a simple 4 words "The world's thinnest notebook". This sentence helped the audience to categories the product in its volume. In the same way for an iPod, he described as "One thousand songs in your pocket".

It was Jobs' philosophy to position every product in the market and in the minds of the audience and also for attaining the attention of the audience at the beginning of the presentation. After that he fills the details during his presentation.

Provide an outline or stick to the rule of three for presentations-

The rule of three is one of the most important concepts and should be followed or incorporated during the preparation of a presentation. It is a significant tool to demonstrate the presentation as it the human tendency that their mind can retain only three or four points and forgets the remaining information.

Steve Jobs followed the principle in each of his presentation. Almost every presentation of Jobs was divided into three parts. He believed that, might be you are having twenty points to make about your service or product, but your audience is capable of retaining only three or four points. It is possible that by giving too many points to them and they'll forget everything of what you've said. When jobs returned from a health related absence on Sep 9, 2009, he told the audience he would be talking about 3 products: iphones, itunes and ipod. Along with that he provided the verbal guide posts of the three different products. Steve Jobs knew that 3 can be memorized easily than 6 or 8.

Focus on benefits-

The audience only care about how the idea behind the presentation will improve their living standard. Try to identify the goals, preferences, needs and interests of the potential audience. This helps in making connection with the prospective clients, not allowing them to make a mental leap leaving them to figure it out for themselves.

Steve Jobs emphasized on following the principle of 'Focus on benefits', so that the audience will find their interest in the presentation and responds as well. Steve jobs sell the benefit behind every new product or feature and were always very clear about it. This helps in connecting the listeners with the presentation of that of Jobs.

For example-

Every listener asks themselves one question- "why should I listen to the presentation?"- Jobs stated every benefit behind every new product or feature.

Why buy an iphone 3G? - Jobs said because "it's twice as fast at half the price".

What so great about the time capsule? - All irreplaceable photos, videos and documents are automatically protected and easy to if they are ever lost.

i-tunes movie rentals- "we've never offered a rental model in music because people want to own their music. You listen to your favorite song thousands a time. But most of us watch movies once, may be a few times. And renting is a great way to do it. It is less expensive, doesn't take up space on your hard drive''

Steve Jobs always believed in making connections with his listeners by focusing on their benefits.

Create visual slides-

An effective presentation must consist of visual slides to the most extent and some bullet points. And the explanation on these points can be discussed in detail in the presentation. The narrative slides complement the story and prevents the brain from getting bored easily.

In Steve Jobs presentations there were only visual slides and no bullet points. His strategy was to rely on photographs and images only. Where the normal PowerPoint slide contains 40 words, it was difficult to find 7 words on 10 of jobs slides; this technique is called "picture superiority". It state that information is more effectively recalled when images and texts are combined. Steve Jobs had never given his audience time to get distracted. His presentations was consists of demonstrations, video clips, and other speakers. All of the elements were planned and gathered orderly well before the slides are created and presentation is demonstrated.

Sell dreams not your service-

In every presentation, it is not only the techniques or tools that makes the presentation effective, but also requires the passion and enthusiasm on the part of the speaker so that the presentation would not fall flat on the audience.

Steve Jobs was passionate towards changing the world and it showed in his each presentation. Steve Jobs never sold computers rather he sold the promise of a better world. When Jobs introduced the ipod in 2001, he said, "In our own small way we're going to transform the world into a better place." Where most people considered the ipod as a music player, Jobs saw it as tool to enrich people's lives.

Speaker like Steve Jobs were driven by an urge to create new experiences. Steve jobs doesn't sell computers. He sells the promise of a better world. Of course, it is important to have great product, but enthusiasm, passion and a sense of motive beyond the actual product would set you and your co apart. Steve Jobs was also passionate and enthusiastic about his customers and he never afraid to wear his passion his sleeve. During a presentation in 1997 he concluded by saying, "some people say you have to be a little crazy to buy a Mac. Well, in that craziness we see genius and that's who we make tools for". Cultivate a sense of passion, emotion, enthusiasm and mission are totally underestimated elements in professional business communication, although they are useful and powerful ways to motivate others. Steve Jobs once said that his goal is not to die as the richest man in the cemetery, rather it was to go to bed at night thinking that he and his team had done something wonderful today. Steve Jobs believed that you should do something wonderful to make your brand stand for something meaningful.

Introduce the antagonist-

In a presentation an introduction of a villain must have to be there that allows the audience to rally around the hero, you and your product or service. A "villain" doesn't necessarily have to be a direct competitor. It can be a problem in need of a solution.

In every classic story, there is always a hero who fights the villain. The same holds true for a Steve Jobs presentation. He was the master in creating a drama. In 1984, when Apple first introduced its Macintosh, Jobs considered IBM as the villain, known as "big blue" at that time. Before jobs introduced the television, he created a dramatic story around it. It was like so; "IBM wants it all" he said, Apple would be the only company to stand in its way. It was very much dramatic and the audience went crazy.

Its not necessarily have to be the direct competitors; it can be a problem in need of a solution. When Steve Jobs introduced the iphone in January 2007, his presentation at Macworld was focused on the problems related to the mobile phone that the users were experiencing with the current technology. Jobs said, he will resolve the issues. In this way he made up the problem opens the door for him to save the day

Use plain English-

In a presentation it is necessary to use simple words in order to ensure that the information would be understandable to the audience. It is advisable to avoid technical jargons or specialized language which in turn will leave the audience blank, not understanding the information or presentation.

Jobs's language was simple. He rarely, ever used the jargon that clouds most presentations. Several terms are like "best of breed" or "synergy". Jobs language was simple, clear and direct. Steve Jobs always spoke in plain English. In fact, he had fun with words. He described the speed of the new iphone 3G as "amazingly zippy". Where most business presenters use vague, obtuse or confusing words, Jobs's language was remarkably simple.

Makes numbers meaningful-

Material and accurate numbers should be involved in the presentation related to the information in order to make the presentation more meaningful and interesting as numbers put large influence on the audience. The larger the number, the more important it will find comparisons that seems and is relevant to the audience.

Jobs always put large numbers into the content that's relevant to his audience. The bigger the number, the more important it is to find analogies that make the relevant to his audience.

In every Apple presentation, big numbers were always put into the information or presentation. On Sep 9, 2009, Apple VP Phil Schiller said that 220 million ipods had been sold to date. He placed that number into context by saying it represents 73% of the market. He broke it down even further and took a lead at the competition by saying Microsoft is "pulling up the rear" with its 1% market share. Schiller learned his technique from Jobs who was expert in using large numbers into the presentation. Another example, when the US government bailed out US economy to the tune of $700 billion, it was a too huge number for most people to comprehend. Journalists tried to put into a context. The one example that seemed to capture the attention of the press was $700 billion is like spending $1million a day since the day Christ was born. Now that's a big no.!

Practice the presentation-

It is important to rehearse the business presentation in front of someone familiar with the concept so that suggestions can be asked on how to improve the presentation. Continuous practice or rehearsal on the other hand keeps the speaker more fluent and confident on the presentation.

Steve Jobs spend many hours rehearsing every element of his presentation. Every slide was written like a piece of poetry and every presentation was performed like a theatrical experience. Yes, Steve Jobs made the presentations look effortless but of course, that polish comes after hours and hours of hard heavy practice.

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Total Plagiarism Threshold(%): 31%

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