Author Urges American Military to Adopt the Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs

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In response to a New York Times article on the military’s obsession with PowerPoint—sometimes at its peril—communications coach and author, Carmine Gallo, will donate copies of his new book to American and NATO military leaders in Afghanistan. Since its release, The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs: How to be Insanely Great in Front of Any Audience (McGraw-Hill), has become an international bestseller and remains one of the most popular titles in the presentation category.

In response to a New York Times article on the military’s obsession with PowerPoint—sometimes at its peril—communications coach and author, Carmine Gallo, is ready to donate fifty copies of his new book to American and NATO military leaders in Afghanistan. Since its release, The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs: How to be Insanely Great in Front of Any Audience (McGraw-Hill), has become an international bestseller and remains one of the most popular titles in the presentation category.

“The U.S military is fulfilling a vital role in protecting American interests and increasing global security. Commanders must be clear, inspirational and persuasive and they can achieve this not by banning PowerPoint, as some have suggested, but by creating more effective presentations” argues Gallo.

Gallo, a communications expert for some of the world’s most admired brands, has introduced his unique techniques to leaders in a wide range of industries including high-tech, agribusiness, automobiles, national security, and the federal government.

According to Gallo, the title of the New York Times article, We Have Met the Enemy and He is PowerPoint, misleads the reader into thinking that PowerPoint is bad. According to Gallo, “Confusion is the enemy. Simplicity is the hero.” Gallo’s book, The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs, includes tips and techniques that anyone, including the military, can use to create powerful and persuasive presentations. Gallo’s tips include:

-Practice Picture Superiority. The average PowerPoint slide has forty words. Some of the slides used by the military contain more than two hundred words. According to Gallo, it’s difficult to find forty words on ten slides in a Steve Jobs presentation. Instead Jobs avoids all bullet points and instead practices “picture superiority,” a way of delivering information in visual form. “The brain interprets every letter on a slide as a picture,” says Gallo. “That means if you have too many words, your brain is literally choking on text. Instead use fewer words and more pictures. But don’t get rid of PowerPoint entirely. Scientists find that people retain information more effectively if the information is delivered as words and pictures, and not words or pictures alone.”

-Introduce an Antagonist. Every great script has a hero and villain. A presentation should be no different, says Gallo. “The military shouldn’t have a problem introducing a villain. They’re used to targeting villains every day,” says Gallo. “The difference in a presentation is that the villain is a problem. Your solution plays the role of the hero.” Gallo suggests that presenters spend up to 20% of the total time of the presentation educating the audience on the problem that requires a resolution. The solution—your idea, product, or initiative—will follow.

-Deliver Emotionally Charged Events. According to Gallo, many organizations become so dependent on PowerPoint that they forget persuasion requires reaching both the analytical and emotional parts of the brain. “When it comes to persuasion, reaching the emotional side of the brain is even more important than the logical, or left hemisphere,” says Gallo. “That’s why we recommend creating ‘emotionally charged events’ that are often best delivered outside the confines of the PowerPoint slide.” These emotional events might include demonstrations, stories, video clips, or activities that are intended to leave a stronger, emotional imprint on the audience.

Gallo believes that anyone can learn to create impactful presentations that inform, educate, and inspire. “PowerPoint is an excellent tool to compliment the story,” says Gallo. “The key word is compliment. Remember, your story comes first. PowerPoint should act as a visual reinforcement of

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