Steve Jobs Makes a Surprise Appearance to Unveil the iPad2

The Story

Although on medical leave, Steve Jobs impressed audiences with a surprise presentation about the new iPad2. With his usual engaging, conversational style, Jobs unveils the second-generation iPad, which is thinner than the iPhone 4.

Discussion Starters

  • Watch the (edited) video of Jobs, above. What principles of oral presentation does he use effectively? What, if anything, would you improve about the presentation?
  • James Post, a management professor at Boston University, referred to Jobs' appearance as an important "symbolic endorsement." However, he also believes, "His appearance takes the story away from the product... It's exactly the wrong thing in terms of introducing something new." What do you think about Post's assessment?

Assignment Ideas

  • Practice an upcoming presentation using a conversational style. Try to mimick Jobs' style, and then adapt it to your own.
  • Change Jobs' presentation to a more formal one. Imagine that you are unveiling the iPad2 to a different audience, who prefers more traditional visuals, such as a PowerPoint presentation. Create presentation slides to complement Jobs' main points.