Inside Details of Steve Jobs Keynotes

I was fascinated by this interview of Wayne Goodrich, who helped Steve Jobs plan many Keynotes at Next, Pixar, and Apple. The whole article is worth reading but there are two things that really stood out to me.

Steve Never Scripted Words

Steve didn’t script his presentations but instead used the preview slide just to show what was coming up next. The point was that the extensive preparation made scripting unnecessary.

“The Keynote development, the slide sequencing, the simplifying and honing were all part of his method for being as empathetic, emotive, charismatic and precise as he was on stage. It came from time spent working on the story with his slides, then rehearsing and rehearsing and rehearsing. Not from a script.”

This is the same way I prepare for all major presentations. I do so much planning and rehearsal, that there is no need for a script at show time. I’ve always felt that makes the presentation the most organic and allows for the most connection with the audience. Of course, in order for this to work, you’ve got to put in the work.

The iPad Nearly had Two Connector Ports

According to Wayne, the original iPad had two thirty-pin connectors, one on the bottom and one on the side. The problem was that Steve really hated the product photos with the unsightly 30-pin connector on the side. Wayne photoshopped a picture removing the side port and ultimately the port was removed.

“So, that evening before shutting down for the night, I photoshopped out the port on the long side on a few of the shots and sent them off to him [Steve Jobs]. I figured he’d see them in the morning and we’d have a good laugh about it. Instead he almost immediately called me as said, “These are exactly what I was looking for… oh you didn’t?” To which I replied, “I did” and the phone went click.

There was no way to get a beauty shot that Steve would accept with that port on the side, so the iPad shipped without it. It also simplified the presentation, which he liked.”

It’s hard to believe that they would remove a useful port to make a better product photo but is it that hard to believe?