The Nine Elements Of Great Presentations English Language Essay

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Delivering a business presentation is one of the most critical aspects of business that requires proper skills so that the listeners take interest in the presentation process and can also interact with the speaker because ultimate goal for any business is to influence the customers in a way that they get a positive feeling about the product.

Steve Jobs is considered as the most captivating communicator on the world stage. Jobs has built a reputation in the digital world of bits and bytes. His presentations are theatrical events intended to generate maximum publicity, buzz, and awe. Jobs used to be closely involved in every detail of a presentation: writing descriptive taglines, creating slides, practicing demos, and making sure the lighting is just right. Jobs takes nothing for granted.

Plan in Analog

Planning for any presentation should start with pen and paper. Sketching out rough ideas in the 'analog world' in early stages of presentation leads to more clarity and more creative results when we finally get down to representing our ideas digitally. Making slides does not take as much time as developing a story in analog way takes. It is always better to "storyboard" the presentation before transferring ideas into digital format. At last it is the story and not the slides that capture the imagination of audience.

Bullets Kill

There are very few words in a Steve Jobs presentation. Also there are no bullets points in a Steve Jobs presentation as well. But there always is a visually engaging presentation that inspires the audience. A picture is the most powerful method for conveying an idea.

The Story Takes Centre Stage

The single most important thing one can do to dramatically improve presentations is to have a story to tell before working on PowerPoint file.

A three-step storyboard approach to creating presentations as follows:

Writing → Sketching → Producing

Only after writing and scripting, one can visually think about how the slides will work. When the script (or story to present) is ready, one can actually expand the visual possibilities because scripting defines the purpose before designing. Script unlocks the undiscovered power of PowerPoint as a visual story- telling tool in ways that might surprise and delight audiences.

Nine Elements of Great Presentations


One big idea that should be left with the audience should be short, memorable and written in the subjective-verb-object sequence. When Steve Jobs unveiled the iPhone, he exclaimed, "Today Apple reinvents the phone!" that's a headline. Headlines grab the attention of audience and give people a reason to listen.

So a business presentation must have a catchy headline that can easily be retained in the listener's mind.


Aristotle, the father of public speaking, believed that successful speakers must have "pathos," or passion for their subject. Communicators should express a sense of excitement about their topic. Steve Jobs exuded an enthusiasm every time he was at stage. Energy and enthusiasm should mesmerize the audience.


After deciding about the headlines and passion statement, the communicator should write out the three messages that he wants the audience to receive about their products in a way that they can be easily recalled without the necessity of looking at notes and the messages should be followed by supporting points.


A metaphor is a word or phrase that denotes one thing and is used to designate another for the purposes of comparison. It is a persuasive tool in the best marketing, advertising and public relations campaigns. Jobs used to put metaphors in conversations and presentations. In one famous interview, Jobs said, "What a computer is to me is the most remarkable tool that we have ever come up with. It's the equivalent of a bicycle for our minds"

An analogy is a comparison between two different things in order to highlight some area of similarity. Analogies help us understand concepts that might be foreign to us. "The microprocessor is the brain of your computer" is an analogy that works well for companies such as Intel. In many ways, the chip serves the same function in the computer as a brain serves in a human. The chip and the brain are two different things with like features. This particular analogy is widely picked up by the media.


If the product lends to a presentation then communicator should script into the presentation. Audience wants to see, touch and experience the product or service. Jobs used to share the spotlight with employees, partners, and products. Demos make up a large part of his presentations.


Jobs used to share the stage with key partners as well as his products. In September 2005, Jobs announced that all of Madonna's albums would be available on iTunes. The pop star herself suddenly appeared via webcam. Whether it's an artist or an industry partner like the CEOs of Intel, Fox, or Sony, Jobs used to share the stage with people who contribute to Apple's success.


Offering "customer evidence" or testimonials is an important part of the selling cycle. Few customers want to be pioneers, especially when budgets are tight. Customers want to hear success stories. This is especially critical for small companies.

Communicator should always use third-party endorsements when available. Word of mouth is one of the most effective marketing tools available, and when customers see an endorsement from a publication or an individual they respect, it will make them feel more comfortable about their purchasing decisions.


Including video clips in presentation help communicator to stand out. One can show ads, employee testimonials, scenes of the product or of people using the product, and even customer endorsements. What could be more persuasive than hearing directly from a satisfied customer-if not in person, then through a short video clip embedded in your presentation?


There are three types of learners: visual (the majority of people fall into this category), auditory (listeners), and kinaesthetic (people who like to feel and touch). Find ways to appeal to everyone. A presentation should comprise more than just slides. One should use whiteboards, flip charts, or the high-tech flip chart-a tablet PC. Bring "props" such as physical products for people to see, use and touch.

Answer the One Question That Matters Most

When Jobs unveiled the new translucent iMac, he described the reason for building the computer, the target market, and the benefit customers would see from buying the new system. After describing the weaknesses of current products in the preceding excerpt, Jobs drew a verbal road map for his audience, listing the features he would explain in more detail. The audience learned that the new iMac was fast ("it screams") and that it had a "gorgeous" fifteen-inch display, a large amount of built-in memory, and components that would make accessing a network easier for students and home users. In one of his typical surprise moments, Jobs then walked to the centre of the stage and pulled the cover off the new computer.

Audience wants to be informed, educated, and entertained: informed about product, educated on how it works, and entertained while learning about it. Above all, people want to know the answer to one question: Why should I care?

Here are the examples showing two scenarios:


Scenario One

CUSTOMER: Hi, I'm looking for a notebook computer that is light and fast and includes a DVD.

SALESPERSON: You should look for an Intel Core 2 Duo.

CUSTOMER: OK. I didn't know Intel makes computers.

SALESPERSON: They don't.

CUSTOMER: Can you tell me more?

SALESPERSON: An Intel dual-core processor has two perfor-

mance engines that simultaneously process data at a faster rate.

CUSTOMER: Oh. Maybe I should look somewhere else.

In the above example though the salesman is technically right, but customers not all the time understand this techie language. Salesperson needs to be friendly with the customer. Here is the good example:


Scenario Two

SALESPERSON: Hi, can I help you find something?

CUSTOMER: Sure. I'm looking for a notebook computer. One that is light and fast and includes a DVD.

SALESPERSON: You've come to the right place. We have a huge selection of small notebooks that are blazingly fast. Have you considered a system with an Intel Core 2


CUSTOMER: Not really. What's that?

SALESPERSON: Think of the microprocessor as the brain of your computer. Now, with these Intel chips, you get two brains in one computer. What that means to you is that you can do a lot of fun and productive stuff at the same time. For example, you can download music while your computer is running a full virus scan in the background, and it won't slow down the system at all. Your productivity applications will load much faster, you can work on multiple documents at the same time, your DVDs will play much better, and you get much longer battery life on top of it! And that's not all: the displays are gorgeous.

CUSTOMER: Great. Please show me those computers!

Here in the above example salesman spoke in simple English language, used examples to describe his product and answered the only question that mattered to the customer: "Why should I care about the processor?"

Create Twitter-Like Headlines

Jobs used to build Twitter-Like zippy headlines. Headlines were specific and memorably and best of all can fit into a twitter post. Millions of users "tweet" about the daily happenings in their lives and can choose to follow the happenings of others. Twitter is changing the nature of business communication in a fundamental way-it forces people to write concisely. The maximum post-or tweet-is 140 characters. Characters include letters, spaces, and punctuation. For example, Jobs's description of the MacBook Air takes thirty characters: "The world's thinnest notebook."

Jobs had a catchy headline for almost every product. The communicator should get these catchy lines for their products and the rest of the presentation should be built around it.

Draw a Road Map

Before delivering that headline, however, Jobs added to the drama and suspense when he told the audience that Apple would introduce not one, but three revolutionary products. He identified the first one as a wide-screen iPod with touch controls. This met with a smattering of applause. Jobs said the second product would be a revolutionary mobile phone. The audience cheered that announcement. And the third, said Jobs, was a breakthrough Internet communications device. At this

point, the audience members sat back and waited for what they thought would be further product descriptions and perhaps some demos of the three new devices-but the real thrill was yet to come. Jobs continued, "So, three things: a wide-screen iPod with touch controls, a revolutionary mobile phone, and a breakthrough Internet communications device: An iPod, a phone and an Internet communicator. An iPod, a phone-are you getting it? These are not three separate devices. This is one device, and we are calling it iPhone."

"Rule of Three" is one of the most powerful concepts in communication theory. It is powerful speechwriting technique that communicator should learn, practice, and master.

Use of the Rule of Three helps to express concepts more completely by emphasizing points and increasing the memorability of your message.


Christianity- Father, Son, and Holy Spirit

Movies- The good, bad and ugly

Introduce the Antagonist

In every classic story, the hero fights the villain. The same storytelling outline applies to world-class presentations. Steve Jobs established the foundation of a persuasive story by introducing his audience to an antagonist, an enemy, a problem in need of a solution. In 1984, the enemy was "Big Blue."

One should introduce the antagonist early in presentation and always establish the problem before revealing the solution. Set up the problem by asking, "Why do we need this?" Spend some time describing the problem in detail. Make it tangible. Build the pain. Create an elevator pitch for your product using the four-step method described in this chapter. Pay particular attention to question number 2, "What problem do you solve?" Nobody cares about your product. People care about solving their problems.

Obey the Ten-Minute Rule

One should try to obey the ten-minute rule. Listeners need break in between the presentation.

Master Stage Presentation

Steve Jobs always had a commanding presence. His voice, gestures and body language communicated authority, confidence and energy. Jobs not only used zippy words and catchy headlines for his products but also had a style in delivering the words. He used to punch key words in the sentences, putting extra emphasis to the most important words in the sentence and had expanded gestures to complement the vocal delivery.

Say It with Style

Jobs had his voice as effectively as hid gestures. His content, slides and demos created excitement, but his delivery ties the package together. Communicator should practice more and more to have this style in every detail of their presentation.

Three Techniques to Improve Body Language

Eye Contact

Communicators must make an eye contact with the audience.

Open Posture

Communicator should practice enough so that he doesn't need to stand behind the lecture stand. Posture should be open. It shows complete confidence communicator has. Jobs rarely crossed his arms.

Hand Gestures

Every sentence of the presentation should be emphasised with a gesture that complements the words. Keeping hands at slides make the communicator look stiff and formal. Extraordinary communicators such as Jobs use more gestures than the average speaker, not fewer.

Make It Look Effortless

Practice isn't the thing you do once you are good. It is the thing you do that makes you good. - Malcolm Gladwell. Presenting on stage with precision, style and confidence doesn't come naturally. It needs practice. Even Jobs used to rehearse for hours. A communicator should mesmerize the audience and that doesn't come without a practice. One should practice more and more to have make the presentation look effortless.

Wear the Appropriate Costume

Clothes leave an impression on people. Dress like a leader you want to become, not for the position. Great leaders dress a little better than everyone else in the room.

Toss the Script

Steve Jobs was the consummate presenter for twenty-first century audience who engage themselves in conversations not lectures. Presenter should have a casual speaking style and informality. One should not real from notes except in special circumstances. Try to use visuals on the slides with one message per slide. Think of a "one theme per slide."

Have Fun

Treat presentation as "infotainment". Give audience what they want. They want to educated and entertained.

If the presentation hits a glitch, acknowledge it with a smile and move on.

If something does not go exactly as planned change the frame of reference.

keep the big picture in mind, have fun!!

Jobs always entertained and educated his listener. He used to crack jokes and pranks if any glitch occurs.

Jobs's speech revealed the secret to his success as a business leader and communicator: do what you love, view setbacks as opportunities, and dedicate yourself to the passionate pursuit of excellence; whether it's designing a new computer, introducing new gadgets, running Apple, overseeing Pixar, or giving a presentation, Jobs believed in his life's work. This is the last and most important lesson Jobs can teach-the power of believing in yourself and your story.