There are several different types of presentations you might be responsible for developing at work, depending on your industry and skill level. Learning more about the different types of presentations can help you improve your communication skills and better demonstrate your presentation skills to your employer.
In this article, we explain the purposes of presentations, list eight types of presentations you may be responsible for delivering at work and offer a few tips for delivering an effective presentation.
Purposes of presentations
Employees may use presentations for the following purposes:
To inform: In business, presentations can help organizations outline their strategies for achieving important organizational goals and maximizing profits. They also help educate employees, customers and other individuals that an organization affects.
To instruct: Presentations allow presenters to provide their audience with specific directions or orders and deliver key information to help them in their work. Presentations might also be useful for teaching new skills to employees and helping teams accomplish goals.
To persuade: Presenters may use emotion or logic to inspire their audience to take action. For example, a salesperson might develop a presentation encouraging customers to purchase the product they’re selling by outlining its benefits and using statistics and customer testimonials.
To aid decision-making: Employees often use presentations to aid in company decision-making. Presenters may introduce new information or a set of ideas that company leaders can use to make key decisions.
8 types of presentations
While the typical presentation that you deliver may vary depending on your industry, there are a few types of presentations that a wide variety of organizations use regularly, such as:
1. Educational presentations
An educational presentation introduces a specific topic to an unfamiliar audience, and it can be useful if you want to explain a complex process and share important facts with your audience. This type of presentation is beneficial if you want to teach your audience about a specific topic.
Educational presentations that aim to inform audiences of a new process may include detailed visuals and a list of instructions. Companies often use this type of presentation to educate new employees on company procedures and policies. The length of an educational presentation may vary depending on your goals.
2. Instructional presentations
An instructional presentation aims to help audiences understand a certain topic better and instructs them to take certain actions. This type of presentation is similar to an educational presentation but may contain additional information or a set of instructions for the intended audience to follow based on a specific topic.
Webinars and training workshops are examples of instructional presentations that present audiences with new information and teach them new skills. For example, if you work in human resources, you might create an instructional presentation for employees detailing how they can enroll in a new insurance plan.
3. Motivational presentation
Motivational presentations attempt to inspire audiences and encourage them to overcome obstacles or challenges. They generate interest in a topic while providing their audiences with a specific viewpoint and message. A motivational presentation is often useful if you want to inspire an audience, and it may use a personal story to address a specific topic.
Organizational leaders often use motivational presentations to inspire their employees and encourage them to improve their work ethic. Recruiters might also use a motivational presentation featuring employee success stories to encourage new candidates to apply for a position at the company.
4. Persuasive presentations
Persuasive presentations aim to influence and appeal to a specific audience. This type of presentation can be useful if you want to convey a complex message and persuade your audience to consider or adopt a certain viewpoint or take a specific action.
Many persuasive presentations use figures of speech, metaphors and visual aids to help audiences better understand and relate to the topic so they can make a logical decision. This type of presentation may also require evoking an audience’s emotions and using facts and logic to offer them new perspectives. Sales teams often use persuasive presentations to win clients.
5. Problem-solution presentation
A problem-solution presentation aims to aid in decision-making efforts by describing a problem or a challenge and presenting an audience with a solution or a set of solutions. This type of presentation is similar to a persuasive presentation but differs in that its primary purpose is to discuss a problem and present research that allows key decision-makers to consider the best possible outcome for each solution.
It may include comprehensive details of the problem, in addition to a list of solutions. Problem-solution presentations can be useful for a variety of business or organization-wide meetings.
6. Progress presentations
A progress presentation details the progress of a project, campaign or initiative to update the individuals involved. This type of presentation is similar to a progress report.
A progress presentation may include important metrics related to the project, status updates, potential obstacles that might arise and tasks that still need completing. Individual project teams may also use progress presentations to provide updates about their deliverables and allow clients or other employees to ask questions or add to the discussion.
7. Storytelling presentations
A storytelling presentation uses a narrative structure to engage with audiences and share information with them. This type of presentation can be useful in a variety of academic or business settings, and it can be particularly beneficial for engaging and relating to a specific audience.
Storytelling presentations may include personal anecdotes or examples that align with the main topic of the presentation. For example, if you work in marketing, you might use a storytelling presentation to introduce a case study to your team that examines a competitor’s product and its popularity.
8. Visual presentations
While other presentations may include a combination of text and visuals, a visual presentation typically only includes infographics, pictures, charts and other visual elements. This type of presentation can be useful when there’s only a limited time to present the topic or the topic doesn’t require a lot of explanation.
Visual presentations aim to help an audience better understand a specific topic and maintain their attention. Businesses often use visual presentations to convey what their products or services can do. For example, a company selling a hair product may include before and after images in its presentation to customers,
Tips for delivering an effective presentation
Your presentation’s success often depends on the steps you take to prepare for it. Consider the following tips for delivering a more engaging presentation:
Compile notes: To prepare for a presentation, you might want to take a few notes to remind yourself of what to say. Keep your notes brief and include simple directions that you can easily remember. This can help you engage with your audience and avoid forgetting to address a point within your presentation.
Learn about your audience: Regardless of who your specific audience is, it’s beneficial to research them before your presentation so you can better understand their needs and what they might expect from you. Understanding your audience’s viewpoints and interests can help you better tailor your presentation to address those interests.
Decide on the level of interaction you want: Use the length of your presentation, its intended purpose and the type of information you plan to share to determine the level of audience interaction you want. Based on your preferred level of audience interaction, you may decide to incorporate more time for questions.
Understand your strengths and weaknesses: Consider how comfortable you are with addressing an audience of a specific size, sharing information with people you may not be familiar with and connecting with an audience. Consider your strengths and weaknesses and determine how you might leverage your strengths and address your weaknesses.
Practice multiple times: Regardless of your skill level, practicing your presentation before the event can help increase your confidence and allow you to identify areas for improvement. Spend some time discussing each slide to synchronize the order of the slides with your speech. You might also want to record yourself.
Prepare for every scenario: Technical difficulties, for example, may arise, and having a detailed plan can help you avoid delaying your presentation. In addition, try to arrive at the presentation room early if you’re delivering your presentation in person so you can survey the venue and ensure that the equipment and technology work.
I hope you find this article helpful.