Steve Jobs’s Presentation Techniques Revealed


This is the secret of Steve Jobs’s attractive presentation techniques. A great presentation techniques he used in the Keynote Address at The Apple World Wide Conference, Macworld and many other presentation sessions.

Jobs appearance in a presentation is always expected by many people. Using a unique world-class presentation techniques, he shows us how to deliver an interesting presentation as if it is an attractive show.

In the introduction of my book Amazing Presentation (Presentasi Memukau), I have explained how Steve Jobs perform amazingly in a presentation. Starting from opening a presentation in an attractive way, presenting data and facts in different way, delivering a stunning product demonstration to create momentum, and finally creating climax awaited by the audience.

And these are 9 secrets of Steve Jobs’s presentation technique that you can use for your presentation succes:

1. Create a Story Behind A Presentation

Do you know what is a big secret behind every amazing presentation?

The secret is how to tell a story behind a presentation. Everyone loves story. Audience will always remember presentation with a strong story.

The reason is simple. We can remember a story easily. That’s why you will always remember the childhood story told by your parents. In a similar way your audience will remember your story and quickly forget about other things.

Steve Jobs certainly mastered this technique. He always tell a story in every presentations. When he introduced the iPod in 2001, he was not just explaining about the MP3 players. Instead, he choose to describe the iPod as “1000 songs in your pocket.”


Steve Jobs introduce iPod


In this presentation, Jobs put the iPod into his pocket. This act become a widespread story about a device that can keep 1000 songs in your pocket.

When he introduced the iPhone for the first time in 2007, Steve Jobs didn’t want the product will be known only as a smart phone. Instead, Jobs called it as a mobile phone that understand it’s user. A mobile phone that combines a communication tool, multimedia functions and internet communication. That’s the iPhone story told by Jobs.

Tell a story and audience will always remember your presentation. This is a world-class presentation techniques.


2. Simple but Visually Powerful Slide

A good slide usually is not a complicated slide. A good slide must be simple and effective. A slide that can help audience capturing presenter’s ideas quickly.

In every presentation, Steve Jobs always use a very simple slide. Sometimes it only containing an image without any word. And sometimes there is only a number written in a large size on the slide. Nothing more.

Pictures below will show you some examples of slides used by Steve Jobs. You can see how simple it is.


Steve Jobs explains the development of the iPod over time using only a slide containing a few image without any text at all.



In many occasions, Steve Jobs uses numbers written largely in his slide to give an emphasize to the data being discussed.

Don’t be fooled by the look. The slide may look so simple, but it has the visual power.

By selecting the right image, Steve Jobs was able to inspire his audience and help them to imagine the point he was talking about.

When showing numbers, he didn’t want it just appears as a confusing figure to the audience.

He will explaine to everyone the story behind the numbers.



Most of the slides used by Steve Jobs are very simple. Only an image with some text, or without text at all. The extensive explanation will be presented directly by Steve Jobs as the presenter.

Jobs never read his slide line by line like many presenters did. He made the slides as a visual aids to support his story.

And the most wonderful thing is he didn’t make the audience’s attention drawn to the slide. Jobs made the audience capturing the slide quickly, then focus their attention on what he says.



Steve Jobs comparing the different keypad of various smart phones in a presentation of iPhone launching in 2007.


When comparing the screen size of various smart phones in the market in 2007, Jobs smartly displayed a slide showing different keyboard of various smart phone. Jobs explained why the keyboard takes so many portion of the phone and how inflexible it was when used for different applications. With a simple but powerful images he was able to explain his point strongly.

If you want to follow Steve Jobs techniques in creating a slide, you have to learn how to create a simple, but visually powerful slide.

Try to design a slides that can be understood quickly by your audience and support your presentation content.


3. Use the Rule of Three

In speech writing, there is a rule known as The Rule of Three. The principle of this rule is because people used to understand many things in three sections.

Jobs knew for sure the power behind this three-parts, and he used it on many occasions.

When explaining about what the iPhone is, Jobs didn’t tell people about many things that can confuse them. He summarized it as a revolutionary mobile phone that has three functions:

  • An entertaining iPod
  • A smart phone
  • A great internet communication tools

The following figure shows how Jobs explained it in a very simple way.


This is how Steve Jobs used the three parts rule and summarizes a product in 3 simple parts. Using this rule Steve Jobs was able to explain a complex things in a very simple way.


With these three things, his explanation will be much easier to be remembered and covering all features at the same time.

It is important to note that if the number is more than three, it will harder to remember by your audience. But if you make it less than three it will be too few and making it less attractive. So use three pieces of information to give a power on your presentation.


4. Help Your Audience to Understand Statistic and Data

Sometimes presentation needs statistic and data to convey an important information to the audience. Unfortunately, statistics and data often make a presentation less interesting or “dry”.

Is there any way to craft the statistics and data to become a meaningful information? Of course, yes! The trick is to tell a story behind the statistics and data. Remember, audience doesn’t care about the numbers you displayed. Instead they are more concerned to the story behind the numbers.

When describing about the number of songs downloaded from iTunes, Jobs gave a simple data by saying 2 billion songs have been downloaded. It is equal to 5 million songs downloaded per day.

And he didn’t stop there. Jobs added a story that it means 58 songs purchased every second. To make it easier for the audience to imagine, he then said, “It happens every minute of every hour of every day.”


In one presentation in 2007, Steve Jobs explains that there is 5 million songs downloaded everyday from the iTunes.

Look how Jobs was able to present an interesting story behind the numbers.

If he only give the audience the data of 2 billion songs or 5 million songs per day that have been sold, they may find it difficult to imagine what is the meaning of the numbers.

But when Jobs helped the audience to understand it by using an analogy that the number is equal to 58 songs per second of every day, they can imagine quickly how big the number is.



To emphasize the amount of 5 million songs per day, Steve Jobs break it down to 58 songs every second, every minute, every hour and every day.


Remember, don’t just show some numbers, statistics or data. Explain the story behind the numbers. This will make your data and statistics has a power and attraction. It will be easier for the audiences to understand and sympathize with your data.


5. Create an Outstanding Surprise Momentum

A great presentation has a surprise to amaze the audience. If you want to look stunning, create a momentum that will surprise your audience.

This is what Steve Jobs did in every presentation.

In 2008, Jobs told a story that Apple has just made the thinnest notebook in the world. He displayed a picture showing how thin and light the notebook is.

When the audience was trying to imagine how thin the notebook could be, suddenly Steve Jobs took the envelope and pulled out a MacBook Air notebook and show it in front of the audience.

The audience was shocked and amazed.


Steve Jobs pull out a Macbook Air from an ordinary envelope to show how thin the product is.

Steve Jobs succeed in creating a surprise in his presentation. A carefully designed presentation to create a momentum by pulling out the notebook from a regular envelope. This moment makes the presentation spectacular.

Of course he can merely explain the technical specification of the notebook size. But this approach will not give much power and emotional aspect in his explanation.

The act of pulling out the notebook from the envelope makes the explanation complete. It’s so thin that fits into a regular office envelope. No technical explanation needed anymore.

If you want to be a stunning presenter, start thinking and creating a surprise momentum that will be remembered the most by the audience.


6. Practice for Perfection

Wise man says “Practice make perfect”.

Steve Jobs really understand the importance of practice. And a person like Steve Jobs will do the practice wholeheartedly.

In spite of his top position in the organization, Steve Jobs always involve directly in every presentation’s preparation. He chose himself every slide to display, when the demo will start, how the lighting will come when showing a surprise, and all aspect of details.

No wonder if you see Steve Jobs looks very relax and mastering his presentation. He understands completely everything from the opening sentence to the product demonstration he wants to present.


Steve Jobs always involving product demonstration as a part of his presentation. He chooses himself every parts that can properly explain the features and operations of a new product.

He practiced for hours. Not only one, two or three times. He practices his presentation a dozen times.

That’s why every word chosen was just right, every moment presented in the right timing, and the whole presentation seem in complete harmony. This happened by through continuous practices that create perfection in every presentation.

What I am trying to say is the successful of Jobs presentation is not a coincidence. It comes from a well-done preparation and the sincerity to present it attractively.

If you think your presentation is really important, then follow what Jobs has done. Practice and rehearse your presentation until you master it perfectly. Your hard working from a sincere practice will be paid off when you can perform amazingly in front of the audience.


7. Have Fun, Enjoy Your Persentation

Delivering a presentation doesn’t need to be serious all the time. You can have fun with your presentation.

Steve Jobs showed how he enjoyed his presentation. Sometimes he slipped a humor when giving a product demo. He choose the words that can make the audience smile.

Even during important iPhone launch presentation in 2007, something unexpected happened. His clicker suddenly didn’t work. He didn’t frustrated or upset, he throw a joke instead and said “My clicker is not working.” He tried to change it with another clicker, but this one didn’t work too.

Having this unexpected and disturbing situation, Jobs was not frustrated. He changed the subject and talking about what he did with Steve Wozniak when they were in school. Jobs even carry out a weird movements on the stage as a “time filler” until the problem with clicker resolved.


Steve Jobs perform an acrobatic moves in a presentation in 2007 at launching event for iPhone when his clicker get in trouble.


This is one of the characteristics of world-class presenters. They are not affected by unexpected circumstances that may arise.

Imagine if Steve Jobs got mad on the stage and showed his anger because the tool didn’t work. This will bring negative energy to the audience and ruin the whole appearance.

In that situation, Jobs chose to behave positively instead and always “having fun”. He changed the unpleasant incident into a short entertainment that made him and the audience still enjoyed the presentation. Enjoy your presentation. If you can “have fun” with your presentation, your positive energy will spread out to the audience.


8. Show Your Passion

As a public speaker, you need to show your passion to the audience. Remember, enthusiasm is contagious. If you are passionate, motivated, and confidence, the audience will be affected.

Conversely, if you appear sluggish, not sure about what you will present, the audience will get bored with your presentation.


Steve Jobs has always shows passion and enthusiasm in his presentation.


This is what Jobs always did in his presentation. He was totally sure about what to be delivered. That’s why his spirit radiated through his eye gaze, gestures, voice tone and every demo he did.

Presentation without passion is tasteless. It doesn’t have a jolt that motivated audience to keep watching your presentation.

Show your passion and enthusiasm, through your word, body language, and all communication aspects.


9. Use Powerfull But Easy to Comprehend Words

In every presentation, it is important to prepare the right words at the right moment. That’s why exercise is important. One function of the exercise is to find and practice the selected words. When you use it at the right moment will create a remarkable effect in your presentation.

Steve Jobs pay much attention to this thing. When he gave a presentation to introduce iPhone, he said, Today, Apple is going to reinvent the phone.”


Steve Jobs uses the tagline “Apple reinvents the phone” on many occasions when he introduced the iPhone.


He used that phrase several times at different moments.

Does he use the words casually when delivering the presentation on stage? Of course not.

He had prepared the sentence to be used at the right moment. And that phrase will be used when the media published the news the next day.

Not just that, Steve Jobs frequently used words that shows passion, enthusiasm, amazement and other positive things. Many time he said something like:

“Isn’t it amazing?”

“Isn’t that unbelievable?”

“The coolest thing about iPod is your entire music library fits in your pocket.”

Steve Jobs never use complicated or hard to understand words that make the audience struggling to understand it. He always used simple words. The words that can explain the ideas in the audience language. Words that inspire and show enthusiasm.

Yes, he is talking about technology, but what he was saying is easily understood even by people who unaccustomed to technology.

Remember, you are a great presenter not because you use complicated words to show your education level. Absolutely not. Great presenters are people who are able to choose the simplest language that is easy and quickly understood by their audience.


Outstanding Presentation Techniques

These are the secret of Steve Jobs presentation techniques admired by many people. If you apply the presentation techniques mention above, undoubtedly every opportunity will become a stunning presentation moment for your audience.

If you want to understand further about Steve Jobs presentation techniques, you can also read the book The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs – How to Be Insanely Great in Front of Any Audience” by Carmine Gallo, a columnist.


This book provide an in depth discussion about many aspects of Steve Jobs-style presentation along with references about when and where Steve Jobs used it.


If you want to understand the techniques in creating a simple, but visually powerful presentation slide as used by Steve Jobs, you can learn it from Inspiring Slide – World Class Presentation Slide offered by team.

You can also download Steve Jobs presentation for free from Apple’s website. The size of each presentation is quite large: 1-2 Gigabytes with a duration of almost 2 hours. However, watching Steve Jobs full presentation from beginning to end will help you to experience firsthand how a great presenter appear on stage and amaze the audience.

It’s now your time to inspire your audience.


Translated by: Sri Narulita Yusron

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About Muhammad Noer

Muhammad Noer is a Human Resources Professional who has passion in sharing how to create and deliver a great presentation.


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