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What It Takes to Give a Great Presentation

  • Carmine Gallo

new methods of presentation

Five tips to set yourself apart.

Never underestimate the power of great communication. It can help you land the job of your dreams, attract investors to back your idea, or elevate your stature within your organization. But while there are plenty of good speakers in the world, you can set yourself apart out by being the person who can deliver something great over and over. Here are a few tips for business professionals who want to move from being good speakers to great ones: be concise (the fewer words, the better); never use bullet points (photos and images paired together are more memorable); don’t underestimate the power of your voice (raise and lower it for emphasis); give your audience something extra (unexpected moments will grab their attention); rehearse (the best speakers are the best because they practice — a lot).

I was sitting across the table from a Silicon Valley CEO who had pioneered a technology that touches many of our lives — the flash memory that stores data on smartphones, digital cameras, and computers. He was a frequent guest on CNBC and had been delivering business presentations for at least 20 years before we met. And yet, the CEO wanted to sharpen his public speaking skills.

new methods of presentation

  • Carmine Gallo is a Harvard University instructor, keynote speaker, and author of 10 books translated into 40 languages. Gallo is the author of The Bezos Blueprint: Communication Secrets of the World’s Greatest Salesman  (St. Martin’s Press).

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The 8 Types of Presentation Styles: Which Category Do You Fall Into?

Meg Prater (she/her)

Updated: December 16, 2020

Published: September 24, 2018

Types of Presentations

  • Visual Style
  • Freeform Style
  • Instructor Style
  • Coach Style
  • Storytelling Style
  • Connector Style
  • Lessig Style
  • Takahashi Style

Everyone on the internet has an opinion on how to give the “perfect” presentation.

types-of-presentation-styles

One group champions visual aids, another thinks visual aids are a threat to society as we know it. One expert preaches the benefits of speaking loudly, while another believes the softer you speak the more your audience pays attention. And don’t even try to find coordinating opinions on whether you should start your presentation with a story, quote, statistic, or question.

But what if there wasn’t just one “right” way to give a presentation? What if there were several? Below, I’ve outlined eight types of presentation styles. They’re used by famous speakers like Steve Jobs and Al Gore -- and none of them are wrong.

Check out each one and decide which will be most effective for you.

→ Free Download: 10 PowerPoint Presentation Templates [Access Now]

Types of Presentation Styles

1. visual style.

What it is: If you’re a firm believer slides simply exist to complement your talking points, this style is for you. With this speaking style, you might need to work a little harder to get your audience engaged, but the dividends can be huge for strong public speakers, visionaries, and storytellers.

When to use it: This style is helpful when speaking to a large audience with broad interests. It’s also great for when you need to throw together slides quickly.

Visual style presenter: Steve Jobs

2. Freeform Style

What it is: This impromptu style of presenting doesn’t require slides. Instead, the speaker relies on strong stories to illustrate each point. This style works best for those who have a short presentation time and are extremely familiar with their talking points.

When to use it: Elevator pitches, networking events, and impromptu meetings are all scenarios in which to use a freeform style of speaking. You’ll appear less rehearsed and more conversational than if you were to pause in the middle of a happy hour to pull up your presentation on a tablet.

Freeform style presenter: Sir Ken Robinson

3. Instructor Style

What it is: This presentation style allows you to deliver complex messages using figures of speech, metaphors, and lots of content -- just like your teachers and professors of old. Your decks should be built in logical order to aid your presentation, and you should use high-impact visuals to support your ideas and keep the audience engaged.

When to use it: If you’re not a comfortable presenter or are unfamiliar with your subject matter (i.e., your product was recently updated and you’re not familiar with the finer points), try instructor-style presenting.

Instructor style presenter: Al Gore

4. Coach Style

What it is: Energetic and charismatic speakers gravitate towards this style of presenting. It allows them to connect and engage with their audience using role play and listener interaction.

When to use it: Use this presentation style when you’re speaking at a conference or presenting to an audience who needs to be put at ease. For example, this style would work well if you were speaking to a group of executives who need to be sold on the idea of what your company does rather than the details of how you do it.

Coach style presenter: Linda Edgecombe

5. Storytelling Style

What it is: In this style, the speaker relies on anecdotes and examples to connect with their audience. Stories bring your learning points to life, and the TED’s Commandments never let you down: Let your emotions out and tell your story in an honest way.

When to use it: Avoid this style if you’re in the discovery phase of the sales process. You want to keep the conversation about your prospect instead of circling every point or question back to you or a similar client. This style is great for conference speaking, networking events, and sales presentations where you have adequate time to tell your stories without taking minutes away from questions.

Storytelling style presenter: Jill Bolte Taylor

6. Connector Style

What it is: In this style, presenters connect with their audience by showing how they’re similar to their listeners. Connectors usually enjoy freeform Q&A and use gestures when they speak. They also highly encourage audience reaction and feedback to what they’re saying.

When to use it: Use this style of presenting early in the sales process as you’re learning about your prospect’s pain points, challenges, and goals. This type of speaking sets your listener at ease, elicits feedback on how you’re doing in real time, and is more of a dialogue than a one-sided presentation

Connector style presenter: Connie Dieken

7. Lessig Style

What it is: The Lessig Style was created by Lawrence Lessig , a professor of law and leadership at Harvard Law School. This presentation style requires the presenter to pass through each slide within 15 seconds. When text is used in a slide, it’s typically synchronized with the presenter’s spoken words.

When to use it: This method of presentation is great for large crowds -- and it allows the speaker to use a balance of text and image to convey their message. The rapid pace and rhythm of the slide progression keeps audiences focused, engaged, and less likely to snooze.

Lessig style presenter: Lawrence Lessig

8. Takahashi Style

What it is: This method features large, bold text on minimal slides. It was devised by Masayoshi Takahashi , who found himself creating slides without access to a presentation design tool or PowerPoint. The main word is the focal point of the slide, and phrases, used sparingly, are short and concise.

When to use it: If you find yourself in Takahashi’s shoes -- without presentation design software -- this method is for you. This style works well for short presentations that pack a memorable punch.

Takahashi style presenter: Masayoshi Takahashi

Slides from one of Takahashi’s presentations:

Whether you’re speaking on a conference stage or giving a sales presentation , you can find a method that works best for you and your audience. With the right style, you’ll capture attention, engage listeners, and effectively share your message. You can even ask an  AI presentation maker  tool to create presentations for you in your preferred style

Blog - Beautiful PowerPoint Presentation Template [List-Based]

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Blog Graphic Design

15 Effective Visual Presentation Tips To Wow Your Audience

By Krystle Wong , Sep 28, 2023

Visual Presentation Tips

So, you’re gearing up for that big presentation and you want it to be more than just another snooze-fest with slides. You want it to be engaging, memorable and downright impressive. 

Well, you’ve come to the right place — I’ve got some slick tips on how to create a visual presentation that’ll take your presentation game up a notch. 

Packed with presentation templates that are easily customizable, keep reading this blog post to learn the secret sauce behind crafting presentations that captivate, inform and remain etched in the memory of your audience.

Click to jump ahead:

What is a visual presentation & why is it important?

15 effective tips to make your visual presentations more engaging, 6 major types of visual presentation you should know , what are some common mistakes to avoid in visual presentations, visual presentation faqs, 5 steps to create a visual presentation with venngage.

A visual presentation is a communication method that utilizes visual elements such as images, graphics, charts, slides and other visual aids to convey information, ideas or messages to an audience. 

Visual presentations aim to enhance comprehension engagement and the overall impact of the message through the strategic use of visuals. People remember what they see, making your point last longer in their heads. 

Without further ado, let’s jump right into some great visual presentation examples that would do a great job in keeping your audience interested and getting your point across.

In today’s fast-paced world, where information is constantly bombarding our senses, creating engaging visual presentations has never been more crucial. To help you design a presentation that’ll leave a lasting impression, I’ve compiled these examples of visual presentations that will elevate your game.

1. Use the rule of thirds for layout

Ever heard of the rule of thirds? It’s a presentation layout trick that can instantly up your slide game. Imagine dividing your slide into a 3×3 grid and then placing your text and visuals at the intersection points or along the lines. This simple tweak creates a balanced and seriously pleasing layout that’ll draw everyone’s eyes.

2. Get creative with visual metaphors

Got a complex idea to explain? Skip the jargon and use visual metaphors. Throw in images that symbolize your point – for example, using a road map to show your journey towards a goal or using metaphors to represent answer choices or progress indicators in an interactive quiz or poll.

3. Visualize your data with charts and graphs

The right data visualization tools not only make content more appealing but also aid comprehension and retention. Choosing the right visual presentation for your data is all about finding a good match. 

For ordinal data, where things have a clear order, consider using ordered bar charts or dot plots. When it comes to nominal data, where categories are on an equal footing, stick with the classics like bar charts, pie charts or simple frequency tables. And for interval-ratio data, where there’s a meaningful order, go for histograms, line graphs, scatterplots or box plots to help your data shine.

In an increasingly visual world, effective visual communication is a valuable skill for conveying messages. Here’s a guide on how to use visual communication to engage your audience while avoiding information overload.

new methods of presentation

4. Employ the power of contrast

Want your important stuff to pop? That’s where contrast comes in. Mix things up with contrasting colors, fonts or shapes. It’s like highlighting your key points with a neon marker – an instant attention grabber.

5. Tell a visual story

Structure your slides like a storybook and create a visual narrative by arranging your slides in a way that tells a story. Each slide should flow into the next, creating a visual narrative that keeps your audience hooked till the very end.

Icons and images are essential for adding visual appeal and clarity to your presentation. Venngage provides a vast library of icons and images, allowing you to choose visuals that resonate with your audience and complement your message. 

new methods of presentation

6. Show the “before and after” magic

Want to drive home the impact of your message or solution? Whip out the “before and after” technique. Show the current state (before) and the desired state (after) in a visual way. It’s like showing a makeover transformation, but for your ideas.

7. Add fun with visual quizzes and polls

To break the monotony and see if your audience is still with you, throw in some quick quizzes or polls. It’s like a mini-game break in your presentation — your audience gets involved and it makes your presentation way more dynamic and memorable.

8. End with a powerful visual punch

Your presentation closing should be a showstopper. Think a stunning clip art that wraps up your message with a visual bow, a killer quote that lingers in minds or a call to action that gets hearts racing.

new methods of presentation

9. Engage with storytelling through data

Use storytelling magic to bring your data to life. Don’t just throw numbers at your audience—explain what they mean, why they matter and add a bit of human touch. Turn those stats into relatable tales and watch your audience’s eyes light up with understanding.

new methods of presentation

10. Use visuals wisely

Your visuals are the secret sauce of a great presentation. Cherry-pick high-quality images, graphics, charts and videos that not only look good but also align with your message’s vibe. Each visual should have a purpose – they’re not just there for decoration. 

11. Utilize visual hierarchy

Employ design principles like contrast, alignment and proximity to make your key info stand out. Play around with fonts, colors and placement to make sure your audience can’t miss the important stuff.

12. Engage with multimedia

Static slides are so last year. Give your presentation some sizzle by tossing in multimedia elements. Think short video clips, animations, or a touch of sound when it makes sense, including an animated logo . But remember, these are sidekicks, not the main act, so use them smartly.

13. Interact with your audience

Turn your presentation into a two-way street. Start your presentation by encouraging your audience to join in with thought-provoking questions, quick polls or using interactive tools. Get them chatting and watch your presentation come alive.

new methods of presentation

When it comes to delivering a group presentation, it’s important to have everyone on the team on the same page. Venngage’s real-time collaboration tools enable you and your team to work together seamlessly, regardless of geographical locations. Collaborators can provide input, make edits and offer suggestions in real time. 

14. Incorporate stories and examples

Weave in relatable stories, personal anecdotes or real-life examples to illustrate your points. It’s like adding a dash of spice to your content – it becomes more memorable and relatable.

15. Nail that delivery

Don’t just stand there and recite facts like a robot — be a confident and engaging presenter. Lock eyes with your audience, mix up your tone and pace and use some gestures to drive your points home. Practice and brush up your presentation skills until you’ve got it down pat for a persuasive presentation that flows like a pro.

Venngage offers a wide selection of professionally designed presentation templates, each tailored for different purposes and styles. By choosing a template that aligns with your content and goals, you can create a visually cohesive and polished presentation that captivates your audience.

Looking for more presentation ideas ? Why not try using a presentation software that will take your presentations to the next level with a combination of user-friendly interfaces, stunning visuals, collaboration features and innovative functionalities that will take your presentations to the next level. 

Visual presentations come in various formats, each uniquely suited to convey information and engage audiences effectively. Here are six major types of visual presentations that you should be familiar with:

1. Slideshows or PowerPoint presentations

Slideshows are one of the most common forms of visual presentations. They typically consist of a series of slides containing text, images, charts, graphs and other visual elements. Slideshows are used for various purposes, including business presentations, educational lectures and conference talks.

new methods of presentation

2. Infographics

Infographics are visual representations of information, data or knowledge. They combine text, images and graphics to convey complex concepts or data in a concise and visually appealing manner. Infographics are often used in marketing, reporting and educational materials.

Don’t worry, they are also super easy to create thanks to Venngage’s fully customizable infographics templates that are professionally designed to bring your information to life. Be sure to try it out for your next visual presentation!

new methods of presentation

3. Video presentation

Videos are your dynamic storytellers. Whether it’s pre-recorded or happening in real-time, videos are the showstoppers. You can have interviews, demos, animations or even your own mini-documentary. Video presentations are highly engaging and can be shared in both in-person and virtual presentations .

4. Charts and graphs

Charts and graphs are visual representations of data that make it easier to understand and analyze numerical information. Common types include bar charts, line graphs, pie charts and scatterplots. They are commonly used in scientific research, business reports and academic presentations.

Effective data visualizations are crucial for simplifying complex information and Venngage has got you covered. Venngage’s tools enable you to create engaging charts, graphs,and infographics that enhance audience understanding and retention, leaving a lasting impression in your presentation.

new methods of presentation

5. Interactive presentations

Interactive presentations involve audience participation and engagement. These can include interactive polls, quizzes, games and multimedia elements that allow the audience to actively participate in the presentation. Interactive presentations are often used in workshops, training sessions and webinars.

Venngage’s interactive presentation tools enable you to create immersive experiences that leave a lasting impact and enhance audience retention. By incorporating features like clickable elements, quizzes and embedded multimedia, you can captivate your audience’s attention and encourage active participation.

6. Poster presentations

Poster presentations are the stars of the academic and research scene. They consist of a large poster that includes text, images and graphics to communicate research findings or project details and are usually used at conferences and exhibitions. For more poster ideas, browse through Venngage’s gallery of poster templates to inspire your next presentation.

new methods of presentation

Different visual presentations aside, different presentation methods also serve a unique purpose, tailored to specific objectives and audiences. Find out which type of presentation works best for the message you are sending across to better capture attention, maintain interest and leave a lasting impression. 

To make a good presentation , it’s crucial to be aware of common mistakes and how to avoid them. Without further ado, let’s explore some of these pitfalls along with valuable insights on how to sidestep them.

Overloading slides with text

Text heavy slides can be like trying to swallow a whole sandwich in one bite – overwhelming and unappetizing. Instead, opt for concise sentences and bullet points to keep your slides simple. Visuals can help convey your message in a more engaging way.

Using low-quality visuals

Grainy images and pixelated charts are the equivalent of a scratchy vinyl record at a DJ party. High-resolution visuals are your ticket to professionalism. Ensure that the images, charts and graphics you use are clear, relevant and sharp.

Choosing the right visuals for presentations is important. To find great visuals for your visual presentation, Browse Venngage’s extensive library of high-quality stock photos. These images can help you convey your message effectively, evoke emotions and create a visually pleasing narrative. 

Ignoring design consistency

Imagine a book with every chapter in a different font and color – it’s a visual mess. Consistency in fonts, colors and formatting throughout your presentation is key to a polished and professional look.

Reading directly from slides

Reading your slides word-for-word is like inviting your audience to a one-person audiobook session. Slides should complement your speech, not replace it. Use them as visual aids, offering key points and visuals to support your narrative.

Lack of visual hierarchy

Neglecting visual hierarchy is like trying to find Waldo in a crowd of clones. Use size, color and positioning to emphasize what’s most important. Guide your audience’s attention to key points so they don’t miss the forest for the trees.

Ignoring accessibility

Accessibility isn’t an option these days; it’s a must. Forgetting alt text for images, color contrast and closed captions for videos can exclude individuals with disabilities from understanding your presentation. 

Relying too heavily on animation

While animations can add pizzazz and draw attention, overdoing it can overshadow your message. Use animations sparingly and with purpose to enhance, not detract from your content.

Using jargon and complex language

Keep it simple. Use plain language and explain terms when needed. You want your message to resonate, not leave people scratching their heads.

Not testing interactive elements

Interactive elements can be the life of your whole presentation, but not testing them beforehand is like jumping into a pool without checking if there’s water. Ensure that all interactive features, from live polls to multimedia content, work seamlessly. A smooth experience keeps your audience engaged and avoids those awkward technical hiccups.

Presenting complex data and information in a clear and visually appealing way has never been easier with Venngage. Build professional-looking designs with our free visual chart slide templates for your next presentation.

What software or tools can I use to create visual presentations?

You can use various software and tools to create visual presentations, including Microsoft PowerPoint, Google Slides, Adobe Illustrator, Canva, Prezi and Venngage, among others.

What is the difference between a visual presentation and a written report?

The main difference between a visual presentation and a written report is the medium of communication. Visual presentations rely on visuals, such as slides, charts and images to convey information quickly, while written reports use text to provide detailed information in a linear format.

How do I effectively communicate data through visual presentations?

To effectively communicate data through visual presentations, simplify complex data into easily digestible charts and graphs, use clear labels and titles and ensure that your visuals support the key messages you want to convey.

Are there any accessibility considerations for visual presentations?

Accessibility considerations for visual presentations include providing alt text for images, ensuring good color contrast, using readable fonts and providing transcripts or captions for multimedia content to make the presentation inclusive.

Most design tools today make accessibility hard but Venngage’s Accessibility Design Tool comes with accessibility features baked in, including accessible-friendly and inclusive icons.

How do I choose the right visuals for my presentation?

Choose visuals that align with your content and message. Use charts for data, images for illustrating concepts, icons for emphasis and color to evoke emotions or convey themes.

What is the role of storytelling in visual presentations?

Storytelling plays a crucial role in visual presentations by providing a narrative structure that engages the audience, helps them relate to the content and makes the information more memorable.

How can I adapt my visual presentations for online or virtual audiences?

To adapt visual presentations for online or virtual audiences, focus on concise content, use engaging visuals, ensure clear audio, encourage audience interaction through chat or polls and rehearse for a smooth online delivery.

What is the role of data visualization in visual presentations?

Data visualization in visual presentations simplifies complex data by using charts, graphs and diagrams, making it easier for the audience to understand and interpret information.

How do I choose the right color scheme and fonts for my visual presentation?

Choose a color scheme that aligns with your content and brand and select fonts that are readable and appropriate for the message you want to convey.

How can I measure the effectiveness of my visual presentation?

Measure the effectiveness of your visual presentation by collecting feedback from the audience, tracking engagement metrics (e.g., click-through rates for online presentations) and evaluating whether the presentation achieved its intended objectives.

Ultimately, creating a memorable visual presentation isn’t just about throwing together pretty slides. It’s about mastering the art of making your message stick, captivating your audience and leaving a mark.

Lucky for you, Venngage simplifies the process of creating great presentations, empowering you to concentrate on delivering a compelling message. Follow the 5 simple steps below to make your entire presentation visually appealing and impactful:

1. Sign up and log In: Log in to your Venngage account or sign up for free and gain access to Venngage’s templates and design tools.

2. Choose a template: Browse through Venngage’s presentation template library and select one that best suits your presentation’s purpose and style. Venngage offers a variety of pre-designed templates for different types of visual presentations, including infographics, reports, posters and more.

3. Edit and customize your template: Replace the placeholder text, image and graphics with your own content and customize the colors, fonts and visual elements to align with your presentation’s theme or your organization’s branding.

4. Add visual elements: Venngage offers a wide range of visual elements, such as icons, illustrations, charts, graphs and images, that you can easily add to your presentation with the user-friendly drag-and-drop editor.

5. Save and export your presentation: Export your presentation in a format that suits your needs and then share it with your audience via email, social media or by embedding it on your website or blog .

So, as you gear up for your next presentation, whether it’s for business, education or pure creative expression, don’t forget to keep these visual presentation ideas in your back pocket.

Feel free to experiment and fine-tune your approach and let your passion and expertise shine through in your presentation. With practice, you’ll not only build presentations but also leave a lasting impact on your audience – one slide at a time.

Frantically Speaking

6 Most Effective Presentation Styles

Hrideep barot.

  • Presentation , Public Speaking

Effective Presentation Styles

Have you ever been an audience member who was not wholly involved in a speech or a speaker who discovered their audience dozing off? Both scenarios have the potential to be disheartening and fruitless.

What can you then do to improve the effectiveness of your presentation?

There are various styles in which you can present your content. Out of a plethora of choices, some of the most effective ones include – the Visual, Storytelling, freeform and instructor style of presentation. Each of them has their own set of methods and guidelines, however, they are known to be extremely beneficial and are used by speakers all over the world.

What is a Presentation Style? 

Let us first take a brief look at what a presentation style is before moving on to the most effective techniques that you can use.

A Presentation style is a way of giving a presentation orally. In other words, a particular presenting type is an approach you adopt or employ to deliver your content. There are numerous presenting styles or methods you can use when giving public speeches or presentations such as –

  • Visual Presentation Style
  • Coach Presentation Style
  • Instructor Presentation Style
  • Lessig Presentation Style

Out of hundreds of methods and ways, there are a few that are more effective and yield better much better results when used appropriately. They include –

1. Visual Style 

The visual presentation style uses visual components to support the verbal subject. In other words, this approach uses charts, photos, graphs, and other visual aids in addition to speaking to assist the audience in visualizing and comprehending the material.

Advantages of Using a Visual Presentation Style 

The relevance and effectiveness of visual and verbal communication are well known, making the visual style of presentation one of the finest to adopt. This is also a remarkably effective strategy as it aids the audience in more easily understanding complicated or in-depth talking points. When used in conjunction, visual and verbal communication aid in better understanding and retention.

Visual Presentation Style

How Can You Use a Visual Presentation Style? 

If you plan to use this style in your upcoming presentation, then these are some steps you can follow-

1] Be thorough with your content  – it is essential to know your content well to prepare visuals related to it. 

2] Pick up only the key points and add them on slides  – key pointers can be one sentence that conveys the primary information you want to share. 

3] Use graphs or charts to convey numbers or statistics  – Simply saying numbers can confuse consumers. Therefore, charts and graphs make it easier to comprehend when you speak about them.

4] Include relevant pictures or videos in each slide or alternative ones  – Using images and videos can be beneficial because they give your audience something to look at while you speak, which helps them understand and retain what you are saying.

Things To Avoid When Using a Visual Presentation Style

Now that you know how to use a visual style, it is equally imperative to be mindful of a few common mistakes so that you do not make them. 

1] Slides only complement your speech  – do not put-up paragraphs and read from them. It will only bore the audience and disengage them from it. Instead, only add critical words or phrases on which you can verbally elaborate. 

2] Don’t use a fancy unreadable font  – a visually presenting slide does help but using a fancy font will only make it not understandable. Thus, it is crucial to stick to standard readable fonts and sizes.

3] Don’t rush through  – just because you have a slide that allows people to read and understand some of the content does not mean you can speed up. Allocate sufficient time to each topic so that the audience has time to grasp and understand. 

Example of a Speech That Uses a Visual Presentation Style 

Wondering what a visual presentation style looks like? Check out this video where Steve Jobs introduces Mac Air to the world. This is an apt video showcasing what a visual presentation should be like!  

2. Storytelling Style

The storytelling style of presentation is a method where the speaker uses anecdotes and examples to connect with the audience. This technique is among the greatest and most effective because it enables the audience to relate to another lay person’s experiences, thereby allowing them to understand the practicality and reality of the topic. 

Advantages Of Using a Storytelling Style

Using a storytelling style allows you to –

1] Share real-life experiences on the topic , letting people know its practicality. For instance, if your topic is “optimism and positivity in life,” you can offer examples of how being positive has benefited you in various circumstances and examples of how things have gone when you haven’t been hopeful.

2] It allows the audience to provide their input , which helps you understand if the audience is grasping the message you want to convey. This is a subtle yet constructive way of engaging the audience and gaining feedback.

3] It also permits for an informal and naturally flowing talk . Most of the speeches are very structured and formal. Even though this has a construct, you can adapt it to the conversations and knowledge of the audience.

Storytelling Presentation Style

How To Use the Storytelling Presentation Style? 

Using the storytelling method also requires backend work. If you wish to adopt this style for your upcoming presentation, here are steps that you can follow – 

1] Develop the structure of your speech  – first, it is helpful to write down the topic and each subtopic you will cover. 

2] Include relevant stories, anecdotes, and experiences  – once you have the overall flow of your speech, then you can fill the relevant gaps with your own stories and experiences. 

3] Keep some time for an audience input  – allocate 1-2 minutes wherein you take the backend and allow the members from the audience to comment or share their experiences that are relevant to the topic. 

Things to avoid when using the storytelling method 

Every method has specific pointers to be careful of, and storytelling is no exception. Here make sure to – 

1] Not make it like a formal delivery  – Try not to overly formalize and grandiloquent it since this will take away from the storytelling element.

2] Only share the positives  – Sharing real experiences is one benefit of the storytelling technique. Thus, use this approach to communicate the topic’s applicability by outlining its advantages and disadvantages.

Here is a video of Andrea Gibbs, who talks about “The Power of Storytelling” by sharing anecdotes and experiences from her personal life. 

The storytelling format is much popular among motivational speakers who use personal experiences to motivate people for the better.

3. Connector Style 

The connector style of presenting, as its name suggests, includes the speaker establishing a connection with the audience. This indicates that the speaker actively engages the audience by asking frequent follow-up questions and seeking meaningful feedback. Speakers widely use this strategy to strengthen connections with audiences by demonstrating how they all are similar.

Advantages Of Using a Connector Style of Presentation 

The connector style of presentation, much like the storyteller, has a lot of benefits. Among the many, the most important ones include – 

1] It allows you to establish a deeper connection with the audience , which helps you understand them and if they can comprehend the message you want to convey. 

2] The audience is able to participate actively . Usually, the audience only listens passively, but this format allows them to respond and express their opinions, keeping them actively engaged the entire time. 

3] You can receive immediate feedback . In most other presentation methods, this perk is not present. It’s beneficial to get insightful feedback because it enables you to comprehend your audience’s viewpoint and adapt your information for contextual understanding. Furthermore, it enlightens you as to which areas require more effort. 

Connector Presentation Style

Guidelines While Using the Connector Presentation Style 

1] Start with a personal story or connecting activity that grabs the audience – this method helps keep the audience engaged from the very start. 

2] Practice nonverbal gestures – keeping eye contact with the audience, smile, and use your hand gestures to convey your presence and complete attention to the audience. 

3] Cater to the audience throughout – this form of presentation means that you and the audience are entirely involved. Thus, keeping a check on them is of utmost importance. Keep checking if they are interested and if not, include relevant activities to gain their attention back. 

Things to Avoid When Using the Connector Style 

When using the connector style, do not take up most of the time telling self-stories or doing self-talking. It is vital to keep your content brief but meaningful while allowing the audience to give their inputs and viewpoints on it. 

1] Don’t read from scripts or recite the information . Keep the content naturally flowing like a back-and-forth conversation that can be moulded as per the answers and feedback of the audience.

2] Don’t use visuals to complement your talks. The connector style relies primarily on you and your stories, so don’t use graphics to convey any messages unless they are some pictures to show on a relevant topic. 

Many speakers use the connector style because it helps them connect deeply with the audience, when used correctly, it does allow the speaker to develop meaningful relations with the audience and convey relevant and helpful messages.

4. Instructor Style 

Many presenters adopt the instructor style of presenting when educating their audience on a challenging or complicated subject. To simplify a complex issue so that the audience may more readily grasp, this method entails the use of well-known phrases, figurative language, metaphors, and pictures.

Instructor Presentation Style

Advantages of the Instructor Style of Presentation 

The instructor presentation style is more formal, like a teacher or professor delivering a lecture. But this format, for reasons of its own, is beneficial because –

1] It allows you to logically explain the subject with the help of relevant visuals, examples, and supplements. For example, if you take up the topic of “Investing in your 20’s”, you can start by explaining what an investment is, the types of investments available, pros and cons of each etc. while supporting it with relevant videos, stats, and graphics.

2] When used correctly, the method can be highly persuasive as it builds decks in a logical order and uses impactful visuals as evidence to support the ideas. Continuing the same example, if you logically go on explaining and supporting, most of the audience will have been convinced to make some sort of investments.

3] Lastly, this method allows you to educate and aware the audience appropriately . You can use your knowledge and skills on the subject matter to convey the message effectively. If you have personally had some experiences, this method allows you to share them to help the audience become aware.

Things to Avoid When Using the Instructor Style of Presentation 

When employed improperly, this formal presentation can prevent a speech from succeeding. As a result, it’s crucial to use the procedure correctly by avoiding the following:

1] Skipping the basics on the assumption that the audience will already know – it is essential to start and cover the basics and then make your way up to the complex topics.

2] Don’t only go on speaking from one topic to the other – even though there isn’t a lot of audience participation, including small segments with quizzes and discussions to know if the audience understands the content. 

3] Don’t use jargon or complex language to communicate – the topic might be challenging to comprehend. Hence, you should avoid using difficult words or jargon that people are largely unaware of. Instead, using straightforward and basic terms will be beneficial. 

The instructor style is much used by a famous speaker  Al Gore  who advocated and educated people on climate change. This is one video where you can see the effective use of instructor presentation style. 

5. Takahashi Style 

Named after its creator, Masayoshi Takahashi, Text is the main component of a Takahashi presentation. It is a technique that employs simple visuals, mainly large block fonts. A Takahashi presentation doesn’t include charts, photos, or pictures, just a few essential big font words. 

Advantages of using a Takahashi Presentation Style 

There are several benefits that make it desirable to adopt this highly distinctive style. Some of them include –

1] The speaker can easily elaborate on a topic because the slides, which have a few essential key phrases, provide the audience with brief information beforehand.

2] The slides include simple and unambiguous phrases concerning the speaker’s topic, preventing any distraction or deviance from the subject.

3] It combines the two essential components of a presentation—clear, concise text and eye-catching visuals—making it ultimately beneficial for everyone’s use. 

Guidelines when using a Takahashi Presentation Style 

If you want an actual Takahashi presentation, there are some key pointers to keep in mind – 

1] Do not include text more than needed – make sure to add a few words or a maximum of 2 sentences. Anything beyond that will make it crowded and messy, and unappealing to the audience. 

2] Keep the slides simple – an authentic Takahashi presentation is black and white to avoid distraction. Therefore, it is best to avoid any colours and stick to this standard format. 

3] Keep the font as large as possible – once you have put the content on the slide, make sure to increase the font as much as it can fit best on the slide. The reason is that large fonts attract attention and can embed the core messages in the reader’s mind. 

If you found this method interesting and want to learn more about it, tap on this video where Luminita Florea tells you all about the Takahashi style of presentation. 

6. The Lessig Style

Much similar to the Takahashi Method, The  Lessig Presentation Style has been inspired by the work of Stanford law professor, Lawrence Lessig. This style employs the use of a single word, short quote, or photos that are in sync with the speaker’s speech. 

Advantages of using The Lessig Presentation Style

1] Each slide in a Lessig presentation concentrates on one concept or topic. This makes it simple for the audience to understand and absorb each idea separately. 

2] This presentation method functions like a movie, with each slide presenting succinct information for only 10 to 15 seconds. Because of its conciseness and pace, this style works well in keeping the audience hooked to the content. 

3] This method allows for much better retention and memory because of dual coding, i.e., via the visual and verbal mode of communication. More often than not, the word or quote put up is read aloud by the speaker, allowing the audience to hear and see it, thus etching a strong memory for the same. 

Guidelines to remember when using the Lessig Presentation Style

This minimalistic presentation has much to be careful of. Some of the important guidelines include – 

1] Not more than a word or quote – it is important to keep the slides less with only a key word or quote or picture in rare cases.  Adding more than that will take away the essence and quality of the Lessig Style.

2] Use contrast – since the slide contains just one word, quote or picture it is important to highlight and enlarge it so that it doesn’t skip the eye of the audience in any way. Although this kind of presentation allows you to use colour, using a standard black and white is recommended. 

The Lessig style of presentation is one of the most effective and captivating approaches, and many presenters use it in their speeches. Tap below to see an example of such a presentation and its effect! 

Regardless of the style you choose, there are several styles that you should absolutely avoid using because they could make your presentation go awry. Tap on this video where we tell you exactly what to styles you have to say a BIG NO to.

Presentations are an integral part of the professional life. Whether you are a professional speaker or a corporate employee, or a teacher, every role will at some point require you to present, persuade or educate an audience. It is thus helpful to know about some of the most effective styles so that you can make the most of them in your next presentation!

We hope that this article has helped you learn the most effective presentation styles, ways to adopt it and pitfalls to avoid!

Happy Presenting!

Hrideep Barot

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How can you make a good presentation even more effective?

This page draws on published advice from expert presenters around the world, which will help to take your presentations from merely ‘good’ to ‘great’.

By bringing together advice from a wide range of people, the aim is to cover a whole range of areas.

Whether you are an experienced presenter, or just starting out, there should be ideas here to help you to improve.

1. Show your Passion and Connect with your Audience

It’s hard to be relaxed and be yourself when you’re nervous.

But time and again, the great presenters say that the most important thing is to connect with your audience, and the best way to do that is to let your passion for the subject shine through.

Be honest with the audience about what is important to you and why it matters.

Be enthusiastic and honest, and the audience will respond.

2. Focus on your Audience’s Needs

Your presentation needs to be built around what your audience is going to get out of the presentation.

As you prepare the presentation, you always need to bear in mind what the audience needs and wants to know, not what you can tell them.

While you’re giving the presentation, you also need to remain focused on your audience’s response, and react to that.

You need to make it easy for your audience to understand and respond.

3. Keep it Simple: Concentrate on your Core Message

When planning your presentation, you should always keep in mind the question:

What is the key message (or three key points) for my audience to take away?

You should be able to communicate that key message very briefly.

Some experts recommend a 30-second ‘elevator summary’, others that you can write it on the back of a business card, or say it in no more than 15 words.

Whichever rule you choose, the important thing is to keep your core message focused and brief.

And if what you are planning to say doesn’t contribute to that core message, don’t say it.

4. Smile and Make Eye Contact with your Audience

This sounds very easy, but a surprisingly large number of presenters fail to do it.

If you smile and make eye contact, you are building rapport , which helps the audience to connect with you and your subject. It also helps you to feel less nervous, because you are talking to individuals, not to a great mass of unknown people.

To help you with this, make sure that you don’t turn down all the lights so that only the slide screen is visible. Your audience needs to see you as well as your slides.

5. Start Strongly

The beginning of your presentation is crucial. You need to grab your audience’s attention and hold it.

They will give you a few minutes’ grace in which to entertain them, before they start to switch off if you’re dull. So don’t waste that on explaining who you are. Start by entertaining them.

Try a story (see tip 7 below), or an attention-grabbing (but useful) image on a slide.

6. Remember the 10-20-30 Rule for Slideshows

This is a tip from Guy Kawasaki of Apple. He suggests that slideshows should:

  • Contain no more than 10 slides;
  • Last no more than 20 minutes; and
  • Use a font size of no less than 30 point.

This last is particularly important as it stops you trying to put too much information on any one slide. This whole approach avoids the dreaded ‘Death by PowerPoint’.

As a general rule, slides should be the sideshow to you, the presenter. A good set of slides should be no use without the presenter, and they should definitely contain less, rather than more, information, expressed simply.

If you need to provide more information, create a bespoke handout and give it out after your presentation.

7. Tell Stories

Human beings are programmed to respond to stories.

Stories help us to pay attention, and also to remember things. If you can use stories in your presentation, your audience is more likely to engage and to remember your points afterwards. It is a good idea to start with a story, but there is a wider point too: you need your presentation to act like a story.

Think about what story you are trying to tell your audience, and create your presentation to tell it.

Finding The Story Behind Your Presentation

To effectively tell a story, focus on using at least one of the two most basic storytelling mechanics in your presentation:

Focusing On Characters – People have stories; things, data, and objects do not. So ask yourself “who” is directly involved in your topic that you can use as the focal point of your story.

For example, instead of talking about cars (your company’s products), you could focus on specific characters like:

  • The drivers the car is intended for – people looking for speed and adventure
  • The engineers who went out of their way to design the most cost-effective car imaginable

A Changing Dynamic – A story needs something to change along the way. So ask yourself “What is not as it should be?” and answer with what you are going to do about it (or what you did about it).

For example…

  • Did hazardous road conditions inspire you to build a rugged, all-terrain jeep that any family could afford?
  • Did a complicated and confusing food labelling system lead you to establish a colour-coded nutritional index so that anybody could easily understand it?

To see 15 more actionable storytelling tips, see Nuts & Bolts Speed Training’s post on Storytelling Tips .

8. Use your Voice Effectively

The spoken word is actually a pretty inefficient means of communication, because it uses only one of your audience’s five senses. That’s why presenters tend to use visual aids, too. But you can help to make the spoken word better by using your voice effectively.

Varying the speed at which you talk, and emphasising changes in pitch and tone all help to make your voice more interesting and hold your audience’s attention.

For more about this, see our page on Effective Speaking .

9. Use your Body Too

It has been estimated that more than three quarters of communication is non-verbal.

That means that as well as your tone of voice, your body language is crucial to getting your message across. Make sure that you are giving the right messages: body language to avoid includes crossed arms, hands held behind your back or in your pockets, and pacing the stage.

Make your gestures open and confident, and move naturally around the stage, and among the audience too, if possible.

10. Relax, Breathe and Enjoy

If you find presenting difficult, it can be hard to be calm and relaxed about doing it.

One option is to start by concentrating on your breathing. Slow it down, and make sure that you’re breathing fully. Make sure that you continue to pause for breath occasionally during your presentation too.

For more ideas, see our page on Coping with Presentation Nerves .

If you can bring yourself to relax, you will almost certainly present better. If you can actually start to enjoy yourself, your audience will respond to that, and engage better. Your presentations will improve exponentially, and so will your confidence. It’s well worth a try.

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How to Structure your Presentation, with Examples

August 3, 2018 - Dom Barnard

For many people the thought of delivering a presentation is a daunting task and brings about a  great deal of nerves . However, if you take some time to understand how effective presentations are structured and then apply this structure to your own presentation, you’ll appear much more confident and relaxed.

Here is our complete guide for structuring your presentation, with examples at the end of the article to demonstrate these points.

Why is structuring a presentation so important?

If you’ve ever sat through a great presentation, you’ll have left feeling either inspired or informed on a given topic. This isn’t because the speaker was the most knowledgeable or motivating person in the world. Instead, it’s because they know how to structure presentations – they have crafted their message in a logical and simple way that has allowed the audience can keep up with them and take away key messages.

Research has supported this, with studies showing that audiences retain structured information  40% more accurately  than unstructured information.

In fact, not only is structuring a presentation important for the benefit of the audience’s understanding, it’s also important for you as the speaker. A good structure helps you remain calm, stay on topic, and avoid any awkward silences.

What will affect your presentation structure?

Generally speaking, there is a natural flow that any decent presentation will follow which we will go into shortly. However, you should be aware that all presentation structures will be different in their own unique way and this will be due to a number of factors, including:

  • Whether you need to deliver any demonstrations
  • How  knowledgeable the audience  already is on the given subject
  • How much interaction you want from the audience
  • Any time constraints there are for your talk
  • What setting you are in
  • Your ability to use any kinds of visual assistance

Before choosing the presentation’s structure answer these questions first:

  • What is your presentation’s aim?
  • Who are the audience?
  • What are the main points your audience should remember afterwards?

When reading the points below, think critically about what things may cause your presentation structure to be slightly different. You can add in certain elements and add more focus to certain moments if that works better for your speech.

Good presentation structure is important for a presentation

What is the typical presentation structure?

This is the usual flow of a presentation, which covers all the vital sections and is a good starting point for yours. It allows your audience to easily follow along and sets out a solid structure you can add your content to.

1. Greet the audience and introduce yourself

Before you start delivering your talk, introduce yourself to the audience and clarify who you are and your relevant expertise. This does not need to be long or incredibly detailed, but will help build an immediate relationship between you and the audience. It gives you the chance to briefly clarify your expertise and why you are worth listening to. This will help establish your ethos so the audience will trust you more and think you’re credible.

Read our tips on  How to Start a Presentation Effectively

2. Introduction

In the introduction you need to explain the subject and purpose of your presentation whilst gaining the audience’s interest and confidence. It’s sometimes helpful to think of your introduction as funnel-shaped to help filter down your topic:

  • Introduce your general topic
  • Explain your topic area
  • State the issues/challenges in this area you will be exploring
  • State your presentation’s purpose – this is the basis of your presentation so ensure that you provide a statement explaining how the topic will be treated, for example, “I will argue that…” or maybe you will “compare”, “analyse”, “evaluate”, “describe” etc.
  • Provide a statement of what you’re hoping the outcome of the presentation will be, for example, “I’m hoping this will be provide you with…”
  • Show a preview of the organisation of your presentation

In this section also explain:

  • The length of the talk.
  • Signal whether you want audience interaction – some presenters prefer the audience to ask questions throughout whereas others allocate a specific section for this.
  • If it applies, inform the audience whether to take notes or whether you will be providing handouts.

The way you structure your introduction can depend on the amount of time you have been given to present: a  sales pitch  may consist of a quick presentation so you may begin with your conclusion and then provide the evidence. Conversely, a speaker presenting their idea for change in the world would be better suited to start with the evidence and then conclude what this means for the audience.

Keep in mind that the main aim of the introduction is to grab the audience’s attention and connect with them.

3. The main body of your talk

The main body of your talk needs to meet the promises you made in the introduction. Depending on the nature of your presentation, clearly segment the different topics you will be discussing, and then work your way through them one at a time – it’s important for everything to be organised logically for the audience to fully understand. There are many different ways to organise your main points, such as, by priority, theme, chronologically etc.

  • Main points should be addressed one by one with supporting evidence and examples.
  • Before moving on to the next point you should provide a mini-summary.
  • Links should be clearly stated between ideas and you must make it clear when you’re moving onto the next point.
  • Allow time for people to take relevant notes and stick to the topics you have prepared beforehand rather than straying too far off topic.

When planning your presentation write a list of main points you want to make and ask yourself “What I am telling the audience? What should they understand from this?” refining your answers this way will help you produce clear messages.

4. Conclusion

In presentations the conclusion is frequently underdeveloped and lacks purpose which is a shame as it’s the best place to reinforce your messages. Typically, your presentation has a specific goal – that could be to convert a number of the audience members into customers, lead to a certain number of enquiries to make people knowledgeable on specific key points, or to motivate them towards a shared goal.

Regardless of what that goal is, be sure to summarise your main points and their implications. This clarifies the overall purpose of your talk and reinforces your reason for being there.

Follow these steps:

  • Signal that it’s nearly the end of your presentation, for example, “As we wrap up/as we wind down the talk…”
  • Restate the topic and purpose of your presentation – “In this speech I wanted to compare…”
  • Summarise the main points, including their implications and conclusions
  • Indicate what is next/a call to action/a thought-provoking takeaway
  • Move on to the last section

5. Thank the audience and invite questions

Conclude your talk by thanking the audience for their time and invite them to  ask any questions  they may have. As mentioned earlier, personal circumstances will affect the structure of your presentation.

Many presenters prefer to make the Q&A session the key part of their talk and try to speed through the main body of the presentation. This is totally fine, but it is still best to focus on delivering some sort of initial presentation to set the tone and topics for discussion in the Q&A.

Questions being asked after a presentation

Other common presentation structures

The above was a description of a basic presentation, here are some more specific presentation layouts:

Demonstration

Use the demonstration structure when you have something useful to show. This is usually used when you want to show how a product works. Steve Jobs frequently used this technique in his presentations.

  • Explain why the product is valuable.
  • Describe why the product is necessary.
  • Explain what problems it can solve for the audience.
  • Demonstrate the product  to support what you’ve been saying.
  • Make suggestions of other things it can do to make the audience curious.

Problem-solution

This structure is particularly useful in persuading the audience.

  • Briefly frame the issue.
  • Go into the issue in detail showing why it ‘s such a problem. Use logos and pathos for this – the logical and emotional appeals.
  • Provide the solution and explain why this would also help the audience.
  • Call to action – something you want the audience to do which is straightforward and pertinent to the solution.

Storytelling

As well as incorporating  stories in your presentation , you can organise your whole presentation as a story. There are lots of different type of story structures you can use – a popular choice is the monomyth – the hero’s journey. In a monomyth, a hero goes on a difficult journey or takes on a challenge – they move from the familiar into the unknown. After facing obstacles and ultimately succeeding the hero returns home, transformed and with newfound wisdom.

Storytelling for Business Success  webinar , where well-know storyteller Javier Bernad shares strategies for crafting compelling narratives.

Another popular choice for using a story to structure your presentation is in media ras (in the middle of thing). In this type of story you launch right into the action by providing a snippet/teaser of what’s happening and then you start explaining the events that led to that event. This is engaging because you’re starting your story at the most exciting part which will make the audience curious – they’ll want to know how you got there.

  • Great storytelling: Examples from Alibaba Founder, Jack Ma

Remaining method

The remaining method structure is good for situations where you’re presenting your perspective on a controversial topic which has split people’s opinions.

  • Go into the issue in detail showing why it’s such a problem – use logos and pathos.
  • Rebut your opponents’ solutions  – explain why their solutions could be useful because the audience will see this as fair and will therefore think you’re trustworthy, and then explain why you think these solutions are not valid.
  • After you’ve presented all the alternatives provide your solution, the remaining solution. This is very persuasive because it looks like the winning idea, especially with the audience believing that you’re fair and trustworthy.

Transitions

When delivering presentations it’s important for your words and ideas to flow so your audience can understand how everything links together and why it’s all relevant. This can be done  using speech transitions  which are words and phrases that allow you to smoothly move from one point to another so that your speech flows and your presentation is unified.

Transitions can be one word, a phrase or a full sentence – there are many different forms, here are some examples:

Moving from the introduction to the first point

Signify to the audience that you will now begin discussing the first main point:

  • Now that you’re aware of the overview, let’s begin with…
  • First, let’s begin with…
  • I will first cover…
  • My first point covers…
  • To get started, let’s look at…

Shifting between similar points

Move from one point to a similar one:

  • In the same way…
  • Likewise…
  • Equally…
  • This is similar to…
  • Similarly…

Internal summaries

Internal summarising consists of summarising before moving on to the next point. You must inform the audience:

  • What part of the presentation you covered – “In the first part of this speech we’ve covered…”
  • What the key points were – “Precisely how…”
  • How this links in with the overall presentation – “So that’s the context…”
  • What you’re moving on to – “Now I’d like to move on to the second part of presentation which looks at…”

Physical movement

You can move your body and your standing location when you transition to another point. The audience find it easier to follow your presentation and movement will increase their interest.

A common technique for incorporating movement into your presentation is to:

  • Start your introduction by standing in the centre of the stage.
  • For your first point you stand on the left side of the stage.
  • You discuss your second point from the centre again.
  • You stand on the right side of the stage for your third point.
  • The conclusion occurs in the centre.

Key slides for your presentation

Slides are a useful tool for most presentations: they can greatly assist in the delivery of your message and help the audience follow along with what you are saying. Key slides include:

  • An intro slide outlining your ideas
  • A  summary slide  with core points to remember
  • High quality image slides to supplement what you are saying

There are some presenters who choose not to use slides at all, though this is more of a rarity. Slides can be a powerful tool if used properly, but the problem is that many fail to do just that. Here are some golden rules to follow when using slides in a presentation:

  • Don’t over fill them  – your slides are there to assist your speech, rather than be the focal point. They should have as little information as possible, to avoid distracting people from your talk.
  • A picture says a thousand words  – instead of filling a slide with text, instead, focus on one or two images or diagrams to help support and explain the point you are discussing at that time.
  • Make them readable  – depending on the size of your audience, some may not be able to see small text or images, so make everything large enough to fill the space.
  • Don’t rush through slides  – give the audience enough time to digest each slide.

Guy Kawasaki, an entrepreneur and author, suggests that slideshows should follow a  10-20-30 rule :

  • There should be a maximum of 10 slides – people rarely remember more than one concept afterwards so there’s no point overwhelming them with unnecessary information.
  • The presentation should last no longer than 20 minutes as this will leave time for questions and discussion.
  • The font size should be a minimum of 30pt because the audience reads faster than you talk so less information on the slides means that there is less chance of the audience being distracted.

Here are some additional resources for slide design:

  • 7 design tips for effective, beautiful PowerPoint presentations
  • 11 design tips for beautiful presentations
  • 10 tips on how to make slides that communicate your idea

Group Presentations

Group presentations are structured in the same way as presentations with one speaker but usually require more rehearsal and practices.  Clean transitioning between speakers  is very important in producing a presentation that flows well. One way of doing this consists of:

  • Briefly recap on what you covered in your section: “So that was a brief introduction on what health anxiety is and how it can affect somebody”
  • Introduce the next speaker in the team and explain what they will discuss: “Now Elnaz will talk about the prevalence of health anxiety.”
  • Then end by looking at the next speaker, gesturing towards them and saying their name: “Elnaz”.
  • The next speaker should acknowledge this with a quick: “Thank you Joe.”

From this example you can see how the different sections of the presentations link which makes it easier for the audience to follow and remain engaged.

Example of great presentation structure and delivery

Having examples of great presentations will help inspire your own structures, here are a few such examples, each unique and inspiring in their own way.

How Google Works – by Eric Schmidt

This presentation by ex-Google CEO  Eric Schmidt  demonstrates some of the most important lessons he and his team have learnt with regards to working with some of the most talented individuals they hired. The simplistic yet cohesive style of all of the slides is something to be appreciated. They are relatively straightforward, yet add power and clarity to the narrative of the presentation.

Start with why – by Simon Sinek

Since being released in 2009, this presentation has been viewed almost four million times all around the world. The message itself is very powerful, however, it’s not an idea that hasn’t been heard before. What makes this presentation so powerful is the simple message he is getting across, and the straightforward and understandable manner in which he delivers it. Also note that he doesn’t use any slides, just a whiteboard where he creates a simple diagram of his opinion.

The Wisdom of a Third Grade Dropout – by Rick Rigsby

Here’s an example of a presentation given by a relatively unknown individual looking to inspire the next generation of graduates. Rick’s presentation is unique in many ways compared to the two above. Notably, he uses no visual prompts and includes a great deal of humour.

However, what is similar is the structure he uses. He first introduces his message that the wisest man he knew was a third-grade dropout. He then proceeds to deliver his main body of argument, and in the end, concludes with his message. This powerful speech keeps the viewer engaged throughout, through a mixture of heart-warming sentiment, powerful life advice and engaging humour.

As you can see from the examples above, and as it has been expressed throughout, a great presentation structure means analysing the core message of your presentation. Decide on a key message you want to impart the audience with, and then craft an engaging way of delivering it.

By preparing a solid structure, and  practising your talk  beforehand, you can walk into the presentation with confidence and deliver a meaningful message to an interested audience.

It’s important for a presentation to be well-structured so it can have the most impact on your audience. An unstructured presentation can be difficult to follow and even frustrating to listen to. The heart of your speech are your main points supported by evidence and your transitions should assist the movement between points and clarify how everything is linked.

Research suggests that the audience remember the first and last things you say so your introduction and conclusion are vital for reinforcing your points. Essentially, ensure you spend the time structuring your presentation and addressing all of the sections.

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6 Things To Consider Before Choosing A Presentation Method

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Your presentation method—that is, how you deliver a presentation—is just as important as organizing your material ahead of your presentation. How you deliver your message is a vital component of the message itself. Your goal is to engage your audience and compel them to listen and act on what you’re saying. For that reason, you do need to invest some time into selecting the best presentation method.

Presentation Methods Matter

We talk a lot about connecting with your listeners. That’s because there’s little value in giving a presentation if no one pays attention to what you’re saying. When you connect with your audience , you command their attention. They can’t help but listen to you, because you’ve sparked something within them that makes them want to hear what you have to say. And sometimes, what grabs their attention is not the words you’re speaking but how you deliver them.

What exactly do we mean by a “presentation method”? Well, consider the presentations you’ve given or the ones you’ve been witness to. And remember a presentation comes in many shapes in sizes: a business pitch; a church sermon; a stand-up comedy act—basically, just about any transfer of information between two or more people can be considered a presentation. And certainly, your pastor’s presentation method differs quite a bit from that of a corporate CEO.

Think Ahead

Assuming you’ve already plotted and organized your presentation, now is the time to consider how to deliver it. You may have aspirations of pumping the air full of rocking tunes before wowing your audience with show-stopping visuals, but wait a minute: Does the venue have the equipment for all that?

And so, as you begin to map out your presentation method, you’ll need to consider these:

  • What’s the Occasion? —Every presentation is unique. Even if you’ve given the same talk a dozen times before, remember that while your message may be relevant in more than one situation, the occasion dictates your presentation method. A sales pitch to a familiar group of colleagues will have a different approach than a sales pitch to a board of directors. Match your presentation method accordingly.
  • Who’s in The Audience —Again, it doesn’t matter how many times you’ve presented on the same topic, you have to tailor your presentation to the audience of the day. Are you familiar with the people in the group? What’s their knowledge on the subject? While a formal event to an audience with little knowledge of the topic may warrant slides, a small, informal group who has extensive knowledge of the subject may only require an infographic.
  • Where Will I Be Presenting? Imagine preparing your presentation with the expectation of giving it in a small 12×12 office, only to show up and find out you’re giving it in a lecture hall. The delivery method you choose is relative to the room in which you will be presenting. Acoustics, range of view, and even the ambiance is different. Know ahead of time where exactly you’ll be presenting and plan accordingly.
  • What Sound Equipment is Available? — A good presenter always tests his equipment before launching a presentation. Whether you’re just using a mic or require more sophisticated sound equipment, make sure you know what is available to you before choosing your presentation method and how to operate it.
  • Will I Be Set Up for Visual Aids? You would expect most conference rooms in America are now equipped with audio-video equipment, but do a double-check on that before putting together a presentation that relies on Powerpoint slides.
  • Is This an Interactive Presentation? — If you expect to involve your audience through audience participation, your presentation method needs to be selected accordingly. If you will be inviting audience members to share their own experiences or participate in role-playing games, you may want to go out into the audience or at least not remain on stage the entire time. Consider how you will be interacting with your audience before choosing an appropriate presentation method.

Leave Nothing to Chance

An effective presentation is carefully prepared based on where it’s happening, who’s in the audience, and your objectives. Your goal is to deliver a speech or presentation that will leave a favorable lasting impression, so be strategic in choosing a presentation method and do some investigation before you make your choice.

There are so many different methods to deliver an amazing presentation, do you have any tips that could help our audience? Comment down below with your favorite method, and if these methods have helped you – Share them with those that could benefit from them too!

I used to only use PowerPoint but now I’m trying other methods in my presentation.  I feel it’s harder to connect with the audience when useing PPT. Thanks!

Thanks for the info there is a lot to think about.

I once spoke to a man who was a key speaker at many events in his life. He was 72 at the time. He said the key to really presenting what you have to offer is being yourself and knowing how to speak to who you are presenting to. You don’t want to show a group of older adults tech heavy presentations that are fast just as you don’t want to use nothing but pictures to a younger audience. 

Would love to hear more on this topic. Not much out there on “presentation methods.” Great blog.

Nice article.

Very helpful. Thanks!

Great article. It is important that all these questions are fully addressed before the presentation to get the best results.

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How-To Geek

8 tips to make the best powerpoint presentations.

Want to make your PowerPoint presentations really shine? Here's how to impress and engage your audience.

Quick Links

Table of contents, start with a goal, less is more, consider your typeface, make bullet points count, limit the use of transitions, skip text where possible, think in color, take a look from the top down, bonus: start with templates.

Slideshows are an intuitive way to share complex ideas with an audience, although they're dull and frustrating when poorly executed. Here are some tips to make your Microsoft PowerPoint presentations sing while avoiding common pitfalls.

It all starts with identifying what we're trying to achieve with the presentation. Is it informative, a showcase of data in an easy-to-understand medium? Or is it more of a pitch, something meant to persuade and convince an audience and lead them to a particular outcome?

It's here where the majority of these presentations go wrong with the inability to identify the talking points that best support our goal. Always start with a goal in mind: to entertain, to inform, or to share data in a way that's easy to understand. Use facts, figures, and images to support your conclusion while keeping structure in mind (Where are we now and where are we going?).

I've found that it's helpful to start with the ending. Once I know how to end a presentation, I know how best to get to that point. I start by identifying the takeaway---that one nugget that I want to implant before thanking everyone for their time---and I work in reverse to figure out how best to get there.

Your mileage, of course, may vary. But it's always going to be a good idea to put in the time in the beginning stages so that you aren't reworking large portions of the presentation later. And that starts with a defined goal.

A slideshow isn't supposed to include everything. It's an introduction to a topic, one that we can elaborate on with speech. Anything unnecessary is a distraction. It makes the presentation less visually appealing and less interesting, and it makes you look bad as a presenter.

This goes for text as well as images. There's nothing worse, in fact, than a series of slides where the presenter just reads them as they appear. Your audience is capable of reading, and chances are they'll be done with the slide, and browsing Reddit, long before you finish. Avoid putting the literal text on the screen, and your audience will thank you.

Related: How to Burn Your PowerPoint to DVD

Right off the bat, we're just going to come out and say that Papyrus and Comic Sans should be banned from all PowerPoint presentations, permanently. Beyond that, it's worth considering the typeface you're using and what it's saying about you, the presenter, and the presentation itself.

Consider choosing readability over aesthetics, and avoid fancy fonts that could prove to be more of a distraction than anything else. A good presentation needs two fonts: a serif and sans-serif. Use one for the headlines and one for body text, lists, and the like. Keep it simple. Veranda, Helvetica, Arial, and even Times New Roman are safe choices. Stick with the classics and it's hard to botch this one too badly.

There reaches a point where bullet points become less of a visual aid and more of a visual examination.

Bullet points should support the speaker, not overwhelm his audience. The best slides have little or no text at all, in fact. As a presenter, it's our job to talk through complex issues, but that doesn't mean that we need to highlight every talking point.

Instead, think about how you can break up large lists into three or four bullet points. Carefully consider whether you need to use more bullet points, or if you can combine multiple topics into a single point instead. And if you can't, remember that there's no one limiting the number of slides you can have in a presentation. It's always possible to break a list of 12 points down into three pages of four points each.

Animation, when used correctly, is a good idea. It breaks up slow-moving parts of a presentation and adds action to elements that require it. But it should be used judiciously.

Adding a transition that wipes left to right between every slide or that animates each bullet point in a list, for example, starts to grow taxing on those forced to endure the presentation. Viewers get bored quickly, and animations that are meant to highlight specific elements quickly become taxing.

That's not to say that you can't use animations and transitions, just that you need to pick your spots. Aim for no more than a handful of these transitions for each presentation. And use them in spots where they'll add to the demonstration, not detract from it.

Sometimes images tell a better story than text can. And as a presenter, your goal is to describe points in detail without making users do a lot of reading. In these cases, a well-designed visual, like a chart, might better convey the information you're trying to share.

The right image adds visual appeal and serves to break up longer, text-heavy sections of the presentation---but only if you're using the right images. A single high-quality image can make all the difference between a success and a dud when you're driving a specific point home.

When considering text, don't think solely in terms of bullet points and paragraphs. Tables, for example, are often unnecessary. Ask yourself whether you could present the same data in a bar or line chart instead.

Color is interesting. It evokes certain feelings and adds visual appeal to your presentation as a whole. Studies show that color also improves interest, comprehension, and retention. It should be a careful consideration, not an afterthought.

You don't have to be a graphic designer to use color well in a presentation. What I do is look for palettes I like, and then find ways to use them in the presentation. There are a number of tools for this, like Adobe Color , Coolors , and ColorHunt , just to name a few. After finding a palette you enjoy, consider how it works with the presentation you're about to give. Pastels, for example, evoke feelings of freedom and light, so they probably aren't the best choice when you're presenting quarterly earnings that missed the mark.

It's also worth mentioning that you don't need to use every color in the palette. Often, you can get by with just two or three, though you should really think through how they all work together and how readable they'll be when layered. A simple rule of thumb here is that contrast is your friend. Dark colors work well on light backgrounds, and light colors work best on dark backgrounds.

Spend some time in the Slide Sorter before you finish your presentation. By clicking the four squares at the bottom left of the presentation, you can take a look at multiple slides at once and consider how each works together. Alternatively, you can click "View" on the ribbon and select "Slide Sorter."

Are you presenting too much text at once? Move an image in. Could a series of slides benefit from a chart or summary before you move on to another point?

It's here that we have the opportunity to view the presentation from beyond the single-slide viewpoint and think in terms of how each slide fits, or if it fits at all. From this view, you can rearrange slides, add additional ones, or delete them entirely if you find that they don't advance the presentation.

The difference between a good presentation and a bad one is really all about preparation and execution. Those that respect the process and plan carefully---not only the presentation as a whole, but each slide within it---are the ones who will succeed.

This brings me to my last (half) point: When in doubt, just buy a template and use it. You can find these all over the web, though Creative Market and GraphicRiver are probably the two most popular marketplaces for this kind of thing. Not all of us are blessed with the skills needed to design and deliver an effective presentation. And while a pre-made PowerPoint template isn't going to make you a better presenter, it will ease the anxiety of creating a visually appealing slide deck.

Presentation Types and Styles Explained

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Table of Contents

From high school, then all through college, and now in the workplace — presentations have been a pillar of passing down knowledge to various audiences. 

But, what are presentations? 

They are a tool used to inform and educate audiences in a fun and informative way. 

Well, that is the simple way of explaining their purpose and meaning. 

We want to dig in deeper, and that is what this article will bring to you — a deeper understanding of different types and styles of presentation, so you never get overwhelmed or confused when you need to make a presentation. 

We will discuss: 

  • Different types and styles of presentations,
  • The purpose of using presentations in the workplace, and 
  • How to utilize and recognize types and styles of presentations.

We will also show you: 

  • Famous presenters for each style, 
  • How you can use each presentation style, and
  • A quote for each style to work as a useful reminder if you ever get confused.

Let’s dive in, shall we?

Presentation types and styles - cover

What are the purposes of presentations?

Sometimes, when a term is widely used, to the point where we subconsciously know the meaning and its purpose, it’s hard to pinpoint the true definition from memory. 

So, let’s start with the basics — what is the definition of presentations? 

Presentation is a manner of passing down knowledge from the speaker to the audience. A presentation can be a: 

  • Demonstration,
  • Lecture, or 
  • Speech. 

The purpose of a presentation is whatever goal you set up to achieve. Those goals can be:

  • To educate, 
  • To persuade, and/or 
  • To entertain.

According to LinkedIn’s article 4 goals for any speech, pitch or presentation , when you combine the goals we mentioned, your presentation will become powerful, meaningful, and impactful. The goals mentioned above are general and can be applied to any situation. Different types and styles of presentation can lead to different results. With the right type and style, you can: 

  • Better your work and image with clients,
  • Be more effective when presenting new ideas or solutions, and
  • Ensure more progressive career growth.

These are only some of the business goals you can achieve with the right presentation type and presenting style. The more types and styles you try out, the more skillful you become, which helps you achieve your goals more efficiently.

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What are the different presentation types?

Presentation types illustrate the way you structure your presentation . 

We’ve mentioned the 4 purposes of presentations — every goal or purpose corresponds to a certain type. Before you can choose a structure, you need to answer the question “ What is the purpose of this presentation? ” 

And methods and techniques, which we’ll talk about later, help you maintain that structure.

Once you know what you want to achieve with your presentation, you can choose its type. 

Here’s what you need to know about each presentation type:

Type #1: Informative presentations 

Informative presentations are analytical and, as the name states, informative. With this type of presentation, your end goal is to inform and educate . 

Your audience only has to listen and soak up all the knowledge that is given by you. 

With this type of presentation, you can report on new findings and new data or deliver a lecture. 

Since the goal is to educate, your presentation must be precise and correct. Make sure that the information you are communicating has real value. When presenting, try to engage your audience with visuals of your data to help them understand.

Type #2: Persuasive presentations

To use persuasive presentations, you must answer the question “ What do I want my audience to do after listening to me ?”

The point of this type of presentation is to persuade your audience, change their minds, or offer a new point of view, so that they take action .

Persuasive presentation comes in handy if you are presenting a new product or a service and you want your audience to feel the urge to buy said product.

When you use this presentation type you must exude confidence, since you are your audience’s only source of information for your product. 

Type #3: Motivational presentations

You’ve probably heard of motivational speakers, and if you haven’t, here’s a quick crash course. Motivational presentations have a purpose to inspire and change people’s minds . 

Most people who use this type of presentation have a story to tell. These people use their own experiences as key points in their presentations to help the audience to relate to them. 

Since the goal is to inspire and change people’s minds, you have to have a powerful topic to discuss. 

Remember to cater to your audience and adjust your presentation to them and their level.

Type #4: Instructive presentations

Instructive presentation is technical, precise, and often longer than other types we mentioned. This type is here to offer instructions to an audience. 

So, if your goal is to explain step by step how to achieve a goal or do a task— an instructive presentation should be your choice. 

When you are delivering this type of presentation you need to make sure that every instruction is clear, understandable, and easy to follow.  

How to determine which presentation type you should use?

To choose the correct type for your presentation, you must determine your goal. Once you have your goals clear, it will be easy to see which type works best with your presentation. 

Here are some helpful questions that will help you to narrow it down to one type: 

  • What do I want the audience to take away from my presentation?’
  • What am I trying to give the audience? Is it information, a lecture, or a look into a new product/feature?
  • What obstacles are keeping me from delivering my presentation effectively?

Determining the correct type for your presentation is a trial-and-error process. You will find that some types are more your speed, while others might give you trouble. But, keep in mind that the end goal should always be to give your audience what they came for. 

No matter which type you prefer, they all exist for a reason. Give them all a chance, and remember that practice makes perfect.

Presentation methods and techniques

When you define the type of your presentation, it’s time to get into methods and techniques for delivering a presentation. 

There are a lot of ways you can deliver your presentation, and here is our take on it. 

Presentation methods

A method is how you approach your problem . 

When it comes to presentation methods, we linked them with public speaking. Methods cover:

  • How you choose to deliver your presentation and 
  • How you structure your speech. 

Here are the 4 main methods:

Method #1: Impromptu or unscripted 

The impromptu method applies to speeches that are: 

  • Not prepared , 
  • Emotionally charged, and 
  • ‘Given on the spot’. 

This method of speaking is purely done by improvising, so there are no written rules on how it should be done. 

Improvising and making up your speech as you go is not a wrong way to deliver your presentation. Still, instead of basing your entire speech on your ability to ramble on, incorporate this method in segments where you see fit or feel inspired to do so. 

Method #2: Memorizing 

The memorizing method implies that the speaker needs to know their speech word for word. 

It is mostly used in oratory contests for high school and college students. This method is difficult, and you would need to spend a lot of time reading and memorizing your text.

But, this method is the easiest when it comes to performance anxiety. Since the text is perfectly constructed and your only job is to memorize and relay it to the audience, it’s less nerve-racking. 

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If you struggle with anxiety before a presentation, we have an article to help you with that: 

  • How not to be nervous for a presentation

The memorizing method, while being challenging at its core, can be freeing once the speaker is on stage. With this method, you can practice your body language to go with the text. And since the text is scripted and perfected, the speaker can move around the stage as they see fit.

Method #3: Extemporaneous

Extemporaneous is a synonym for impromptu and unscripted — so why is a synonym to a method we’ve already covered, now a completely new method? 

Well, that is because when it comes to the extemporaneous method, we think of a speaker that allows help during their performance . 

The extemporaneous method is a combination of the first two methods we mentioned. This method allows the speaker to prepare their speech and use notes and key points as an aid to keep on course. However, they will not learn their presentation by heart, but use their own words and speak in a conversational manner.

Method #4: Scripting 

The scripting method used to require a written speech from which the orator reads to the audience. Nowadays, we can see this method used by news outlets, with a teleprompter. 

So, to make use of this method, you need to write down your speech and read it proficiently to your audience. 

When it comes to in-person presentations and public speaking, this method is not the go-to. 

You shouldn’t spend the whole presentation just reading off of papers. When we present, we need to maintain eye contact and overall connection with the audience — and holding a piece of paper in front of the audience will get in the way of that connection.

Presentation techniques 

Presentation techniques are what you use before and during the presentation to make it compelling, informative, and easier to understand . 

Here are some of the techniques that we find quite useful: 

Technique #1: Practice

As a presenter, you want to make sure that everything goes smoothly — and for that to happen, you need to practice. The key to giving the best presentation is to practice relentlessly. 

Some useful tips to help you make the most of your practice are to: 

  • Practice in front of a friend. — Practicing in front of a friend will not only help you with performance anxiety, but a friend might also have some useful tips on how to perform better. 
  • Film yourself practicing. — When you film yourself giving your presentation aloud, it will help you to get used to cameras and the spotlight. Also, the camera will capture every mistake you make, and from there you can see what needs to be worked on.
  • Practice in the auditorium. — It will do you good if you can practice giving your presentation in a meeting room or the auditorium. If you practice in the place you will be presenting, you will get used to the space, and it will be familiar to you on the day of your presentation.

Technique #2: Use visuals 

There is no need to overwhelm your audience with endless blocks of text. Think about how you can transform the data or information into a simple visual . 

The important thing to remember is that your audience might not be on the same level of knowledge as you. So, use visuals to help them follow your point. 

Technique #3: Incorporate stories 

No matter how informative and to the point your presentation is, including a story that is illustrating your point can be very helpful to your audience. 

Not only is storytelling a great way to engage and entertain your audience, but it is also a great way to show how your information is relevant to real-world events.

If you are curious to see what more you can do to prepare for your presentation, check out our article: 

  • How to prepare for a presentation: Your 9-step guide to a successful presentation

Technique #4: Incorporate appropriate style 

Your presentation style is how you choose to deliver your presentation as a speaker. Style builds on the methods we have mentioned earlier, and it comes down to how you choose to speak to your audience. You can be a storyteller or a coach to your audience, and with each style comes a different influence. 

Methods and techniques are a great starting point when you are approaching your presentation structure and topic. 

But, there are different styles of presentation that you also should consider before walking up to that stage. Let’s learn more about them.

What is a presentation style?

A style is your preferred way of doing things, and when it comes to presentations, a style is how you choose to deliver your speech . Everything from your vocabulary to your tone defines your presenting style. 

If you are not sure what your personal presentation style is, you can always pick and choose from the already-established styles. Those include: 

  • Storyteller, 
  • Instructor, 
  • Closer, 
  • Connector, 
  • Coach, 
  • Lessig style, and
  • Visual style.

Let’s get into more detail about each one of them.

Style #1: The Storyteller

The storytelling style consists of a (usually personal) story or anecdote. 

This style is used when the presentation doesn’t have any data or numbers that need to be explained. 

You can use this style to emphasize your point and to easily relay your goal to the audience. 

The storytelling style is great for the beginning of the presentation, as it is there to capture the audience’s attention. 

Formality level for the Storyteller style: Low

Since this style uses the speaker’s personal experiences and anecdotes to help the audience relate to the topic easily, the language used is conversational. There is no need for any excessive formality , and the speaker can address the audience in a friendly and familiar tone.

The Storyteller style characteristics

What characteristics should you be aware of when you want to utilize this style? 

The vocabulary that storytellers use is simple and conversational. Think about how you tell a story to your friends, colleagues, or family. Once you have that in mind, becoming a storyteller on stage won’t be a problem. 

Since the formality level is low, there is no need to overcomplicate things or to use synonyms for words that already have simpler and more known versions. 

Your story should have an introduction, where you will introduce the problem. Then, you can move into the main plot point that explains your topic. And finally, you should have a conclusion where you can circle back to the beginning and where you will untangle the web you cast and leave your audience with a final thought.

The pros of the Storyteller style 

Now let’s look at some of the pros of this style: 

  • It’s easy to follow. 
  • It illustrates your problem and solution in a creative way.
  • It’s relatable and, therefore, more influential to the audience.

The cons of the Storyteller style 

Here are the cons of being the storyteller type: 

  • A story that’s too long or not interesting enough can leave your audience bored. 
  • Getting too caught up in the story can make your presentation longer than it should be.

Who is the Storyteller style best suitable for?

This style is great if you want to truly connect with your audience and have them feel as if you speak to them, rather than at them. Many people don’t like to be lectured, and if you are trying to make a point or a message stick out, try out the storytelling style.

Famous presenter with the Storyteller style

The storytelling style is preferred among TED talk speakers. 

But, when we think of storytelling, one particular speaker comes to mind — Nick Vujicic. He overcame great obstacles and has learned how to take what’s best from life. So now, when he tries to spread his message of endurance, he puts his trust into the storytelling style and lets his emotions and experiences speak to his audience. 

Quote by Nik Vujicic that embodies the Storyteller style

“ What really matters are the lives you touch along the way and how you finish your journey .” ― Nick Vujicic

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Style #2: The Instructor

The instructing style of presenting shares some traits of the storytelling style. It still uses the power of metaphors to get the message across to the audience. 

But, the difference is that the instructing style has more of a commanding voice . The instructor can carefully align the story and the data in a logical and compelling manner, leaving the audience convinced and educated.

Formality level for the Instructor style: Medium

A lot of politicians use the Instructor style when they are trying to influence a larger crowd. Since this style has a higher formality level than the storytelling one, it allows the speaker to use more serious vocabulary and address the audience as superior. 

The Instructor style characteristics:

The Instructor’s style is characterized by logic and command. As we mentioned, the speaker who is fond of the Instructor’s style needs to be able to handle the facts and connect with the audience. 

So, the main characteristics of this style would be: 

  • More formal use of language, 
  • Commanding voice, and  
  • Persuasive nature.

The pros of the Instructor style 

Let’s take a look at some of the pros of this style: 

  • It helps get a complicated message across. 
  • It’s persuasive. 
  • It’s fairly easy to use. 

The cons of the Instructor style 

Here are some of the cons to be aware of: 

  • The speaker could be deemed distant or cold. 
  • The audience can lose interest if the presentation is too focused on pure data. 

Who is the Instructor style best suitable for?

This style is great if the speaker has a complicated topic to discuss with a less knowledgeable audience. This style is used mainly for lectures and political speeches. 

Famous presenter with the Instructor style

A famous presenter with the Instructor style is none other than the former Vice President of the United States, Al Gore. He uses metaphors, data, his own personal experience, and even visuals to bring complex issues closer to a wide audience.

Quote by Al Gore that embodies the Instructor style

“ When you have the facts on your side, argue the facts. When you have the law on your side, argue the law. When you have neither, holler. ” — Al Gore

Style #3: The Closer style

The Closer style of presenting is a style that demands action from the audience . Presenters who opt for this style want their audience to not only learn something new but to get up from their seats with a newfound urge to make a change. 

This style is a personification of a call to action. The presentations made in this style are short, since the speaker has a goal in mind. They then use this style to convincingly reach said goal.

Formality level for the Closer style: Medium

This style is a great tool to connect with the audience. So, to make a connection between the speaker and the audience, the formality level drops. But instead of treating the audience as friends, the speaker simply talks to them. 

The Closer style characteristics

The Closer style is persuasive and somewhat commanding. People who are fond of the Closer style cut right to the chase and make their audience get to a decision. With this presentation style, there are no boring statistics or data. The key points are clear and delivered with a short and clear explanation.

The pros of the Closer style 

Here are some of the pros of the Closer style: 

  • The presentation is short.
  • The Closer is confident and knows how to deliver a point.
  • The audience rarely gets bored with this style.

The cons of the Closer style 

Take a look at some of the cons of this style: 

  • Some audiences aren’t ready to make a quick decision.
  • Some audiences might feel that this style is too harsh or rash.

Who is the Closer style best suitable for? 

The Closer style is best to use when you need your audience to make a decision or to give them the urge to make things happen. 

This style is mainly used by CEOs and salesmen.

Famous presenter with the Closer style

Many presenters use this style, but the one that stands out the most is the philosopher Ruth Chang. She has delivered great presentations on how to make hard decisions. She keeps her presentations short, sweet, and straight to the point. 

Quote by Ruth Chang that embodies the Closer style

“A world full of only easy choices would enslave us to reasons.” — Ruth Chang

Style #4: The Connector style

The Connector style speaker is most comfortable engaging with the audience . Some could say that the storytelling style is very similar to the Connector in that sense. Both styles base their presentations on the connection with the audience. The difference here is that the Connector is both a presenter and a member of the audience — and they are comfortable in both roles. 

This style of presentation (as the name suggests) allows the speaker to connect to the audience, and therefore deliver the materials easier. One way that this style connects the speaker and the audience is through Q&A.

Formality level for the Connector: Low 

Since this style’s main purpose is to connect the speaker to the audience, the formality level is low. The speaker appears as one of the audience, even though they are on stage. To keep the audience engaged and get them to ask questions, the Connector treats the audience as friends and acquaintances. 

The Connector style characteristics

The user of this style needs to appear as if they are one of the members of the audience, but they just happen to be on the stage instead in a seat. One of the main characteristics that stand out for this style is the eagerness of the speaker to engage with the audience. When a speaker is a Connector, they will constantly ask questions and listen to the audience’s opinions.

The pros of the Connector style

Let’s take a look at the pros of this style: 

  • The audience is engaged and encouraged to participate.
  • The presentation flows at a relaxed pace.
  • The audience feels connected to the subject.

The cons of the Connector style

  • Audience might not be comfortable with asking questions.
  • The presentation might be longer than planned. 
  • Too many opinions will derail the presentation.

Who is the Connector style best suitable for?

The great thing about the Connector style is that it can be used in any presentation and any setting. Since the main goal of this style is to connect the speaker and the topic with the audience, there are no rules or limits as to where it can and where cannot be used.

Famous presenter with the Connector style

Padraig Hyland is a TED Talk speaker and a specialist in audience engagement, so it is only natural that he uses the Connector style. He has delivered countless speeches on how to be a great presenter and how to connect with any audience.

Quote by Padraig Hyland that embodies the Connector style

“ To successfully navigate the current disruption, organizations need to nourish their authentic leadership voice and create a new story that engages their people on the journey .” — Padraig Hyland

Style #5: The Coach style

What is a coach? In every sense of the word, a coach is a person who guides you, teaches you, and helps you achieve your goals. 

It is the same with the coaching style. The person who uses this style guides their audience with their own enthusiasm for the subject. The Coach style is mainly used in motivational speeches, as it allows the coaches to interact with the audience and share knowledge on a topic they feel passionate about.

Formality level for the Coach style: Medium

The Coach style serves as a guide . It gives the speaker freedom to use their knowledge and personal experience to drive the audience to feel the same passion about the subject as the speaker does. To achieve that level of familiarity with the audience, the formality level drops, and the speaker talks to the audience as a teacher and, well, as a coach would.

The Coach style characteristics

The Coach style allows the speaker to guide their audience from point A to point Z, through knowledge and passion, which makes the presentation interactive and informative. 

This style of presentation can be seen in motivational speeches, lectures, and speeches delivered by sports coaches. The main characteristic that follows this style is that it is delivered by enthusiastic speakers.

The pros of the Coach style 

Here are some of the pros of this style to look into: 

  • It allows the speaker to connect to the audience through enthusiasm. 
  • Presentations in this style are interactive and engaging. 
  • It gives the audience step-by-step instructions on the topic.

The cons of the Coach style 

Let’s examine some of the cons: 

  • The speaker’s passion can be overwhelming to the audience.
  • The speaker can forget to ask for feedback . 

Who is the Coach style best suitable for?

The Coach style, since it serves as a guide, is commonly used by motivational speakers and in self-help presentations. 

They tend to choose this presentation style because it allows them to connect with the audience while still delivering a detailed step-by-step on the topic they are discussing.

Famous presenter with this style

There are a lot of motivational speakers today that are a fan of the Coach style, but the one that caught our attention is Mel Robbins. She is a lawyer and a motivational speaker that helps her audience to form healthy habits and attain discipline to achieve their goals.

Quote by Mel Robbins that embodies the Coach style

“ You have been assigned this mountain so you can show others that it can be moved .” — Mel Robbins

Style #6: The Lessig style

If you are in a time crunch, but you have a lot of material to cover, then the Lessig style is the perfect style for you. 

The Lessig style was invented by Lawrence Lessig, and it states that a speaker should spend only 15 seconds on each slide or point during a presentation . This style usually agrees very well with the visual style. 

Since not all presentations have slides, this style cannot be used with any type of presentation. However, if you have too many slides and too many points to make, then the Lessig style can help you use your time slot well.

Formality level for the Lessig style: Depends

The Lessig style is not a style of speaking per se, but a style for presentation time management . So, the formality of the language you use will be up to you and your topic. You can decrease or increase the formality level and the Lessig style would still be the same.

The Lessig style characteristics

The main characteristic of this style is that it includes slides or at least some visual aid. 

This style is also the one that is not concerned with your verbal cues and style of speaking. If you choose to try out this style you can combine it with any of the styles we previously mentioned.

The pros of the Lessig style 

Here are the pros of this style: 

  • It’s easy to use. 
  • It helps you keep track. 
  • It saves time.

The cons of the Lessig style

Here are some of the cons of this style: 

  • It is not applicable to presentations without slides. 
  • Sometimes the suggested 15-second rule isn’t enough. 
  • The presentation may feel rushed or unfinished.

Who is the Lessig style best suitable for?

The Lessig style bases its rules on slides and visual aids, so it’s best suitable for presentations that consist of slides. The topics for this style are endless, and it is up to the speaker to see where this style works best in their presentation.

The most logical choice is, of course, the founder of this style — Lawrence Lessig, a lawyer and a political activist. 

Quote by Lawrence Lessig that embodies the Lessig style

“ Technology means you can now do amazing things easily .” — Lawrence Lessig

Style #7: The Visual style

Presentations can be all about the slides, data, or videos, and there are also powerful presentations that are delivered with only the speaker on the stage. But, technology is not something to shy away from . There are great advantages to using technology and feeding your audience with visuals that will support your claims. As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words. 

Formality level for the Visual style: Depends

The formality of this style doesn’t depend on the visuals used, but on the speaker and the topic. The great thing about the visual style is that it can be used with almost any topic and type of data. So, when using this style of presentation, you can choose the level of formality you feel comfortable with.

The Visual style characteristics

The Visual presentation style’s main characteristics are the visuals, as the name suggests. The visuals can be anything from a picture, video, or creatively shown data and statistics. 

This style can be used together with any other style that we mentioned, as long as you add some pictures or other visual elements.

The pros of the Visual style 

Here are the pros of the Visual style: 

  • Visuals help the audience understand the presentation better — sometimes, they can illustrate your point better than your own words. 
  • Visuals can help you move your presentation forward. 

The cons of the Visual style 

Here are some of the cons of the Visual style: 

  • Overusing visuals in your presentation can take focus away from you. 
  • Visuals can be redundant. 

Who is the Visual style best suitable for?

If you are creative enough or confident enough to not let the glamor of visuals take over your spotlight, you can incorporate visuals into any workplace presentation. Visuals can be helpful almost everywhere, and they can aid your audience if the topic is too complicated for them to follow.

Famous presenter with the Visual style

One of the best visual presenters is Steve Jobs. He was one of the founders of Apple, and every year he used to give a great visual presentation or a rundown of Apple’s new product releases.

Quote by Steve Jobs that embodies the Visual style

“ For you to sleep well at night, the aesthetic, the quality, has to be carried all the way through .” — Steve Jobs

How to determine which presentation style to use?

If you are wondering which style to use, first you need to ask yourself what kind of audience will be attending your presentation . Once you have an idea of who you will be talking to, you can start to think about your presentation style. 

Also, you need to know what is the purpose of your presentation and what you wish to achieve. 

Beyond that, try out different styles until you find the one you are comfortable with.

That’s a wrap: Time, place, and audience

Presentations in the workplace serve a great purpose, but utilizing different presentation types and presenting styles can affect your overall workplace image. 

When it comes to business presentations, each type and style influences the audience differently . For instance, the coaching style will help you to guide your colleagues through a new and complicated task. The instructive type will help you to showcase each employee’s new role and responsibilities with ease.

Now, you might have realized that presentation is a more intricate topic than you previously thought. 

So, to become a skillful presenter and to put together great presentations, you have to know how they work and what they consist of. 

This guide of presentation types and styles can deepen your understanding of presentations, but it all comes down to: 

  • Knowing your audience and purpose. 
  • Knowing where you will deliver your presentation, and 
  • Knowing how to make use of the time slot you got.  

Once you know the basics, determining your type of presentation and style will be a piece of cake.

✉️ Did you know that there are so many different presentation styles and types? What do you think is your presentation style?

Let us know what your presentation type and style are via [email protected] and we might include your answers in this or future posts. If you found this article helpful, share it with someone who would also benefit from it.

JanaPavlovic

Jana Pavlovic is a communication author and researcher. She enjoys educating herself and others on various team collaboration and technology topics. She found that working from home in a hybrid-type company is her perfect combination for work-life balance, and she’s eager to share her new-found knowledge with you.

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Beyond the Basics in PowerPoint

These advanced features bring the Pow! to your presentation

  • Brock University

In This Article

Jump to a Section

Insert Photos and Graphics

Add animations and transitions, embed music, narration, and timing, choose printing options, save time with macros and master slides, make presentations portable.

A deck of PowerPoint slides with standard formatting, minimal images, and basic transition effects is a passable visual presentation. But it's a conservative approach to sharing information visually. You can make presentations more appealing by employing advanced PowerPoint features.

Information in this article applies to PowerPoint 2019, 2016, 2013, and 2010 as well as PowerPoint for Mac and PowerPoint for Microsoft 365.

PowerPoint is well suited to the visual presentation of information. Your audience members get a different experience when they view slides summarizing key points instead of, for example, reading a white paper. So, take advantage of this fact by emphasizing images more than text. You can choose from your own photos, illustrations, and graphs, or online images.

If you're not used to thinking this way, try writing text for a slide and then finding an image to tell part or all of the same story.

You can also jazz up your presentations using animations . These fun special effects provide visual interest as audience members digest the information you've just discussed. Animations within a slide (for example, bullet points appearing one by one) help you avoid revealing information before you're ready to discuss it.

Did you know that you can embed music or play ambient sounds in the background to enhance your message? You can also add your narration to the presentation to ensure you make all your points or to prepare the presentation for upload to your website or YouTube channel. Finally, you can time the slides so they advance without you having to switch them manually, enabling you to focus on your own part of the presentation.

You can create hard copies of your slides for yourself or your audience. They can be used for a variety of purposes:

  • Give you speaker notes to use while you present
  • Provide a means for audience members to remember your points and take notes
  • Give a co-worker an easy way to view your slides to offer comments

PowerPoint is optimized for on-screen viewing in Presentation Mode. However, you can choose one of the many printing options to print speaker notes or a variety of formats for audience notes.

In addition to the helpful features mentioned so far, PowerPoint includes some that can save you time. For example, you can create macros or your own design template complete with your company logo. Developing a template isn't as tricky as it sounds and PowerPoint excels at re-using content.

Presentations on the road can go wrong when an embedded sound or video file goes missing or the machine you're using doesn't have a modern version of PowerPoint loaded on it. Use PowerPoint's portability tools to pack your presentation for remote viewing, including PowerPoint Online and all the bells and whistles you included from your own desk.

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F.A.A. Audit of Boeing’s 737 Max Production Found Dozens of Issues

The company failed 33 of 89 audits during an examination conducted by the Federal Aviation Administration after a panel blew off an Alaska Airlines jet in January.

A person walking by a Boeing 737 Max jet being assembled on a factory floor.

By Mark Walker

Reporting from Washington

A six-week audit by the Federal Aviation Administration of Boeing’s production of the 737 Max jet found dozens of problems throughout the manufacturing process at the plane maker and one of its key suppliers, according to a slide presentation reviewed by The New York Times.

The air-safety regulator initiated the examination after a door panel blew off a 737 Max 9 during an Alaska Airlines flight in early January. Last week, the agency announced that the audit had found “multiple instances” in which Boeing and the supplier, Spirit AeroSystems, failed to comply with quality-control requirements, though it did not provide specifics about the findings.

The presentation reviewed by The Times, though highly technical, offers a more detailed picture of what the audit turned up. Since the Alaska Airlines episode, Boeing has come under intense scrutiny over its quality-control practices, and the findings add to the body of evidence about manufacturing lapses at the company.

For the portion of the examination focused on Boeing, the F.A.A. conducted 89 product audits, a type of review that looks at aspects of the production process. The plane maker passed 56 of the audits and failed 33 of them, with a total of 97 instances of alleged noncompliance, according to the presentation.

The F.A.A. also conducted 13 product audits for the part of the inquiry that focused on Spirit AeroSystems, which makes the fuselage, or body, of the 737 Max. Six of those audits resulted in passing grades, and seven resulted in failing ones, the presentation said.

At one point during the examination, the air-safety agency observed mechanics at Spirit using a hotel key card to check a door seal, according to a document that describes some of the findings. That action was “not identified/documented/called-out in the production order,” the document said.

In another instance, the F.A.A. saw Spirit mechanics apply liquid Dawn soap to a door seal “as lubricant in the fit-up process,” according to the document. The door seal was then cleaned with a wet cheesecloth, the document said, noting that instructions were “vague and unclear on what specifications/actions are to be followed or recorded by the mechanic.”

Asked about the appropriateness of using a hotel key card or Dawn soap in those situations, a spokesman for Spirit, Joe Buccino, said the company was “reviewing all identified nonconformities for corrective action.”

Jessica Kowal, a spokeswoman for Boeing, said the plane maker was continuing “to implement immediate changes and develop a comprehensive action plan to strengthen safety and quality, and build the confidence of our customers and their passengers.”

In late February, the F.A.A. gave the company 90 days to develop a plan for quality-control improvements. In response, its chief executive, Dave Calhoun, said that “we have a clear picture of what needs to be done,” citing in part the audit findings.

Boeing said this month that it was in talks to acquire Spirit , which it spun out in 2005. Mr. Buccino said on Monday that Spirit had received preliminary audit findings from the F.A.A. and planned to work with Boeing to address what the regulator had raised. He said Spirit’s goal was to reduce to zero the number of defects and errors in its processes.

“Meanwhile, we continue multiple efforts undertaken to improve our safety and quality programs,” Mr. Buccino said. “These improvements focus on human factors and other steps to minimize nonconformities.”

The F.A.A. said it could not release specifics about the audit because of its active investigation into Boeing in response to the Alaska Airlines episode. In addition to that inquiry, the National Transportation Safety Board is investigating what caused the door panel to blow off the plane, and the Justice Department has begun a criminal investigation .

During the F.A.A.’s examination, the agency deployed as many as 20 auditors at Boeing and roughly half a dozen at Spirit, according to the slide presentation. Boeing assembles the 737 Max at its plant in Renton, Wash., while Spirit builds the plane’s fuselage at its factory in Wichita, Kan.

The audit at Boeing was wide ranging, covering many parts of the 737 Max, including its wings and an assortment of other systems.

Many of the problems found by auditors fell in the category of not following an “approved manufacturing process, procedure or instruction,” according to the presentation. Some other issues dealt with quality-control documentation.

“It wasn’t just paperwork issues, and sometimes it’s the order that work is done,” Mike Whitaker, the F.A.A. administrator, said at a news conference on Monday. “Sometimes it’s tool management — it sounds kind of pedestrian, but it’s really important in a factory that you have a way of tracking tools effectively so that you have the right tool and you know you didn’t leave it behind. So it’s really plant floor hygiene, if you will, and a variety of issues of that nature.”

One audit dealt with the component that blew off the Alaska Airlines jet, known as a door plug . Boeing failed that check, according to the presentation. Some of the issues flagged by that audit related to inspection and quality-control documentation, though the exact findings were not detailed in the presentation.

The F.A.A.’s examination also explored how well Boeing’s employees understood the company’s quality-control processes. The agency interviewed six company engineers and scored their responses, and the overall average score came out to only 58 percent.

One audit at Spirit that focused on the door plug component found five problems. One of those problems, the presentation said, was that Boeing “failed to provide evidence of approval of minor design change under a method acceptable to the F.A.A.” It was not clear from the presentation what the design change was.

Another audit dealt with the installation of the door plug, and it was among those that Spirit failed. The audit raised concerns about the Spirit technicians who carried out the work and found that the company “failed to determine the knowledge necessary for the operation of its processes.”

Other audits that Spirit failed included one that involved a cargo door and another that dealt with the installation of cockpit windows.

Mark Walker is an investigative reporter focused on transportation. He is based in Washington. More about Mark Walker

Boeing: A Company in Turmoil

Boeing is weathering a particularly difficult period: two fatal crashes, a loose panel that blew out during a flight, quality concerns and production slowdowns..

United’s Planes : An engine fire sparked by plastic packaging wrap, a tire lost shortly after takeoff and a plane veering off the runway: These are among several incidents that have occurred over two weeks  on Boeing flights operated by United Airlines.

Alaska Airlines Flight 1282: After a section of a plane headed for Ontario, Calif., blew out  10 minutes after it took off , there was increased scrutiny  on the plane’s manufacturer: Boeing . The Justice Department has since launched a criminal investigation .

Quality Control Issues: An audit that was initiated by the Federal Aviation Administration after the Alaska Airlines incident found dozens of problems  throughout Boeing’s manufacturing process and one of its key suppliers.

Whistleblower’s Death: John Barnett, a former quality manager for the company, was found dead in Charleston  in March with what appeared to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound. He was set to testify in a lawsuit in which he accused Boeing of retaliation for his complaints about quality and safety.

At Fault: A report released in February by the Federal Aviation Administration said that Boeing’s safety culture remains flawed , despite improvements made after two fatal crashes  in 2018 and 2019.

Solving an Enduring Crisis: The Federal Aviation Administration has asked Boeing to produce an action plan  to address quality control issues. We asked experts how Boeing should try and fix its longstanding problems .

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    1 Make a provocative statement. "I want to discuss with you this afternoon why you're going to fail to have a great career." One surefire way to get your audience's attention is to make a provocative statement that creates interest and a keen desire to know more about what you have to say. The presentation above, for example, does just that by ...

  18. Top Tips for Effective Presentations

    But you can help to make the spoken word better by using your voice effectively. Varying the speed at which you talk, and emphasising changes in pitch and tone all help to make your voice more interesting and hold your audience's attention. For more about this, see our page on Effective Speaking. 9. Use your Body Too.

  19. How to Structure your Presentation, with Examples

    This clarifies the overall purpose of your talk and reinforces your reason for being there. Follow these steps: Signal that it's nearly the end of your presentation, for example, "As we wrap up/as we wind down the talk…". Restate the topic and purpose of your presentation - "In this speech I wanted to compare…".

  20. 6 Things To Consider Before Choosing A Presentation Method

    6 Things To Consider Before Choosing A Presentation Method. By Mike Fruciano. Your presentation method—that is, how you deliver a presentation—is just as important as organizing your material ahead of your presentation. How you deliver your message is a vital component of the message itself. Your goal is to engage your audience and compel ...

  21. 8 Tips to Make the Best PowerPoint Presentations

    A good presentation needs two fonts: a serif and sans-serif. Use one for the headlines and one for body text, lists, and the like. Keep it simple. Veranda, Helvetica, Arial, and even Times New Roman are safe choices. Stick with the classics and it's hard to botch this one too badly.

  22. Presentation Types and Styles Explained

    Style #1: The Storyteller. The storytelling style consists of a (usually personal) story or anecdote. This style is used when the presentation doesn't have any data or numbers that need to be explained. You can use this style to emphasize your point and to easily relay your goal to the audience.

  23. Advanced PowerPoint Techniques for Presentations

    Give you speaker notes to use while you present. Provide a means for audience members to remember your points and take notes. Give a co-worker an easy way to view your slides to offer comments. PowerPoint is optimized for on-screen viewing in Presentation Mode. However, you can choose one of the many printing options to print speaker notes or a ...

  24. Trump floats method for the Supreme Court to further delay his ...

    A general view of Trump Tower in New York City, U.S., October 1, 2023. David 'Dee' Delgado/Reuters Related article Trump's failure to secure a bond could put his New York properties on the ...

  25. FAA Audit of Boeing's 737 Max Production Found ...

    One of those problems, the presentation said, was that Boeing "failed to provide evidence of approval of minor design change under a method acceptable to the F.A.A." It was not clear from the ...