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The Perfect Presentation

The IPhone 7 was unveiled last week, boasting a series of updates and improvements. It’s waterproof and dust-proof, has an improved camera system, and a longer battery life. It also has stereo speakers, but what’s made the most headlines is what it doesn’t have: a headphones socket. The absence supposedly makes room for other things, but has caused a fair amount of criticism as it means users may have to buy wireless headphones or use an adaptor to connect wired headphones to the battery port. There has been wide spread social media criticism of the decision, and it has been argued that as well as causing simple inconvenience, it will cause a great deal of electronic waste as people dispose of the old headphones. Apple however have claimed that their decision shows ‘courage’, an interesting slant on the topic, which though questionable, is one of many lessons which can be taken from the latest Apple event on how to carry out the perfect presentation.

Manage the nerves

Apple have sold over one billion iPhones since the first launch in 2007, so it’s fair to say they know what they’re doing. Their latest presentation saw CEO Tim Cook and his team of experts show off their usual unprecedented understanding and passion for what they were talking about, as well as all the up to date and flashy presentation skills you would expect from Apple, but they were still vulnerable to the usual pre-match nerves. Even Tim Cook sounded a little nervous at first, but the way apple prepare for and pitch their presentations means you hardly notice, and he can quickly slip into a comfort zone. This is the only way to go; the more prepared you are the less reason you have be nervous.

If what you’re presenting is interesting, you’ll feel better presenting it and your audience will naturally be more receptive to hearing it.

Make it interesting

This will also help with nerves. After Tim Cook left the stage having introduced Nintendo’s Mario, whose appearance was exciting for the audience, he returned to the stage much more comfortable, purely because he knew that his audience were enjoying what they were seeing. If what you’re presenting is interesting, you’ll feel better presenting it and your audience will naturally be more receptive to hearing it, and things should run smoothly. For Apple, with their celebrity contacts and big business endorsements, this is easier than for most; but you can do something similar by including interesting and relevant pictures, audio or videos.

Speak in your own language

When Shigeru Miyamoto, Nintendo’s star video game designer, was first welcomed onstage to a deafening response, he spoke in English. But when it came to given a detailed insight to the game he spoke in Japanese and welcomed a translator onstage.

You probably won’t have to speak Japanese in your own presentations, but things will be easier if you learn what it is you have to say in a way that you feel comfortable saying it. Obviously it’s important to be as formal and articulate as necessary, but its best not to try and recite a textbook. Instead, rewrite the information in your own voice, it will be much easier to remember and relay this way.

Keep it relevant

Apple are a very relevant topic, and are nearly always trending in some part of the news or media, but they still made an effort to be particularly relevant to ongoing events for this presentation. Cook said, ‘as we start a new school year, lets turn our attention to education,’ and later claimed that the most exciting new app for the Apple Watch was Pokémon go. If you’re talking about relevant subjects then your audience’s ears will perk up and they’ll be more receptive to what you’re saying. A good way to do this is to try and use local or recent examples to add context to what you’re talking about.

Know your subject

Ultimately however, what made Cooks presentation so good was that he knew what he was talking about, which is even better than learning a script by heart. Likewise, new speakers came on all the time, as the subjects changed, so we were always hearing from an expert. There’s no substitute for knowing your topic inside out, and even if you can’t be a total expert on what you’re giving a presentation on, the best way to prepare will always be to learn as much about it as possible.

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