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The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs: How to Be Insanely Great in Front of Any Audience Hardcover – October 2, 2009
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About the Author
Carmine Gallo is the communications coach for the world’s most admired global brands. A former anchor and correspondent for CNN and CBS, Gallo has addressed executives at Intel, Cisco, Google, Medtronic, Pfizer, and many others. Gallo writes "My Communications Coach," a regular column for Forbes.com. He has written several bestselling and award-winning books, including The Innovation Secrets of Steve Jobs. Gallo has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Success magazine, and on CNBC. Gallo’s latest book, The Power of Foursquare, reveals how innovative businesses around the world are leveraging new mobile marketing tools to attract and engage customers. Gallo, who lives in Pleasanton, California, with his wife and two daughters, may be found online at www.carminegallo.com.
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Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs clearly outlines the elements Jobs used so successfully, and (key for me) takes the emphasis off the slides and puts it where the rubber hits the road: my interaction with the audience. Planning and outlining, thinking through what I need to get across, engaging the audience members - I was able to do all those things much more effectively. I still keep that presentation and review it occasionally before doing a new one, as a sort of shorthand for all the lessons I learned from Gallo's book. I've re-read the book as well.
Very good purchase - returned in results much more than I paid for it. I'd recommend it to anyone who realizes that they can do better in their presentations, but isn't sure how to go about it. Much more thorough and effective than the occasional articles about presentations you may see in various places, with hands-on advice and examples. And a pleasure to read as well! 5 stars.
So when Carmine Gallo's "The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs: How to Be Insanely Great in Front of Any Audience" came out, I instantly dismissed it as another glib attempt to turn a quick buck off of the prevailing Mac-mania.
... But I kept hearing from trusted sources, "you have to read this book." As I began to give more presentations professionally, my hunger to know what was current in the literature on public speaking intensified. Finally, seeing a few promotional videos for the book by Gallo himself, who is a communications coach and skilled presenter in his own right, convinced me to make an impulse Kindle buy.
Watch the video for my full impressions, but the quick take is this: Every executive, manager, or anyone else who gives presentations needs to read this. It's tragic how many productive hours are wasted with presentations that fail to inspire, motivate and get results.
Gallo's book provides the antidote for presentations that are boring or confusing, by offering smart tips and examples on how to prepare, refine and deliver your presentation. I like that he fires broadsides at some of the stodgy, stubborn, stiff and formal techniques that I still see some speech coaches advocating -- yuck! Speeches and presentations should be fun or at least engaging for our audiences, not preachy. This book shows you how to make them so.
If you have answered, "Yes", to any of these questions, then this book is for you. This book vindicates your feeling that there is a better way to conduct sales meetings, to craft PowerPoint presentations, and to use the technology towards the purpose for which it was designed. Granted, this is not the only book that makes this claim - and it does seem that there is a cottage industry among "communications consultants" who have written similar books - but this is clearly the best one I've read.
And, this is for two reasons I think: First, Gallo focuses on one person's presentation style - Steve Jobs - on whom we can all agree that he is a master of this game. And, second, Gallo has done the hard work of identifying and outlining what makes Jobs' presentations really work. Jobs creates a storyline, treats the presentation as theater, and enacts it as performance.
With Gallo as a guide - and his suggestion that we all study Jobs's presentations available on YouTube - we are encouraged to have the courage to give better presentations and to stand up to our colleagues and superiors who insist on giving the same old boring PowerPoint presentation, because "it is what it is."
The only reason that I didn't give this book a 5-star rating is that Gallo suggests that we, like Jobs, create drama in our presentations by offering a foil or enemy, like Jobs does with Microsoft. I have always felt that this was hokey and unnecessary, and although I'm a Mac enthusiast, I wish Apple would stop doing this. If you can get past this minor criticism, you will rate this a 5-star book for yourself.
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