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From the desk of Steve Lowell, Master Speaker and Mentor to those who speak in public.

Preparing to Master the Stage

Present A “Holy Sh*t!” Moment

In his book, The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs, Carmine Gallo explains that every presentation given by Steve Jobs, business magnate and co-founder of Apple, has what he calls, a “holy sh*t” moment. This is a moment in the presentation where Jobs presents something so awe-inspiring that the audience is stunned.

An example of a Steve Jobs “holy sh*t” moment is when he pulled a laptop computer out of a plain manila envelope. The crowd was stunned.

As you may recall, back in Chapter Two, at point twelve, Julia pulled her wig off while she was on the stage, now, that was a “holy sh*t” moment. Or at point thirteen, also in Chapter Two, when Katrina slipped on her lawyer’s robe and gave this catchphrase, “When the gown goes on, the gloves come off,” that was a “holy sh*t” moment.

In a presentation I gave to my business education and networking group called “Your Stage,” I created a “holy sh*t” moment by showing a bar graph of the average membership fees of local business groups. To demonstrate how our own membership fees compare, beside that bar on the graph, I revealed an animated bar that grew far higher than the competitor’s fees and then suddenly dropped to about half. That moment garnered some gasps and a ton of new memberships.

One of our guest speakers at the event began his presentation with, “Several years ago, I spent $135,000 on a dog!” Now that was a “holy sh*t” moment! He then went on to explain he’d always wanted a dog, and his wife agreed that if he bought a specific house that she wanted, he could buy the dog, so he bought both.

How important is it to include such a moment? Well, few presentations actually have one, but the memorable presentations usually do. Look for opportunities in your presentation to wow your audience with something that will give them a moment of pause. If there’s no such opportunity, so be it, but if you can find one, there’s gold in that opportunity.

When creating your presentation, think about what you can do that’s out of the ordinary, that’s different from what anyone else has done. Think creatively and let your imagination soar. Of course, it’s important to confine your “holy sh*t” moment to what’s proper and acceptable. Stay away from anything controversial, or anything that could be offensive to audience members, unless offending them is your goal.

So, what’s the lesson? See if you can find a “holy sh*t” moment in your presentation. Your audience will remember you!

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