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Different Types of Presentations

There is more than one type of presentation that can be given to an audience. The purpose of each might be different, with the main goal being to influence the audience in some way.

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Below are some tips on how to get it right, as well as a list of some of the common types of presentations you might be asked to participate in, some of which you may have already tackled.

Getting It Right

Presentations are a way of communicating information to others. The best way to approach these presentations is to plan for them. As soon as you accept the challenge, preparation begins. Regardless of the type of talk, here are a few things to keep in mind.

* Length of time

This will dictate how much detail will be included. If you leave things out, a handout with the extra information can be included

* Topic - If you choose your own, make sure that you get information on the target audience. If you are given one, research it thoroughly for important facts to include. (And always credit the source).

* Outline – Plan what will be included in the presentation, so you stay on topic. (Point #1 can help you with this).

* Opening and conclusion – Memorize your opening and conclusion so you don’t miss what you want and need to relay to your audience.

* Audience – Is it your student peers, prospective clients, your students, children or novices? Using appropriate language and examples, for understanding and engagement, is important to a successful presentation. Selection of your topic can help to narrow this down.

What Type of Presentation Are You Giving?

1. Business – You may be a team leader or first- or mid-level manager conducting a meeting for the staff. The topic could be project updates, new product launches, monthly sales report, or another topic critical to your group. These are small groups and kept informal.

2. Speeches You are running for political office or a seat on the school board. Speeches present your ideas and approach to the issues to your potential constituents. Since people have short attention spans, it is important to make them concise and highly relevant.

3. Sales presentation – When you are speaking to a prospective client, you get one chance to impress them. Provide what they want and need from the outset to hold and keep their attention.

4. Job interview – Some job interviews require a presentation. The key here is understanding the criteria your interviewers are looking for and presenting your qualities in that period.

5. Lecture – Students are notorious for dozing during class. Keep them engaged in the topic by presenting it on their level with real-time relevancy.

6. Conference or seminar presenter – Usually the entire event has a unified theme with your talk being one aspect of it. The audience may even be your peers (such as doctors, lawyers, or business owners). Because they have been to other presentations, it is important to gain their attention and interest from the beginning. It is helpful to have an agenda, so you don't duplicate topics.

7. Debate – Students are presenting their side of an issue to peers and their instructor for judgment. There is an allotted time, a topic, and a need to sway the audience to their side.

Crafting a presentation requires the same skills no matter the venue or the audience.

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