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?

MacVoices on Presentations

Chuck Joiner really is one of the nicest guys in Mac podcasting. As I continue my virtual book tour, Chuck was kind enough to have me on his show, Mac Voices, where chatted about what makes a good presentation.


Systematic 107, Nominally on Presentations

Yesterday I recorded an episode of Systematic with Brett Terpstra. It was my third podcast of the day (after a full day of work) and I was pretty punchy. We started talking about Presentations but very quickly the talk digressed to mind mapping and then Ella Fitzgerald and free range chickens. I always have fun with Brett.


The Presentations Field Guide is Now Shipping

I’m pleased to announce the Presentations Field Guide on is now shipping. The initial response has been fantastic and the book is currently at the top of the charts in the iBooks Store.

I spent a lot of time on the design and this book looks fantastic. Readers already are reporting they love the new design and layout. The content also came out great walking you through planning and giving a presentation in addition to all the parts you’ll be doing on your Mac and iPad.

The book is available in the iBooks and PDF formats. If you’ve been waiting, now is the time to go get it. I’ve got screenshots, the promo video, and a full description right here. 

New MacSparky Field Guide: Presentations

I’m pleased to announce the newest MacSparky Field Guide, Presentations.

Most presentations are terrible. That, however, does not need to be the case for your presentations. This book explains how to create your own exceptional presentation. This Presentations Field Guide explains how to plan a presentation that will connect with your audience, the technical wizardry to create a stunning presentation, and walks you through presentation day to make sure it goes off without a hitch. The book was built entirely in iBooks Author. There are more than 30 screencasts, audio interviews, and other rich media assets to help you make your next presentation riveting. The material is accessible to beginners and power users alike with a thoughtful, fun, and systematic approach to planning, creating, and delivering a stellar presentation.

This is the first book to reflect the new MacSparky Field Guide design and it’s gorgeous. Here are a few screenshots. 

The book is now available for Pre-Order and shipping on July 21, 2014. Also, here’s the first ever video trailer for one of my books.