Bill Gates, Steve Jobs – Contrasting Presentation Styles

Garr Reynold's in his blog had a piece today about Steve Jobs, BillG and Zen style of presentation. The Article does a great job of listing out design parameters - and compares the contrasting styles with a high level of criticism. Having seen some BillG presentations not all of the criticism levelled are ill found. Okie maybe I have already drunk waay too much company koolaid here - but hear me out.

The major issue I had with the article is about what is unsaid in the presentation is the fundamental guideline to a great presentation - CONTENT! Good Design is but one criteria to a good presentation - albeit it a supportive role.

Besides each time I have watched BillG talk live here in Redmond or at other venues - I remember atleast a 5 mins standing ovation - every single time. The presentation itself or the style of delivery pales in comparison to the aura around the fact that you in the same room as BillG and he is talking to you. I havent yet had the opportunity to attend SteveJobs' presentation yet (What do you expect - me to attend an Ipod Launch? Try running that expense sheet by my Joan - our admin!) - but based on videos his style of delivery is remarkably different and very very trendy.

Having said that while BillG might lose a lot of points for delivery style, his aura and content gets him back a long way.

Ofcourse for mortals like the rest of us - we have to go a long way and work on presentation basics - and the Zen article that Reynolds has some good insights - defnitely not exhaustive by any means but some good pointers from the design angle - which is worth reading.

But I still think Content is King! Though the design piece is something that we can do much better at Microsoft. And we will.

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