Innovative Leaders: How to Make that Idea Stick

30 Sep

Just because you are innovative doesn’t mean you can make your ideas stick. You must be able to mesmerize your audience to sell your product. A man who has done this for years is Steve Jobs. Not only has he revitalized the entire Apple brand through innovation but also created a culture through his presentation style. The book The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs: How to be Insanely Great in Front of Any Audience can be used as a template to help all students of business present more in the fashion that Steve Jobs has mastered.

Create a Story

Make sure that what you say has a purpose. Don’t give a presentation for the sake of giving a presentation. Bring out a story and let it shine. As Chip and Dan Heath point out in Made to Stick, if you are trying to explain why movie popcorn is fattening, don’t give statistics. Give reference points to similar fattening foods such as a bacon, egg and pancake breakfast. People will recognize the comparison and perhaps change a habit because you made a point that they’ll remember.

Introduce the Antagonist

Every story has villains. Highlight them and the problems they are causing. By taking this approach, you will be able to rally your audience around your hero or solution. Keep the story flowing with excitement and purpose. Show the battle between good and evil and why your solution will defeat the antagonist of the story. To use the earlier example, portray fat in a way that will make your audience truly despise fat in popcorn and want to find a way to get rid of it.

Deliver the Experience and PRACTICE!

Keep things simple so that your audience can truly engage in the experience that you deliver.  Don’t clutter your slides with words but rather use logos and symbolic images to help your audience make connections.  Also Jobs says you must practice, practice, practice. These presentations are too important to  just try to do your best. Work on the flow and craft of your story. These practices will lead to your ultimate success.

To say that we will all turn out to be like Steve Jobs would be an exaggeration, but if we could all communicate a little more like him, I am confident that we’d increase success in the business world.

by Varun Mehrotra

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One Response to “Innovative Leaders: How to Make that Idea Stick”

  1. Adam Solomon October 19, 2011 at 2:40 am #

    Very interesting Varun! I really like the idea of showing a battle between good and evil. If you can convince your audience that the opposing side is “evil,” I think you will have a great chance at convincing them.

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