Carmine Gallo at Stanford University

Carmine Gallo Shares Presentation Techniques

Carmine Gallo, communication coach extraordinaire, recently gave a fascinating presentation to faculty and students at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business.

Watch it below to see Carmine Gallo in action and see him demonstrate what he teaches. Pay close attention to how he uses body language (eye contact, open posture, and hand gestures) and uses his voice and rate of speech for impact.

Key messages shared by Carmine Gallo:

Passion is Everything

You cannot inspire unless you are inspired yourself. Carmine Gallo demonstrates this with two video clips at the beginning of his talk. The first clip shows Steve Jobs talking about the role of passion in an informal staff meeting. The clip ends with Steve Jobs saying “People with passion can change the world.”

The second clip is of Richard Tait, developer of the game Cranium, who displays a tremendous amount of enthusiasm for what he does. He has the interviewer visibly excited within a few sentences. Yes, passion is contagious.

Create Twitter-friendly Headlines

John Medina, a developmental molecular biologist and research consultant, wrote in his book Brain Rules that the brain ignores subjects without contextual meaning. In an interview with Business Week in July 2008, he explained, “We didn’t care about the number of vertical lines in the teeth of the saber toothed tiger. We cared about whether it was going to clamp down on our thigh. We were more interested in the meaning of the mouth than the details.” And we are no different today. Our brains crave meaning before detail.

Reducing your message down to one short statement that explains what your product means in a real life context will not only capture your audience’s attention, it will make your message memorable. In his presentation, Gallo reminded people of just how powerful Apple’s Twitter-like headlines for new products are. Statements like “Apple reinvents the phone,” or “The world’s thinnest notebook,” provide meaning and as a result will get attention and be remembered.

Present with Picture Superiority

Steve Jobs uses extremely powerful visual slides with just one word or short headline. He uses the slides as a backdrop to support his words — and not the other way around. He only uses high resolution photography, not clipart. Jobs understands that ideas are better remembered when they are presented with an image and his slides are a reflection of that knowledge. In the video, you will see Carmine Gallo show the contrast between a standard bulleted slide describing the MacBook Air and the way Steve Jobs did it: with just a photo of the world’s thinnest notebook on top of a yellow envelope. This is the difference that makes the difference between a mediocre and a superb presentation.

Create an Antagonist

In every classic story, the hero fights a villain. Carmine Gallo shows how Steve Jobs uses this formula and positions Apple as the protagonist in all his stories. When creating his presentations, Jobs thinks of Apple’s products as the hero that saves the world. Every story Steve Jobs creates has a villain, which doesn’t necessarily have to be a competitor. It can be a problem in need of a solution. What’s important to him is to have an identifiable enemy.

Inform, Educate, and Entertain

Through a couple of video clips, Gallo shows how Steve Jobs makes all of his presentations informative, educational, and entertaining. And of course, as a master presenter himself, he followed the lead and made this presentation at Stanford’s GSB a highly enjoyable experience with many snippets of wisdom that are guaranteed to make you a better presenter.

I hope you enjoy watching and learning from Carmine Gallo as much as I do.

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