7 Sales Presentation Lessons that you can learn from Steve Jobs
9 minutes read
Whether you are going to
- Present your brand at an industry event or conference or exhibition
- Or present your products before the stakeholders of your company or client’s company
- Or launch and introduce a new product to the world
Whatever the situation might be, you need to have good presentation skills in order to
- Capture your audience’s attention
- Take them through a pleasant ride of storytelling
- And keep them engaged from the beginning to the end of your presentation
The best inspiration that anyone can have when it comes to presenting things, is Steve Jobs.
Here are some interesting lessons that sales reps can learn from Steve Jobs and adapt in order to dazzle their audiences with their presentation:
1. Set the Stage Up
A good story in nearly every successful Hollywood movie follows the three-act structure:
- The setup
- The conflict,
- And the resolution
The setup is important. It introduces the characters and provides the background to move the action forward.
In the 2007 iPhone presentation, Jobs built up the narrative in the following way before he even mentioned a new product.
“This is a day I’ve been looking forward to for two and a half years,” Jobs began. “Every once in a while, a revolutionary product comes along that changes everything … Apple has been very fortunate. It’s been able to introduce a few of these into the world. In 1984, we introduced the Macintosh. It didn’t just change Apple; it changed the whole computer industry. In 2001, we introduced the first iPod. It didn’t just change the way we all listen to music; it changed the entire music industry. Well, today, we are introducing three revolutionary products of this class.”
2. Stick to the rule of “three”
Jobs instinctively understood that the number “3” is one of the most powerful numbers in communication. A list of 3 things is more intriguing than 2 and far easier to remember than 22.
Jobs divided his iPhone presentation into three sections. He spoke about
- The iPod functions of the new iPhone,
- The phone itself,
- And connecting to the Internet
Jobs even had some fun with the number three. He said, “Today we are introducing three revolutionary products. The first is a widescreen iPod with touch controls. The second is a revolutionary mobile phone. And the third is a breakthrough Internet communications device.”
And then as the audience applauded, Jobs repeated the three ‘products’ several times. Finally, he said, “Are you getting it? These are not three separate devices. They are one device and we are calling it iPhone!”
3. Introduce a Villain
All great stories have a hero and a villain. Steve Jobs’s presentation was no exception.
In 2007, why did the world need another mobile phone, especially from Apple?
Jobs set up the narrative by introducing a villain. A problem that needs a solution: “Regular cell phones are not so smart and they are not so easy to use. Smartphones are a little smarter, but are harder to use. They are really complicated…we want to make a leapfrog product, way smarter than any mobile device has ever been and super easy to use. This is what iPhone is.”
4. Sell benefits, not just information
“It works like magic. You do not need a stylus. It’s far more accurate than any touch display that I’ve ever shipped. It ignores unintended touches. It’s super smart. You can do multi-finger gestures on it. And boy have we patented it. “
The above sentence is expressed by Steve about the greatness of the Apple iPhone. If you explore further, he does not use standard techniques by saying the greatness of the iPhone from A to Z. Instead, he tells only the core benefits that it provides when compared to other mobile phones of that time. These benefits are delivered correctly and answer the existing problems.
5. Avoid Reading from Notes
The introduction of the iPhone lasted about 80 minutes. Not once did Jobs read from a teleprompter or notecards. He had internalized the content so well that he didn’t need notes.
During the demos, however, he did have a very short list of bullet points hidden from the audience’s view. Those bullets served as reminders and they were the only notes he relied upon.
6. Inspire your audience
Jobs liked to end his keynotes with something uplifting and inspiring. At the end of the iPhone presentation, he said, “I didn’t sleep a wink last night. I’ve been so excited about today…There’s an old Wayne Gretzky quote that I love. ‘I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been.’ We’ve always tried to do that at Apple since the very, very beginning. And we always will.”
7. Have Fun
When Jobs first told the audience that Apple was going to introduce a mobile phone he said, “Here it is.” Instead of showing the iPhone, the slide displayed a photo of an iPod with an old-fashioned rotary dial on it.
The audience got a kick out of it, laughing and clapping. They had been played and Jobs was enjoying their reaction.
There were many funny moments, including a crank call. Jobs was demonstrating the maps feature to show how easy it was to find a location and call the number. He found a Starbucks nearby and called it. A woman picked up the phone and said, “Good morning, Starbucks. How can I help you?” Jobs said, “I’d like to order 4,000 lattes to go, please. No, just kidding. Wrong number. Bye-bye.” The audience loved it.
Want to learn about the top 10 CEOs who started their career as sales reps?
Learn about the top women CEOs who are running the top brands in the world
Learn some crucial sales lessons from some of the most successful entrepreneurs
Published on Mon Jun 20 2022