Presentation Style: One Size Doesn't Fit All

BY Jessica Helinski
Featured image for “Presentation Style: One Size Doesn't Fit All”

People are always looking for advice on how to give the perfect presentation. They worry about whether or not to use visual aids, how many slides (if any!) to include, or if storytelling is more effective than instructional style. The truth is that there likely isn’t one “perfect” way to give a presentation. You should adjust your  style based on different factors, which can vary by audience or subject.

Meg Prater, in an article for Hubspot, outlines six common presentation styles and explains each style and when it’s most effective. She also gives a real-​life speaker example for each, which gives you the chance to check out each style in action. Below are two of the styles highlighted:

Connector Style

With this approach, you work to create an immediate connection by revealing similarities between yourself and your audience. This often includes free-​form Q&A sessions, and speakers encourage audience engagement and feedback. Prater suggests this style for presentations done very early in the sales process to learn more about prospects. “This type of speaking sets your listener at ease, elicits feedback on how you’re doing in real time, and is more of a dialogue than a one-​sided presentation,” she explains.

Instructor Style

Speakers using this style typically deliver complex messages and lots of content. Figures of speech and metaphors are often used. This style is best for speakers who aren’t comfortable with presenting in general. Or, for those who aren’t very familiar with all of the material (like a brand-​new product update). Prater suggests that slide decks “be built in logical order to aid your presentation, and you should use high-​impact visuals to support your ideas and keep the audience engaged.”

Hopefully, Prater’s article will show you that there really isn’t one right way to give a presentation. By varying style by subject matter and audience, you can be confident you’re delivering your message effectively.