How To Be a Charismatic Presenter: Part Two

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His 2007 iPhone launch is one of Steve Jobs’ best speeches and is studied in many of my favorite presentation books such as Nancy Duarte’s resonate.  Watch Part One of the iPhone launch here:

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In Presentation Zen, Garr Reynolds says of Steve Jobs, “It all seems so automatic and natural.  It all seems so easy, so you’d be tempted to think that it just comes naturally to Steve, and that it’s a pretty easy task for him to use his natural charisma to woo a crowd.  But you’d be wrong […] The reason Steve Jobs’ presentations go so well and are so engaging is because he and his team prepare and practice like mad to make sure it looks ‘easy'” (Source).  As charismatic as Steve Jobs may be, it is foolish to believe he could wake up one morning and deliver a presentation as great as the 2007 iPhone launch with absolutely zero preparation.

Let’s think about charisma in conversation.  A charismatic conversationalist has had years of experience in social situations practicing the art of communicating well with others.  Someone is not born with the ability to charm others in everyday conversation; charisma develops through trial and error in dealing with others, through a keen awareness of social behavior as well as awareness of self.  We know through Garr Reynolds’ delivery masterpiece, The Naked Presenter, that presentation delivery should be like a conversation.  If we compare charisma in conversation to charisma in presentation, we know that practice always helps.  More practice allows the presenter to be more natural; the more authentic a presenter can be, the more charisma he or she can reveal to the audience.

Terry Starbucker explains it this way: “About 90% of [charisma], in my view, is obtainable through experience, self-awareness, observation, confidence, good grooming and appearance, intelligence,  a good command of the language, and (maybe most importantly), a unwavering belief that you have it” (Source).  So what about the other 10%?  Is that 10% a magical, special quality we’re born with?  Starbucker says no: “Because in my view that 10% can be overcome with three things  – hard work, a passion for leadership,  and sheer determination” (Source).

Join me for Part Three of How To Be a Charismatic Presenter tomorrow!

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