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 business presentations.

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 offer support.