What I've Learned in Business So Far...

Discussion in 'Business, Careers & Education' started by Artisan Fan, Mar 1, 2011.

  1. ramuman

    ramuman Senior member

    Messages:
    4,862
    Likes Received:
    749
    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2009
    Location:
    Silicon Valley
    Just watched that Keynote, and I still contend that this is exactly what most business meetings should not be...

    I'm not criticizing Jobs - or the presentation he gives. Based on his audience (already evangelized), and his purpose (market a product) - he is on point.

    However, if I gave you that presentation with no audio - you would be absolutely lost. The "Who Wants a Stylus" slide should NEVER make it in front of a client. If the wrong person sees it, they could actually believe the device will have a stylus.

    In this case, Jobs and the product are the focus, and the presentation is backdrop.

    If you owe a contracted work product that will be delivered in PPT format and you hand this over, it won't matter how awesome your presentation is, because some exec will miss your delivery and want to fall back on the deck.


    A presenter's job is to know an audience and sell an idea. I don't know how you can do it any better than him.
     


  2. Artisan Fan

    Artisan Fan Suitsupply-sider

    Messages:
    32,350
    Likes Received:
    153
    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2006
    The Guide to the Office Landscape Overrated: Colleague's appearances (obviously within some professional limits) Window offices Expense accounts Fancy Blackberry or iPhone Client logos on a ppt credentials slide Underrated: Trusted advisor status with clients Revenue growth *expenses usually take care of themselves Fast responses to colleague and client emails Delivering on what you promised Collaborating in a true "sum is greater than the parts" team fashion to get results. A really fast, reliable laptop with lots of RAM installed. Absolutely essential. Joint case study with a client, a research paper with a client highlights, and/or a solid client recommendation. If I have that last one, I can sell ice to eskimos.
     


  3. ChicagoRon

    ChicagoRon Senior member

    Messages:
    6,217
    Likes Received:
    157
    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2007
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    A presenter's job is to know an audience and sell an idea. I don't know how you can do it any better than him.
    I wasn't saying otherwise. I was saying that suggesting someone copy that presentation style in a business meeting is mildly dangerous. Most people would fail, and I doubt Jobs would have given that presentation (even if he was accompanying it with similar delivery) at a board meeting.
     


  4. Artisan Fan

    Artisan Fan Suitsupply-sider

    Messages:
    32,350
    Likes Received:
    153
    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2006
    I wasn't saying otherwise. I was saying that suggesting someone copy that presentation style in a business meeting is mildly dangerous. Most people would fail, and I doubt Jobs would have given that presentation (even if he was accompanying it with similar delivery) at a board meeting.
    Ron, I think you are making some wild assumptions here. I suggest Jobs presentation is perfect for his intended audience. It is. Does he do this for Apple board meetings? No. He adapts with something more personal and fact-based and I'm sure tailored to the concerns of the Board. So Jobs is perfect in these keynotes in presenting new products to an audience of fans and tech journalists. When I present there is often a CMO and VP of Analytics in the room. It's a different presentation. But look at the style of Jobs. Excitement around the tech, humor, real-life demos, suspense with his classic "one more thing..." ending.
     


  5. ChicagoRon

    ChicagoRon Senior member

    Messages:
    6,217
    Likes Received:
    157
    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2007
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    I guess I misunderstood Ramuman's original post - as I thought he was saying this is a good example of "keep it simple" - and I was saying it's over-simplified for most situations.

    I acknowledged that his stage presence is amazing and that for a product launch for an audience of consumers he was perfect.
     


  6. Artisan Fan

    Artisan Fan Suitsupply-sider

    Messages:
    32,350
    Likes Received:
    153
    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2006
    I guess I misunderstood Ramuman's original post - as I thought he was saying this is a good example of "keep it simple" - and I was saying it's over-simplified for most situations.

    I acknowledged that his stage presence is amazing and that for a product launch for an audience of consumers he was perfect.


    Agreed then. [​IMG]
     


  7. deadly7

    deadly7 Senior member

    Messages:
    3,145
    Likes Received:
    194
    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2010
    The more aesthetically pleasing your work is the better the information will be received. If this is an excel graph, a PPT, or a any other presentation of info, people will be able to better focus on the content of the information.
    I wasn't sure if this was directed at me, since it kind of tied in to my post. In case it is... I do agree that having pleasing-to-look-at presentations is vital. However, there is a limit. A rule of thumb I have for editing is: if a picture is given more screen space than text (with obvious exceptions), reduce the picture size The exceptions are numerous but include graphs, diagrams, schematics, charts, etc. My point was moreso towards people that like to put in graphics to "fill the space"
     


  8. Don Carlos

    Don Carlos In Time Out

    Messages:
    7,527
    Likes Received:
    20
    Joined:
    May 15, 2009
    +1 on Ziploc bags over Dopp kits. Dopp kits don't just take up a ton of precious space, but in many ways they're also a relic of the pre-9/11 days -- days when security wasn't overly concerned with your toiletries, and in which a nontransparent bag full of them wasn't a near-automatic cause for searching your luggage.
     


  9. Don Carlos

    Don Carlos In Time Out

    Messages:
    7,527
    Likes Received:
    20
    Joined:
    May 15, 2009
    Ron, I think you are making some wild assumptions here. I suggest Jobs presentation is perfect for his intended audience. It is. Does he do this for Apple board meetings? No. He adapts with something more personal and fact-based and I'm sure tailored to the concerns of the Board.

    So Jobs is perfect in these keynotes in presenting new products to an audience of fans and tech journalists.

    When I present there is often a CMO and VP of Analytics in the room. It's a different presentation.

    But look at the style of Jobs. Excitement around the tech, humor, real-life demos, suspense with his classic "one more thing..." ending.


    That's correct in spirit, but in the case of Apple, I can tell you from personal experience working at the company that everyone does internal presentations in the Steve Jobs style. The art of the beautiful presentation is a Seriously Big Deal -- almost a religion -- within the company. It's not uncommon to get critiqued on aesthetic choices in your presentation in conjunction with substantive questions or feedback.

    They get obsessive to the point of having informal internal "rules" about presentation style. For instance, you must try whenever possible to have an odd number of bullet points on a slide with bullet points. Theirs is very much a "show a compelling display, then cover the details in speaking notes" kind of culture. Even with non-consumer-facing presos.
     


  10. Eason

    Eason Bicurious Racist

    Messages:
    14,669
    Likes Received:
    1,901
    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2007
    Location:
    Bangkok
    ^^ that sounds infuriating, yet somehow completely unsurprising. I would have a blank odd-numbered bullet on slides with an even number of points, just to annoy them.
     


  11. Artisan Fan

    Artisan Fan Suitsupply-sider

    Messages:
    32,350
    Likes Received:
    153
    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2006
    They get obsessive to the point of having informal internal "rules" about presentation style. For instance, you must try whenever possible to have an odd number of bullet points on a slide with bullet points. Theirs is very much a "show a compelling display, then cover the details in speaking notes" kind of culture. Even with non-consumer-facing presos.
    I don't like the rigid rules. Things need to be flexible and not dogmatic. I do like the "show a compelling display". Serious value in that. I'll give you an example of that. We can create a slide on media performance across channels that is provocative to a Chief Marketing Officer because it often shows that where they spend marketing dollars has a very marginal return. It's a simple slide but the data is presented in a way that shows a disconnect between current marketing strategy and business results. A good or even an arrogant CMO will want the answer to what the solution is. It really creates a conversation. Along the way to explaining how to solve it, we show thought leadership. What's also hard to define but valuable is explaining exactly what we will do while subtly showing what makes our team different.
     


  12. ChicagoRon

    ChicagoRon Senior member

    Messages:
    6,217
    Likes Received:
    157
    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2007
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    ^^ that sounds infuriating, yet somehow completely unsurprising. I would have a blank odd-numbered bullet on slides with an even number of points, just to annoy them.
    That all makes *some* sense at Apple, since it's a design company first and foremost... but it would still drive me nuts. I don't want to have to sit and write while you are talking.
     


  13. Alter

    Alter Senior member

    Messages:
    4,539
    Likes Received:
    145
    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2004

    They get obsessive to the point of having informal internal "rules" about presentation style. For instance, you must try whenever possible to have an odd number of bullet points on a slide with bullet points. Theirs is very much a "show a compelling display, then cover the details in speaking notes" kind of culture. Even with non-consumer-facing presos.


    Could you expand on this? Any other "rules"?
     


  14. A Y

    A Y Senior member

    Messages:
    5,595
    Likes Received:
    380
    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2006
    Location:
    Southern California
    The anti-PPT-Christ himself, Edward Tufte, recommends written prose, especially for technical presentations where you are trying to transmit a lot of information.

    Hand out the paper at the beginning of your presentation, and the slides can then highlight certain things in the paper, and the audience can follow along and mark things in the paper as the presenter goes through them. I've used this style successfully, though it requires a bit of commitment and forethought (as any good presentation does, cf. the stories of Jobs's endless rehearsals).

    One problem I have with PPT presenters is that their own thought process tends to be shaped by the bullet-point style of PPT, when they compose their presentation directly in PPT, and I think that limits how well they can think about an issue.

    PPT should really just be a shallow, cursory representation of a much deeper presentation of the subject. That's not surprising, because PPT is a selling tool, not a high-bandwidth, high-precision transmission channel.

    --Andre
     


  15. Eason

    Eason Bicurious Racist

    Messages:
    14,669
    Likes Received:
    1,901
    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2007
    Location:
    Bangkok
    Good point about the bullets, A Y. As a teacher who usually uses PPTs to supplement/guide my lectures, I find that the first two times giving a lecture are more stilted and limited to the bullets. After I've done it a couple times and I know what questions will come up, I can fill in things much more smoothly. The lesson is, practice before an audience.
     


Share This Page

Styleforum is proudly sponsored by