Over the last 11 days of 2011, I’ll be posting the top 11 posts of 2011. Here is #2: The presentation secrets of Steve Jobs.
Over the weekend I read through The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs: How to be Insanely Great in Front of Any Audience. While not all of it was completely applicable to pastors (as Jobs didn’t have to do a presentation or sermon once a week), there was a lot of nuggets in there for any leader or communicator.
The author, Carmine Gallo shared 18 things that Jobs did in his presentations that every communicator needs to do. Here are a few that jumped out to me personally as applicable for pastors.
Plan in analog. Before starting to write a sermon or presentation, know where it will go. Don’t start with pictures, slides, graphics, notes or handouts. Research, plan, know the goal and then write it.
Answer the question that matters most. According to Gallo, when people listen to a presentation they have one question, “Why should I care?” While that is not the only question a pastor should answer in a sermon, I believe Gallo is right in that, if you don’t answer this question it will be hard to keep their attention when you get to Jesus.
Create twitter-like headlines. This has been written about by Dave Ferguson in The Big Idea and Andy Stanley in Communicating for a Change. Have one main idea you are trying to get across, not 3 or 5 points. One thing, hammer it over and over.
Make it look effortless. Preaching is hard work, it is weighty. But, when you stand up to preach, you should be so prepared that it looks effortless. You should know your topic, be ready, confessed your sins to God, preach with a right heart that it just flows out of you.
Here are a few other things that jumped out:
- Jobs didn’t sell products, he sold the dream of a better future.
- Jobs explained the why before the how.
- The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do.
- Your brain craves meaning before details.
- In a presentation, start with the big picture – the problem – before filling in the details (your solution).
- Always answer, “Why do you need this?”
- Ideas are more easily remembered when associated with a picture.