Editorial: Can journalists have feelings at Apple events?

24

Comments

  • Reply 21 of 61

    I’ve been a fanboy for over twenty years, but the NYT writer has a valid point. The hardware, aside from the price drop, is really underwhelming and out of touch. Schiller especially needs to not present anymore. 

    People don’t expect big crazy news features every time, but no one cares about the camera and the watch screen. Not for those prices anyway. 
    Says you. I'm in tech, and an Apple customer to boot, I love this new stuff and don't mind the prices. After selling my X it will have cost me 600 bucks over two years -- that's a great value for a powerful computer in my pocket. I especially care about camera improvements, as that's one of the prime use cases of this device on the street or on vacation. And a 20% improvement to processing power? And waaay more power-efficient with 4 more hours of run time? Yeah, that's impressive.

    Sorry it didn't have cheeseburgers flying out of the screen, or whatever it is you're looking for.
    cat52ridyratradarthekatAppleExposedbakedbananas
  • Reply 22 of 61

    hentaiboy said:
    I always wondered if there was an illuminated “Applause” sign just out of camera shot at these events. 
    Thanks for the cheerleaders clarification 📣 

    Funniest part of the keynote is when Schiller makes a comment and pauses for a cheer. With none forthcoming he looks completely dumbfounded.
    What minute marker did this happen at?

    What most of the critics usually overlook is, this is an annual event put on by office workers. These people are not full-time presenters or actors, they're project managers who work on this stuff. Public speaking and presenting to millions of people in the most important tech event of the year is a skill most of us don't have -- I'm willing to bet virtually all of the folks here would look awkward & scared on stage. Part of staging and speaking is fighting your nerves, forcing yourself to slow down, breath, etc... You have to concentrate on it. Maybe to you that looks like someone expecting applause and being dumbfounded. To me it looks like someone showing effort at the uncomfortable skill of public speaking. 
    cat52GG1radarthekatfranklinjackconrandominternetpersonmuthuk_vanalingamAppleExposedbakedbananas
  • Reply 23 of 61
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 4,302member
    thrang said:
    The problem is the script writing is becoming clichéd, and often relies on similar voicing and phrasing for various speakers. If I hear one more person say "We're sure you'll love it as much as we do," or "We can't wait to get it in your hands..." I may throw my crappy Apple Remote into my screen.

    Phil and Craig occasionally interject a little more unique personality into their delivery, and with some  unscripted asides - but mostly, its sounds very repetitive. 

    This does a disservice to the the products and services being introduced.

    So Apple needs to change up the copy writers, or enforce a mandate of varied voices, vocabulary, and styles, and cut way back on repetitive/clichéd phrases

    They also often talk exhaustively about a feature, and then show you a commercial, which can be a bit anti-climactic. Perhaps show the commercial first to delight, and then present it in greater detail. (Slofies for example)

    More "real people" stories where appropriate would be great, as those are often very powerful.
    I brought this up in another thread the other day when it was mentioned that the presentations had become stale. I completely agree with that and you.

    Sometimes it reminds me of Wayne's World when the show gets taken over and then goes 'corporate'.

    It's not only Apple, but the 'problem' is there and you described it very well.
    anantksundarammuthuk_vanalingamAppleExposed
  • Reply 24 of 61

    thrang said:

    Phil and Craig occasionally interject a little more unique personality into their delivery, and with some  unscripted asides - but mostly, its sounds very repetitive. 
    This comes from it being a rehearsed event by non-professional-speakers. They depend on repetition and practice to come off as non-panicked (remember panic being the normal response for most when public speaking). Those who do it more get better at it. Craig is awesome at it now and can ad lib, but he wasn't in the beginning. Also natural charisma helps a speaker, but few office workers are hired for charisma. You would imagine that CEOs are all natural public speakers, but that isn't the case either, their primary skills are running successful companies. Not many have to get under a spotlight. 

    I used to be in community theater and know how bad nerves are, so my hat's off to them.

    cat52GG1radarthekatrandominternetpersonmuthuk_vanalingamAppleExposed
  • Reply 25 of 61
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 4,302member

    thrang said:

    Phil and Craig occasionally interject a little more unique personality into their delivery, and with some  unscripted asides - but mostly, its sounds very repetitive. 
    This comes from it being a rehearsed event by non-professional-speakers. They depend on repetition and practice to come off as non-panicked (remember panic being the normal response for most when public speaking). Those who do it more get better at it. Craig is awesome at it now and can ad lib, but he wasn't in the beginning. Also natural charisma helps a speaker, but few office workers are hired for charisma. You would imagine that CEOs are all natural public speakers, but that isn't the case either, their primary skills are running successful companies. Not many have to get under a spotlight. 

    I used to be in community theater and know how bad nerves are, so my hat's off to them.

    We all take our hats off to them. We know how hard it is. We understand the difficulties for them.

    You missed the point. The same criticisms are aimed at professional speakers too (politicians for example when in presentation mode).

    Rehearsal isn't the problem. The script, structure and delivery are the problem.



    anantksundarammuthuk_vanalingamAppleExposed
  • Reply 26 of 61

    hentaiboy said:
    I always wondered if there was an illuminated “Applause” sign just out of camera shot at these events. 
    Thanks for the cheerleaders clarification 📣 

    Funniest part of the keynote is when Schiller makes a comment and pauses for a cheer. With none forthcoming he looks completely dumbfounded.
    What minute marker did this happen at?
    Please don't ask me to wade through all one hour, forty-two minutes and seventeen seconds again. You must have missed it when you were taking your toilet break.
  • Reply 27 of 61
    Great piece, very well said. 
    alexonlinebakedbananas
  • Reply 28 of 61
    avon b7 said:

    thrang said:

    Phil and Craig occasionally interject a little more unique personality into their delivery, and with some  unscripted asides - but mostly, its sounds very repetitive. 
    This comes from it being a rehearsed event by non-professional-speakers. They depend on repetition and practice to come off as non-panicked (remember panic being the normal response for most when public speaking). Those who do it more get better at it. Craig is awesome at it now and can ad lib, but he wasn't in the beginning. Also natural charisma helps a speaker, but few office workers are hired for charisma. You would imagine that CEOs are all natural public speakers, but that isn't the case either, their primary skills are running successful companies. Not many have to get under a spotlight. 

    I used to be in community theater and know how bad nerves are, so my hat's off to them.

    We all take our hats off to them. We know how hard it is. We understand the difficulties for them.

    You missed the point. The same criticisms are aimed at professional speakers too (politicians for example when in presentation mode).

    Rehearsal isn't the problem. The script, structure and delivery are the problem.



    Ah. So you're saying it's the script writers and the directors that are not doing their job? But what if they too are non-professionals?

    And is that what we really want? A professionally written, directed, and acted performance? Or do we want the folks who really do the work out there winging it?

    I kind of like it the way it is, warts and all....
    edited September 12 radarthekatAppleExposed
  • Reply 29 of 61

    joechilds said:
    Great piece, very well said. 
    I agree! Thumbs up, DED!
    AppleExposedalexonlinebakedbananas
  • Reply 30 of 61
    thrang said:
    The problem is the script writing is becoming clichéd, and often relies on similar voicing and phrasing for various speakers. If I hear one more person say "We're sure you'll love it as much as we do," or "We can't wait to get it in your hands..." I may throw my crappy Apple Remote into my screen.

    Phil and Craig occasionally interject a little more unique personality into their delivery, and with some  unscripted asides - but mostly, its sounds very repetitive. 

    This does a disservice to the the products and services being introduced.

    So Apple needs to change up the copy writers, or enforce a mandate of varied voices, vocabulary, and styles, and cut way back on repetitive/clichéd phrases

    They also often talk exhaustively about a feature, and then show you a commercial, which can be a bit anti-climactic. Perhaps show the commercial first to delight, and then present it in greater detail. (Slofies for example)

    More "real people" stories where appropriate would be great, as those are often very powerful.
    Yes to just about all of this. Since Steve--and I promise this is the only time I would ever invoke his name, because it's relevant--the speakers have been uninspiring. Too scripted, too formulaic, too painfully aware of some imposed time limitation, not enough humor or personality. And now the new folks seem just frightened. Stop talking so fast.

    I watch because I Apple, but not because it's riveting. To me Phil is as dull as toast, but Craig has his moments. Make him the master of ceremonies.  The visual and technical quality of the show is superior, the presentation needs work.
  • Reply 31 of 61
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 4,302member
    sacto joe said:
    avon b7 said:

    thrang said:

    Phil and Craig occasionally interject a little more unique personality into their delivery, and with some  unscripted asides - but mostly, its sounds very repetitive. 
    This comes from it being a rehearsed event by non-professional-speakers. They depend on repetition and practice to come off as non-panicked (remember panic being the normal response for most when public speaking). Those who do it more get better at it. Craig is awesome at it now and can ad lib, but he wasn't in the beginning. Also natural charisma helps a speaker, but few office workers are hired for charisma. You would imagine that CEOs are all natural public speakers, but that isn't the case either, their primary skills are running successful companies. Not many have to get under a spotlight. 

    I used to be in community theater and know how bad nerves are, so my hat's off to them.

    We all take our hats off to them. We know how hard it is. We understand the difficulties for them.

    You missed the point. The same criticisms are aimed at professional speakers too (politicians for example when in presentation mode).

    Rehearsal isn't the problem. The script, structure and delivery are the problem.



    Ah. So you're saying it's the script writers and the directors that are not doing their job? But what if they too are non-professionals?

    And is that what we really want? A professionally written, directed, and acted performance? Or do we want the folks who really do the work out there winging it?

    I kind of like it the way it is, warts and all....
    Not sure if they have professional scriptwriters but nothing gets broadcast without a director taking part.

    This is isn't the warts and all version. I would like some of that (even if scripted, yes I know that sounds weird). 

    Here's an old example. I used to fly a lot and used Iberia and British Airways whenever possible. All cabin crews are indoctrinated when it comes to customer interaction so the level of professionalism was very high. In a closed environment the conditions to be dealt with are well and truly buttoned down. However, I always preferred Iberia cabin crew. The British Airways cabin crews were so professional as to have their own individual  identities packed away. They became robots while Iberia cabin crew managed to show personal empathy in a natural way but in an equally professional way.

    It is very important to 'connect' with your audience and different people do it in different ways. You don't have to be a professional in any way but you do need to work on connecting. That means self evaluation and practice but it must always be you, not the book on giving great presentations.

    Some people just aren't really cut out for presentations and Tim Cook is one of them but one who has to get up there and do it.

    In those cases there are other aspects that can be worked on. 

    Good comedians will make you laugh even if you watch the same performance live five nights on the trot. There is obviously much more involved than just a script. The key is to convince the listener that he or she hasn't heard everything already, even when they have.

    It's not easy but, as Thrang pointed out, the sensation of having 'heard it all before' is so front and centre that the listener can anticipate what lines are coming. That is where things need a shake up.
  • Reply 32 of 61
    sacto joe said:
    avon b7 said:

    thrang said:

    Phil and Craig occasionally interject a little more unique personality into their delivery, and with some  unscripted asides - but mostly, its sounds very repetitive. 
    This comes from it being a rehearsed event by non-professional-speakers. They depend on repetition and practice to come off as non-panicked (remember panic being the normal response for most when public speaking). Those who do it more get better at it. Craig is awesome at it now and can ad lib, but he wasn't in the beginning. Also natural charisma helps a speaker, but few office workers are hired for charisma. You would imagine that CEOs are all natural public speakers, but that isn't the case either, their primary skills are running successful companies. Not many have to get under a spotlight. 

    I used to be in community theater and know how bad nerves are, so my hat's off to them.

    We all take our hats off to them. We know how hard it is. We understand the difficulties for them.

    You missed the point. The same criticisms are aimed at professional speakers too (politicians for example when in presentation mode).

    Rehearsal isn't the problem. The script, structure and delivery are the problem.



    Ah. So you're saying it's the script writers and the directors that are not doing their job? But what if they too are non-professionals?

    And is that what we really want? A professionally written, directed, and acted performance? Or do we want the folks who really do the work out there winging it?

    I kind of like it the way it is, warts and all....
    The same voice/clichéd phrases creates a dull patina that obscures and numbs after a while. Obviously, Apple is a well-oiled machine, but they are also good at recognizing when things can be improved. Hopefully this is an area they will See as needing rework.

    Some of the best moments are not on stage, but the recorded bits - commercials, sample work from others, real people stories. Because they generally are not clamped down by the onstage script writing crutches.

    Game demos generally are boring because they are highly scripted, but gameplay is typically quite a random experience. I get that they have to show them.... but perhaps a well-edited video composite showing a variety of game highlights might be a better thing to do, not watching a stiff huff out false enthusiasm about Frogger crossing the road and navigating around the baby from Tin Toy.

    Demos of things like photo editing or music tend to work better because the distilled steps they follow more or less mimic the steps you would take using the app.

    Yes, the newer presenters probably needed to change their pants afterward, so I sympathize greatly having done some public presentations in the past. Thus I don't mind rote presentations to help combat that fear, but like any other good writing, you still need to have variety in the voices you use for different "characters", and ideally, write to the strengths of the specific speaker (animated, reserved, humorous, scatter-brained, youthful, whatever...). Just because it's "real" and not a work of fiction, it is a structured and choreographed event that would benefit from using long-proven writing techniques. I'm not saying it would be easy, but I think they should push in that direction...


    edited September 12 anantksundarammuthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 33 of 61
    I noticed that too, and it happened a few times. Maybe his lame dad-jokes have finally worn thin with the general public at these events. I hope!!
    AppleExposed
  • Reply 34 of 61
     :'( Poor MS/Goog/SS, having to pay all those a-holes to write nasty, thoughtless pieces about Apple! I just think of the billions wasted over the years...I love your work, DED!
    AppleExposed
  • Reply 35 of 61
    From the range of often perceptive critiques, you'd think this was truly a prime time production. That's a compliment. Aarguably the Oscars is filled with just as much or more cliche and platitudes. What I like about Apple show and tell is the awkwardness and mix of "regular people," often fish out of water, but there to make the real stars-- the products and services and video promos-- steal the show. The watch video, the camera app, the app developer from China, were priceless. I could've done without all the "See" full-length trailer, but it burned into viewers skulls that Apple is going big into TV, aspiring to Game of Thrones big.
    randominternetpersonAppleExposed
  • Reply 36 of 61
    What Apple and its products and keynotes differentiates from others is the focus on purpose, instead of technocratic masturbation. 
    And even if half of it is just their spin on marketing, the other half contributes to making a difference. That’s what I always liked in this company. 
    radarthekat
  • Reply 37 of 61
    k2kwk2kw Posts: 1,823member
    I’ve been a fanboy for over twenty years, but the NYT writer has a valid point. The hardware, aside from the price drop, is really underwhelming and out of touch. Schiller especially needs to not present anymore. 

    People don’t expect big crazy news features every time, but no one cares about the camera and the watch screen. Not for those prices anyway. 
    I disagree with the NYT writer , I guess some of these journalists have become jaded.   Maybe he should switch to Sports.   

    That said I just don't think that these DED editorials attacking other journalists/writers are helpful.  People will have different views of everything and the executives at Apple are big boys and can take the heat.      These attacks come off as very Trump-like shouting about FakeNews and attacking the press.

    I believe its unrealistic to expect big product revolutions every year or other year.    I think that probably happens more like every 5 years.   To list a few: the original iPhone, the original iPad, the iPhoneX with the near full screen display,  the Gen 4 watch with the heart monitoring    To me iPadOS is the biggest change this year but its not going to get covered at a Hardware event when they went over it at WWDC.



    muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 38 of 61
    AppleExposedAppleExposed Posts: 1,681unconfirmed, member
    I’ve been a fanboy for over twenty years, but the NYT writer has a valid point. The hardware, aside from the price drop, is really underwhelming and out of touch. Schiller especially needs to not present anymore. 

    People don’t expect big crazy news features every time, but no one cares about the camera and the watch screen. Not for those prices anyway. 

    I do. Those were my favorite features so you're wrong.
    macgui
  • Reply 39 of 61
    AppleExposedAppleExposed Posts: 1,681unconfirmed, member
    Silly journalists... If tech companies would get political, what would news outlets sell?

    Speaking of emotions, for me the best product is the always-on Watch 5. Now I can have something (smart) on my wrist that is not a cold, faceless monolith most of the time.

    Not gonna lie. Seeing the minimalist black screen on peoples wrist around town has become Apple-iconic. Gonna miss it in a few years when everyone upgrades.
    randominternetpersonmacgui
  • Reply 40 of 61
    I had to look up Ballmer screaming "Developers, developers, developers..." again. Still awesome, as is the extended version set to music.
    AppleExposed
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