Apple CEO Tim Cook delivered a motivational and uplifting commencement speech this year at MIT in Cambridge, MA. Cook’s speech was filled with impactful messages that speak directly to the young minds of the graduating class. As a master of technology innovation, Cook drew inspiration from his role at Apple. He also offered advice that he has learned through personal experience. Let’s take a closer look at how Tim Cook crafts impactful presentation messages.

Know Your Audience

Cook begins his commencement speech with his own search for a calling. He goes over his struggles to discover what he wanted to do as a young boy, a college student and an adult. He says he kept waiting and waiting for the right college major or job promotion to fill that empty feeling. Nearly 20 years later, he began working with Steve Jobs at Apple and through hindsight, he realized his searching was over.

This part of Cook’s speech displays how well he knows his audience. College graduates are entering a world of uncertainty and some may not have their careers planned out. If you want to increase the impactful presentation messages in your deck, apply your own experience and personal struggles to relate to your audience’s concerns.

Related Post: The Complete Guide to Knowing Your Audience

Know Your Industry

The second part of Cook’s speech focuses on technology. He encourages MIT graduates to use their knowledge of science and technology for making the world better. While he praises the future of technology jobs, he also expresses his concern for losing sight of what makes us human. A chance meeting the Pope Francis further motivated him to focus more on the power that Apple has, putting it towards making the world a better place.

You too can craft impactful presentation messages by being the expert in your field. Map out how far your industry has come, and what lies ahead in the future. Make note of major accomplishments you or your company has made, and reveal how you corrected a problem from your past. This insider knowledge will be useful for your audience and leave a lasting impression.

impactful presentation

Know Your Message

The last section of Cook’s speech is filled with empowering calls to action. He urges the graduates to stand up for their beliefs, to push back against negativity, and to serve humanity. He reminds the graduates that all our lives interweave with others, so think critically on how you want the world to know you.

Calls to action are an important part of presentations. So much so, we even argue that every presentation should have a call to action. Think hard on the message you want to send home to your audience. Ask yourself what is the real reason why I am giving this presentation. When you have that answer, make it part of the impactful presentation messages shown throughout your writing.

Tim Cook’s commencement address is one that will stay with the graduating class of 2017 for years to come. Because it is full of impactful presentation messages that speak directly to his audience, the students are more likely to remember Cook’s calls to action. You can also have this effect in your presentation by getting to know what your audience wants and needs, providing industry insight, and crafting an inspiring message.

More from the Ethos3 Blog:

Make the Best Call to Action of All Time

Presentation Persona Spotlight: Steve Jobs

The Most Talked-About Commencement Speeches of 2017

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