Instructor: Aleksi Aaltonen, Section 002

Steve Jobs ‘reality distortion field’

Apple CEO Steve Jobs was known for his presentation skills and ability to make company products look magical. This was sometimes called ‘Steve Jobs reality distortion field‘.

Take a careful look at Apple iPhone launch and related analysis of Steve Jobs presentation techniques. What do you think, was Steve just a great presenter or is there some other things that may have contributed to his reputation? Anything Steve could/should have done differently? What do you think about the analysis of Steve’s presentation techniques below?

23 Responses to Steve Jobs ‘reality distortion field’

  • I believe that there are a few reasons why Steve Jobs is a great presenter. First, he comes across as very natural and nonchalant. He said very few words and his slides mostly contain pictures. I think that Jobs’ most successful presentation technique is that he tells half the story and allows the audience to put together the other half. An example of this is when Jobs presents the features of the iPhone but doesn’t directly say that those features are in one device. This allows the audience to stay engaged and interested in the presentation. I think that this goes without saying, but I’m sure having the reputation and history that Jobs has helps to better captivate the audience. I think that the video analysis of Steve’s presentation was spot on. Sometimes short and simple is more effective. When breaking down the text on the deck, stating “Far more accurate” sounds much slicker than “It is far more accurate than other methods”. As far as physical presentation, Steve smiled throughout his presentation and seemed to be genuinely having fun on the stage.

  • I believe that there are a few reasons why Steve Jobs is a great presenter. First, he comes across as very natural and nonchalant. He said very few words and his slides mostly contain pictures. I think that Jobs’ most successful presentation technique is that he tells half the story and allows the audience to put together the other half. An example of this is when Jobs presents the features of the iPhone but doesn’t directly say that those features are in one device. This allows the audience to stay engaged and interested in the presentation. I think that this goes without saying, but I’m sure having the reputation and history that Jobs has helps to better captivate the audience. I think that the video analysis of Steve’s presentation was spot on. Sometimes short and simple is more effective. When breaking down the text on the deck, stating “Far more accurate” sounds much slicker than “It is far more accurate than other methods”. As far as physical presentation, Steve smiled throughout his presentation and seemed to be genuinely having fun on the stage.

  • Steve was a good presenter. He knew how to build anticipation and had a sense of humour that fit him. He paused at appropriate times and told a story along the way. On top of presentation skills he had a top reputation which assisted in exuding confidence. His techniques, language, body language were all thought out. I think the analysis is accurate and Steve created top products and presentations.

  • Steve Jobs was a phenomenal presenter, that had unbelievable awareness of his audience. While he had unbelievable presentation skills and competence on stage, he also maximizing his time with the audience by building suspense and withholding information. These techniques make the presentations captivating while taking as little time as possible.

    I believe that while Steve is an excellent presenter, he is also leveraging the Apple brand and using the history of success the company has had in the tech space to build suspense in his product releases. He even mentions their past products in the beginning of the iPhone release. In a way, he is well aware that the audience expects greatness and that his job is to make this reveal as entertaining as possible. Also, many people believe that the name “Steve Jobs” and “Apple Inc.” are synonymous and they associate the man with the brand. Due to the company’s past success and his association with it, his job as a presenter is more of a guider than an educator. This gives him the ability to build so many techniques into his presentations.

    He should not have done anything differently.The analysis is accurate, and highlighted his persona very well. It was a good look at the method behind the successful presentations that we all have grown accustom to watching.

  • Steve Jobs was a phenomenal presenter, that had unbelievable awareness of his audience. While he had unbelievable presentation skills and competence on stage, he also maximizing his time with the audience by building suspense and withholding information. These techniques make the presentations captivating while taking as little time as possible.

    I believe that while Steve is an excellent presenter, he is also leveraging the Apple brand and using the history of success the company has had in the tech space to build suspense in his product releases. He even mentions their past products in the beginning of the iPhone release. In a way, he is well aware that the audience expects greatness and that his job is to make this reveal as entertaining as possible. Also, many people believe that the name “Steve Jobs” and “Apple Inc.” are synonymous and they associate the man with the brand. Due to the company’s past success and his association with it, his job as a presenter is more of a guider than an educator. This gives him the ability to build so many techniques into his presentations.

    He should not have done anything differently. The analysis is accurate, and highlighted his persona very well. It was a good look at the method behind the successful presentations that we all have grown accustom to watching.

    • excellent response terry. I admire your use of brand management in critiquing Steve.

    • Good point about Apple’s brand, i.e. the context that probably partly accounts for why we think that Steve was such a great presenter. For sure, he was but the setting definitely provides him a lot of resources.

  • What I love about Steve Jobs’ technique is the element of surprise. When he first hints at the capabilities of the iPhone, it’s almost as if he’s re-introducing features the audience is comfortable and maybe a little unimpressed with: phone, internet, music player. At first, this intro begs the question- “so what”? However, he holds the audience’s attention on these features three or more times, allowing the audience to come to the conclusion themselves: Steve Jobs is introducing something completely innovative, combining three separate functionalities as one. He uses the same technique when he drops an iPad out of a manila folder. This shows Jobs’ complete control over the audience. He knows the assumptions the audience will make, allows them to make them, then leads them toward the redefining, big reveal. From there, the audience is ready to follow him anywhere.
    The analysis of Steve Jobs’ presentation style is on point. Most of Jobs’ techniques are simple and easy to employ. The “Magic Moment” the presenter refers to is really what defines Steve Jobs’ presentations- that and having a really marvelous product.

  • Steve Job’s presentation is distinguished and clean. Based on the videos, his presentation is concise, effective and brought a sense of excitement to the audience. First of all, the content of his presentation is concise but did not lose any critical details. If you compare his presentation to other competitors you can notice the differences, instead of showcasing the specs, technical details along with the features of the product. He talked about the features and how the product is different from the other competitors. Secondly, his presentation is effective, mainly because of his presentation style, hand gesture, the content of the presentation. For instance, from the presentation, we can notice how he compared the competitors (Moto, BlackBerry..) with Apple product’s along with the business school rubrics to explains how iPhone is a not only smart but also simple-to-use devices. This is a great technique to sparks audience eyes by providing comparative competitiveness of the product. Lastly, he is really exceptional in building excitement for the presentation; for instance, at the beginning of the presentation, he skillfully showcased the history of Apple along with some of the features of the past products, and at the end he combined all of the features said something along the line all of these features all combine in one small device. This is a great skill in building anticipation and excitement among the audience.

  • Steve Jobs was not only a presenter but also a storyteller. He communicated to his audience with passion, creative headlines, and simplicity. Just like he did when introducing the first IPhone. Sticking to the “rule of three”, Jobs delicately divided his IPhone presentation into three sections: Touch Control, Mobile Phone, and Internet. Steve Jobs approached to his audience with passion; sharing his excitement and make them believed what he believed in. If you do not believe in your idea, then nobody else will. One of the things I enjoyed the most from Steve Jobs was his creative headlines such as “Today Apple is going to reinvent the phone.” This second approach intrigues his audience of what Apple –and Steve Jobs himself – are capable of doing when it comes to innovation and therefore create excitement for the presentation. During his presentation, he also maintains simplicity with short powerful sentences to capture everyone’s attention.

    Steve Jobs was an excellent presenter, leader, and storyteller. He knew exactly what and how to communicate at the right time and to the right people.

  • Looking at Steve Job’s presentation style, I feel like it’s a mixture of Steve just being a naturally good presenter and also him putting some effort into how he presents and how to relate to the audience. He knows how to communicate to the consumers of Apple and knows what they are looking for in a presentation. I believe someone just watching his presentations would think it is very laidback and simple when I believe Steve probably planned for his presentation to be viewed like that. He made sure there would be simple numbers, nothing too complicated in the slides, and a lot of demonstrations. This way he was able to captivate the audience without really doing too much.

  • I believe Steve Jobs makes presenting look effortless yet powerful. Jobs creates products that basically speak for themselves, products so innovative and ahead of competitors’ that he sets the pace for all. In an effort to not take away from the products’ shine in being overly explanatory or analytical––Jobs simply unveils the particular product and describes it in quite rudimentary terms for all to understand. Through this he keeps the audience engaged and interested to learn more. Steve Jobs wears his smile and tells a story that is easily relatable to the audience and that further keeps engagement high. The video analyzing Jobs’ techniques further drives home the impact of being clear and concise with headlines and simple stats will leave the audience with a lasting informational experience.

  • Apple has accomplished unbelievable feats in their tenure as a company. Revolutionary technological advances, breakthrough communication devices, and the simplicity of complex ideology are a few feats that come directly to mind. Naturally these advancements would not have gone “unnoticed” by the world at large,but one could argue that without Steve Job’s ability to present them, they would not of had the same impact. As Ariana said, Steve Jobs was not just a presenter but a storyteller. He understood how to captivate an audience (something that is becoming harder and harder by the day) and deliver his intended message at the climax of the story. His use of headlines and flirtatious phrasing allowed him to slowly build up to a certain delivery. Steve kept the delivery of his details simplistic and concise so the audience was able to understand and didn’t get caught up in something beyond them.

  • Steve Jobs is a great presenter because of a few reasons. The first is just on how he was dressed. Instead of wearing formal attire such as a suit and tie, he wore jeans and a plain black sweater. This unconsciously allowed the audience to become more relaxed, comfortable and engaged. Another reason is using long pauses and repeating simple words. Instead of slamming the audience with a bunch of information at once, he simplified that into a few words and repeated them, so people can understand and let it really sink in. He also was selling short stories to keep the attention of the audience along with using simple numbers and statistics to understand.

  • Steve Jobs took a simplistic style in his presentations similar to his products and image. He is able to portray a lot to the audience without saying much at the same time. He seems to empower his audience throughout his presentation and engage with them through short, entertaining stories. He utilizes simple images on his slides and impressive statistics that stick with the audience. He has a tendency to use a “bigger than us” attitude that really made his presentation sound revolutionary. I think Steve Jobs did extremely well with his presentations because he knew how to move his audience.

  • I think Steve Jobs was a great presenter but he was also aided by the fact that he was presenting very highly sought after products. It’s no secret that Apple products are some of the most built up and advertised tech products on the market so when Apple announces a conference, I’m sure everyone is incredibly excited to see a new, revolutionary product. Regardless of the fact that people may be blinded by an interesting new piece of technology, I do believe that Jobs was a great presenter in that he used a lot of different techniques to almost make you want to listen to him. I don’t think there was much more that Jobs could have done differently in order to be a better presenter as I think he fit the role very well. In terms of the analysis of his presentation techniques, I think that by using simple presentations, Jobs was able to easily present incredibly complex pieces of technology to every and anyone that wanted to learn about them which was very effective.

  • Steve Jobs is a great presenter because he keeps his presentations short, simple, powerful, and straight to the point. Despite doing presentations on technology, he keeps his terminology simple so that anyone from any field could understand. He speaks with so much passion and conviction that the audience always manages to stay engaged in whatever he is saying. The main advantage of his presentations is not in what he says, but how he says it. For example, when he talks about the iPod, he says “it didn’t just change the way we listen to music, it changed the entire music industry.” His choice of words and his execution make him a very powerful speaker. It is simple yet incredibly impactful. Additionally, his attire and overall mannerisms during the presentation add to the simplicity and relaxed vibe he maintains throughout.

  • Steve Jobs was a naturally great presenter, capable of easily engaging his audiences and selling big ideas to them. I think what helped him most was his genuine approach to topics he wanted to discuss. As founder of the company, it’s natural that he had the utmost belief in all of the products he unveiled to the public. When revealing the new iPhone, he spoke to the audience with honest enthusiasm and evident excitement; he used bold body language, made jokes, and emphasized the truly big ideas for which he was most proud. His personal relationship to the product, and his belief in it, was palpable – this undoubtedly relaxed the audience and made them more willing to believe in it, too. The analysis of his successful presentation style is accurate, well organized, and succinctly identifies the key elements of memorable presentations. However, I do think that Steve Jobs’ genuine enthusiasm was not emphasized enough in the analysis, and I do think that his enthusiasm was responsible for his natural ability to master other key elements of presenting such as: centering around one theme, presenting in short stories, “making it a show”, and speaking extensively (and passionately) on little-to-no text cues.

    • You make a good point about Steve’s innate enthusiasm for Apple products. He was actually quite a lot involved in product development unlike most CEOs for whom the product maybe just a necessity of doing business.

  • Steve Jobs is renowned as a world-class presenter because he makes the audience feel a part of something bigger. At the beginning of the iPhone presentation, he goes over the last amazing world-changing inventions Apple has created. All in order to build anticipation for the phone. He even does a few gag reveals in order to build more anticipation. This all to say Job’s expertly takes the audience on a journey and make them feel like a moment in history is happening right now on this stage. I think the Jobs is one best presenter of this generation, but I believe the video forgets to outline how unique he was to others presentation and keynote introductions. Jobs is the gold standard but its hard to see that on its own.

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