The Good this week is some authenticity from Tim Cook's public speaking, for once. What we are talking about is the first few minutes of Apple's 2017 iPhone keynote- where we got a glimpse of a more authentic, less rehearsed Tim Cook.
This was the first product launch from the new Steve Jobs Theater on the Spaceship Apple campus, and Tim entered the stage with shaking hands and a breaking voice- I want to believe this was some real emotion around the company's founder.
Another fantastic example of public speaking was Apple's Senior Vice President of retail and former CEO of Burberry Angela Ahrendts, who also took the stage. She avoided the annoying but signature Apple expressions: it's really great, it's incredibly fast; and simply delivered an authentic performance.
On stage demos are risky and should be avoided as much as possible. Often, however, they are the only 'hard proof' you can offer for a new tech product or app.
The most recent hiccup was during Apple's introduction of FaceID, where the first phone failed to scan Craig's face- causing an epic fail on the first use of the long-awaited feature. Still, Craig handled the recovery pretty well.
Except for today... Apple usually figures it out. They found ways to screen share even an Apple Watch, which means they probably had to develop a custom device just for that.
Random fact: for Steve Jobs' first iPhone introduction back in 2007, they had to secretly switch between several devices because none of them was stable enough to go through the full presentation.
On the other hand, let's look at the Samsung Keynote. While they rocked their flashy cube screen stage, they failed catastrophically with their demos: When you are bragging about infinite colors, and a curved display, who's idea was it to point the camera at the screen during the demo.
To wrap this up today, here are some tips for your public speaking:
1- Don't memorize. Speak as you would usually speak. If you know the topic you are presenting, talk about it like you would to a human being.
2- Come up with a few comebacks. When THIS happens, embrace it and troll yourself rather than pretending it didn't happen.
3- Learn to pace. Pacing done right helps keep the audience engaged- done wrong, it just feels like you are drunk. Walk slowly but surely and stop for a few seconds every time you reach the end of the stage.
4- Look at people in the eye. Eye contact with the speaker makes the whole experience more personal. If you're falling asleep in your seat, I bet that awkward eye contact will keep them awake.
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CEO at Slidebean/FounderHub. TEDx Speaker. 500 Startups Alum. 40-under-40.