10 Secrets of a Successful Presentation from Apple


For your presentations to really bring you success at work, follow the guru’s rules. The Apple company is famous both for its products and the ability to present them.


1. One slide represents one idea

Do not attempt to collect all the ideas in a single slide. This rule applies to numbers as well. Statistical data are easier to read when there is only one meaningful number on the same slide. For example, most people would not put on a few slides the illustration to such words: “The program for developers arouses an incredible response. We work with more than 6 million registered developers. The hype surrounding this show was huge: we have sold all the tickets in about a minute (71 seconds).” In his presentation, Tim Cook put 6,000,000 on one slide and 71 seconds on the other slide. The third slide contained the word “sold” in red.

Thus, if some information, or numbers, is very important, it is recommended to highlight it on a separate slide.

2. Visualize Statistics
Back in the beginning of the presentation Tim Cook announced that users had downloaded 50 billion apps from the App Store. But instead of just writing “50 billion” on the slide, Apple’s designers put the number with all zeros – 50,000,000,000. Thus they have made a greater impression on the audience. Moreover, the image of each digit was composed of Apple Store application icons. Why? The audience remembers statistics better when it is presented in an interesting way.

3. Never make a presentation according to your points

Not a single slide in the Apple presentation is based on points. This is the least efficient way to transfer information. Points look bulky on slides and cause the listener to read too many words while the speaker is delivering a speech. Most people cannot read and listen at the same time; moreover, they cannot keep all the information in their head.

4. Share the stage

Most CEOs or founders believe that they must make a presentation themselves from start to finish. However, Tim Cook invites other leaders, designers, partners, and developers to speak on stage. During the latest conference, 5 other speakers appeared on stage during two hours.

Think of the presentation as a show, which should include the scenery (slides), props (demos) and a company of actors.

5. Stick to the “10 minutes rule”

Cook invited Boris Sofman, one of Anki founders, to speak on stage after exactly 10 minutes of his speech. The author of the 10 minutes rule is researcher Don Medina from the University of Washington. He believes that no matter how exciting the speaker speaks, listeners get tired of the speech after about 10 minutes. This does not mean that you cannot interest the audience at the end of this time, but if you talk too long, this option is more likely.

In all presentations, Apple uses the tactics of “light breaks” to keep the audience’s attention. Tim Cook never speaks more than 10 minutes. He divides his speech into parts with the help of videos and other speakers.

6. Be outrageous

Apple’s vice president in worldwide marketing, Phil Schiller, received the loudest applause when he presented a new design of the Mac Pro notebook. Instead of monotonous praise, Schiller gave an ironic response to criticism about the loss of innovation, saying “Isn’t it innovative, dammit!?” The audience tends to appreciate pertinent emotions.

7. Speak as if writing in Twitter and repeat these thoughts twice

One of the most successful techniques of communication is the method of Twitter posts. Whichever product you may launch, convey its essence clearly and in one sentence of not more than 140 characters – as if you are writing a new Tweet. Twitter messages always work. Try to use them in your presentations.

8. Practice a lot

Creating a twenty-minute presentation of a new Apple product can take up to 250 hours of your time. This time will be spent on the plot, slide design, testing the presentation and practicing your performance on stage. The slides of Apple presentations are ideal, and the speakers feel at ease and natural because the creators of these presentations have spent a lot of time to ensure that everything goes as it should.

9. Show respect for your team members

Show your gratitude to other team members. During each public appearance, Cook pays tribute to his colleagues. Express your sincere respect for teammates as often as possible.

10. Make a presentation available for the public

Apple representatives have shared a two-hour video of the conference on the main page of their site. Presentations have become part of the brand’s history and its marketing policy.
That is the way other companies should act. Place the slides on your own and other public sites.