There is no such thing as a presentation style that is foolproof on all occasions. Yes, you can have your favorite style perfected with every aspect timed down to the second. The thing is, just because your style is what you prefer doesn’t mean your audience will feel the same way. You need to branch out and hone a variety of presentation styles. That way, you’re prepared no matter who you’re speaking to. HubSpot writer Meg Prater lists presentation types in her recent article and the best time to use them.
This is generally the style that comes to mind when people think PowerPoint presentation. Each topic you introduce to your audience comes complete with its own slide full of visuals to help illustrate your point. The problem with this style is that it’s fairly stereotypical. Your audience assumes that they can look at your slides and get all the information they need without having to listen. However, Prater points out that this works well when you’re speaking to a large, diverse audience. If you tried to attend to all their interests, the presentation would be too lengthy. So, visual slides filled with information are perfect when you’re facing a big audience and don’t need to fully address each point.
Freeform presentations have only one visual element: you. This style thrives on your stories to paint a visual, relevant picture to listeners. It’s less formal and more personal since your listeners will have nothing to focus on but you and what you’re saying. Prater says this style is perfect for brief product/service pitches given at networking events and impromptu meetings. It’s meant to pique the interest of a prospect and have them come back for more.
Just like the name implies, this style is dependent on audience interaction. It’s generally a question and answer session meant to connect with your audience on a personal level. The consistent interaction gives listeners a chance to address all concerns and give all comments while receiving feedback immediately. This is a fantastic method to use in early sales stages, according to Prater. The open interaction lets you learn about the client and their needs while pitching your product/service’s relevance to them. You’re also having a conversation instead of talking at them; a valuable human element when building business relationships.
These are just three of Prater’s eight styles and their usefulness. What’s your go-to presentation type? And is it really working out for you as well as another style could be?