Presentation is the practice of showing and explaining the content of a topic to an audience or learner. Presentations come in nearly as many forms as there are life situations. In the business world, there are sales presentations, informational and motivational presentations, first encounters, interviews, briefings, status reports, image-building, and of course, the inevitable training sessions.
Although individuals most often think of presentations in a business meeting context, there are countless occasions when that is not the case. For example, a Non Profit Organization presents the need for a capital fund-raising campaign to benefit the victims of a recent tragedy; a school district superintendent presents a program to parents about the introduction of foreign-language instruction in the elementary schools;an artist demonstrates decorative painting techniques to a group of interior designers; a horticulturist shows garden club members or homeowners how they might use native plants in the suburban landscape; a police officer addresses a neighborhood association about initiating a safety program.
Presentations can also be categorized as vocational and avocational. In addition, they are expository or persuasive. And they can be impromptu, extemporaneous, written, or memorized. When looking at presentations in the broadest terms, it’s more important to focus on their purpose. There are three basic purposes for giving oral presentations:
- To inform
- To persuade
- To build good will
- The process of offering for consideration or display
- A social introduction, as of a person at court
- A demonstration, lecture, or welcoming speech
- A manner or style of speaking, instructing, or putting oneself forward
- The manner of presenting, esp the organization of visual details to create an overall impression
- The formal introduction of a person, as into society or at court; debut
There are three types of presentations:- 1.Informative 2.Analyzing 3.Persuading
There are far more types of audiences than there are types of presentations because audiences are made up of people and people come in innumerable flavors. Individuals could be invited to speak to groups all across the country. What the individual says and how they may say it depends on the makeup of those groups. They may ask you the individual to address a room full of factory operations managers who have no choice but to attend their talk, you they may go before a congressional committee looking into various environmental issues. When an individual stands up to deliver a presentation before an audience, its essential that the audience know who the presenter is, why they are there, what specifically they expect to get from your presentation, and how they will react to your message. You wont always be able to determine these factors, but you should try to gather as much background information as possible before your presentation. There will be times, especially with presentations that are open to the public, when you will only be able to guess.
Audiences can be classified into four basic categories:
- Socially motivated
A study done by Wharton School Of Business showed that the use of visuals reduced meeting times by 28 percent. Another study found that audiences believe presenters who use visuals are more professional and credible than presenters who merely speak. And still other research indicates that meetings and presentations reinforced with visuals help participants reach decisions and consensus in less time.
A presentation program, such as Microsoft PowerPoint, Apple Keynote, OpenOffice.org Impress or Prezi, is often used to generate the presentation content. Modern internet based presentation software, such as the presentation application in Google Docs and SlideRocket also allow presentations to be developed collaboratively by geographically disparate collaborators.