Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Who wants to be like Steve?

So much for my moratorium on business books.  I try not to read stuff that's so serious in its intent and writing style.  Yes business is serious business (ha, ha...see what I did there?), but, it doesn't have to be boring and stuffy.  In fact, if business is boring and stuffy, how are you supposed to have fun and passion?  How are you supposed to be good at it?

Anyway, on the recommendation of numerous friends, I decided to pick up The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs.  Steve Jobs is cool.  Apple is cool.  He is one of the most remarkable presenters in the world.  I have done a lot of presentations in my life.  I'm not bad, but I'm no Steve Jobs.  So, I decided that if the coolest guy on the planet who runs the coolest company has some presentation secrets, I'm ready to listen and learn.

Carmine Gallo goes through Steve Jobs' presentations and breaks down what makes them so successful.  Gallo does a great job taking a bit of his own advice by laying out the book in a similar way to how the elements of a Steve Jobs presentation breaks down.  He scatters frequent examples from some of Jobs' best presentations as well as examples of how he takes these principles and applies them to his own clients.

I can't tell you how many presentations I have sat through where the slides are so distracting, I don't pay attention to the presenter or the message they are trying to convey.  Slides that are jammed so full of text in teeny tiny fonts.  Slides that look like a recreation of the Vegas strip with things flying all over the place, flashing, rainbow colour fonts.  Distracting.

Gallo's point is the presentation is not about the slides.  It's about your story.  The book does a great job giving guidance on how to construct and deliver a story and use slides to drive your point home.  From a pure learning perspective, this is one of the best business books I've ever read and it's easy to read and digest.  It's not just for business presentations either.  It's great for anyone who has to stand up in front of an audience and get a message across.  I will refer to it over and over as I start to revamp my approach to building and delivering presentations.

Speaking of Vegas....I'm off for a long weekend of adult only fun.  I'm going to read like crazy and am shooting to finish Pigeon English and get through The Art of Racing in the Rain.

Next week is the #YMBC discussion of Julie Booker's Up Up Up and I'm excited to talk to Julie and the other YMBC gals about the book and review it here next week.