Steve Jobs and Presentations
Public speaking is an art, but like every art it depends not only on innate talent, but also on mastery of a set of technical skills which empower the artist to share their vision with an audience in a compelling way.
Presentations by Steve Jobs are unique, not within the computer industry, but across business. You might think that part of it is innate, but far more of it is the same way you get to Carnegie Hall: practice! If you haven’t read “Behind the magic curtain” in the Guardian, it’s amazing, and worth reading if you speak in public:
I had worked on my five-minute Final Cut Pro demo for weeks, selecting just the right sample material and honing (I thought) my delivery to a fine edge. My boss and his boss were there for moral support. Steve, as was his custom, sat in the audience. I was very nervous, and having Steve’s laser-like attention concentrated on me didn’t help. About a minute into the demo, Steve stopped me, saying impatiently, “you gotta get this together or we’re going to have to pull this demo from the keynote.”
On a related note, see “Gates, Jobs, & the Zen aesthetic,” a discussion of the slides and body language that Gates and Jobs use.