Have you ever been an audience member who was not wholly involved in a speech or a speaker who discovered their audience dozing off? Both scenarios have the potential to be disheartening and fruitless.
What can you then do to improve the effectiveness of your presentation?
There are various styles in which you can present your content. Out of a plethora of choices, some of the most effective ones include – the Visual, Storytelling, freeform and instructor style of presentation. Each of them has their own set of methods and guidelines, however, they are known to be extremely beneficial and are used by speakers all over the world.
What is a Presentation Style?
Let us first take a brief look at what a presentation style is before moving on to the most effective techniques that you can use.
A Presentation style is a way of giving a presentation orally. In other words, a particular presenting type is an approach you adopt or employ to deliver your content. There are numerous presenting styles or methods you can use when giving public speeches or presentations such as –
- Visual Presentation Style
- Coach Presentation Style
- Instructor Presentation Style
- Lessig Presentation Style
Out of hundreds of methods and ways, there are a few that are more effective and yield better much better results when used appropriately. They include –
|1. Visual||involves using images, graphs, charts and other visuals to complement the speech.|
|2. Storytelling||involves using stories, anecdotes and experiences to connect with the audience.|
|3. Connector||involves frequent interaction via QnA’s and feedbacks to connect with the audience.|
|4. Instructor||involves the use of phrases, metaphors, and pictures to ease a complex subject.|
|5. Takahashi||involves using only text on slides to convey important messages to the audience.|
|6. Lessig||involves the use of a single word, quote or picture that is read by the speaker.|
1. Visual Style
The visual presentation style uses visual components to support the verbal subject. In other words, this approach uses charts, photos, graphs, and other visual aids in addition to speaking to assist the audience in visualizing and comprehending the material.
Advantages of Using a Visual Presentation Style
The relevance and effectiveness of visual and verbal communication are well known, making the visual style of presentation one of the finest to adopt. This is also a remarkably effective strategy as it aids the audience in more easily understanding complicated or in-depth talking points. When used in conjunction, visual and verbal communication aid in better understanding and retention.
How Can You Use a Visual Presentation Style?
If you plan to use this style in your upcoming presentation, then these are some steps you can follow-
1] Be thorough with your content – it is essential to know your content well to prepare visuals related to it.
2] Pick up only the key points and add them on slides – key pointers can be one sentence that conveys the primary information you want to share.
3] Use graphs or charts to convey numbers or statistics – Simply saying numbers can confuse consumers. Therefore, charts and graphs make it easier to comprehend when you speak about them.
4] Include relevant pictures or videos in each slide or alternative ones – Using images and videos can be beneficial because they give your audience something to look at while you speak, which helps them understand and retain what you are saying.
Things To Avoid When Using a Visual Presentation Style
Now that you know how to use a visual style, it is equally imperative to be mindful of a few common mistakes so that you do not make them.
1] Slides only complement your speech – do not put-up paragraphs and read from them. It will only bore the audience and disengage them from it. Instead, only add critical words or phrases on which you can verbally elaborate.
2] Don’t use a fancy unreadable font – a visually presenting slide does help but using a fancy font will only make it not understandable. Thus, it is crucial to stick to standard readable fonts and sizes.
3] Don’t rush through – just because you have a slide that allows people to read and understand some of the content does not mean you can speed up. Allocate sufficient time to each topic so that the audience has time to grasp and understand.
Example of a Speech That Uses a Visual Presentation Style
Wondering what a visual presentation style looks like? Check out this video where Steve Jobs introduces Mac Air to the world. This is an apt video showcasing what a visual presentation should be like!
2. Storytelling Style
The storytelling style of presentation is a method where the speaker uses anecdotes and examples to connect with the audience. This technique is among the greatest and most effective because it enables the audience to relate to another lay person’s experiences, thereby allowing them to understand the practicality and reality of the topic.
Advantages Of Using a Storytelling Style
Using a storytelling style allows you to –
1] Share real-life experiences on the topic, letting people know its practicality. For instance, if your topic is “optimism and positivity in life,” you can offer examples of how being positive has benefited you in various circumstances and examples of how things have gone when you haven’t been hopeful.
2] It allows the audience to provide their input, which helps you understand if the audience is grasping the message you want to convey. This is a subtle yet constructive way of engaging the audience and gaining feedback.
3] It also permits for an informal and naturally flowing talk. Most of the speeches are very structured and formal. Even though this has a construct, you can adapt it to the conversations and knowledge of the audience.
How To Use the Storytelling Presentation Style?
Using the storytelling method also requires backend work. If you wish to adopt this style for your upcoming presentation, here are steps that you can follow –
1] Develop the structure of your speech – first, it is helpful to write down the topic and each subtopic you will cover.
2] Include relevant stories, anecdotes, and experiences – once you have the overall flow of your speech, then you can fill the relevant gaps with your own stories and experiences.
3] Keep some time for an audience input – allocate 1-2 minutes wherein you take the backend and allow the members from the audience to comment or share their experiences that are relevant to the topic.
Things to avoid when using the storytelling method
Every method has specific pointers to be careful of, and storytelling is no exception. Here make sure to –
1] Not make it like a formal delivery – Try not to overly formalize and grandiloquent it since this will take away from the storytelling element.
2] Only share the positives – Sharing real experiences is one benefit of the storytelling technique. Thus, use this approach to communicate the topic’s applicability by outlining its advantages and disadvantages.
Here is a video of Andrea Gibbs, who talks about “The Power of Storytelling” by sharing anecdotes and experiences from her personal life.
The storytelling format is much popular among motivational speakers who use personal experiences to motivate people for the better.
3. Connector Style
The connector style of presenting, as its name suggests, includes the speaker establishing a connection with the audience. This indicates that the speaker actively engages the audience by asking frequent follow-up questions and seeking meaningful feedback. Speakers widely use this strategy to strengthen connections with audiences by demonstrating how they all are similar.
Advantages Of Using a Connector Style of Presentation
The connector style of presentation, much like the storyteller, has a lot of benefits. Among the many, the most important ones include –
1] It allows you to establish a deeper connection with the audience, which helps you understand them and if they can comprehend the message you want to convey.
2] The audience is able to participate actively. Usually, the audience only listens passively, but this format allows them to respond and express their opinions, keeping them actively engaged the entire time.
3] You can receive immediate feedback. In most other presentation methods, this perk is not present. It’s beneficial to get insightful feedback because it enables you to comprehend your audience’s viewpoint and adapt your information for contextual understanding. Furthermore, it enlightens you as to which areas require more effort.
Guidelines While Using the Connector Presentation Style
1] Start with a personal story or connecting activity that grabs the audience – this method helps keep the audience engaged from the very start.
2] Practice nonverbal gestures – keeping eye contact with the audience, smile, and use your hand gestures to convey your presence and complete attention to the audience.
3] Cater to the audience throughout – this form of presentation means that you and the audience are entirely involved. Thus, keeping a check on them is of utmost importance. Keep checking if they are interested and if not, include relevant activities to gain their attention back.
Things to Avoid When Using the Connector Style
When using the connector style, do not take up most of the time telling self-stories or doing self-talking. It is vital to keep your content brief but meaningful while allowing the audience to give their inputs and viewpoints on it.
1] Don’t read from scripts or recite the information. Keep the content naturally flowing like a back-and-forth conversation that can be moulded as per the answers and feedback of the audience.
2] Don’t use visuals to complement your talks. The connector style relies primarily on you and your stories, so don’t use graphics to convey any messages unless they are some pictures to show on a relevant topic.
Many speakers use the connector style because it helps them connect deeply with the audience, when used correctly, it does allow the speaker to develop meaningful relations with the audience and convey relevant and helpful messages.
4. Instructor Style
Many presenters adopt the instructor style of presenting when educating their audience on a challenging or complicated subject. To simplify a complex issue so that the audience may more readily grasp, this method entails the use of well-known phrases, figurative language, metaphors, and pictures.
Advantages of the Instructor Style of Presentation
The instructor presentation style is more formal, like a teacher or professor delivering a lecture. But this format, for reasons of its own, is beneficial because –
1] It allows you to logically explain the subject with the help of relevant visuals, examples, and supplements. For example, if you take up the topic of “Investing in your 20’s”, you can start by explaining what an investment is, the types of investments available, pros and cons of each etc. while supporting it with relevant videos, stats, and graphics.
2] When used correctly, the method can be highly persuasive as it builds decks in a logical order and uses impactful visuals as evidence to support the ideas. Continuing the same example, if you logically go on explaining and supporting, most of the audience will have been convinced to make some sort of investments.
3] Lastly, this method allows you to educate and aware the audience appropriately. You can use your knowledge and skills on the subject matter to convey the message effectively. If you have personally had some experiences, this method allows you to share them to help the audience become aware.
Things to Avoid When Using the Instructor Style of Presentation
When employed improperly, this formal presentation can prevent a speech from succeeding. As a result, it’s crucial to use the procedure correctly by avoiding the following:
1] Skipping the basics on the assumption that the audience will already know – it is essential to start and cover the basics and then make your way up to the complex topics.
2] Don’t only go on speaking from one topic to the other – even though there isn’t a lot of audience participation, including small segments with quizzes and discussions to know if the audience understands the content.
3] Don’t use jargon or complex language to communicate – the topic might be challenging to comprehend. Hence, you should avoid using difficult words or jargon that people are largely unaware of. Instead, using straightforward and basic terms will be beneficial.
The instructor style is much used by a famous speaker Al Gore who advocated and educated people on climate change. This is one video where you can see the effective use of instructor presentation style.
5. Takahashi Style
Named after its creator, Masayoshi Takahashi, Text is the main component of a Takahashi presentation. It is a technique that employs simple visuals, mainly large block fonts. A Takahashi presentation doesn’t include charts, photos, or pictures, just a few essential big font words.
Advantages of using a Takahashi Presentation Style
There are several benefits that make it desirable to adopt this highly distinctive style. Some of them include –
1] The speaker can easily elaborate on a topic because the slides, which have a few essential key phrases, provide the audience with brief information beforehand.
2] The slides include simple and unambiguous phrases concerning the speaker’s topic, preventing any distraction or deviance from the subject.
3] It combines the two essential components of a presentation—clear, concise text and eye-catching visuals—making it ultimately beneficial for everyone’s use.
Guidelines when using a Takahashi Presentation Style
If you want an actual Takahashi presentation, there are some key pointers to keep in mind –
1] Do not include text more than needed – make sure to add a few words or a maximum of 2 sentences. Anything beyond that will make it crowded and messy, and unappealing to the audience.
2] Keep the slides simple – an authentic Takahashi presentation is black and white to avoid distraction. Therefore, it is best to avoid any colours and stick to this standard format.
3] Keep the font as large as possible – once you have put the content on the slide, make sure to increase the font as much as it can fit best on the slide. The reason is that large fonts attract attention and can embed the core messages in the reader’s mind.
If you found this method interesting and want to learn more about it, tap on this video where Luminita Florea tells you all about the Takahashi style of presentation.
6. The Lessig Style
Much similar to the Takahashi Method, The Lessig Presentation Style has been inspired by the work of Stanford law professor, Lawrence Lessig. This style employs the use of a single word, short quote, or photos that are in sync with the speaker’s speech.
Advantages of using The Lessig Presentation Style
1] Each slide in a Lessig presentation concentrates on one concept or topic. This makes it simple for the audience to understand and absorb each idea separately.
2] This presentation method functions like a movie, with each slide presenting succinct information for only 10 to 15 seconds. Because of its conciseness and pace, this style works well in keeping the audience hooked to the content.
3] This method allows for much better retention and memory because of dual coding, i.e., via the visual and verbal mode of communication. More often than not, the word or quote put up is read aloud by the speaker, allowing the audience to hear and see it, thus etching a strong memory for the same.
Guidelines to remember when using the Lessig Presentation Style
This minimalistic presentation has much to be careful of. Some of the important guidelines include –
1] Not more than a word or quote – it is important to keep the slides less with only a key word or quote or picture in rare cases. Adding more than that will take away the essence and quality of the Lessig Style.
2] Use contrast – since the slide contains just one word, quote or picture it is important to highlight and enlarge it so that it doesn’t skip the eye of the audience in any way. Although this kind of presentation allows you to use colour, using a standard black and white is recommended.
The Lessig style of presentation is one of the most effective and captivating approaches, and many presenters use it in their speeches. Tap below to see an example of such a presentation and its effect!
Regardless of the style you choose, there are several styles that you should absolutely avoid using because they could make your presentation go awry. Tap on this video where we tell you exactly what to styles you have to say a BIG NO to.
Presentations are an integral part of the professional life. Whether you are a professional speaker or a corporate employee, or a teacher, every role will at some point require you to present, persuade or educate an audience. It is thus helpful to know about some of the most effective styles so that you can make the most of them in your next presentation!
We hope that this article has helped you learn the most effective presentation styles, ways to adopt it and pitfalls to avoid!