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5 months ago

[S4E4] The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs with Carmine Gallo

How to Be Insanely Great in Front of Any Audience

Transcript
David Kopec

Welcome to Business Books and Company. Every month, we read great business books and explore how they can help us navigate our careers. Read along with us so you can become a stronger leader within your company or more adept entrepreneur. This month we read the presentation secrets of Steve Jobs how to Be Insanely Great in Front of Any Audience by Carmine Gallo. The presentation, Secrets of Steve Jobs is a self help book for anyone who regularly makes presentations. Whether you're an executive, analyst, marketer, or teacher, this book will help you improve the impression you make on any audience by utilizing the legendary keynotes of Steve Jobs as a model. The book presents tips, tricks, and technical techniques to make better slides, tell a better story, and captivate any audience. We are pleased to be joined by the author of the presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs, carmine Gallo. But before we get to Carmine, let's introduce ourselves.

David Short

I'm David Short.

David Short

I'm a product manager.

Kevin Hudak

I'm Kevin Houdak, chief research officer at a commercial real estate research and advisory services firm.

David Kopec

And I'm David Kopek. I'm an associate professor of computer science at a teaching college. Carmine Gallo is one of the foremost experts on effective communication in the world. He is the author of more than half a dozen books, including bestsellers such as Talk Like Ted, The Storyteller Secret, and the subject of our episode, The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs. His most recent book is The Bezos Blueprint Communication Secrets of the World's Greatest Salesman, which is available everywhere that good books are sold. He's also an advisor to some of the world's top brands and an instructor at Harvard Graduate School of Design. Carmine, thank you so much for joining us on Business, Books and Company.

Carmine Gallo

David, thank you. And with an introduction like that, there's nowhere to go but down. But thanks for that intro. I appreciate it. Good to talk to you guys. And congratulations on the success of your growing podcast. Looks like a terrific audience of business book readers.

David Kopec

Thank you so much. Really appreciate that. Carmine, to start out our conversation, I want to kind of take you back to earlier in your career. How did your career lead up to writing the presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs?

Carmine Gallo

I worked as a journalist for the first 15 years of my career, mostly broadcast journalism. And I began to realize, especially when you are interviewing people on Wall Street, stock analysts, financial investors, people with a great deal of expertise and complex topics, that some people were significantly better than others at explaining or expressing their ideas. They were not necessarily the top people in the field, but they were the ones who were always on camera. They were the ones who CNN and CBS and some other networks that I worked for always invited back. And I began to realize that they are invited back week after week because they are the people who can best explain complex ideas and so I've always loved words. I've always loved presentations and speeches. Journalism, day to day journalism wasn't necessarily for me. So I began making that transition to working with entrepreneurs and CEOs and pre IPO roadshows and those kind of presentations. And then I started writing about some of the iconic speakers and leaders whom I admired as communicators, and one of them was Steve Jobs.

David Short

So what led you to pick Steve Jobs? Do you think he is the greatest presenter of all time? Does he just utilize techniques that might be easier for others to reproduce and learn from?

Carmine Gallo

Yeah. What led you to Steve? Well, gosh, isn't it amazing? We're still talking about steve Jobs passed away a little more than a decade ago. And although since then I've written books on Ted Talks, how to give a Ted style talk, and books about other inspiring speakers, steve Jobs is still the gold standard when it comes to presentation skills. I believe he is the greatest storyteller, the greatest business storyteller of our time. And Kevin, that's because he had the entire package. He had a passion for the topic that was evident. He had a design sensibility that extended to his slides and his message. His products had to be simple to use, and his slides had to be simple to read and understand. Hey, do you guys know how this might surprise you? I hope it'll surprise our listeners. Do you know how big of the font Steve Jobs used on slides? So if you think about a PowerPoint slide he used, you know, same thing. How large was the font of the text that he used on each of his slides? Anybody care to guess?

Kevin Hudak

Well, this is Kevin, and I'm guessing, based on some of the contents of your book, that it had to have been at least 18 to 24, but maybe even larger.

David Kopec

I'm going to guess 144.

Carmine Gallo

Okay. I learned this from Guy you are so off that I'm going to have to just jump to it. I'm going to have to just jump to the answer. I learned it from Guy Kawasaki, who worked side by side with Steve Jobs 190 point font. Wow. Yeah. And the reason is because with 190 point font, you can only put a few words, one, two, three words on a slide. So most of his slides were visual with one or two words to complement the visual. So it was visually heavy multimedia, videos, photographs, images, animations. Well, before, when everybody else was creating PowerPoints, that were just bullet points, frankly. So he was always thinking about design. And Steve Jobs had a growth mindset. He learned to be a better presenter, and he practiced relentlessly to improve that skill. And we can talk about that. It's funny.

David Short

In preparing for this, I watched the Macintosh announcement, and if I remember correctly, 72 point font was the maximum available on the Macintosh word processor.

Carmine Gallo

That's right. So he probably used the maximum back then. And now at 190. You can see more on the iPhone presentation in 2007, which is still on YouTube.

Kevin Hudak

Well, I love how you've already mentioned, Carmine, that you spoke with some folks who were around and grew up with Steve Jobs in the corporate world. I'm just wondering, how did you do the research for this book? Obviously, you must have watched all the Steve Jobs keynotes, but did you do any other interviews? I know you also use some of your anecdotes from your clients who you also work with for executive coaching, but tell us about the research.

Carmine Gallo

Yeah, absolutely. That's the fun part of what I do, really try to immerse myself in the person or the company that I'm writing about. I like to say that presentation sequence of Steve Jobs is as close as anybody could ever get to having Steve Jobs whisper in your ear when you're giving presentations. Yes. As a communication specialist and an outside observer, I did carefully analyze every major Steve Jobs keynote, and I did that frame by frame, and I looked at story structure, slides, character arcs. But I did go one step further. I interviewed people who knew Steve Jobs best, everyone from John Scully, who Jobs famously wooed from PepsiCo. You all remember that line, and it's true. He used the line, do you want to sell sugar water all your life, or do you want to change the world? And John Scully said, it hit me like a punch to the gut, said, Steve, I'm in. So I've talked to John Scully, and I've also talked to executives and product developers who were in the rehearsal room when Jobs was practicing for his iconic keynotes. That's where I got most of the key learnings by people who worked side by side with Jobs, but who were in the rehearsals when Jobs was practicing those keynotes. That's key.

David Kopec

That's a great anecdote about the sugared water. Everyone loves that one. And there's so many powerful anecdotes in your book. Before we get into some of the specifics of specific techniques, for example, that you recommend that come from Steve, I was wondering if you could frame our discussion by, in your own words, describing what makes a good presentation. So how do we know a presentation is good versus bad? I know that sounds like such a basic question, but I'm wondering if there's.

Carmine Gallo

A succinct version of that that you have emotional engaging. Like a good movie, it hooks you from the opening scene, and you do not want to leave your seat until the end. Much of that has to do with storytelling. This is an important concept for all of our listeners. I think that the best communicators do not see themselves as presenters. So let's forget about delivering presentations. See yourself as a storyteller first. When you see yourself as a storyteller, your presentation and the presentation your audience sees is going to change. There's a great anecdote from Tony Fidel. Tony Fidel worked side by side with Steve Jobs. He developed the ipod and many of the iconic Apple products. He later went on to start Nest, the thermostat company then that later was bought by Google for some $3 billion. So Tony Fidel is a real player, obviously, in high tech, and worked and rehearsed presentations with Steve Jobs. Tony was asked a couple of years ago on a podcast, what did you learn from Steve Jobs? What's the most important lessons that you learned from Jobs, your former boss? And Tony said storytelling, storytelling. Storytelling. Isn't that interesting because Jobs was a marketer first, and Steve Jobs understood the power of story. When I wrote the presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs, I was focused on presentations. How do you design a slide? How do you create visually interesting slides that are simple and easy to understand? I may have used the word storytelling in the book. I'm not sure, because it's only recently in my last few books that I've really taken a deep dive into storytelling. But Tony Fidel reminded me that storytelling comes first. Steve Jobs was great because he was a storyteller first. Slides complement the story, but it's the story that you have to craft first.

Kevin Hudak

One thing I picked up from your book as well, Carmine, is that Steve Jobs didn't just look at presentations as an update. You use the words a competitive advantage. It's a way for him to actually sell these products on stage, evangelize people by delivering those three cores, which are also those three acts in your book. First off, the storytelling itself, then the experience, and then rehearsing so that you deliver it perfectly.

Carmine Gallo

Yeah, that's exactly right. Practice and rehearsing is something that Jobs sharpened and was brilliant at it and spent weeks and weeks ahead of his keynotes practicing. Most people do not practice a presentation, and that's where they fall short. They look through their slides, or they print out their deck and just kind of look through it and silently talk to themselves. And they'll go through each slide quietly, silently, until and then they think they have it. They have it down. But it's very different, not only with Steve Jobs, but other great speakers and communicators who I've met. Ted speakers especially. They practice. They were hers. Steve Jobs would put on his uniform, okay? Now, this is something that Ken Cosienda told me. He was a former Apple executive, and he said Carmine was uncanny. Like, Steve Jobs didn't always walk around in jeans and a black mock turtleneck, but he did when he was rehearsing his presentations. So that was his uniform. And he would come into the room, get up on stage, raise his voice, use big gestures. He was practicing the performance. And then he would lower his voice, step out of character, walk into the audience of just a handful of selected executives and talk about what they had just seen, get some feedback, change some slides, change the messaging. Then he would get on stage and change his persona again. And it was so obvious to Ken that Steve Jobs was practicing just like you would a theatrical Broadway performance. He was practicing the performance. So it was all about story and performance. Most of us look at things completely differently. It's all about building the slides and putting the inserting text, inserting bullet points. No, the story and the performance has to come first, and that's an advanced skill. What we're talking about here is not Public Speaking 101. It takes practice.

David Short

That's really interesting to hear. In the last few months, my manager has gotten really focused on this, and our teams do a series of different presentations on a quarterly basis. We share in certain areas and monthly and others. And we have started doing like, two rounds of practice, actually. One where we just walk through and kind of talk through the slides, and then another one where we actually do formally practice. And it is amazing how much just that two little efforts towards it has led to improvements in the quality of the presentations that we ultimately give.

Carmine Gallo

Great idea. And do you want to know something that will help you calm your nerves, alleviate nerves and build confidence? And this comes from neuroscience. I've had this conversation in the last few years with several neuroscientists. All say the same thing when you practice. Practice under stress, practice in real world conditions. So it's not enough just to flip through your slides and to talk silently to yourself. Stand up, put yourself on video, add a little bit of stress to the situation. If you can deliver your entire presentation from start to finish, no room to stop in front of a peer or in front of a team. That way you are more accustomed to the feeling and the elevated heart rate and all of those feelings that you're going to get when you're really in front of an audience. So most people don't even practice the right way. So practice is essential, but practicing the right way is effective. Yeah, absolutely.

David Short

You speak a lot in the book about the importance of the passion a.

David Short

Speaker has for their topic.

David Short

Do you think that there's a better or worse way to get this across in a presentation? Why is that passion so important? And how are listeners perhaps able to help engage their passion in what it is they're speaking?

Carmine Gallo

You know, Steve Jobs was passionate about the products. He was passionate about design, and it showed. And that's why he used words like he did. Some people may think it was hyperbole, but he would say things like, isn't this amazing? Or it works like magic. Well, if you were in the audience when some of these products were introduced, like the iPhone in 2007, you'd probably be thinking the same thing. Yeah, it does look like magic. Oh, you use your finger instead of a stylus. That's really interesting. So he wore passion on his sleeve. And I've often said, ever since I wrote about Steve Jobs, I tell everyone I work, know, if you're not passionate about the topic, there's only so much I can do. I can help you structure a more simple, understandable, real, maybe even compelling story that'll keep your audience engaged. But in order to inspire, you have to be inspired yourself. So I like to ask, dig deep and ask yourself, what is it that you're excited about? What is it that inspires you? And often after I ask that question, the presentation or the message changes dramatically. So I think you always have to start from that foundation, because, look, if you're not excited, nobody else is going to be. We all know that.

Kevin Hudak

So, Carmine, I thought that was an important point about passion. And one thing we have a number of listeners who are likely early stage professionals, young professionals, they don't necessarily have a product that folks are going to be passionate about, that they themselves may be that passionate about, or they may be presenting, for example, in my early career, presenting polling data or presenting customer satisfaction data. Their subject isn't that glitzy new product, and they don't have the standing of a Steve Jobs just yet. Any additional advice or items from your book you feel are relevant for that early stage professional?

Carmine Gallo

Yeah, absolutely. Look, you're not always going to be abundantly passionate about every single thing you talk about, but you do need to dig deep to identify what is it about this topic, this outcome, this data set, the results of this study that I'm excited about. And that's what you lead with in journalism. We used to call it don't bury the lead, which I think happens all too often in business presentations. We get mired in the weeds. Instead of starting with the big picture, what is the one thing that you want me to know about the presentation, the topic issue of the day? I call that the log line. And I learned that from screenwriters who work in Hollywood. And they said, Carmine, when we pitch an idea for a movie and you walk in with a script, nobody reads the script. They want to know what the log line is. The log line is in one or two sentences. What's the movie about? Because if you can't hook me and get me interested in the movie, I don't care about reading page 20 or the transition from Act Two to act three. That doesn't grip me. What's the movie about? Do I even want to see it? So I like to recommend that people start presentations that way. What's the big picture? You did all this research, three months of research. I analyzed all this data, okay? I don't need to know three months of research. I just need to know, what's the outcome? What's the one thing that you find the most interesting? Well, the one thing I find the most interesting is we can cut our expenses by 80% over the next 18 months if we transition to this type of software versus the one we're using now. Oh, okay, you got me. That's interesting. Tell me how you reach that conclusion now. I'd like to see the rest of the story.

Kevin Hudak

Yeah, it's interesting that you say that, because I found for myself, if I am not necessarily as engaged in the data, which I typically am, or I don't necessarily have that great story to tell, it helps for me to actually articulate the verbal roadmap at the beginning of a presentation to see the reaction of those in my audience. And then that almost jazzes me up and helps me get to that. You had mentioned before the excitement scale in your book, the Zero to ten when you're doing executive coaching, that helps me turn up to that nine or ten to actually communicate the data even more effectively.

Carmine Gallo

Yeah. And I cannot tell you how many times I've watched a presentation. Maybe I've been brought into a pre IPO or a roadshow or a major presentation by CEO or a company, and they gave me a rough draft, and it's just boring. Typical pie charts and sales figures and all that. And I'll ask them, I'll stop everybody, and I'll ask the CEO, whoever's giving the presentation, okay, let's set all this aside. What are you really excited makes? I have a silly question that I often ask that's based on something Steve Jobs asked rhetorically. What makes your heart sing? What really makes you come alive? Why have you been at this particular company for 27 years? Something must keep you here. I'll ask questions like that, and it's amazing how the final presentation is so much different than the first one, than the first draft.

David Kopec

One of my favorite ideas from the book is the Rule of Three. You present that early in the book, in the chapter Draw Roadmap, and then it makes appearances throughout the rest of the text that rule comes from and why it's so important.

Carmine Gallo

Oh, yeah. Rule of Three now is something that all great communicators, most great communicators use. And that doesn't just come from Steve Jobs, although he used it pretty well. The Rule of three simply means that in short term memory, we can only recall three or four things in short term, or what's called working memory. So if I want to pitch a product to you, why would I give you 28 features of the product? How about three? And the Apple Store employees, if you go to one of the Apple Stores, they're also trained to do this. They're trained to talk to you, get some information from you as a potential customer, and then offer you two or three features of the product you're looking at to get you excited about it. Once you go over three, people forget and it's overwhelming. You're barraging them with information. So Steve Jobs not only broke things into three, but he also had fun with it, too. I think you guys might know what I'm referring to. Do you recall one of the most famous excerpts from the 2007 build up to the iPhone?

David Kopec

Sure, it's an ipod. It's an internet communicator, and blanking on the third, of course.

Carmine Gallo

But you remembered it. You remembered it. Revolutionary phone. That's right. So he came out and he built up the suspense like Steve usually did. He like to build up a little suspense because, again, it was a show. It was a display. It was like a Broadway production. And he said, today we're introducing three products. And everyone assumed that, yeah, that makes sense because usually he's introducing, like, three new products, and today we're introducing three new products. It's a music player, a new ipod. He said, a revolutionary new phone. And that got a lot of applause because that's what people were speculating would happen. And an internet communication device. And then he paused. Okay. You know, he practiced this. He paused, and the slides behind him were perfectly coordinated to his delivery. An ipod, a phone, an internet communicator, and then he paused again, an ipod, a phone, an internet communicator. So he did that three times.

Kevin Hudak

Are you getting it yet?

Carmine Gallo

That's right, exactly. Aren't you getting it? These are not three devices. They're one device. Cheers, applause, who does that? Okay, that's deliberate. That is intentional. That's a performer practicing for a production, not just someone who says, I'm going to put some bullets points on a slide and deliver the information.

David Short

Yeah, I really love that. Another key concept in the book is that slides should not contain a lot of text, that bullets are really something to be avoided. And so I guess I'm wondering, where should all of the information that a lot of our listeners maybe currently be putting in bullets end up going? And how can they avoid creating I think slidey mints was the word you coined.

Carmine Gallo

Yeah. This is something that I continue to deal with a lot because I work with executive education students at Harvard, so I teach at Harvard. I work with CEOs and executives, but also business professionals and companies where they have to deliver more information, sometimes hundreds of documents or pages of a memo. Where does all that go? Well, the more I work with investors and I talk to investors, I talk to VCs, I talk to professionals who are on the receiving end of these pitches. That's the appendix. That's the appendix you can always send that the bulk of the information, the appendix, the details, all the research, the stuff that I can read that I would have to read. You could always send that after a presentation, or in some cases, if people want pre reading, you can send it then. But when you are in front of somebody and that means remote, virtual, or if you're in person, nobody wants to be overloaded with that much information. The best communicators will then strip it away. Simplify ask themselves what is the movie about? What is the number one thing I want people to take away? What are the three or four supporting points? And then how am I going to support those points? With stories, with analogies and metaphors, with animations, with images, with surprises like Steve Jobs did with the iPhone? How do I take all of this and make it engaging in a short amount of time so that people are excited, they're interested. It can be a ten minute presentation, which I actually prefer. I think the first ten minutes is when people start to lose their attention. But let's say you give a presentation for 20 minutes and you have an hour scheduled. Well, in that case, you could let people talk for the next 45 minutes or so. They can ask you all the questions they want. If your boss wants to keep you there for another 2 hours asking questions, that's fine. That's up to him. But that doesn't mean that you have to overload them with all of the information up front. So it's a tricky balance. It obviously is specific to the environment or the event. But more often than not, I think you can don't give the same presentation that you would send somebody. That's more of a document. Okay? The presentation that you deliver should be a little different.

Kevin Hudak

So speaking of presentation delivery, I'm wondering again, speaking of some early stage young professionals, what are some good techniques for a nervous presenter? Say somebody typically has shaky knees or weak voice when they're in front of a crowd. For myself, I know I sometimes sweat when I'm public speaking, but typically if I nail that verbal roadmap at the front, it gives me a lot of confidence and it gives me a connection with the audience that helps me sort of succeed. Despite some of that nervousness, I'm wondering, is it about just a lot of practice, like you mentioned earlier, practicing in front of your peers? Are there other ways to overcome stage fright that you've discussed with your clients or that you've kind of harvested from Steve Jobs?

Carmine Gallo

Yeah, there absolutely is. First of all, understand that it's natural to be nervous. It is hardwired in our DNA. We want to look good in front of our tribe. And from an evolutionary perspective, it was really important that you were not kicked out of the club and on your own, otherwise you wouldn't survive. So people neuroscientists have told me that it is part of our DNA. So it is completely natural to want to perform and do well and to be accepted. So what happens is that when we are in front of people, it manifests itself in damaging ways, ways that make us tense up. We get sweaty, we panic, and often, more often than not, at least among many business professionals I've talked to, they avoid doing it. And by avoiding presenting and public speaking and speaking up in meetings, you're not getting ahead in your career nearly as much as you could be. So what I always like to say is, one, it's natural. Two, every person I have written about, who I've met who is considered an extraordinary speaker, they weren't born great speakers. They're made they worked at it. Let's talk about Steve Jobs, since we're on the topic. He dramatically improved his public speaking skills. Go back to the video of 1984 when he first introduced Macintosh. Look at his body language. He's gripping the lectern. He's reading from notes. John Scully told me that behind the stage he was a nervous wreck. But you can see his creativity, his showmanship, because he kept the Macintosh hidden in a black case in the middle of the stage. He walked to center stage, slowly pulled out the computer out of a bag like a magician, right? And he liked to do that. Later he introduced the MacBook Air and he did something very similar where he said, I can tell you all the numbers and the data about how thin and light this new computer is, but why don't I just show you? And he walked to the right side of the stage where he had an inner office envelope, and he took the envelope and he slowly pulled the computer from there. Nobody had seen such a small, thin computer at the time. So I think that was a shtick, right? It was just part of the performance. So just keep in mind that people can not overcome the fear, because I don't think you ever want to overcome it, but you learn how to manage it. So you take all those butterflies that you have and you get them flying in the same direction because it gives you that nervous energy is actually good, because it's because you care. That's why you have that energy. But the practice is key. So I have spoken to so many people who were terrified of public speaking. Warren Buffett was one of them. Terrified of public speaking early on, susan Kane, the very famous novelist, the author Susan Kane, she gave one of the top ten Ted Talks of all time. I've talked to Susan Kane. She actually went into an area of law early in her career where she did not have to speak in front of anyone because she was an introvert. That's why her book is named Quiet the Power of Introverts. But she was an introvert and terrified, terrified of public speaking. So she avoided it until she wrote a book. She knew she had to start getting out there. Small steps. You don't just go from being terrified of public speaking to taking a ted stage. Small steps in front of one person at a time. Three people practicing in front of a few people practicing. Over and over under real world conditions, under stressful conditions. Golf instructors have told me it's the same thing, right? With golf. That's what happens. We're out there on the driving range, and we feel terrific. I play golf, so I know exactly what they're talking about. We feel terrific because there's nobody watching. There's no pressure. It's okay. Then I get to the first t. My friends are watching. Everything changes because I never practiced under real world conditions. So whether it's sports, whether it's public speaking, public speaking is a skill. So think about it like a sport. You can manage your nerves if you practice the right way, and it takes time. You're not going to just jump up on a ted stage and galvanize the audience overnight.

Kevin Hudak

Well, and you applied the 10,000 hours rule, too, that I appreciated from Malcolm Gladwell's outliers. So it does take time.

Carmine Gallo

Yeah, absolutely. I know a preacher, a preacher who fills stadiums, and he said, Carmine, for the first couple of years, I couldn't even get in front of 200 people at a church. It takes time, but it is a skill. And like any skill, you can sharpen it if you dedicate yourself to practicing the right way.

David Kopec

Carmine, let's talk a bit about the chapter. Introduce the antagonist. In that chapter, you say that you should always present the problem before you present the solution. Why is that such a powerful storytelling technique?

Carmine Gallo

That's because every great story has what? A villain? Conflict, tension, heroes and villains. Steve Jobs was brilliant at creating antagonists. He was a masterful storyteller. The antagonists were not. Sometimes they were competitors, like Microsoft. Okay, that was easy. But often he had to find a villain, and for him, he was a rebel, right? He was the pirate. He took on the establishment, the square peg in the round hole. So he understood how to connect to people emotionally. And what's important to remember is villains in a Steve Jobs presentation. Again, we're not always competitors. Sometimes, in his best presentations, like the launch of the iPhone in 2007, the villain was represented by the current smartphones on the market at that time. The villain was products that aren't engineered for average people. They're complicated and hard to use. Aren't you frustrated? The brilliance of Steve Jobs, and this is why he was a genius at presenting, is he would get you to feel a problem that you didn't even know you had until the end of the presentation. Then you're nodding in agreement, going, yeah, I am frustrated. He's absolutely right. Why don't we solve that problem for you? So you have to resolve the tension. Again, it's storytelling. It's classic three act story structure, which guys, I'll divulge something here. I wrote the presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs. I did not know at the time that Steve Jobs did deliberately use a three act story structure like you would see in Hollywood movies. I felt it. I could see it. As an observer, but I didn't know it for sure until several years later. And then I did find out by people who designed some of his presentations that, yeah, he absolutely used a three act structure. Three act structure, just so everybody recalls, is set up conflict resolution. So in a two hour movie, every movie in Hollywood, almost every movie starts out like this. The first 30 minutes has to be the setup. That's where you introduce characters. But that middle hour is the conflict. That's where the hero gets into all sorts of tests and challenges and hurdles with villains overcome those tests and then the solution comes at the end where the problem is resolved and everyone lives happily ever after in most movies. So you can do the same three act structure for a presentation, which is what Steve Jobs did. That's why Steve Jobs did not walk out in 2007 and say, I'm really excited about this new phone that Apple is introducing today. Take a look at it. It's called the iPhone. Let me show you its features. No, he built up the tension. Here is what Apple's done in the world of design. Okay? So it's kind of like going back in time, taking us up to the real world or the current world. Now we're going to extend our design into some new product categories. Let's take a look at one category in particular. Smartphones. They're really awful, aren't they? Yeah, they're hard to use and here's why. And pretty soon you're nodding in agreement, going, yeah, he's absolutely right. And here is our solution. We call it the iPhone. Oh, wow, look how easy it is to use. This is really incredible. Show us more. And that's like the last hour of his presentation was the solution, but he builds it up because he understands that to be emotionally engaged is much more than just delivering information. I can send you an email or send you some slides with text and give you information. But if you really want to be an outstanding leader and communicator, you have to learn how to emotionally engage with people. And that's hard. That's why I said at the beginning, this is not Public Speaking 101. Emotional engagement is tough and that's why it's important to learn from great communicators, great speakers, good screenwriters like I have, learn from people who are masters of the craft.

David Kopec

You spoke about how he would use antagonists like Microsoft. Was he very deliberately making the audience feel that kind of tribal devotion to Apple when he's using Microsoft as an antagonist? Because Apple, of course, is famous for its kind of cult like following of his fans even when the company wasn't.

Carmine Gallo

Doing I think I certainly think early on, you're absolutely know he was the rebel who took on the establishment. And I think the Macintosh, if I recall, wasn't the Macintosh the villain at that time? Remember, it was not Microsoft, it was IBM. So yes, he did find ways of taking the 800 pound gorilla in a field and showing that he's the upstart, he's the rebel, he's the innovator, and he's going to take them on. Everyone loves that kind of story. Everyone loves Netflix taking on Blockbuster and Mark Randolph. I don't want to get too sidetracked, but Mark Randolph, the co founder of Netflix, told me that people love that story. They love hearing the story of how Netflix took on Blockbuster. So I think Steve Jobs intuitively understood the power of that story. But what I really love, just from an emotional level is know, Jobs and Bill Gates, as I'm sure you know, they became friends. They really admired each other. And you can see the admiration they had for each other. In a sit down interview, which is still online. I think Carol Swisher did it. And so they were both on stage, and there was like real love between them. But what I love about what Bill Gates once said, he later said that Jobs was a masterful storyteller. He acknowledged that. He acknowledged that Jobs was amazing at what he did. He called him a wizard. And Gates said, I was only a minor wizard. Steve Jobs, he was the big wizard. So he was really good at creating presentations that were ultimately persuasive. I think Bill Gates learned from that, and he's strived to improve his communication skills. But he acknowledges, hey, Steve was the man. Steve was the greatest storyteller and the grand wizard of presentation skills. The rest of us are just trying to catch up.

David Short

So Steve was famously detail oriented, and this came down to the specific words he would use. The book covers this in quite a bit of detail in the chapters, dress up your numbers and use amazingly zippy words, along with other areas.

David Short

Of course, he could be a little bit superlative.

David Short

Where do you draw the line between the enthusiasm and passion that he's conveying and coming off as just a little.

Carmine Gallo

Bit too much of a salesman? Yeah, I think that it was authentic to Steve Jobs. That's a good example of authenticity because, yes, he would often have a smile on his face and say things like, isn't that amazing? Works like magic. What I said before. But his audience understood that that's who he was. He was that passionate for his products. So if you don't have that kind of passion and you're just pretending to be someone else, oh, that's going to fall flat. Because people have a good radar for hype. They really do. But that does not mean that you should stifle your passion. If you are passionate about something, show it, express it. Like I said, it's okay to be enthusiastic because if you're not excited about your idea, nobody else will be. But here's a good example of the authenticity that I'm talking about. In the Walter Isaacson biography of Steve Jobs, we learned that Jobs, prior to coming back to Apple after he had been shown the door twelve years earlier, went to the senior executives of Pixar, the company that he was running at that time, and he went to them to ask for their permission, which they thought was OD. But he so loved Pixar, he didn't want working for two companies interfering with one another. And then one of the executives at Pixar asked him, why do you want to return to Apple so much? And he said, Because Apple needs to be saved. The world will be a much better place with Apple in it. Yeah, he really believed that to his core. And so, look, if you don't have that kind of commitment to your topic or a product, certainly if you're a small business owner, you better have that kind of commitment to your company or your business. Otherwise, again, all of this stuff can help you improve as a speaker, but I don't think you'll truly inspire. I think in order to inspire, you need to be inspired yourself. So it was authentic to him. But don't get on stage trying to be Steve Jobs. Don't get on stage trying to be Tony Robbins, okay? People see through that. It's going to fall flat. But like I've said before, dig deep to identify what is your enthusiasm about that core topic and how can I express it.

Kevin Hudak

This is a good Pivot based on authenticity. Carmine. But I'm wondering, you discuss slide structure, visuals, content. You also mentioned soft skills like dress, stage presence, rehearsal. Whether it's those soft skills or any of the other strategies that you mentioned, what's changed in the time of zoom and virtual presentations these days? You touched on it in a short blurb called Add Pizzazz to Online Meetings. But if you were writing an addendum to your book in this post COVID world of telework, of virtual presentations, would you have added in any other techniques or commentary around how to port your core concepts to the video meeting world?

Carmine Gallo

Yeah, I don't think I learned about the 190 point font until later. I think that was from Guy Kawasaki after I had written presentation secrets of Steve Jobs. So I would import some of that, much of that to the remote world. Because on a remote meeting, everything is condensed and shrunk. So that if you're building so many words on a slide that I can't even read it when it's in person on a big screen, how do you expect me to read it on a small computer or on a mobile device when I'm remote? So it's even more important to have that roadmap to break things up into a very simple structure, big picture, followed by maybe three key messages, three buckets of information, not taking that much time, knowing that in ten minutes people are going to lose their attention. Especially on zoom, it's even harder to keep your attention and the simplicity of slides images. I'd rather go with images and a little text than all bullet points. Please don't deliver PowerPoints anymore with bullet points. It takes creativity to stay away from bullet points. I've never seen a Steve Jobs presentation with bullet points the way you see them in a typical PowerPoint. I've never seen one slide with bullet points. There are images like, let's just say, an iPhone on the left side of the screen with three or four features that he's talking about at that time. And then there'll be subsequent slides where he focuses on one feature at a time. But I don't see just a list of bullet points. Why? Because that's hard to do. See, it's easy to open, and I used to do this all the time. It's easy to open PowerPoint and let's just fill it in with bullet points. That's simple. Doing what we're talking about here is more difficult, which is why very few people do it. Which is why I think this is a valuable podcast, because it's going to set you apart. Absolutely.

David Short

So, of course, we acknowledged this earlier, but Steve Jobs is no longer with us. Who do you see as the most effective presenters in business today? What do you think sets them apart? And I'd love to hear a little bit about what you think of Tim Cook as a presenter in the keynotes.

Carmine Gallo

It's hard for any one person to have that whole package that Steve Jobs had, although I think his techniques can be and are replicated very, very well. I've seen speakers with beautifully designed slides that are coordinated to their talk. I have seen people who are magnificent, just people who deliver great presentations. It's very hard for any one person to kind of take that mantle, but I see brilliance in a lot of people, you know, who I really enjoyed watching. And he doesn't have quite the showmanship of Steve Jobs, and his products aren't the products aren't exactly the products that we're all holding in our hand, like iPhones. But Mark Benioff over at salesforce. So if you ever watch the Dreamforce keynotes, his opening keynotes, he goes one step beyond what most people do, and he actually walks into the audience. He gives his keynote walking through the audience. So the slides are coordinated. Everyone can see slides on it's a stadium, so they see slides on different monitors. But he is so practiced, so rehearsed, it's brilliant. Sometimes it's just so engaging. He's walking around like he's having a conversation, but, you know, the whole thing is practiced and rehearsed. And then when he talks about a particular product, he'll stop. It's so brilliantly rehearsed. He will stop in front of somebody who might be a partner or another speaker on that particular topic, and he'll turn to that person and he'll invite them to stand up and say a few words about that product, like a case study. But it's all perfectly timed, perfectly rehearsed. I love seeing people who sort of take presentations to another level. But I really do believe that great presenters are made, not born. Anyone can adopt some of these tactics. You don't have to adopt all of them, but you can adopt some of those tactics to significantly improve the way you express your ideas. And if you can express ideas in a way that is emotional, that connects with people, that gets them engaged, that's simple and easy to understand. I've seen it countless times when you will leapfrog other peers in your company or your field because you are better at expressing ideas. In fact, Indra NUI, who I'm sure all of you know, the former CEO of PepsiCo, she wrote a wonderful biography a couple of years ago, autobiography. And in the first few pages, she said her ability to communicate and to simplify complex ideas gave her a leg up. And so people realized her peers and her teams and bosses began to realize that if they wanted things explained to them in a way they can understand and take action on, go to indra. So she built a reputation for that. And so she said that her public speaking courses, I think when she was at Yale, I think she got a master's degree. Her public speaking courses were the most valuable courses of her career. So that's why you have to learn this stuff. It's not easy, but you can develop it as a skill.

Kevin Hudak

And actually, the Indra NUI book, My Life in Full was recommended to us by one of our listeners, who also happens to be my partner. So it's definitely something that we're interested in covering. I'm glad you mentioned it, Carmine.

Carmine Gallo

Oh, yeah, it's a great book. Yeah, you should cover it's very also.

Kevin Hudak

You know, Dave Short mentioned business leaders today. You recently wrote about Jeff Bezos in the Bezos Blueprint Communication Secrets of the World's Greatest Salesman. What got you interested in doing a book about Jeff Bezos and what do you believe sets him apart?

Carmine Gallo

Yeah, it's very different, but it's all about communication skills. Both people like Jeff Bezos and Steve Jobs, they were both students of communication. So what attracted me first to Jeff Bezos is the fact that it's a good story. It's a story of a dreamer, an entrepreneur who had a bold idea, an idea that most people said could not be done at the time. And he transformed that idea into one of the world's most influential companies. But what attracted me to the story is along the way, Jeff Bezos pioneered communication tactics that fueled Amazon's astonishing growth. There is so much you can learn from what Jeff Bezos did at Amazon in the area of communication and leadership. For example, he banned PowerPoint. Who does that? You ban PowerPoint within your company. He replaced it with written narratives. And that's why, to this day, Amazon is a writing culture. So he paid much more attention to the written word than Steve Jobs. Did. Bezos is a master of metaphor. He created two pizza teams to streamline decision making. He built flywheels to power Amazon's growth. He preferred to hire missionaries over mercenaries. He was a real master of metaphor and used metaphor to communicate complex ideas. Bezos is a voracious reader, and so his ability to craft stories and narratives tie back to his love of books and the love of language. He wrote much more than Steve Jobs ever did. He wrote 24 shareholder letters that some investors have told me should be taught in every business school. That's how good these letters are and how clearly written they are. So Jeff Bezos is an extraordinary communicator, and I believe that leadership requires that you elevate communication in all of its bezos gave. The three years of research I put into the book allowed me to take a deep dive into language and the words you use and writing things that I didn't really get to go into when I wrote the Steve Jobs book. Yeah.

Carmine Gallo

And I think it was interesting when you compare Jeff Bezos and Steve Jobs. One thing I took away from your book when you're talking about presentation, Secrets of Steve Jobs, I took away a backbone of consultative selling methodology almost as well. And I thought you really did a good job of diving into some of only really? Consultative selling is all about the idea that you're listening to your prospect. You are adapting your pitch to their needs, wants, and expectations. You're asking consultative selling questions. Now, the presentation is not typically seen as a two way dialogue, but Steve Jobs did it in such a way by framing the story, by delivering on that experience, by then going through that constant rehearsal where he made it into a dialogue despite there not really being any back and forth except for the applause that he might receive or the oohs and Oz.

Kevin Hudak

I see. Yeah, you're absolutely right. It's a complement to consultative selling.

Kevin Hudak

Yes, exactly. And that's why I'm looking forward to reading your next book as well, which I'm sure will know the world's greatest salesman on some of those concepts as well.

Carmine Gallo

Absolutely. Yeah. I was so excited to do this book because I interviewed a lot of former Apple or Amazon executives, people who had worked side by side with Jeff Bezos, who then used a lot of his communication tactics, like written narratives instead of PowerPoint, to start and to grow their own companies. That's the best credit you can give somebody is, I'm going to copy your tactics and start my own company.

David Kopec

I know we're coming to the end of our time, Carmine, but I'd be remiss not to ask you to go a little bit further on the comparison between Steve Jobs and Jeff Bezos. So Steve Jobs great presenter, Jeff Bezos not communicating through the same modalities. What do you see as maybe something that Steve Jobs was missing that Jeff Bezos has?

Carmine Gallo

Jobs is so much more focused on design, and that design sensibility comes through in the beautifully designed slides that were iconic in a Steve Jobs presentation. So I think Bezos is much more of a thinker when it came to books. Boy, he is a voracious reader and tied a lot of his methods and a lot of those leadership methods into the books that he read. So. The famous Amazon flywheel, for example. How many of us use that word now, flywheel, that originally came from a Jim Collins book, but it wasn't necessarily like the biggest seller in the world. It was a business book that a few people had started to read, started to pick up on. Jeff Bezos, found one thing in that book called a flywheel, and he used it as a metaphor, and he said, oh, my know, we can create our own growth flywheel. So we could take a flywheel. If we keep our prices low, we'll attract more customers that'll attract more third party sellers that'll keep our prices even lower. And it's like a flywheel. The growth cycle gets faster and faster. So he kind of pioneered this concept. He didn't come up with it, but he instantly saw that it was a great metaphor. So he would take that metaphor, and to this day, Amazon still talks about it. Even though Jeff is not the CEO, the CEO still talks about the flywheel. The Amazon flywheel. We're doing this because it contributes to the flywheel. Do you know how many startups and high tech companies in Silicon Valley I've been to? And everyone talks about their flywheel? It's like, okay, then, well, you didn't really come up with that. That's more of a Jeff Bezos thing, but okay, go with it. So I think Jeff Bezos was very, very good, much more so than Steve Jobs about reading, intensely taking what he read, showing it to his leaders, even have book clubs that he led, and being inspired by things that he would then express and communicate in a very different way. So different type of communicator. Certainly did not give as many public presentations as Steve Jobs did. Not sure if he loved the stage as much as Steve Jobs, but we can still learn a lot about simple and effective communication in all of its forms, from written to the spoken word.

David Kopec

Carmine, we've appreciated so much having this time with you, and I know our listeners do, too. Before you go, I wanted to ask you if there's anything else about the book, the presentation secrets of Steve Jobs that you wanted our listeners to know? And also, how can our listeners follow you? How can they get in touch with you? How can they learn about your latest books? Where are you on social media?

Carmine Gallo

If you can remember a good Italian name like Carmine Gallo, you can find me. So Carmine Gallo is my website. You can contact me there. I do a lot of speaking workshops, keynotes, and certainly if you want to learn more about any of my books, you can find them there or go on Search on Amazon or if you're on LinkedIn. I know many of our listeners are on LinkedIn. I'm very active on LinkedIn. I think I'm the only Carmine Gallo in California, so carmine Gallo, Author you should be able to find me.

David Kopec

And we'll absolutely put links to all of that in our show notes. Thanks again for spending the time with us today.

Carmine Gallo

Thank you, guys. I appreciate it. Good questions and a good audience.

David Kopec

Wow, what an amazing interview with Carmine. Next month, we're going to be reading Elon Musk by Walter Isaacson. This is an exciting, brand new book coming out, the first definitive biography of Elon Musk. Kevin, tell us a little bit more about it.

Kevin Hudak

Well, as many of our listeners know, we've covered several books that touched on Elon Musk, whether it was Liftoff by Eric Berger, chronicling the early days of SpaceX, the Founders by Jimmy Sony, in which Elon figured into the PayPal Mafia, we've seen him exclusively through a company specific lens. For next month, we'll be reading Elon Musk by Walter Isaacson, who's written award winning biographies of Kissinger, Benjamin Franklin, Jennifer Dowdna, and perhaps most well known, Steve Jobs. The subject of this month's podcast, the book promises an inside story filled with intimate details and anecdotes around Elon's great successes and challenges in the realm of EVs space, artificial intelligence, and most recently, social media.

David Kopec

Great.

David Kopec

Looking forward to that. David. Kevin, how can our listeners get in touch with you?

David Short

You can follow me on X at David G short.

Kevin Hudak

You can also follow me on X at Hoodak's Basebasement. H-U-D-A-K-S basement.

David Kopec

And you can follow me on X at Dave Kopek D-A-V-E-K-O-P-E-C. Hope you enjoyed our episode. Don't forget to subscribe to us on your podcast, Player of Choice, so you'll get notified about future episodes with other exciting business authors, and we look forward to seeing you next month.

The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs: How to Be Insanely Great in Front of Any Audience by Carmine Gallo is a self-help book for anyone who regularly makes presentations. Whether you're an executive, analyst, marketer, or teacher this book will help you improve the impression you make on an audience. By utilizing the legendary keynotes of Steve Jobs as a model, the book presents tips, tricks, and technical techniques to make better slides, tell a better story, and captivate any crowd. We are pleased to be joined by the author of The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs, Carmine Gallo.

Show Notes

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Edited by Giacomo Guatteri

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