by Randall P. Whatley
The first step in preparing a presentation is to define the purpose of your presentation.
The following is an overview of several common types of presentations and their purpose. Each presentation type requires a specific organization technique to assure they are understood and remembered by the audience. The suggested organizational structure is also provided.
Keep an informative presentation brief and to the point. Stick to the facts and avoid complicated information. Choose one of the following organizational structures for an informative presentation:
Simply list items in their order of importance Works best with people who are accustomed to breaking down complex data into components inorder to digest the material
Your purpose in an instructional presentation is to give specificdirections or orders. Your presentation will probably be a bit longer,because it has to cover your topic thoroughly. In an instructional presentation, your listeners should come away with new knowledge or anew skill.
Your purpose in an arousing presentation is to make people think about a certain problem or situation. You want to arouse the audience's emotions and intellect so that they will be receptive to your point of view. Use vivid language in an arousing presentation -- project sincerity and enthusiasm.
Your purpose in a persuasive presentation is to convince your listeners to accept your proposal. A convincing, persuasive presentation offers a solution to a controversy, dispute, or problem. To succeed with a persuasive presentation, you must present sufficient logic, evidence, and emotion to sway the audience to your viewpoint.
Your purpose in a decision-making presentation is to move your audience to take your suggested action. A decision-making presentation presents ideas, suggestions, and arguments strongly enough to persuade an audience to carry out your requests. In a decision-making presentation, you must tell the audience what to do and how to do it.You should also let them know what will happen if the don't do what you ask.
Randall P. Whatley is president of Cypress Media Group, an advertising, public relations, and training firm. Cypress Media Group provides training primarily related to business and technical writing, presentation skills, and media relations. He can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.