“If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all.” Oscar Wilde.
I agree wholeheartedly with one of history’s most quotable authors. Some books are the perfect escape to far away lands; some are inspirational as you learn about someone’s triumphant journey. Other books are so chock full of goodness that week after week, month after month, I refer to and ingest them over and over.
A few weeks ago I published a blog on Books That Help Me Kill It, where I provided my thoughts on Simon Sinek’s Start With Why. Today, I’d like to expand the conversation to include another of my all time favorites The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs by Carmine Gallo.
Before I go any further, I should disclose that Carmine Gallo and I are friends. He has supported our initiatives here at Roma and wrote about us in his column on Forbes.com. You can read his piece The Picture of Happiness: One Company’s Remarkable Story of Reinvention here.
However, long before we were friends I read his book The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs. I can recall early in my tenure as the CEO of Roma Moulding looking for ways to communicate my big ideas to our team. I’ve always been a people person but as we’ve all experienced, speaking to a small group and presenting your dream to hundreds of people on stage, is entirely different.
Around the same time I started to look at things differently and observed the techniques great leaders used when presenting to others. After watching Steve Jobs reveal his team’s latest innovation at an Apple keynote presentation, I saw the how ridiculously high the bar was set.
I admired Steve Jobs for a long time (still do) and appreciated Gallo revealing some of the secrets that helped to make him a great presenter and a superb storyteller. I have digested and benefitted from the tips presented within his book many times. If you’re curious, check out our first All Hands Meeting and compare it to our latest All Hands Meeting.
Today, I’m proud of my journey and excited to speak in front of a large audience. My team and I have an amazing story to tell and I relish the opportunity when presented. However I wasn’t always this way. I’ve suffered with shyness and a lack of confidence that held me back from truly fulfilling my role as CEO. I believe that all CEO’s should be engaging speakers and great conversationalists.
Your company has a message and the CEO should be instrumental in getting the message out there. How can you improve if you don’t have natural stage presence? Gallo has laid out The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs in three easy-to-understand acts. Here’s my quick and dirty review of Gallo’s three acts:
Act One: Create the story. What is the message you want to tell? Plan it out, figure out the purpose and create a proper headline. Finally, introduce an antagonist and like any great story, reveal the conquering hero. At our last All Hands Meeting we wanted to prepare everyone that we would do things differently so we put out the message that Unconventional Methods leads to Unconventional Results.
Act Two: Deliver the experience. What is the experience you want to give? Gallo instructs us to employ a less is more tactic when it comes to information on a screen during a presentation. Use very little words and don’t fill the screen with bullet points. Additionally, he says to share the stage with others, incorporate props and create a WOW moment. Check out this WOW moment from the latest All Hands Meeting.
Act Three: Refine and rehearse your butt off! Master the stage, make it look easy and show up powerfully. Last but not least, have fun! It’s easy to lose track of the last point but if you hate every moment you’re on stage, it will show. You can have fun by relaxing, you can relax by preparing and you can prepare by rehearsing. How many hours do you think our team puts into each All Hands Meeting? Hundreds when you include all the content preparation, stage set-up and guest experience planning. Would you call me crazy for asking my marketing team, CFO, COO, VP of Growth and other leaders to book off an entire week just to rehearse? The easiest way to make it look easy, is to work until it feels easy to you.
Our next All Hands Meeting is on November 20. If you can make it, we’d love to show you all of these techniques, live and in person. Fire off an email to our Communications Guru Gord (firstname.lastname@example.org) and he’ll provide all the needed details. Seriously, come if you can – you won’t regret it!
In the end, remember that when you’re speaking, others are there to learn something new about a product, purpose or initiative that can ultimately change their lives. They did their part showing up to hear you speak. By following the techniques laid out by Gallo in The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs, you’ll be doing your part to ensure it’s an engaging and valuable experience for all.
Have you read The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs? What was your favorite part? Do you have a technique that helps you kill it while presenting on stage? I’d love to hear from you in the comments section below.