Link: Presentation Zen.
There's a lot being said about the magic of Steve Jobs' presentation style, and Garr makes some good points here. I've actually seen a lot of speakers, for example those in the NSA (National Speakers' Assoc) who are more skillful on stage--and they should be. This is what they do. But what separates Steve from many of the more average corporate speakers is strong content, supreme confidence in his message and his (the Apple) mission, and a sort of immersion in his subject, almost to where he and the presentation become one. The slick, compelling graphics are nice, but that's not what drives the Steve Show. Most people would be awed by this guy even if he was up on the stage without a single Powerpoint slide.
I saw this when I was at Sun with Jonathan Schwartz, who has an equal passion and belief in the Sun message and mission ("The Network is the Computer") Of course, Sun is still struggling while Apple is now raking in iPod-driven profits, making Steve the reborn poster child of the business press. But there are some similarities in their mission-driven styles. Typically, Schwartz would only rehearse once before a keynote speech (by that, I mean running through the slides). But after getting the presentation to where he wanted it, he would go home and immerse himself in the material. He didn't memorize words but the key concepts, stories, messages and other key elements, along with the tone and flow. By the time he presented he knew it so well he could give it in his sleep...well, almost.
Again, both Schwartz and Jobs have an unshakeable belief in their
message and mission. They believe it to the core, and the passion comes
through. Even if you disagree with them, you'll find yourself drawn into their pitches and admiring their smooth styles.