Engaging your audience during a presentation can be challenging but rewarding when you use a method that works best for you. There are many presentation styles you can use to inform and entertain your audience throughout your entire speech. It's important to evaluate each presentation style and pick the best one for both your audience and your subject matter. In this article, we explain what presentation styles are and the common types of presentation styles you can use in the workplace.
What are presentation styles?
Presentation styles are the techniques a business professional uses when delivering a speech. The best style to choose for a presentation often varies depending on the subject you're discussing, your audience members and the way you prefer to explain the subject matter to your audience. In some cases, you may choose one primary style throughout the entire presentation or you may choose a mixture of styles to better explain your topic.
Common types of presentation styles in the workplace
There's a large variety of styles people may choose to present their subject matter on or give a speech about. Common presentation styles most workplace professionals may deliver include:
Many presenters use this style when they have plenty of time to present on their topic. It's also often used if the presentation doesn't need many numbers, data or statistics to support it. The storyteller presentation style is often anecdotal and uses emotion to grasp the audience's attention and connect with them.
It typically starts with a personal story and connects to the overall topic of the presentation. This is an especially great style to use if you know your audience doesn't react as strongly to charts, data or statistics.
When a speaker has extensive experience in the topic they're discussing, they often use a freeform style to expand upon it. The freeform style involves personal storytelling through short stories about their personal experiences regarding the specific topic. When presenting using this style, speakers rarely use slides or statistics. Instead, they use their stories to emphasize each point they're trying to make. This usually helps the speech look more impromptu, creative and personal, rather than an overly rehearsed speech.
This style involves using many visual elements to support their topic and discussion points. They use charts, images, graphs and any other visual aids to help the audience better picture and understand the subject. It's important for presenters using this style to have a strong mixture of both text and visuals to help round out their overall presentation. This is also a great style to use if you have complex or in-depth talking points that you want your audience to understand more easily.
Presenters who use a director style enjoy structuring their slides, transitions and talking points to have a logical and linear flow. They usually write and follow a clear script, with little to no improvisation occurring during the speech. This is often used by speakers who have a strict timeframe they must stay within and many topics to cover. They typically plan to discuss a certain talking point at a specific time during the speech to ensure they're in control and on topic the entire presentation.
This presentation style uses facts, data, analysis and statistics to explain and expand upon their talking points. Using a data scientist presentation style helps presenters prove a point and persuade their audience. If you're giving a presentation on a subject that needs additional facts and data to support it, this presentation style is a great one to use. It's also beneficial for business professional audiences looking for evidence and proof to what you're discussing, rather than storytelling or anecdotes.
Presenters using the closer style are great at convincing their audience to take action. They often know their audience well and can make their talking points compelling enough to connect with the audience and drive them to make a decision. Most professionals using this presentation style understand the end goal and use their speech to efficiently reach it.
These presentations are often much shorter than most, as the speaker may briefly deliver their key points and end the presentation with an appealing offer to the audience.
Connector presentations involve the speaker engaging and connecting with their audience. This usually entails the speaker regularly asking questions and encouraging audience feedback and engagement. Speakers typically use this method to demonstrate their shared similarities with the audience to better connect with them.
This is a great presentation style to use if you're a salesperson presenting early on in the sales process. It helps you understand the audience's goals and challenges and explains to them how you can solve these problems.
Many speakers use this presentation style when they're teaching their audience about a complex or high-level subject. It involves using familiar phrases, figures of speech, metaphors and visuals to break down a difficult topic into simpler terms the audience will more easily understand.
The decks for this presentation style are usually in a logical order to support ideas and the overall presentation and keep the audience engaged. This style is best used by presenters who are highly knowledgeable about their subject matter.
This presentation style is great for speakers who are highly enthusiastic about their topic. They're often excited to teach their audience, which makes them more excited to engage and connect with them. Methods presenters of this style commonly use are audience interaction and role-playing. They're usually selling the audience on an overall idea rather than the details of a specific subject. This method is often used during motivational speeches.
This style is used when the speaker is trying to get the audience to better understand and agree with their point of view. It's often used during a sales pitch. Some persuasive speeches use emotions to better connect and relate to the audience. This is often the best style to use if your main goal of the presentation is to convince or persuade your audience to do something.
This presentation style involves the speaker interacting with the audience by handing out outlines or notes before beginning the presentation. They may also use whiteboards or other visuals to keep the audience engage in and understanding the speaker's talking points.
Keeping the audience engaged and involved in specific talking points throughout the presentation also helps speakers follow along and feel part of the presentation. Printouts also allow the audience to write in notes or questions to ask the speaker to better understand the topic.
Founded by Lawrence Lessig, a professor of law and leadership at Harvard Law School, this style involves spending only fifteen seconds on each slide during the presentation. Any text that appears on a slide should be the exact words a speaker says. It's supposed to keep the presentation upbeat and at a quick pace to keep the audience focused and engaged.
This is a great style to use if you have many talking points to cover and have limited time to cover them. It's often used by professionals with extensive experience giving presentations.