Giving a successful presentation starts with good preparation. First of
all, you need to think of a topic. Then decide which aspect(s) of your
topic you would like to highlight in order to determine the aim of your
presentation. In addition, you need to consider how much time you have
for the presentation, the available facilities and your audience.
Depending on your aim, the following types of oral presentations can be distinguished:
The Informative Presentation
The aim is not only to transmit
information and share knowledge, but also to provide insight and
understanding. Examples are: classroom lectures, conferences, and
The Instructive Presentation
Sometimes, it is necessary to explain
how something works, for example a new software programme or company
strategy. A point by point explanation is usually effective in the case
of an instructive presentation.
The Argumentative Presentation
The main goal of this type of
presentation is to convince the audience of the speaker’s point
of view on an issue or controversy. Arguments and evidence are given to
support that opinion.
The Persuasive Presentation
This type of presentation is similar to
the previous one except that the speaker not only aims to convince the
audience but also to encourage them to take action. The basic aim is to
influence the audience’s behaviour. Examples are: political
speeches, sermons, and sales talks.
Combination of aims
In practice, you will often encounter a
combination of aims. If, for example, you want to convice your audience
to adopt your opinion about a certain topic, you usually need to
provide (background) information about that topic as well. Most
combinations are possible, but they are never random. There is always a
certain order of importance with one primary goal and other aims that