The most common request in my presentation trainings is the desire to be able to present like Steve Jobs. Sounds trivial – actually it is. It just takes effort and courage.


He struggles to put himself in his audience’s shoes, to pick them up where they are and then take them by the hand towards a new insight. We are not used to this approach and this is not how it is commonly done. Especially not in academically dominated Germany. Therefore, it is difficult to prepare in this way. It also takes work: in a lecture hall at the University of Mannheim, I read the handwritten sentence on the wall during my studies:

“Everything that looks easy was hard” (Persian proverb).

Whether this really comes from Persia, I can’t say. But there is something really realistic about it.


It also takes courage to simply present something! For the speaker or presenter must rid himself of his fear that a simple presentation might mean that here is only a simple mind talking before an audience. The fear of simplicity has many facets: it starts with academic language – gladly with Latin aphorisms – and ends with unreadable slides.

Everyone knows the moaning about boring presentations or lectures. Probably everyone has also been in the audience at boring presentations or lectures. However, I have never had anyone complain about clear language and an easy to understand presentation.


It doesn’t take state-of-the-art graphics and complex slides to make a point understandable. There is power in simplicity. This was also the case in 2007, which was not yet a technically mature year. Steve Jobs presents the presentation program Keynote – that’s something like Powerpoint for Apple.