I don’t know if there really is a definable, quantifiable “style” that Apple can call its own outside of its hardware/software output, but nowhere is it more apparent when Steve Jobs makes a keynote presentation at an annual Macworld conference, and by the same extension, all of Apple’s staff worldwide when they make a presentation in the different markets. Sure, it’s probably a mandated corporate style, complete with months of intensive training, rigid instruction and constant practice before they’re even allowed anywhere near a black mock turtleneck.

I say this because on the day of the local launching of the MacBook Pro and Intel iMac last week (the one Jayvee mentions in a recent post), I attended another company’s product launching literally just minutes before Apple’s (interestingly enough, the other company was also launching an Intel Dual Core notebook), and you couldn’t avoid comparing the two even if you tried.

The other company’s event was largely underwhelming and was more a litany of specs than a presentation meant to impress. It seems they forgot the ages-old cardinal rule of presentation: show, don’t tell. All the company’s officers and regional principals sat in a firing squad panel on the stage looking uncomfortable. An introduced speaker spent five minutes trying to find and get his Powerpoint presentation off the ground, and no, not privately on his laptop’s screen - he did it while the whole thing was projected, warts and all, on the stage’s big projection screen, while the entire room of press and media folk watched uneasily while eating their chicken lunch.

In contrast, Apple’s presentation was orchestrated to appear simple - a bare stage, a big projection screen, a speaker, a Keynote presentation. But the effect is far from simple. You focus on the simple, fact-supported spiels, and you are shown what they are talking about, not just told. It’s an easy-going, casual script that is creative and imaginative and subtly escalates to the high point of the day, the one-more-thing item. In this case, it was the Intel Macs. I just wish they had a MacBook Pro in time for the presentation; the shipping got delayed at bit. At least we got to paw at the Intel iMac.

It just underscores the different approaches manufacturers make in promoting their products, regardless of, and separate from, whether those products are any good or not. From a pure showmanship point of view, Apple’s got it down pat. If you’ve ever seen a Steve Jobs Keynote presentation, you’ll know what I mean. The double whammy is that, from where I’m sitting, they got the products down pat as well. Which is a great thing.

Would that other manufacturers reach this level as well.

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