The Apple Mac computer turned 30 years old last month. To recognize the milestone, Forbes published an article that noted how Steve Jobs not only introduce the Mac three decades ago but also, at the same time, revolutionized the art of corporate storytelling.
The introduction of the Macintosh is still considered by many to be one of the greatest product launches in business history. Jobs’ presentations continue to attract thousands of views on YouTube. There is no question, he profoundly impacted the way leaders communicate.
There are many storytelling techniques that Jobs used that attorneys can adopt to ensure their presentations, speeches and bylined articles grab the attention of their audience. Here are some key tactics that legal marketers can learn from Jobs that will help improve your storytelling abilities.
Jobs was famous for his passion for new products. He recognized that if you’re not excited about your idea, your audience won’t be either. If you’re speaking publicly or making a presentation, show your enthusiasm for the topic. This way you’re more likely to create a memorable experience for your audience.
State Message. Repeat:
Jobs was a master at crafting a one-sentence summary of a product that perfectly captured the main message he wished to deliver and then repeating this often during his presentation. Craft a brief and concise message or sound bite of the idea or ideas you are trying to convey, whether it be for inclusion in a presentation or to prepare for a media interview. If necessary work with your law firm’s business development manager to craft and/or practice your message. It’s okay to have more than one point to your message, but limit it to no more than three to avoid overwhelming you audience. Once you got your message or messages down, work to incorporate them several times into your presentation or interview to drive home your point.
Hero v. Villain
Jobs understood that every good story needs a villain (problem) and a hero (solution or benefit). This is the basics of good storytelling. Make sure you easily identify the villain for your audience. Perhaps it’s a new piece of legislation or court ruling that is burdensome on your clients or a particular industry. Of course, your firm, its professionals and, perhaps, your client will be the heroes, so it’s important to clearly convey how you can provide a strategy or solution to deal with the villain.
Most importantly, Jobs knew the importance of telling stories and always provided brand stories, customer stories and personal ones during his presentations that allowed him to better connect and engage with his audience. I can’t stress how important this tactic is for storytelling. Think about how much better you pay attention when someone is speaking if they’re sharing an interesting story, especially one that you can relate to. Try and incorporate a professional story, or even personal one, that has relatable components and helps get your message across, such as talking about a relevant case. When possible, try to add some humor. Your audience will appreciate it!
Steve Jobs educated, entertained, informed and inspired his audiences in every presentation, and we can all learn from him. It takes work, planning, and creativity, but if someone is willing to listen to your ideas, it’s worth the effort to make it great.
What did you learn from Steve Jobs? Leave a comment below, or email me your thoughts at firstname.lastname@example.org.