Mark Zuckerberg Is No Steve Jobs…Or Is He?

30 Sep

Mark Zuckerberg is no Steve Jobs. Yes, they are both technological giants worth a combined $26.3 billion, a cool $18 billion of which goes to Mr. Zuckerberg. However, if I had to put any money on the better speaker, I’d put every penny on Steve Jobs. In July, rumors pointed to a potential Facebook/Skype relationship. Zuckerberg took the stage for the important announcement, and 12 minutes, 84 “ums”, and one bland presentation later, he revealed the new design and chat options. The next month, the Facebook CEO announced another addition to the site, the Timeline. Surprisingly, Zuckerberg gave a “Steve Jobs worthy presentation,” according to Forbes contributor, author, and communications coach Carmine Gallo. Gallo is not the only person to notice the difference.  Following the speech, Twitter users attributed Zuckerberg’s transformation to Gallo’s book “The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs.”

So what exactly did Mark Zuckerberg do to give a “Steve Jobs worthy” presentation?

Create a Twitter-friendly Headline. Be able to describe product or service in one sentence. Make the phrase memorable, make the phrase concise, and make it easy to share. For example, Zuckerberg explained Timeline on one presentation slide as “the whole story of your life on a single page.”

Stick to the Rule of Three. Divide your presentation into three “digestible chunks” or describe a product/service with three benefits or features. Our short-term memory isn’t perfect, so give your audience three easy-to-remember pieces. The Facebook Timeline is “all your stories, all your apps, and a new way to express who you are.”

Create Visual Slides. Steve Jobs never shows a slide of only text and bullet points. Zuckerberg similarly used visual displays on his slides. Audiences process information better when presented with words and visuals. For you psych majors out there, this is called “picture superiority.” The audience isn’t busy pretending to read slides of text. Instead, they listen to the speaker to describe the visuals.

You may not be the next Steve Jobs just yet, but these presentation tips can help. Remember, not all presentations are the same. Identify the context, goals, and audience of your presentation and judge if these tips are appropriate. Do you want a memorable presentation directed at a wide audience? Take a cue from Mark Zuckerberg and boost your presentation, Steve Jobs style.

by Christian DeBettencourt


One Response to “Mark Zuckerberg Is No Steve Jobs…Or Is He?”

  1. Jonathan Emden October 3, 2011 at 2:10 am #

    I completely understand why you have compared Jobs with Zuckerberg, given that they have very different presentation styles. That said, I think that you would be fine framing the argument as what Jobs does effectively and how to achieve it. The audience can see that Jobs is effective but wonders why. Addressing that issue, without getting into the relationship between the two men, would perhaps be more effective. Be careful not to overuse particular words, though, like with suggestions one and three both starting with ‘create’. Instead, maybe say ‘Build’ or ‘Develop’ Visual Slides. Overall, your three principal suggestions are well-chosen and defined.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: