Steve Jobs – accidental (presentation) genius?

Friday, June 8th, 2012 by Simon Morton

For those of us whose business relies on tech, the relationship between Apple and Microsoft has been a long running saga with more will they/ won’t they than even the best soap opera can hope to achieve. This week we’ve unearthed an interesting bit of footage from 15 years ago that is almost less noteworthy for their public display of affection than it is for the crowd’s reaction to it.

Steve Jobs is often hailed (and rightly so) as an excellent presenter who could hold the rapt attention of an audience, whatever the subject.  There is a phrase that is sometimes fired at the kind of D list celebrity who is famous for being famous, that they would attend the opening of anything – even an envelope; If Steve Jobs was opening the envelope they wouldn’t even find space to stand at the back.

So we have Steve Jobs (famed orator and respected innovator) and Bill Gates (ditto, but possibly not by the same people) announcing the sort of collaboration that many of us wish was still a healthy proposition. It should have been a fairy tale beginning but instead of preaching to the choir these two tech behemoths seem to have stumbled into a local football derby crowd.

Steve Jobs presenting to an unappreciative audience?  It’s almost unthinkable…

For the mortal amongst us it’s reassuring to see that those we idolise are prey to the same kind of issues that can face any presenter.

So what did Steve do that can help the less gifted amongst us? Forging on relentlessly seems to be the key in this particular clip. His discomfort is almost palpable but despite the obvious temptation to return fire, Steve stayed on course and on message. The odd humerous aside also helped to bouy the mood when it could so easily have been a downward spiral, leaving us wondering whether it was a planned antidote to anticipated negativity or a glimpse into his future genius.

It’s also worth noting that given free choice most presenters would choose a passionate crowd over an apathetic one, with the small and hopeful caveat that the passion was working with them rather than against them.

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