When you’re asked to present at a conference or event, the first place you should start is figuring out what you want to present and creating an outline. While making your outline, you also have to figure out what you want your audience to do after your presentation is over. Are you just trying to give them useful information? Is it one of those cases where you are trying to make a sale? There are four different types of presentations you can give and their purpose is to invoke different reactions.
- Informative Speeches – These are the most common types of presentations and are used to present research. A student who is defending a thesis or a non-profit group that did a research study will use informative speeches to present their findings.
- Demonstrative Speeches – These will show you how to do something. In introduction to communication classes, these speeches are usually How to Make Cakes kinds of speeches and include different pictures and steps to the process.
- Persuasive Speeches – This kind of speech is trying to change the way you think about a subject or issue. If you’ve come to a health conference you may find yourself listening to why you should change your eating habits or stop drinking.
- Inspirational Speeches – These speeches are designed to make your audience move. Also considered a “motivational” speech, this is designed to encourage participants to go after their goals, whatever they may be. Inspirational speeches will tell stories and the hope is that the audience will feel an emotional connection to the topic.
Think about Apple CEO Steve Jobs and the presentations he gives when he introduces a new product. He gives you information, he shows you how to use a new product, tells you how you can use the product to solve a problem, makes you understand why you need it, and closes by letting you touch and feel the product. He lets the entirety of his speech stand for decision making and then by letting you get your hands on the new iSomething, you see why the new product will help you.
In truth, the best presentations will embody a little bit of each one of these kinds, but you can take a specific type to help move you along the right path.
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