Director Shaun Harrison considers five of the world’s best modern presenters
Steve Jobs (1955 – 2011)
Where do you start with Steve Jobs? The late CEO of Apple Inc. spoke honestly, with his own voice and took corporate storytelling to new heights. I loved his natural enthusiasm and how it inspired and delighted his audiences. His reinvention of the slide, dropping text for images and banishing the bullet point, was ground breaking and the playfulness he brought to such important product demonstrations was daring and unforgettable. A master presenter.
Bryan Stevenson, founder of The Equal Justice Initiative, is able to captivate audiences with words alone. No slides, no notes, no hiding places, just words at their finest. Stevenson is a master story teller, bringing the audience into his world with person anecdotes and perfectly timed humour. The structure of his material is impressively tight and his conclusions and calls to action emotive and inspiring. Deceptively simple and always a joy to watch.
A master of clear, inspirational English. I love that Obama avoids jargon and continually tells his audiences why they should care. He uses oratorical devices to perfection, particularly the rule of three and anaphora, the use of repetition. For me Obama’s use of pauses and silence is often as powerful as his words and his use of gesture effectively drives home his message time after time. A call to action from Obama is hard to resist. Persuasive language at its best.
Anita Roddick (1942 – 2007)
Clarity, authenticity and the ability to motivate change. Three key ingredients for a super effective presenter. Back in 1999 her presentation Trading with Principles put ethical trading on the agenda and changed the way a generation consumed. I particularly liked her personal, intimate delivery style even when she was discussing the weightiest of issues. Anita Roddick spoke from the heart and millions listened.
An expert on education and creativity able to share his world with ease and humour. Ken Robinson’s relaxed, anecdotal delivery style has made him a firm TED favourite. His great use of rhetorical questions, fabulous comic timing and daring subject matter entertains, informs and inspires change. “Everyone should watch” Ken Robinson says ted.com. Great advice to all professional speakers.