different types of presentation

7 Different Types of Presentation

The passionate art of presentation – where you stand in front of an audience, take a deep breath, and talk about something you’ve prepared on. It can be on anything and everything under the sun – the global economic crisis, the history of the Renaissance, a story of how you overcame hardships in life, you name it. These are all presentations, yet each of them is a different kind. So, exactly how many kinds of presentations are there?

There are 7 different types of presentations that are most common. They are Educational, Instructional, Motivational, Problem-solution, Progress, Storytelling, and Visual. Each of these has its own unique delivery style and techniques, which are part of its structure. 

If you’re someone who truly wishes to master the art of presentation, it is quite important that you learn in-depth about each and every one of these 7 styles. In this article, we’ll cover all of these in detail so that you’ll know exactly which techniques to apply and go about for each one. Are you ready to be a master of presentations? Let’s begin.

In-depth Look Into The 7 Different Types of Presentation

Without making you wait, let’s jump right into the 7 different types of presentation that we mentioned previously and see how each one is unique in its own way.

1) Educational Presentations

Use Cases: To present new or existing ideas, share ground-breaking research, and discuss innovative concepts.

Tone: Informative, engaging, inspiring.

Educational presentations are perhaps the most common type of presentation. This is where you try to teach your audience about a specific topic and help them to gain a better understanding of it. It can be on science, technology, culture, history, psychology – basically, anything you can think of. 

Often, you’ll see these kinds of presentations being used in academic settings such as conferences, lectures, and seminars. We’re sure you must have sat through quite a few of these presentations during your time at school or university. The idea of these presentations is to share knowledge, provide information, and also inspire the audience to learn something new. 

Key things to keep in mind while delivering educational presentations:

  • The information that you’re providing should be well-researched and accurate. You can’t give an educational presentation based on opinions, you have to ground it in facts and data.
  • The delivery has to be engaging, otherwise, the audience will not learn anything. A boring educational presentation is as good as no presentation, so make sure you’re keeping your audience intrigued by what you have to say.
  • Avoid information overload. It’s possible that you might give too much information at the same time and confuse your audience. Keep the presentation organized and concise, and make sure you put focus on the main points.

Examples of educational presentations:

  1. TED Talks are a fantastic example of educational presentations. You have speakers from all walks of life who come onto the stage and talk about their field, and the audience is all ears.
  1. University lectures where professors take their students through presentations on their field of expertise, depending on the course the students have applied for.
  1. A doctor taking a session on health and well-being and informing their audience about proper nutrition and exercise for a long-lasting life.

2) Instructional Presentations

Use Cases: To train people, provide instructions for a certain task or process, and teach how to use some product or service.

Tone: Detailed, organized, and patient.

Sometimes, you don’t just want to give your audience a bunch of information on some topic. You want to take them through the process of something, step-by-step. This is where instructional presentations come into play. Whether it’s for learning a new language, coding software, or even something as simple as using your new washing machine, instructional presentations are what help.

These presentations are designed in such a way that they help your audience learn how to perform specific tasks or achieve a particular goal. You’ll often see these being used in workshops, training sessions, and even tutorials. The instructor will give detailed, step-by-step instructions on how to do something, and the audience is expected to follow along. 

Key things to keep in mind while delivering instructional presentations:

  • Make sure to explain each step in the process so that the audience knows exactly what to do.
  • Allow your audience to practice what they’ve learned, either during the presentation (with the help of props or demos) or after the presentation.
  • Make use of visual aids as much as possible since this will help your audience to learn better what you’re doing.

Examples of instructional presentations:

  1. A cooking show where the chef is showing you exactly how to sear a perfectly medium-rare steak or bake a moist and fluffy cake. 
  1. A makeup or DIY program (especially on YouTube where you can find tons of these), that takes you through a step-by-step process of achieving the look you want.
  1. A workshop on how to use Microsoft Excel, where the instructor will take you through the different options, functions, and steps on how you can input data and create graphs and charts.

3) Motivational Presentations

Use Cases: To inspire or motivate your audience to take action, overcome adversity, or offer practical tips for achieving goals.

Tone: Informative, uplifting, emotional. 

Presentations are not always about teaching something new. You can even use presentations to inspire and encourage your audience to take action, chase their dreams, and even overcome some of the challenges that they’re facing in life. These kinds of presentations are called motivational presentations.

A lot of corporate events and personal development seminars use this particular type of presentation to get their message across. If used properly, it’s quite effective in getting a call to action across to your audience. 

Key things to keep in mind while delivering motivational presentations:

  • Use the power of emotions, as it will help connect with your audience better.
  • Body language and tone of voice are quite important in striking a chord with your audience, so utilize them effectively.
  • A great idea is to start with an inspiring story or anecdote (from your personal life, which will make it even better) so that your audience gets some sense of what to expect.

Examples of motivational presentations: 

  1. A sports coach delivers a passionate speech to their team before the big game (especially in college football) to get them pumped up.
  1. A TEDx Talk delivered by a famous entrepreneur about how to make it big in the business world. 
  1. Motivational speakers take their audience through some helpful, practical topics (such as Jordan Belfort from Wolf of Wall Street. Watch one of his best motivational presentations here – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vjj9qOxGCgkandpp=ygUbam9yZGFuIGJlbGZvcnQgcHJlc2VudGF0aW9u). 

4) Problem-Solution Presentations

Use Cases: To address a specific issue and then come up with good solutions.

Tone: Analytical, solution-oriented, persuasive.

It often happens that you might find yourself in a situation where there’s some problem you need to address, and it’s your job to come up with solutions. Here’s where you can use a problem-solution presentation. Doesn’t matter if you’re a team leader wanting to fix a project issue or even a scientist giving an innovative solution to an age-old conundrum – these presentations are your go-to.

You can find these kinds of presentations usually used in business meetings, science conferences, and sometimes also in political debates (such as the election face-off between the presidential candidates), where they identify problems and argue for solutions.

Key things to keep in mind while delivering problem-solution presentations:

  • It’s super important that you clearly define the problem at hand. A well-defined problem is half the solution. 
  • When you propose solutions, make sure they’re not only practical but also feasible. It should be relevant to the problem at hand.
  • Persuasion is your best friend here because you need to let your audience know that your solution is the best one.

Examples of problem-solution presentations:

  1. A company board meeting where the CEO presents a strategic plan to overcome a financial crisis or mentions how to address the problems with a merger.
  1. A climate scientist presenting at a conference talking about some new technology that can address the climate crisis. 
  1. A political debate where the candidate outlines their policy to address a pressing social issue (think Biden vs. Trump in the last election).

5) Progress Presentations

Use Cases: To provide updates on a project, outline the progress made so far, and discuss future plans.

Tone: Informative, precise, forward-looking.

When you are knee-deep in a project, it’s important that you keep all your stakeholders in the loop. Enter progress presentations! These are handy little things that serve as a status check on what’s happened so far, highlight achievements, and even go into the roadblocks faced and the way ahead.

Most business managers and project teams use these progress presentations to keep everyone updated on what’s been happening. It helps a lot in managing expectations and making sure everyone’s on the same page.

Key things to keep in mind while delivering progress presentations:

  • Don’t beat around the bush, be super clear. Your audience needs to know exactly where you (or the project) stand.
  • Try to talk about both successes and failures. This makes it more realistic, and your audience is more likely to accept what you’re saying.
  • Always end with the next steps. Don’t stop with whatever’s happened. Make sure you show your audience the next step forward.

Examples of progress presentations:

  1. Research students and doctoral students present their thesis progress to their advisors.
  1. Project managers, especially in IT companies, presenting progress reports to their clients.
  1. Scientists talking about their research updates at conferences.

6) Story-telling Presentations

Use Cases: To share personal experiences, narrate historical events, or even tell a story that conveys a particular message.

Tone: Engaging, emotional, captivating.

Here’s a presentation that’s neither strictly educational, instructional, nor motivational, yet all of these at the same time. Story-telling presentations are narratives. It’s how you use the power of a pretty great story to engage, entertain and even convey some message you have to your audience.

There’s really no particular place where these presentations are seen more. From classrooms to corporate seminars, and even in casual social gatherings, you’ll see story-telling presentations connecting with people.

Key things to keep in mind while delivering story-telling presentations:

  • Choose a compelling story. Your story should not be boring and monotonous, it needs to be engaging and relevant.
  • Emotions are super important. You can’t have a good story if it does not make your audience feel something.
  • Use visuals and sounds to enhance your story and make it more captivating.

Examples of story-telling presentations:

  1. Keynote speakers are at graduation ceremonies talking about their personal journeys and weaving stories for their audience.
  1. History teachers talk about some great historical battles that happened to engage their students.
  1. TEDx speakers narrate their life stories and challenges they had to overcome.

7) Visual Presentations

Use Cases: To present complex data, illustrate trends, or when need your visuals to be the primary source of information.

Tone: Informative, engaging, visual.

In a visual presentation, images are king. Here, your words take a backseat to make way for diagrams, charts, graphs, infographics, and other visual elements. The goal is simple – show your data and ideas in the most understandable and engaging way to your audience.

When it comes to scientific research, market analysis, or even something like architectural design, you need to use visual presentations to break it down and make it easy to understand for your audience. Even for fields like graphic design and photography, these presentations ensure that your work speaks for itself.

Key things to keep in mind while delivering visual presentations:

  • Visuals should be clear and easy to understand. The goal is to increase comprehension, not confuse your audience even more.
  • While visuals are a major part, don’t neglect your verbal communication aspect. Your explanations and commentary of what’s on the screen can make a lot of difference.
  • Before making any visual presentations, learn a little about design principles. It’s as important for your presentation to be aesthetically pleasing as it is to be informative.

Examples of visual presentations:

  1. A data analyst presenting market trends and forecasts using graphs and charts to present before a senior team.
  1. An architect showcasing to their clients a building design using 3D models and digital renderings.
  1. A graphic designer presenting their portfolio in a job interview in order to impress the recruiters.
different types of presentation

Final Thoughts

As you can see, each of these 7 presentation styles is unique in its own way and have its own set of situations where they are effective. We hope this article has helped you get a deeper understanding of how different presentation styles work and how to use them to make your message understood. Make sure you practice a lot for whichever presentation style you’re opting for, and we’re sure you’ll wow your audience. All the best!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Even after reading through this article, you might still have a few questions surrounding the types of presentations. Let us answer some of the most common ones. 

Q.1. What is the most common type of presentation?

A. Educational or Informative presentations are usually the most common types of presentations that you’ll find. This is because from primary school onwards, you’re exposed to these presentations almost every single day from your teachers!

Q.2. Which is the hardest type of presentation?

A. The hardest presentation is subjective because it depends on your skills as a presenter and also on the topic that you’re speaking about. Generally speaking, motivational presentations are considered pretty hard because you have to connect deeply with your audience, which requires a lot of experience to do well.

Q.3. How to give a good presentation?

A. If you want to learn how to give a great presentation, there’s a fantastic guide from Harvard Business Review that can help you out. Check it out here – https://hbr.org/2013/06/how-to-give-a-killer-presentation

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