Being an IT leader is more than just making a plan. You need to sell others on your ideas. Here’s a video from TR’s sister site BNET that takes apart Steve Jobs’s presentation style and shows you how to use it to your advantage.


You’ve sat down and studied all the alternatives. You’ve created the business case for your ideas. You’re set and ready to go. Unfortunately, in most cases you can’t just go with your plans. You have to include others on the decision, whether it’s because of oversight, budgetary reasons, or the need to get other stakeholders involved.

In today’s day and age, that usually means some form of dog-and-pony presentation using PowerPoint. Few people put on a better presentation than Apple’s Steve Jobs.

Let’s go to the video

This video from TechRepublic’s sister site BNET deconstructs Steve Jobs’s presentation style and shows elements that you can use to help create more effective presentations. Some of these key elements include:

  • Set a single, simple theme and stick to it
  • Create a headline that sets the direction
  • Provide an outline
  • Demonstrate enthusiasm
  • Sell an experience
  • Make the presentation visually interesting
  • Build to a memorable moment
  • Rehearse

The video itself is more suited to a general business audience and not IT leaders in particular, so as such, not everything the presenter talks about is relevant. If you tried to explain some of the things the way the presenter did to your coworkers you’d get laughed out of the room.

However, it’s still interesting to see the basics of the way that Jobs puts together his famous presentations. And if the idea you want to present is moving people from Windows to the Mac, what richer irony would there be than using Jobs’s own techniques to close the deal? But no matter what the idea is, you have to remember the importance of getting the idea implemented and doing what it takes to make it happen.

The bottom line for IT leaders

Once you’ve made a decision, you almost always have to sell it to others. Even if you can’t be Steve Jobs, you can use some of his tricks in your own presentations to make them more effective. The ability to influence others and sell your idea is just as important as the effort you put into making the decision in the first place.

After all, just what good is an idea if you can’t get it implemented in the end?