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Showing posts from September, 2007

How to Wow 'Em Like Steve Jobs

Apple Computer, now celebrating 30 years of innovation, has revolutionized the way we use computers and listen to music. Now its charismatic co-founder, Steve Jobs, has transformed the corporate pitch. Anyone who has watched a Jobs keynote will tell you he is one of the most extraordinary speakers in Corporate America. Jobs learned a long time ago that a leader must be a company evangelist and brand spokesperson. He is magnificent. But whether you are pitching a hot gizmo, such as the iPod, or a hot sub sandwich, a story is a story and your goal is to win customers. Here are Jobs' five keys to a dazzling presentation.

Sell the Benefit

Steve Jobs does not sell bits of metal; he sells an experience. Instead of focusing on mind-numbing statistics, as most technologists tend to do, Jobs sells the benefit. For example, when introducing a 30 GB iPod, he clearly explains what it means to the consumer -- users can carry 7,500 songs, 25,000 photos, or up to 75 hours of video. In January wh…

You: The Brand

The other week I had the pleasure of speaking to a large group of luxury-home builders. When the conference organizer first contacted me, I thought, "Why would high-end custom-home builders want to listen to a speaker discuss business communications skills?" I soon learned that homebuilders are pitching themselves and their projects all the time -- whether it's proposing a project to a developer, communicating their vision to a buyer, or asking the bank for a loan. These master craftspeople need help crafting the story behind their brand.

Make no mistake, we all represent a brand. It's the brand of you. How you talk, walk, and look reflects on that brand. Do you come across as trustworthy, confident, and competent, or do you fail to captivate your listeners? As I told the custom-home builders, your work, references, and portfolio set the stage, but when you take "the stage," you are the sole experience a listener has with your brand. Whether you're pit…