Posts Tagged ‘Steve Jobs’

Steve Jobs – accidental (presentation) genius?

Friday, June 8th, 2012 by Justine<

For those of us whose business relies on tech, the relationship between Apple and Microsoft has been a long running saga with more will they/ won’t they than even the best soap opera can hope to achieve. This week we’ve unearthed an interesting bit of footage from 15 years ago that is almost less noteworthy for their public display of affection than it is for the crowd’s reaction to it.

Steve Jobs is often hailed (and rightly so) as an excellent presenter who could hold the rapt attention of an audience, whatever the subject.  There is a phrase that is sometimes fired at the kind of D list celebrity who is famous for being famous, that they would attend the opening of anything – even an envelope; If Steve Jobs was opening the envelope they wouldn’t even find space to stand at the back.

So we have Steve Jobs (famed orator and respected innovator) and Bill Gates (ditto, but possibly not by the same people) announcing the sort of collaboration that many of us wish was still a healthy proposition. It should have been a fairy tale beginning but instead of preaching to the choir these two tech behemoths seem to have stumbled into a local football derby crowd.

Steve Jobs presenting to an unappreciative audience?  It’s almost unthinkable…

For the mortal amongst us it’s reassuring to see that those we idolise are prey to the same kind of issues that can face any presenter.

So what did Steve do that can help the less gifted amongst us? Forging on relentlessly seems to be the key in this particular clip. His discomfort is almost palpable but despite the obvious temptation to return fire, Steve stayed on course and on message. The odd humerous aside also helped to bouy the mood when it could so easily have been a downward spiral, leaving us wondering whether it was a planned antidote to anticipated negativity or a glimpse into his future genius.

It’s also worth noting that given free choice most presenters would choose a passionate crowd over an apathetic one, with the small and hopeful caveat that the passion was working with them rather than against them.

A Fool With A Tool Is Still A…

Thursday, July 28th, 2011 by Simon<

It seems like everyone these days has a fancy, super sexy (and often heavily finger-print ridden) iPad.

This is certainly in evidence if you take a wander round any exhibition.

iPad 01bIn the last few years the iPad has become de rigueur as the prize on any stand competition (except for the odd cheapskate – a desktop scanner anyone?) but in the last 12 months they’ve morphed from being a business card attracter to being a tool on the stand itself.

We certainly think that embracing new tools in any sales or marketing situation is a damned fine idea – but as with any tool and/or technology used in a sales situation, it comes with a caveat.

A fool with a tool is still a fool.

In short, just because an iPad is “cool” doesn’t mean it makes a sale any easier.

Most importantly, if you don’t put the effort into using your shiny new iPad properly, it’ll certainly make you look like a fool with a tool (worry not – that concludes the over use of that particular phrase).

What you need to do is go back to presenting basics.  First things first, look at what you are going to be using the iPad for.

  • Is it for demoing something?
  • Is it to show off your website?
  • Is it for collecting data?
  • Is it to do a quick presentation?

Once you know what the use is, you can then plan how to use it…

If you are using it with a presentation (don’t get us started on the opportunity that both Apple and Microsoft have missed with the very poor presenting software on it) then you need to start from scratch with any presentation you want to use.

A presentation on an iPad at an event needs to be different because of all the above reasons.  In line with our Presentation Optimisation process, it’s all about starting from the beginning again and focussing on your key message.  From there, storyboard what you want to get across and then (and only then!) can you begin to build a compelling and succinct set of slides.

The end result will be a presentation that will be a real aid to you on the stand…and not simply a good looking gadget.

An Open Letter to Steve Ballmer

Tuesday, April 12th, 2011 by Simon<

Dear Steve,

How are things..?  It looks to have been a bumpy few months for you but it all seems to be coming together for you now.  Nicely played…  

We wanted to drop you a line to firstly commend you, secondly to point out some “opportunities for improvement” and lastly to suggest something a little “out there”.  Bear with us…we think you’ll like it.

Eyeful - Supporting PowerPointSo firstly, the commendation – PowerPoint 2010 is really very very good.

Here at Eyeful, we’re 100% behind anything that helps people deliver their presentations in a more effective way and PowerPoint ticks a lot of the boxes. 

It’s improved integration with video and Flash, it’s expanded array of SmartArt.  Heck, we even like some of the new transitions you threw in there (although we hope most of them are used sparingly!). 

We also love the fact that PowerPoint 2010 is a big step away from 2007 which, let’s face it, was awful.  Team Eyeful applaud you.

But onto our 2 main gripes…

Firstly the default setting is STILL bullet points!  We’re here on the frontline dealing with blizzards of bullets everyday…all because this is the first screen people come to when opening up PowerPoint! 

Amnesty-StickerYes we know, people should know better but you’re in a unique position to help them think differently.  So think outside the box!

If needs be, we’d even advocate the re-introduction of the old annoying paperclip to nag people into submission and stop them using bullets (and that’s REALLY saying something!).

The second gripe is to embrace the mobile presenter.  Start bringing out some apps to use PowerPoint on non-Windows Smartphones and, dare we say it, the iPad.  You’ll have read our recent letter to “the other Steve” so you know what we think of the presenting software on the iPad.

Why not out Apple – Apple?  Just think how good you’d look on stage in jeans and a turtle neck sweater…

Lastly let’s get a little bit “out there”. 

We think it’s time to re-brand PowerPoint…and the first change should be it’s name. 

PowerPoint 2010 may be a fine bit of software but, my God, does it has an image problem!  In many people’s mind PowerPoint = boring bullet point strewn presentations (the clue is in the phrase “Death by PowerPoint”).  

In all honestly it doesn’t matter what you call it!  How about “Presenter” or “Storyteller”?  Anything to suggest that it’s about improving presenting and not just a medium for boring bullet points.   

Overall PowerPoint 2010 is a great step forward and we want to make sure you know that. But there are a couple of really big opportunities that don’t come along very often – take them and you might just make all the difference…

Yours sincerely (and rather over-enthusiastically),

The Gang at Eyeful

An Open Letter to Steve Jobs

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2011 by Simon<

Dear Steve, 

We’re writing to you for three very distinct, and we think important, reasons.  But before we dive into the detail, can we say you looked an awful lot better at your last gig and we sincerely hope your recovery and recuperation continues at as fast a pace as possible.

The corporate world has certainly missed you.

But onto the reasons for the letter.  First things first – the iPad is fantastic.

And we mean really fantastic – it has changed the computing landscape immeasurably. I’m sure you already know this…but we wanted to share.

Sadly the other two reasons for the letter are a little less positive.

The second one is fairly blunt and to the point. Sort out Flash.

Imagine our horror having waited, like a pre-pubescent school boy outside a model agency, for the iPad 2 to launch only to find that Flash STILL wasn’t on there! It can’t be that hard, surely, to sit down with Adobe and thrash something out.  By doing so, you’d make a lot of people very happy. 

Finally, we’d like to chat about the Keynote app (we’re using the term “app” in the loosest sense of the word – it’s so lightweight!). As a man with a reputation for high impact presentations, you must realise how Neanderthal this version of your presentation software is.

Eyeful - Support iPadYes, we know your presentations owe more to storyboarding and structure than simply elegant visuals, but what’s the deal with promoting bullet points?  It feels like it’s taking corporate presentations back at least 5 years.

What makes it worse is that this is so alien to Apple’s usual modus operandi.

The opportunity to build on a device that is screaming out to be used interactively in the presentation space is utterly wasted. Introduce easy interactivity into the Keynote app and we might be getting somewhere.  PowerPoint does it really well – are you up to the challenge?

The opportunity still exists (just), so please do something about it and give the World a presentation tool that matches the game-shifting vision of the iPad.

Who knows, maybe together we could drive the next shift in the way presentations are delivered and shared? Now, that really would be a legacy… Get in touch if you’d like a chat.

Yours sincerely,

The gang at Eyeful

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