Technology

Need to do a presentation? Don’t do it like Steve Ballmer

Andrew Sadauskas /

Over the weekend, a piece of news surfaced that many in the tech industry had been expecting since the first time the world used Vista.

 

Yes, folks, Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer has retired.

 

Now, Microsoft’s lost decade is a topic in itself – and one your humble correspondent will look at in a future column. Needless to say, the rally in Microsoft’s share price after the news was announced pretty much says it all.

 

However, there is another lesson the world has learnt from Steve Ballmer’s time at the helm of one of the world’s biggest tech companies. It’s a lesson on presentation.

 

When it comes to public speaking or sales, the usual advice is to be confident, energetic, and to make sure you’re centre of attention. However, as the kid who eats a whole bag of Fantales in one go soon realises, there can be too much of a good thing.

 

A key example of this is the unique public speaking and sales style of Steve Ballmer:

 

 

Watching that clip, few will doubt Ballmer’s abundant energy or confidence. But let’s face it, it’s not the kind of presentation that could have persuaded anyone that Vista is worth purchasing (which, in hindsight, is probably not a bad thing).

 

The difference becomes really apparent when you compare Ballmer’s presentation style with that of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs’:

 

 

So do you have a sales meeting or a big presentation coming up? Make sure you stay calm and professional. Overenthusiasm and overconfidence can hurt your spiel as much as being boring – no matter how much you love your company.

 

Get it done – today!

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Andrew Sadauskas

Andrew Sadauskas is a former journalist at SmartCompany and a former editor of TechCompany.

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