Posted October 14, 2013 by

How to channel Steve Jobs in your classroom presentations

Amanda Richardson

Amanda Richardson, Head of Product at

To get top grades during the school year, students can learn a lot from the habits of legendary businessmen and entrepreneurs, like Apple co-founder Steve Jobs. One of these habits is giving amazing presentations. Can you imagine being known for giving class presentations as good as those of the the world-famous CEO?

I love helping anyone–especially students –share their ideas more effectively and I think creativity is key. What I love even more is helping students be the best they can be in the classroom. So I wanted to share some tips and tricks for you to channel Jobs in your next class project:

1.  Use storytelling

Steve Jobs was a master storyteller who used stories to connect emotionally with his audience. Unfortunately, many students have become numb to conventional classroom presentations, where they’re confronted with slide after slide containing too much information in quick, disjointed succession.

As you are standing in front of the classroom, you need to engage your audience. How? By telling better stories. You will be revealing “how” something happened in addition to just the “what” or “why.”  Visual tools can really help support this storytelling.   Visuals such as props, photos, or YouTube clips can help convey you story, as do other creative online tools like Prezi.

2.  The “big” versus the “little” picture

Steve Jobs was famous for presenting the big picture vision of his ideas without neglecting the fine details.  Many students are good at either of these things, but you can build a much better presentation or project by keeping both in balance.  Seek to highlight the interesting details of a topic, but force yourself to keep coming back to the main idea.

Your audience will naturally observe how you keep the logical progression going from smaller supporting topics to the bigger picture. This will make your message more clear to the students and teachers that are listening to you present.

3.  Interactive presentations

Steve Jobs collaborated with colleagues and kept the discussion wide open. If you encourage your audience to not only interact vocally but allow them to make additions to your talk, you’ll create lively presentation that’s based on collaboration. This will create a classroom experience that’s bilateral as opposed to unilateral, where information is flowing from audience to presenter and vice versa, thus encouraging creativity all around. This will also make your presentations more memorable.

The power of collaborating with others is great skill to have no matter what career you pick.

4.  Sharing is caring

Because Steve Jobs wanted to maximize the impact of his presentations, he shared them with fans all over the world.  Make your presentations shareable, searchable and easy to download on the web through various tools that are available to you for free. Encourage your your audience to download and study your presentations, and encourage them to send you questions after the fact.

Even though we can’t all channel Steve Jobs’ legendary on-stage charisma that doesn’t mean we can’t all learn something important from his unique presentation skills.  By putting to use these techniques and tips, you may even get the reputation as your school’s next Steve Jobs.

This is a highly developed skill that they will need as they progress from job to job and work their way up the career ladder, no matter what your chosen industry may be.

By Amanda Richardson
Head of Product,

About The Author:

Amanda Richardson is Prezi’s head of product.  Whether she is helping users browse great presentations at or making Prezi’s desktop and mobile apps elegant and easy to use, she focuses on finding ways to inspire others to share their ideas and stories–including millions of teachers and students.

Before joining Prezi, Amanda was the head of product and marketing for Snagajob, another mission-driven company. With degrees from UVA and Stanford, she brings a passion for creating beautiful products and experiences that users love.

Prezi is also proud to celebrate your own  creativity through their “Canvas My Campus” competition. The contest is global and calls for college students to create a presentation about why your University is the bee’s knees. The winner’s get a one week all-expense paid trip to San Francisco with Prezi and your entire University will get free EDU Pro licenses.

Learn more and apply now at:

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