OWL Magazine Korea

Ha Woo Seok “The Art of Presenting to Bend Others to Your Will”

The late 2000s and early 2010s were a time of specs on specs on specs. It was a time when job seekers were working hard to get a job, and companies were trying to fill in the gaps in their resumes to get better candidates.

While the trend has slowed down a bit now, in the 2010s, when I was preparing for my first job, it was a time of seven specs, a cover letter, and, to add to the mix, “presentation” interviews.

“Presentation interviews became the norm in the 2010s”

I don’t know what it’s like now, but until the 2010s, presentation interviews were definitely the norm. I remember most of the companies I applied to had presentation interviews. Presentations were replaced by debate interviews.

In this atmosphere, even the Industrial Manpower Agency, where I once worked, required me to give a presentation.

“A book about presentations published in 2005”

This book was published in “2005” and is about presentations. In fact, presentations in the 2000s were a lot different than they are today. At that time, there wasn’t much technological advancement in the “presentation” part, unlike now, so I think companies would have prepared presentations for new hires to learn presentation skills.

Until Steve Jobs made his first presentation of the iPhone in 2008, presentations in Korea were mostly made by putting all the information in a “PPT” and delivering it as if reading.

However, Steve Jobs’ “keynote” presentations, which emphasized brevity, began to gain traction, and since then, more and more people have been studying his presentations and copying his style.

“Microsoft Style Presentations vs Apple’s Steve Jobs Style Presentations”

If I had to categorize presentations into two main styles, I would say that there are two types of presentations: those with a lot of information on a single slide and those with a single image on a slide. The former can be called the traditional Microsoft approach, and the latter can be more intuitively understood as Apple’s Steve Jobs style.

This book doesn’t advocate one style of presentation over another. However, no matter what style of presentation you choose, there are certain fundamentals that are important.

“A book that covers presentations in general”

This book is a comprehensive overview of presentations. Either way, the book covers what you might consider “fundamental” elements. Here are some of the key takeaways from the book

  • “The key to presenting is your voice.” You need to be able to create a voice.
  • “Body language and hand gestures” should be utilized.
  • “Poise” is 50% of the equation.
  • The “opening line” is also important. Your first greeting should identify your company, affiliation, position, department, etc. It’s a good idea to write your greeting in advance.
  • “Script” should be used in moderation.
  • “Enjoy the stage.”
  • Create your own “gesture”.
  • Cite “rich examples”.
  • Be “memorable”.
  • Be armed with “data.”
  • “Dress” is also important.
  • Develop a “leadership style” that engages your audience.
  • “Report writing skills” are also important.
  • Utilize the “three-step technique.”

“The three-step technique for presentations”

The second half of the book is devoted to the “three-step technique”. The idea is that when you go from big to small, breaking it down into three parts is the best way for people to remember.

In fact, other books on presentations emphasize this as well. The book that analyzes “Steve Jobs’ Presentations” also explains “Steve Jobs’ three-act structure”.

The “three-part technique” refers to a three-part structure, usually in the form of an “introduction, body, and conclusion”. If you’re presenting on a conflict situation, you can use the “full, half, and sum” structure, and if you’re presenting on a future plan, you can use the “short, medium, and long” structure.

You can apply the three-stage technique in various fields as follows.

  • Introduction, body, conclusion
  • Whole, half, and sum
  • Short, medium, and long term
  • Purpose, outline, and details
  • Plan, execute, evaluate
  • Hypothesis, investigation, verification
  • Example, generalization, conclusion

This book was published in 2005, so it may feel a bit dated to read now. However, the fundamental elements of presenting will remain the same. This book covers the basics of public speaking: confidence, voice, organization, and more.

“The Art of the Presentation: 35 Presentation Techniques to Win Your Opponent’s Heart and Mind”