There’s One More Thing

Published on
May 10, 2016
This is how Steve Jobs ended almost all of his famous keynote presentations, triggering an uncanny burst of euphoria among members of his audience.

Whether it was the first iPod touch, the Macbook Air, or more recently iTunes in the cloud, Steve’s signature conclusion never missed its mark and made a tremendous and lasting impact on the media coverage, that ensued from every product launch announcement.

It’s no secret that Apple’s prestige greatly stems from its iconic CEO’s ability to capture people’s imagination, tear out intricate concepts to turn them into sharp insights and create a unique and somewhat emotional rapport between users and technology.

On many levels, Steve Jobs redefined the way we design and deliver presentations. Stinson wouldn’t be where it is today if it wasn’t for two truly game-changing innovations: iWork’s Keynote and of course, the iPad. But today we’re going to focus on what constitutes an infinitely more valuable aspect of Steve’s legacy: the keys of its showmanship.

Key takeaways from Steve Jobs' presentation style

Prepare rigorously

From a pure formal and stylistic standpoint, Steve’s keynotes were arranged like clockwork. It is well known that he used to practice his speech for days prior to d-day. To make sure everything would go as planned from start to finish, he also supervised trial presentations for the people who would be invited up on stage to present new partnerships (Intel, AT&T, Yahoo!, etc.) and third-party applications (Smule, Epic Games, ESPN, etc.). When one knows to which extent the keynotes condition the company’s trajectory for the next 6 to 12 months, it’s not surprising nothing is left to chance.

Know your audience and talk to them

Some people believe there’s an Apple style for designing presentation while others think it’s barely lazy minimalism. Truth is Apple simply designs its presentation like they design their products, starting from the users’ needs. In this case, the spectator needs to understand new technologies and get a concrete grasp of how they’re going to change their daily lives. This is why so much emphasis is put on the core benefits to the end users, whereas competitors prefer to list technical specs and brag about pixel count and gigahertz.

Build expectations and sustain momentum

When the first iPhone was announced at the 2007 Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), everybody had a pretty clear idea of what the showstopper would be. Apple’s long awaited step into the mobile phone market was guaranteed to make the headlines for the following months. Well aware of how high the expectations were, Steve Jobs took full advantage of the edge by disclosing not one but three groundbreaking products (“a revolutionary phone, a touchscreen iPod, a breakthrough Internet communicator”) until the climatic moment when he revealed that these were actually only one. Despite years of gossips and crazy speculation about the iPhone, Steve still managed to sweep his audience off their feet 3 times in about 5 minutes, demonstrating his mastery of stagecraft.

“Things are packages of emphases”

This is one of Steve’s quotes that struck me the most. Back in June 2010, during a public interview with tech observer and WSJ columnist Walt Mossberg, Steve pointed out at the fact that some products are good at certain tasks while others may excel differently. This concept can be directly applied to how we design and structure content across slides. Never try to be exhaustive, rather prioritize the pieces of information that you judge to be the best contribution to the final call-to-action or the core message you want to convey. There’s no way a normal human being can assimilate all the data you’re pouring onto him, so get to the point and use your eloquence skills (or tricks) to help your spectator see the logical links, and eventually connect the dots.

A presentation tailored to your brand

Apple is renowned for being one of the few companies in the world to achieve the perfect marriage of technology and liberal arts. People who have been using Apple products for decades know that the whole experience they get from their digital companions is way beyond a simple human-machine interaction. Apple redefined the term user-friendly by stretching out the learning curve and making us uncover new feature and benefits from a product we first unboxed even years ago. Each and every invention packs a fair amount of learning into an bundle of blissful entertainment. That philosophy faithfully reflects back to Steve Jobs’ presentation style; he challenged himself to make his audience enjoy the show while sitting in a room packed to the gills for an hour looking at words and numbers and he nailed it. Bear in mind that your brand is not merely your visual guidelines or your logo, it’s how your company’s DNA expresses itself, regardless of the medium, presentations being one of them.

Be passionate about what you’re presenting

This one is a no brainer, but you would be surprised by the ratio of presenters who look like they would rather be anywhere but in front of their audience presenting sales forecasts. Steve Jobs is a entrepreneur and as he once said, “Apple is the world’s largest start-up”. In such organizations, things flow seamlessly and everyone can feel somehow connected to the fate of the company, like the cells of a living organism. But when comes the moment to walk into the spotlight, YOU are the company and thus everything you convey (consciously or unconsciously) impacts, to various extents, on the perception people have about your organization. Always remember, there’s a reason why you’re standing up there, facing them the same reason why your company exists.

The list goes on, and there are many other aspects to cover and that’s why I had infinite respect and gratitude toward Steve Jobs. To me he’s not the one who created the best computing device or the best interface, he’s the one who defined vectors of innovation and integrated them into a culture that will live on and I hope drive us for many generations to come.

There will always be one more thing.


Frequently Asked Questions

Working with Stinson: The Presentation Agency

What exactly do presentation agencies do?

We provide all the help you may need to design presentations that achieve your goals. This can include content consulting, presentation slide design, custom icons and illustrations, and presentation handouts—ultimately, our team of PowerPoint designers and consultants develop a comprehensive presentation solution that meets your specific needs.

Why do companies work with presentation agencies?

Consider how much time you (or your team) spend making PowerPoint presentations for meetings. Think about the back and forth over which fonts, colors, icons, and images to use. Is it okay to use bullet points? Did you use the right brand colors? Does the slide look too crowded and busy? Or does it look too plain? How do you create the look and feel that you're picturing? After the design is done, do you have enough time to practice presenting?

As presentation experts, it is our second nature to understand your goals and work with you to create the professional PowerPoint deck that you envisioned. You can learn more about our 3-phase process here.

By leaving the presentation design to an agency like Stinson, you save yourself the time and worry over the look, feel, and progression of your presentation—we make your PowerPoint presentation-ready so that you can focus on the presentation delivery.

Which presentation design service will I need?

As a presentation company, we offer every service you may need to develop your you may need to develop your PowerPoint—however, it's tough to say exactly which services of ours would benefit you the most without having chatted about your company, industry, and presentation uses.

We've generalized the scenarios that we regularly see and help our clients with. If your situation is similar to any of the below, then rest assured that our presentation experts have proven success in developing solutions.

  • You have an upcoming presentation with investors or clients. You feel your slide deck looks outdated or dull, and you don't know how to help it. You're also not sure if the content in your presentation conveys your value. View our case study where our presentation development and content consulting services helped our client achieve their investor funding goals.
  • Your company has regular internal department presentations. Everyone works on their respective slides, which are then combined into one presentation deck. The resulting PowerPoint does not have a cohesive look and somehow, there are five new shades of your corporate colors. We can help you identify your common slide layouts and design easy-to-use custom PowerPoint templates so your team members can create seamless, unified slides.
  • Your company has a great PowerPoint template that strongly reflects your branding, but your team tends to include too much text and irrelevant images on their slides. During the presentation, key messages are lost. We offer presentation training for exactly this—we'll train your team to create better slides more efficiently.

Expectations when working with us

How does partnering with a PowerPoint designer work?

Once you contact us, we'll meet with you and ask for as much context as possible regarding the project: what materials you already have, who is presenting, who is the audience, and so on—this is our Discover phase. From there, we move onto Develop and Design where we start defining the narrative and visual characteristics of your new presentation. For more details, please read our process.

How long do projects take?

Our standard turnaround for presentation development is 2–4 weeks; for custom presentation templates, our typical turnaround is 3–6 weeks. We know this is a wide range, but due to the collaborative nature of our presentation design process (i.e. asking for and incorporating your feedback), our turnaround time also relies on your responsiveness and availability. We do offer a rush service if your timelines are short.

How much does a presentation design cost?

We price on a project-by-project basis, involving a number of key factors outlined in our pricing model. However, we do require a minimum project cost of $1,500.

We often see companies that do not have budget allocations for presentation design and are hesitant to make the initial investment. We understand—at first, it can be difficult to see the value and difference a well-designed, practical presentation can make. For our clients that started in this situation, we worked on a smaller pilot test project; when they saw the positive ROI of the presentation, they were able to secure larger budgets and found more presentations that needed our help.

What are the final files that I will receive?

All of our final PowerPoint (or other presentation software) deliverables are shared with you in its native, editable file format. We are also able to provide a PDF or video version of your presentation if you would like.

Any presentation collateral we design for your project is shared as a ready-to-print PDF, unless if you specify a different preference.

Have you worked with other clients in my industry? Can you share related samples?

Our list of clients spans a wide range of industries, some of which we hadn't known of prior to the client's project. Since our approach involves familiarizing ourselves with the client's business and industry, we've become a team of jacks-of-all-trades for industry knowledge.

We're able to share blinded, industry-specific samples of presentations that our clients have consented to. Contact us if you're interested!


Aside from PowerPoint, do you work in Google Slides? Keynote? Prezi?

Yes! While we prefer designing PowerPoint presentations due to its robust features that let us create advanced designs, we've created custom presentation designs in Google Slides and Keynote at our clients' request.

We generally do not design presentations in Prezi since it does not support the level of design customization that we need for our clients. Instead, we use PowerPoint to create the same animations and layouts that are characteristic of Prezi presentations—you can view examples in our portfolio.

Will we run into issues if we use Mac and/or Windows PC?

There are some differences in functionality between PowerPoint for Mac and PowerPoint for Windows—but these are not for your concern! We use both Mac and Windows computers at Stinson, so we're able to ensure cross-device compatibility with every PowerPoint presentation we design. During our initial call with you, we'll ask you for these tech specs so that we know to bear them in mind when working on your project.

Does it matter which version of PowerPoint we use?

Yes; the latest versions of PowerPoint have new functions and features that earlier versions of PowerPoint cannot load. We'll take note of your tech setup to ensure that our presentations for you run as intended.

Designing with branding

How are you able to design with our company's brand?

If you have any brand guidelines, we ask you to provide them early on in the process so that we can familiarize ourselves not only with your logos, colors, and fonts, but the overarching brand tone. Our collaborative process includes rounds of revision for you to provide your feedback on the presentation design.

Are you able to design within our very strict corporate brand guidelines?

Absolutely! Many of our clients are companies with well-established brand identities. We do our due diligence to maintain the integrity of their branding when designing their presentations and collateral.

Strict brand guidelines do not necessarily restrict the possibility of creating a sophisticated PowerPoint; our presentation designers thoughtfully use photos, animations, and other visuals to build the story.

We don't have concrete branding yet or we're in the process of updating our brand. Can you work without defined brand elements?

Yes! When we work with clients who are still ironing out the details of their branding, we ask them to provide us any materials they have already and to share their design inspirations. From there, we lay out moodboards of different tones and styles to see which resonates the most with what our client has in mind.


We have highly sensitive information. Will my data remain confidential?

Absolutely—we respect the proprietary nature of businesses, and enforce a strict confidentiality policy company-wide. From the first point of contact with you, we assume a non-disclosure agreement (NDA); we are happy to sign your company's NDA as well.

Where do you store my files and data?

All of our files are stored securely in an industry-leading content server. The server exceeds regulatory standards and encrypts each file using AES 256-bit encryption in diverse locations.

Additionally, the Stinson team works completely in-house, so your files will not cross borders.

How secure is my data?

We take data security seriously. We enforce numerous internal policies and procedures to ensure that Stinson continues to meet compliance and security standards for data protection, including multi-factor authentication for all company accounts and access restrictions.

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