Gina Trapani from LifeHacker fame wrote a thesis on Apple’s Advertising and Aesthetics on her blog called Smarterware. While we don’t typically talk about other people’s blog entries or opinions, Gina’s article explains how Apple sells product and is well worth a read.
I wanted to expand on Gina’s article by mentioning how Steve Jobs’ presentations are Apple’s largest advertisement through his modus operandi as he steps on stage at a forum like WWDC to describe the latest “insanely great” products and features. Regardless of whether you are a Apple fanboy or not, if you remove your prejudices you must agree that Steve Jobs can present and speak better than any technology leader. Why is that?
Steve Jobs uses statistics in an interesting way. Granted, a statistic like 2M iPads sold in 59 days is compelling, he drives the point home by saying that means an iPad is sold every 3 seconds. Additionally, his presentations use statistics to appeal to the audience. For example, he mentioned that the developer (WWDC is the developer conference) of The Elements made more in the first day of sales for the iPad app than the past 5 years of running their website. In a word… compelling.
Additionally, Steve Jobs convinces you that you must have what he’s presenting even though you never really cared about the product or feature before. For example, in the WWDC keynote a couple of days ago he mentioned FaceTime and a three-axis gyroscope. When is the last time you felt like you wanted to use a video phone? Did you ever think you needed a gyroscope in your smartphone? Unless thou art geekier than most, the answer is something along the line of “1999” and “no” respectively. After viewing the FaceTime video and watching the “Jenga” demo Steve conducted at WWDC where he manipulated the Jenga game by turning around, it’s hard not to think how you live without the features now.
Finally, if you watch Steve Jobs’ presentation at WWDC, you’ll notice he provides the features for the viewer to follow along by providing a numbered outline. Then, as he presents the features, the listener is kept up-to-date where he is in the outline with visual and audio queues. In addition he also under-promises and over-delivers by providing one additional element after he presents the outline. For example, Steve Jobs mentioned there are “100 new features” with the iPhone 4 but mentioned he will discuss 8. Once he demonstrated all 8, he mentioned “one more thing” and demo’d FaceTime as number 9 (under-promised and over-delivered).
To see a presentation master class, check out Steve Jobs’ WWDC keynote.