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Business Jargons

A Business Encyclopedia


Definition : A presentation is a form of communication in which the speaker conveys information to the audience. In an organization presentations are used in various scenarios like talking to a group, addressing a meeting, demonstrating or introducing a new product, or briefing a team. It involves presenting a particular subject or issue or new ideas/thoughts to a group of people.

It is considered as the most effective form of communication because of two main reasons:

  • Use of non-verbal cues.
  • Facilitates instant feedback.


Business Presentations are a tool to influence people toward an intended thought or action.

Parts of Presentation


  • Introduction : It is meant to make the listeners ready to receive the message and draw their interest. For that, the speaker can narrate some story or a humorous piece of joke, an interesting fact, a question, stating a problem, and so forth. They can also use some surprising statistics.
  • Body : It is the essence of the presentation. It requires the sequencing of facts in a logical order. This is the part where the speaker explains the topic and relevant information. It has to be critically arranged, as the audience must be able to grasp what the speaker presents.
  • Conclusion : It needs to be short and precise. It should sum up or outline the key points that you have presented. It could also contain what the audience should have gained out of the presentation.

Purpose of Presentation

  • To inform : Organizations can use presentations to inform the audience about new schemes, products or proposals. The aim is to inform the new entrant about the policies and procedures of the organization.
  • To persuade : Presentations are also given to persuade the audience to take the intended action.
  • To build goodwill : They can also help in building a good reputation

Factors Affecting Presentation


Audience Analysis

Communication environment, personal appearance, use of visuals, opening and closing presentation, organization of presentation, language and words, voice quality, body language, answering questions, a word from business jargons.

Presentation is a mode of conveying information to a selected group of people live. An ideal presentation is one that identifies and matches the needs, interests and understanding level of the audience. It also represents the facts, and figures in the form of tables, charts, and graphs and uses multiple colours.

Related terms:

  • Verbal Communication
  • Visual Communication
  • Non-Verbal Communication
  • Communication
  • 7 C’s of Communication

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October 2, 2022 at 11:33 pm

Thank you so much for providing us with brief info related to the presentation.

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Business Presentation: Definition, Steps to Create & Tips to Remember!

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At some point in your life, you must have given a presentation or at least done some sort of public speaking. If you haven’t, then at some point you will have to, especially if you’re an entrepreneur.

When it comes to giving presentations, it doesn’t matter that you are a seasoned speaker or an amateur as long as you are able to convey your message or achieve your goal in the most engaging way.

And truth be told, even though each presentation has its own subtle differences, there are a few universal guidelines or steps that make it effective.

But the fact of the matter is that giving presentations, especially business presentations, is not exactly a walk in the park and not everyone can easily pull it off.

But don’t worry, that’s why we have got your back! In this blog, we will provide you with the steps involved in creating a killer business presentation and making it stand out!

Before we get to the steps involved, let’s understand what a business presentation is and why it is important to create one!

Ready? Let’s go!

What is a Business Presentation? (Definition)

A presentation is simply an introduction, demonstration, or speech given by an individual or group of individuals to an audience in order to inform, inspire, convince, or motivate them.

So a business presentation can be defined as a formal introduction or information about new business products, ideas, or practices. It is usually carried out using audio-visual materials, such as projectors, documents, presentation software, whiteboards, charts, and more.

A man giving a speech at a business presentation

Business presentations are often done with the aim to educate or train the audience, sell a product or an idea to them or simply convey or share your vision with them.

Now that we have explained what business presentations are, let’s help you understand the importance of creating one!

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Importance of Creating a Business Presentation

More often than not, a business presentation is the first document or introduction about your organization or your organization’s products and services that your clients get to see.

So when somebody sits through such a presentation, they expect to get gain some information from it without dozing off halfway through it. That’s why it is important that you have a well-crafted, visually appealing, and engaging business presentation .

A good business presentation offers many benefits, such as:

1. Helps Create Connections

A business presentation focuses on communication, interaction, and bonding between you and your audience. It allows you to build a good impression and brand image. This not only helps you convey messages and convince your audience but also establishes relationships and creates better connections.

2. Provides Information

A good presentation is highly informative and eye-opening. It’s a great opportunity to give out nuggets of details, facts, trivia, and statistics-backed data. It provides the listener with information in the most engaging way, which means that they walk out a better-informed and educated person.

Read more:  6 Awesome Video Presentation Software & Tips to Follow!

3. Offers Inspiration

The impact a good business presentation can have on an individual is far more than you can imagine. Since most business presentations involve the use of audio-visual materials, stories or anecdotes, handouts/pamphlets, or demonstrations, it tends to stick in the minds of the listeners. It keeps them engaged, offers inspiration, and helps influence their decisions.

A business conference being hosted by a lady

Clearly, business presentations are an effective way to get across your message and build your brand. They are definitely rewarding and crucial for your business.

And since we don’t want to keep you waiting, let’s jump straight into the nitty-gritty of creating a business presentation!

How to Create a Business Presentation in 9 Simple Steps!

Step 1. create a plan.

The first step in creating an excellent business presentation is to make a plan about what you want to do and how exactly you want to do it. For this, it is always good to set a goal that you seek to achieve through your presentation and then create a roadmap of how you want to achieve it.

In a business presentation plan, you create an outline of your presentation and decide what message you want to convey and the main points and arguments you want to include.

Divide your presentation into an introduction, the main section, and a conclusion, and further incorporate sub-points within each section. This will allow you to easily split your content into a consumable format.

With a plan ready in hand, your presentation will sail through smoothly!

Step 2. Spend Some Time on Your Presentation Slides

Is your presentation even a presentation without visual slides projected in the background? It is a must-have in every business presentation and that’s why you need to invest a little time in how they look.

Choose a professional-looking slide deck that matches the tone of your presentation. Go for colors that suit your brand’s or product’s colors, and avoid too many flashy colors. Also, try to pick a font and font size that aligns with your brand or organization.

Make sure that you select your presentation slide decks based on the content that you are dealing with, such as using professional or neutral slide decks for financial data or research topics and colorful slide decks for informal topics.

Step 3. Establish Your Credibility with a Story

Whenever you start a presentation, it is extremely crucial that you establish your credibility right up front, because people are more likely to listen to you if they are convinced about your authenticity.

No, this doesn’t mean that your drone on about your career highlights, instead you lead your business presentation with a compelling story. This could be anything about the background of your topic, an experience, a relatable story, an anecdote, or any other references that support your subject and make it more interesting.

Here is where you can also add a little humor to get a laugh out of them and put them at ease by setting a positive tone.

Doing so will help you engage with the audience, build a personal connection, and serve as a memorable foundation for your presentation.

Step 4. Support Your Claims

You may have established your credibility with a story or an anecdote, but if you really want to create an authentic image, then you need to back up all your claims during your presentation.

So do not hesitate to use supporting materials liberally. This means that you provide statistics and numbers, reference research, or offer proof supporting your claims. This will cement your credibility and authenticity.

Read more:  15 Best Presentation Blogs and Websites to Follow!

Step 5. Use Visual Elements Liberally

Business presentations can get boring if your slides just have texts, numbers, and tables. Not just that it makes it difficult for your audience to simultaneously read and listen to your presentation. That’s why you need to use visual elements like images, charts, graphics, GIFs, and more.

Adding powerful quotes, full-screen images, and videos will stick in the mind of your audience and will help maintain their attention throughout. Not to mention, it simply makes your presentation visually appealing!

Step 6. Add Animations to Your Presentation Slides

Obviously your format and content matter more, and if they are the cake, then adding a little animation or cinematic style to your slides is like the cherry on top. It simply makes your presentation a little more appealing!

Employees brainstorming on a business presentation

Include fun animation, add smooth transitions, move around your slides horizontally or vertically, and let your content appear on the screen creatively. This will allow you to tell your story effortlessly.

Just try not to go overboard with the animation and make sure to strike a balance while maintaining consistency throughout.

Step 7. Be Prepared for Questions

No presentation is ever complete with a round of question-and-answer sessions towards the end, so it’s always best to be prepared for any difficult question that might be asked.

Your job is to anticipate all the possible questions or concerns that your audience might have and consider all the possible objections and arguments that might arise during a discussion, and prepare answers for them.

You can even get a colleague to listen to your presentation and have a practice session for this.

Step 8. Prepare Questions

It’s crucial to remember that sometimes your audience might not have any questions for you. This can obviously create an awkward moment for you when you open the floor to questions.

For that reason, it is important that you prepare your own set of questions in advance. Here, you can incorporate audience interaction by asking questions to your audience, quizzing them, asking them to vote, making them participate in simple activities, and more.

Doing this will help you avoid awkward pauses and silences while also creating an open environment of active participation and discussion.

Step 9. Wrap Up with a Closing Statement

Once all the questions have been asked and when all the discussions come to an end, you need to include a short closing statement for your presentation. Be sure to prepare a summarized statement that includes your main message, key points, and final call to action.

Follow these steps and you will have prepared a fantastic business presentation for your audience! But the fact is that no matter how good you are at public speaking, there is always room for improvement.

What you need are some simple tips to make your killer presentation even better . And for that, we have compiled for you a list that you can follow!

Scroll down to find out!

Tips for Creating An Awesome Business Presentation

Here are some simple tips that you must follow during your business presentation:

  • Keep your presentation crisp and try not to include too many slides for your presentation.
  • Avoid using too many colors and fonts. Instead, stick to a color palette and font that matches your attire and your brand image.
  • Do not hesitate to seek the help of presentation tools and software
  • Focus on your narration and story-telling style.
  • Ask rhetorical questions to reinforce your key points and primary message.
  • Prepare some business-appropriate jokes, one-liners, and puns to make your presentation fun and engaging.
  • Dress in formal business attire and groom yourself to look appealing and presentable.
  • Maintain a defining tone and style for your presentation – be it formal, casual, or humorous – and try to be consistent with it throughout.
  • Be enthusiastic, and expressive, focus on your body language, and most importantly, maintain eye contact throughout.

With that, we can guarantee that you will put on one heck of a presentation and give your audience a memorable and enriching experience!

Our team at  bit.ai  has created a few awesome business templates to make your business processes more efficient. Make sure to check them out before you go, y our team might need them!

  • SWOT Analysis Template
  • Business Proposal Template
  • Business Plan Template
  • Competitor Research Template
  • Project Proposal Template
  • Company Fact Sheet
  • Executive Summary Template
  • Operational Plan Template
  • Pitch Deck Template

Presentations are all about communication. So it doesn’t matter if it is your first presentation or your hundredth one, if you’re not able to communicate information in an engaging way, then you end up wasting your time and your listeners’ time.

Whether you are trying to sell something to an audience or simply sharing your vision with them, create a business presentation that will not only educate your listeners but also squeeze a laugh out of them.

We only hope that the steps and tips we have provided you will help you along the way in creating a killer business presentation for your audience!

Adios and Happy presenting!

Further reads: 

9 Most Successful Business Models You Should Know About! (With Examples)

10 Business Drivers to Grow Your Business!

Business Markets: Definition, 5 Types (with Examples) & Characteristics!

13 Types of Plans Your Business Must Have!

9 Best Presentation Ideas and Tips You Must Explore!

Brand Voice: What is it & How to Define it for your Business!

Company Profile: What is it & How to Create it?

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Sponsorship Proposal: What is it & How to Create it?

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Chapter 18: Business Presentations

Venecia Williams and Olds College

Learning Objectives

  • Understand how to use effective interpersonal communication skills in professional presentations
  • Learn how to organize a presentation
  • Examine how to use visual aids effectively
  • Discuss the effective integration of communication and presentation techniques in the delivery of professional presentations

Along with good writing skills, the ability to communicate verbally is vital to many employers today. It is an integral part of the modern business world. People in the workplace spend the majority of their time communicating. Verbal communication in the workplace takes many forms such as staff meetings, discussions, speeches, presentations, informal conversations, and telephone and video conferences. Communicating verbally is more personal and flexible than writing. It allows workers to exchange ideas, information, and feedback more quickly. Verbal communication tends to occur in person, making it easier to negotiate, express emotions, outline expectations, and build trust, all of which are important in today’s workplace. Communication can also occur between people who are not together in person. In these situations, unique skills are necessary to achieve success. Simple conversation skills are also valued in the workplace, but this does not mean using casual or informal language. Rather, what is prized by many employers is the ability to communicate important information professionally but in a meaningful and understandable way. This can be important when making spontaneous presentations as well as more elaborate formal group presentations, which are a part of many work roles today.

What Makes a Successful Speaker?

According to longtime Toastmasters member Bob Kienzle, there are a few key elements that tend to make a successful speaker:

  • Voice : Can the person be easily understood?
  • Body Language : Does their body support what they’re saying? Are they confident?
  • Coherent Structure: Does what they’re presenting make sense? Is it logical?
  • Enthusiasm : Do they care about what they’re presenting?
  • Expertise: Do they know what they’re talking about? Are they credible?
  • Practice : If they haven’t practised or sufficiently prepared, it will likely show up in one or more of the above.

A successful speaker can be inspired by other speeches or speakers but may fall flat if they try to copy someone else. Authenticity and passion can resonate so much with an audience that it can outweigh elements otherwise considered pitfalls. The techniques, tools, and best practices are a guideline, and it’s important to note there is no such thing as “perfection” in public speaking. “Failure” can happen in myriad ways, but it’s more helpful to see them as learning opportunities, or opportunities to make a stronger connection to your audience. The biggest failure, according to Kienzle, is to pass up opportunities to practise your skills in presenting or public speaking.

Preparing a Presentation

Develop your message while keeping in mind the format, audience, style , and tone . First, you’ll need to think about the format of your presentation. This is a choice between presentation types. In your professional life, you’ll encounter the verbal communication channels in Figure 18.1. The purpose column labels each channel with a purpose (I=Inform, P=Persuade, or E=Entertain) depending on that channel’s most likely purpose.

Figure 18.1 | Presentation Communication Channels

There are some other considerations to make when you are selecting a format. For example, the number of speakers may influence the format you choose. Panels and Presentations may have more than one speaker. In Meetings and Teleconferences, multiple people will converse. In a Workshop setting, one person will usually lead the event, but there is often a high-level of collaboration between participants. The location of participants will also influence your decision. For example, if participants cannot all be in the same room, you might choose a teleconference or webinar. If asynchronous delivery is important, you might record a podcast. When choosing a technology-reliant channel, such as a teleconference or webinar, be sure to test your equipment and make sure each participant has access to any materials they need before you begin.

Once you have chosen a format, make sure your message is right for your audience. You’ll need to think about issues such as the following:

  • What expectations will the audience have?
  • What is the context of your communication?
  • What does the audience already know about the topic?
  • How is the audience likely to react to you and your message?

Next, you’ll consider the style of your presentation. Analyze your specific presentation styles. Perhaps you prefer to present formally, limiting your interaction with the audience, or perhaps you prefer a more conversational, informal style, where discussion is a key element. You may prefer to cover serious subjects, or perhaps you enjoy delivering humorous speeches. Style is all about your personality!

Finally, you’ll select a tone for your presentation. Your voice, body language, level of self-confidence, dress, and use of space all contribute to the mood that your message takes on. Consider how you want your audience to feel when they leave your presentation and approach it with that mood in mind.

Presentation Purpose

Your presentation will have a general and specific purpose. Your general purpose may be to inform, persuade, or entertain. It’s likely that any speech you develop will have a combination of these goals. Most presentations have a little bit of entertainment value, even if they are primarily attempting to inform or persuade. For example, the speaker might begin with a joke or dramatic opening, even though their speech is primarily informational. Your specific purpose addresses what you are going to inform, persuade, or entertain your audience with the main topic of your speech.

Incorporating Backchannels

Technology has given speakers new ways to engage with an audience in real-time, and these can be particularly useful when it isn’t practical for the audience to share their thoughts verbally—for example, when the audience is very large, or when they are not all in the same location. These secondary or additional means of interacting with your audience are called backchannels, and you might decide to incorporate one into your presentation, depending on your aims. They can be helpful for engaging more introverted members of the audience who may not be comfortable speaking out verbally in a large group. Using publicly accessible social networks, such as a Facebook Page or Twitter feed, can also help to spread your message to a wider audience, as audience members share posts related to your speech with their networks. Because of this, backchannels are often incorporated into conferences; they are helpful in marketing the conference and its speakers both during and after the event.

Developing the Content

As with any type of messaging, it helps if you create an outline of your speech or presentation before you create it fully. This ensures that each element is in the right place and gives you a place to start to avoid the dreaded blank page. Figure 18.2 is an outline template that you can adapt for your purpose. Replace the placeholders in the Content column with your ideas or points.

Figure `18.2 | Presentation Outline


The beginning of your speech needs an attention-grabber to get your audience interested right away. Choose your attention-grabbing device based on what works best for your topic. Your entire introduction should only be around 10 to 15 percent of your total speech, so be sure to keep this section short. Here are some devices that you could try:

After the attention-getter comes the rest of your introduction. It needs to do the following:

  • Capture the audience’s interest
  • State the purpose of your speech
  • Establish credibility
  • Give the audience a reason to listen
  • Signpost the main ideas

Once you have identified an attention-getting, it is time to develop the body of your presentation or speech. In your body, you will focus on the specific points you would like to communicate to your audience.

Rhetoric and Argument:  Your audience will think to themselves, Why should I listen to this speech? What’s in it for me? One of the best things you can do as a speaker is to answer these questions early in your body, if you haven’t already done so in your introduction. This will serve to gain their support early and will fill in the blanks of who, what, when, where, why, and how in their minds.

Organization: An organized body helps your audience to follow your speech and recall your points later. When developing the body of your speech, recall the specific purpose you decided on, then choose main points to support it. Just two or three main points are usually sufficient, depending on the length of your speech. Anticipate one main point per two to three minutes of speaking.

Concluding on a High Note

You’ll need to keep your energy up until the very end of your speech. In your conclusion, your job is to let the audience know you are finished, help them remember what you’ve told them, and leave them with a final thought or call-to-action, depending on the general purpose of your message.

Presentation Aids

Presentations can be enhanced by the effective use of visual aids. These include handouts, overhead transparencies, drawings on the whiteboard, PowerPoint slides, and many other types of props. Once you have chosen a topic, consider how you are going to show your audience what you are talking about. Visuals can provide a reference, illustration, or image to help the audience to understand and remember your point.

Visual aids accomplish several goals:

  • Make your speech more interesting
  • Enhance your credibility as a speaker
  • Guide transitions, helping the audience stay on track
  • Communicate complex information in a short time
  • Reinforce your message
  • Encourage retention

Methods and Materials

There are many different presentation aids available. Before you decide on a presentation aid, think carefully about how you plan on using it and how it will enhance your presentation.

Using Visual Aids

Visual aids can be a powerful tool when used effectively but can run the risk of dominating your presentation. Consider your audience and how the portrayal of images, text, graphic, animated sequences, or sound files will contribute or detract from your presentation. Here are some tips to keep in mind as you prepare yours.

Designing Slide Decks

When you design your slide decks, you might be overwhelmed by the possibilities, and you might be tempted to use all the bells, whistles, and sounds, not to mention the flying, and animated graphics. If used wisely, a simple transition can be effective, but if used indiscriminately, it can annoy the audience to the point where they cringe in anticipation of the sound effect at the start of each slide.

Stick to one main idea per slide. The presentation is for the audience’s benefit, not yours. Pictures and images can be understood more quickly and easily than text, so you can use this to your advantage as you present.

If you develop a slide deck for your presentation, test these out in the location beforehand, not just on your own computer screen, as different computers and software versions can make your slides look different than you expected. Allow time for revision based on what you learn.

Your visual aids should meet the following criteria:

  • Big: legible for everyone, even the back row
  • Clear: easy for audience to understand
  • Simple: simplify concepts rather than complicating them
  • Consistent: use the same visual style throughout

presentation meaning in business communication

In Figure 18.3 the slide deck on the left has a colour combination which makes the information difficult to understand. The list is not parallel and the slide contains a grammatical error. The slide deck on the right is an improved and more professional version.

Another consideration that you’ll need to make when designing your slide decks is font. As previously mentioned, think about the people at the back of the room when choosing the size of your text, to make sure it can be read by everyone. A common mistake that presenters make is to use decorative fonts or to incorporate many different fonts in their slides. This not only creates a mixed message for the audience but also makes your message difficult to read. Choose legible, common fonts that do not have thin elements that may be difficult to see.

When considering your choice of colours to use, legibility must be your priority. Contrast can help the audience read your key terms more easily. Make sure the background colour and the images you plan to use complement each other. Repeat colours, from your graphics to your text, to help unify each slide. To reduce visual noise, try not to use more than two or three colours. Blue-green colour blindness, and red-green colour blindness are fairly common, so avoid using these colour combinations if it is important for the audience to differentiate between them. If you are using a pie chart, for example, avoid putting a blue segment next to a green one. Use labelling so that even if someone is colour blind, they will be able to tell the relative sizes of the pie segments and what they signify.

Colour is also a matter of culture. Some colours may be perceived as formal or informal, or masculine or feminine. Certain colours have understood meanings; for example, red is usually associated with danger, while green signals “go.” Make sure the colours you use align with your message. If you are discussing climate change or the natural world, for example, you’d be more likely to use blues and greens rather than metallic colours to avoid confusing the audience.

Once you have prepared your visual aid, do not forget to revise. There is nothing more uncomfortable than seeing a typo or grammatical error on your screen in the middle of your presentation. These errors can create a bad impression and affect your credibility with the audience. You want your audience to focus on your message so be sure to revise to maintain the audience’s attention and keep your credibility.

Preparing to Present

You are almost ready to deliver your presentation. What are some final elements you can focus on to ensure a smooth delivery?

To deliver your presentation to the best of your ability, and to reduce your nerves once you take the stage, you need to practise by rehearsing. As you do, try to identify the weaknesses in your delivery to improve on them. For example, do you often misspeak the same words (e.g., pacific for specific; ax for ask) or do your hands or feet fidget? Use your practice time to focus on correcting these issues. These sessions should help you get comfortable and help you remember what you want to say without having to constantly refer to notes. Try practising in front of a mirror, or even recording yourself speaking to a camera and playing it back. It’s also helpful to get feedback from a supportive audience at this stage. Perhaps a few family members or friends could watch you give your presentation and provide some feedback.

Dress for Success

While there are no definitive guidelines for how you should dress for your presentation, your appearance is an important part of your audience’s first impression. If you want them to take you seriously, you’ll need to look the part. While you don’t have to wear a suit each time you present, there are some scenarios where this would be expected; for example, if you are presenting to a corporate audience who wear suits to work, you should do the same. You should dress one step above your audience. If your audience is going to be dressed casually in shorts and jeans, then wear nice casual clothing such as a pair of pressed slacks and a collared shirt or blouse. If your audience is going to be wearing business casual attire, then you should wear a dress or a suit. The general rule is to avoid any distractions in your appearance that can distract your audience’s attention from your message.

Set Up Your Environment

Depending on the circumstances of your speech or presentation, you may have some choices to make about the environment. Perhaps you have a choice of meeting rooms that you can use, or, perhaps you have only one option. If you have some flexibility, it is helpful to think about what sort of environment would best help you get your message across. For example, if you are running a workshop, you might want to assemble participants in a circle to encourage collaboration and discussion. If you are holding a webinar, you’ll need a quiet location with a strong Internet connection and a computer system. It is imperative that you think about what facilities you need well before the day of your presentation arrives. Arriving to find that the equipment you expected isn’t available is not a nice surprise for even the most experienced speaker!

If you have access to the location beforehand, you may need to move tables or chairs around to get things just the way you want them. You might choose to have a podium brought in, if you are aiming for a formal feel, for example, or you may need to position your flip chart. Double-check that you have all the equipment you need, from whiteboard markers to speakers. It is far better if you can get comfortable with the room before your audience arrives, as this will make you feel more prepared and less nervous.

If you are using technology to support your presentation (i.e., PowerPoint slides or a projector), test everything before you begin. Do a microphone check and test its volume, view your slides on the computer you will be using, check any weblinks, play videos to test their sound, or make a call to test the phone connection prior to your teleconference. Your audience will get restless quickly if they arrive and are expected to wait while you fix a technical problem. This will also make you seem disorganized and hurt your credibility as an authoritative speaker.

During the Presentation

You’ve organized your presentation with great visuals and you are ready to present. You now have to deliver your presentation. How do you effectively deliver your presentation calmly and clearly?

Managing Anxiety

Studies have been done to assess how nervous or stressful people typically get during presentations, by examining people’s physiological responses at three intervals: one minute before the presentation, the first minute of the speech, and the last minute of the speech. They discovered that nervousness usually peaked at the anticipation stage that occurs one minute before the presentation. They further found that as the speech progresses, nervousness tends to go down. Here are some things you can do to help you manage your anxiety before the presentation:

  • Practice/rehearse in similar conditions/setting as your speech
  • Be organized
  • Think positively
  • Analyze your audience
  • Adapt your language to speaking style

During the presentation, there are four main areas where you can focus attention in order to manage your anxiety:

  • Your body’s reaction
  • Attention to the audience
  • Keeping a sense of humour
  • Common stress management techniques

Your Body’s Reaction

Physical movement helps to channel some of the excess energy that your body produces in response to anxiety. If at all possible, move around the front of the room rather than remaining behind the lectern or gripping it for dear life (avoid pacing nervously from side to side, however). Move closer to the audience and then stop for a moment. If you are afraid that moving away from the lectern will reveal your shaking hands, use note cards rather than a sheet of paper for your outline. Note cards do not quiver like paper, and they provide you with something to do with your hands. Other options include vocal warm-ups right before your speech, having water (preferably in a non-spillable bottle with a spout) nearby for dry mouth, and doing a few stretches before going on stage. Deep breathing will help to counteract the effects of excess adrenaline. You can place cues or symbols in your notes, such as “slow down” or “smile”, that remind you to pause and breathe during points in your speech. It is also a good idea to pause a moment before you get started to set an appropriate pace from the onset. Look at your audience and smile. It is a reflex for some of your audience members to smile back. Those smiles will reassure you that your audience members are friendly.

Attention to the Audience

During your speech, make a point of establishing direct eye contact with your audience members. By looking at individuals, you establish a series of one-to-one contacts similar to interpersonal communication. An audience becomes much less threatening when you think of them not as an anonymous mass but as a collection of individuals.

Keeping a Sense of Humour

No matter how well we plan, unexpected things happen. That fact is what makes the public speaking situation so interesting. If things go wrong, try to have a sense of humour and stay calm. The audience will respond better if you stay calm than if you get upset or have a breakdown.

Stress Management Techniques

Even when we use positive thinking and are well prepared, some of us still feel a great deal of anxiety about public speaking. When that is the case, it can be more helpful to use stress management than to try to make the anxiety go away. Here are two main tools that can help:

  • Visualization: imagining the details of what a successful speech would look and sound like from beginning to end; a way of hypnotizing yourself into positive thinking by using your mind’s eye to make success real.
  • Systematic desensitization: Gradual exposure to the thing that causes fear—in this case, giving a speech—can ultimately lead to decreased anxiety. Basically, the more practice you get speaking in front of people, the less fear and anxiety you’ll have about public speaking. Organizations like Toastmasters that help people confront their fears by providing a supportive environment to learn and practise is a good option if you have a true phobia around presenting or public speaking.

Focus on Verbal Communication Techniques

  • Pitch : Use pitch inflections to make your delivery more interesting and emphatic. If you don’t change pitch at all, your delivery will be monotone, which gets boring for the audience very quickly.
  • Volume : Adjust the volume of your voice to your environment and audience. If you’re in a large auditorium, speak up so that people in the back row can hear you. But if you’re in a small room with only a few people, you don’t want to alarm them by shouting!
  • Emphasis : Stress certain words in your speech to add emphasis to them, that is, to indicate that they are particularly important.
  • Pronunciation : Make sure that you know the appropriate pronunciation of the words you choose. If you mispronounce a word, it could hurt your credibility or confuse your audience. Your pronunciation is also influenced by your accent. If your accent is quite different from the accent you expect most members of your audience to have, practise your speech in front of someone with the same accent that your audience members will have, to ensure you are pronouncing words in a clear, understandable way.
  • Fillers : Avoid the use of “fillers” as placeholders for actual words (like, er, um, uh, etc.). If you have a habit of using fillers, practise your speech thoroughly so that you remember what you want to say. This way, you are less likely to lose your place and let a filler word slip out.
  • Rate : The pace that you speak at will influence how well the audience can understand you. Many people speak quickly when they are nervous. If this is a habit of yours, practice will help you here, too. Pause for breath naturally during your speech. Your speaking rate should be appropriate for your topic. A rapid, lively rate communicates enthusiasm, urgency, or humour. A slower, moderated rate conveys respect and seriousness.

Focus on Non-verbal Communication Techniques

  • Gestures : You can use your hands or head to help you express an idea or meaning, or reinforce important points, but they can be distracting if overused. If the audience is busy watching your hands fly around, they will not be able to concentrate on your words.
  • Facial Expression : Rehearse your speech in front of a mirror to see what facial expressions come across. If you are speaking about an upbeat topic, smile! Conversely, if your topic is serious or solemn, avoid facial expressions that are overtly cheerful, because the audience will be confused by the mixed message. In North American culture, the most important facial expression you can use is eye contact. Briefly catch the eye of audience members as you move through your speech. If you can’t look your audience members in the eye, they may view you as untrustworthy. You’ll want to avoid holding eye contact for too long with any one person, as too much can be unnerving.
  • Posture : Try to stay conscious of your posture and stand up straight. This gives the audience the perception that you are authoritative and take your position seriously. If you are slouching, hunched over, or leaning on something, this gives the impression that you are anxious, lacking in credibility, or not serious about your message.
  • Silence : Silence is a powerful technique if used well. Pauses are useful for emphasis and dramatic effect when you are speaking. Some speakers are reluctant to pause or use silence because they become uncomfortable with the dead air, but sometimes your audience needs a moment to process information and respond to you.
  • Movement : You can use your body movements to communicate positively with the audience. Leaning in or moving closer to the audience helps to bridge the space of separation. Moving from one side of the room to the other in a purposeful way that supports your content is a useful way to keep your audience engaged; their eyes will track your movements. However, pacing rapidly with no purpose and no support to your message may quickly distract from your message.

Coping with Mistakes and Surprises

Even the most prepared speaker will encounter unexpected challenges from time to time. Here are a few strategies for combating the unexpected in your own presentations.

Speech Content Issues

What if a notecard goes missing or you skip important information from the beginning of your speech? Pause for a moment to think about what to do. Is it important to include the missing information, or can it be omitted without hindering the audience’s ability to understand your speech? If it needs to be included, does the information fit better now or in a later segment? If you can move on without the missing element, that is often the best choice, but pausing for a few seconds to decide will be less distracting to the audience than sputtering through a few “ums” and “uhs.” Situations like these demonstrate why it’s a good idea to have a glass of water with you when you speak. Pausing for a moment to take a sip of water is a perfectly natural movement, so the audience may not even notice that anything is amiss.

Technical Difficulties

Technology has become a very useful aid in public speaking, allowing us to use audio or video clips, presentation software, or direct links to websites. But it does break down occasionally! Web servers go offline, files will not download, or media contents are incompatible with the computer in the presentation room. Always have a backup plan in case of technical difficulties. As you develop your speech and visual aids, think through what you will do if you cannot show a particular graph or if your presentation slides are garbled. Your beautifully prepared chart may be superior to the verbal description you can provide. However, your ability to provide a succinct verbal description when technology fails will give your audience the information they need and keep your speech moving forward.

External Distractions

Unfortunately, one thing that you can’t control during your speech is audience etiquette, but you can decide how to react to it. Inevitably, an audience member will walk in late, a cell phone will ring, or a car alarm will go off outside. If you are interrupted by external events like these, it is often useful and sometimes necessary to pause and wait so that you can regain the audience’s attention. Whatever the event, maintain your composure. Do not get upset or angry about these glitches. If you keep your cool and quickly implement a “plan B” for moving forward, your audience will be impressed.

Reading Your Audience

Recognizing your audience’s mood by observing their body language can help you adjust your message and see who agrees with you, who doesn’t, and who is still deciding. With this information, you can direct your attention—including eye contact and questions—to the areas of the room where they can have the most impact. As the speaker, you are conscious that you are being observed. But your audience members probably don’t think of themselves as being observed, so their body language will be easy to read.

Handling Q&A

Question-and-answer sessions can be trickier to manage than the presentation itself. You can prepare for and rehearse the presentation, but audience members could ask a question you hadn’t considered or don’t know how to answer. There are three important elements to think about when incorporating Q&As as part of your presentation:

1. Audience Expectations

At the beginning of your speech, give the audience a little bit of information about who you are and what your expertise on the subject is. Once they know what you do (and what you know), it will be easier for the audience to align their questions with your area of expertise—and for you to bow out of answering questions that are outside of your area.

2. Timing of Q&As

Questions are easier to manage when you are expecting them. Unless you are part of a panel, meeting, or teleconference, it is probably easier to let the audience know that you will take questions at the end of your presentation. This way you can avoid interruptions to your speech that can distract you and cause you to lose time. If audience members interrupt during your talk, you can then ask them politely to hold on to their questions until the Q&A session at the end.

3. Knowing How to Respond

Never pretend that you know the answer to a question if you don’t. The audience will pick up on it! Instead, calmly apologize and say that the question is outside of the scope of your knowledge but that you’d be happy to find out after the presentation (or, suggest some resources where the person could find out for themselves). If you are uncertain about how to answer a question, say something like “That’s really interesting. Could you elaborate on that?” This will make the audience member feel good because they have asked an interesting question, and it will give you a moment to comprehend what they are asking. Sometimes presenters rush to answer a question because they are nervous or want to impress. Pause for a moment, before you begin your answer, to think about what you want to say. This will help you to avoid misinterpreting the question or taking offense to a question that is not intended that way.

A final tip is to be cautious about how you answer so that you don’t offend your audience. You are presenting on a topic because you are knowledgeable about it, but your audience is not. It is important not to make the audience feel inferior because there are things that they don’t know. Avoid comments such as “Oh, yes, it’s really easy to do that…” Instead, say something like “Yes, that can be tricky. I would recommend…” Also, avoid a bossy tone. For example, phrase your response with “What I find helpful is…” rather than “What you should do is…”

Good presentation skills are important to successfully communicate ideas in business. Make sure your presentation has a clear topic with relevant supporting details. Use verbal and non-verbal communication techniques to make your presentation engaging, and don’t forget to practice!

End of Chapter Activities

18a. thinking about the content.

What are your key takeaways from this chapter? What is something you have learned or something you would like to add from your experience?

18b. Discussion Questions

Discussion Questions

  • How can a speaker prepare a presentation for a diverse audience? Explain and give some specific examples.
  • How can an audience’s prior knowledge affect a presentation?
  • Think of someone you have met but do not know very well. What kinds of conversations have you had with this person? How might you expect your conversations to change if you have more opportunities to get better acquainted? Discuss your thoughts with a classmate.
  • While managing a Q&A session following a presentation, if you find yourself unable to answer a question posed by one of the audience members which tactics can you use to maintain control of the session?

18c. Applying chapter concepts to a situation

Presenting for success

Akhil works at a software development company in White Rock called Blackball Technologies. It is a medium-sized company that allows its employees to dress casually and occasionally work from home. Akhil likes this because his preference is to wear t-shirts and jeans to the office or work from home in his pyjamas.

Blackball recently created a new software program that has the potential to make a huge profit. However, they need investors to fund their latest innovation. The new software was developed using one of Akhil’s ideas; therefore, the company chooses him to present their proposal to a diverse group of investors from several countries.

Some of the investors are not fluent in English as it is their second language. Additionally, they each have a busy day ahead as they have to listen to proposals from multiple companies. Akhil fears that the investors will not understand him. He is also nervous about the presentation due to its significance to his career. If he is successful, he will get the promotion that he has wanted for the past two years and a pay raise.

What are some of the things that Akhil should consider when presenting to the investors? 

18d. Writing Activity

Watch this video from TED.com on The Secret Structure of Great Talks . Summarize the video. What is the most interesting point made by Nancy Duarte in your opinion?


Content attribution.

This chapter contains information from Professional Communications OER by the Olds College OER Development Team used under a CC-BY 4.0 international license.

This chapter contains information from Business Communication for Success  which is adapted from a work produced and distributed under a Creative Commons license (CC BY-NC-SA) in 2010 by a publisher who has requested that they and the original author not receive attribution. This adapted edition is produced by the  University of Minnesota Libraries Publishing  through the  eLearning Support Initiative .

Media Attribution

Presentation icon made by Freepik from www.flaticon.com .

Whiteboard icon made by Phatplus from www.flaticon.com .

Handout icon made by Freepik from www.flaticon.com .

Demonstration icon made by Ultimatearm from www.flaticon.com .

Chapter 18: Business Presentations Copyright © 2020 by Venecia Williams and Olds College is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License , except where otherwise noted.

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The formal presentation of information is divided into two broad categories: Presentation Skills and Personal Presentation .

These two aspects are interwoven and can be described as the preparation, presentation and practice of verbal and non-verbal communication. 

This article describes what a presentation is and defines some of the key terms associated with presentation skills.

Many people feel terrified when asked to make their first public talk.  Some of these initial fears can be reduced by good preparation that also lays the groundwork for making an effective presentation.

A Presentation Is...

A presentation is a means of communication that can be adapted to various speaking situations, such as talking to a group, addressing a meeting or briefing a team.

A presentation can also be used as a broad term that encompasses other ‘speaking engagements’ such as making a speech at a wedding, or getting a point across in a video conference.

To be effective, step-by-step preparation and the method and means of presenting the information should be carefully considered. 

A presentation requires you to get a message across to the listeners and will often contain a ' persuasive ' element. It may, for example, be a talk about the positive work of your organisation, what you could offer an employer, or why you should receive additional funding for a project.

The Key Elements of a Presentation

Making a presentation is a way of communicating your thoughts and ideas to an audience and many of our articles on communication are also relevant here, see: What is Communication? for more.

Consider the following key components of a presentation:

Ask yourself the following questions to develop a full understanding of the context of the presentation.

When and where will you deliver your presentation?

There is a world of difference between a small room with natural light and an informal setting, and a huge lecture room, lit with stage lights. The two require quite different presentations, and different techniques.

Will it be in a setting you are familiar with, or somewhere new?

If somewhere new, it would be worth trying to visit it in advance, or at least arriving early, to familiarise yourself with the room.

Will the presentation be within a formal or less formal setting?

A work setting will, more or less by definition, be more formal, but there are also various degrees of formality within that.

Will the presentation be to a small group or a large crowd?

Are you already familiar with the audience?

With a new audience, you will have to build rapport quickly and effectively, to get them on your side.

What equipment and technology will be available to you, and what will you be expected to use?

In particular, you will need to ask about microphones and whether you will be expected to stand in one place, or move around.

What is the audience expecting to learn from you and your presentation?

Check how you will be ‘billed’ to give you clues as to what information needs to be included in your presentation.

All these aspects will change the presentation. For more on this, see our page on Deciding the Presentation Method .

The role of the presenter is to communicate with the audience and control the presentation.

Remember, though, that this may also include handing over the control to your audience, especially if you want some kind of interaction.

You may wish to have a look at our page on Facilitation Skills for more.

The audience receives the presenter’s message(s).

However, this reception will be filtered through and affected by such things as the listener’s own experience, knowledge and personal sense of values.

See our page: Barriers to Effective Communication to learn why communication can fail.

The message or messages are delivered by the presenter to the audience.

The message is delivered not just by the spoken word ( verbal communication ) but can be augmented by techniques such as voice projection, body language, gestures, eye contact ( non-verbal communication ), and visual aids.

The message will also be affected by the audience’s expectations. For example, if you have been billed as speaking on one particular topic, and you choose to speak on another, the audience is unlikely to take your message on board even if you present very well . They will judge your presentation a failure, because you have not met their expectations.

The audience’s reaction and therefore the success of the presentation will largely depend upon whether you, as presenter, effectively communicated your message, and whether it met their expectations.

As a presenter, you don’t control the audience’s expectations. What you can do is find out what they have been told about you by the conference organisers, and what they are expecting to hear. Only if you know that can you be confident of delivering something that will meet expectations.

See our page: Effective Speaking for more information.

How will the presentation be delivered?

Presentations are usually delivered direct to an audience.  However, there may be occasions where they are delivered from a distance over the Internet using video conferencing systems, such as Skype.

It is also important to remember that if your talk is recorded and posted on the internet, then people may be able to access it for several years. This will mean that your contemporaneous references should be kept to a minimum.


Many factors can influence the effectiveness of how your message is communicated to the audience.

For example background noise or other distractions, an overly warm or cool room, or the time of day and state of audience alertness can all influence your audience’s level of concentration.

As presenter, you have to be prepared to cope with any such problems and try to keep your audience focussed on your message.   

Our page: Barriers to Communication explains these factors in more depth.

Continue to read through our Presentation Skills articles for an overview of how to prepare and structure a presentation, and how to manage notes and/or illustrations at any speaking event.

Continue to: Preparing for a Presentation Deciding the Presentation Method

See also: Writing Your Presentation | Working with Visual Aids Coping with Presentation Nerves | Dealing with Questions Learn Better Presentation Skills with TED Talks

Ideas and insights from Harvard Business Publishing Corporate Learning

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Powerful and Effective Presentation Skills: More in Demand Now Than Ever

presentation meaning in business communication

When we talk with our L&D colleagues from around the globe, we often hear that presentation skills training is one of the top opportunities they’re looking to provide their learners. And this holds true whether their learners are individual contributors, people managers, or senior leaders. This is not surprising.

Effective communications skills are a powerful career activator, and most of us are called upon to communicate in some type of formal presentation mode at some point along the way.

For instance, you might be asked to brief management on market research results, walk your team through a new process, lay out the new budget, or explain a new product to a client or prospect. Or you may want to build support for a new idea, bring a new employee into the fold, or even just present your achievements to your manager during your performance review.

And now, with so many employees working from home or in hybrid mode, and business travel in decline, there’s a growing need to find new ways to make effective presentations when the audience may be fully virtual or a combination of in person and remote attendees.

Whether you’re making a standup presentation to a large live audience, or a sit-down one-on-one, whether you’re delivering your presentation face to face or virtually, solid presentation skills matter.

Even the most seasoned and accomplished presenters may need to fine-tune or update their skills. Expectations have changed over the last decade or so. Yesterday’s PowerPoint which primarily relied on bulleted points, broken up by the occasional clip-art image, won’t cut it with today’s audience.

The digital revolution has revolutionized the way people want to receive information. People expect presentations that are more visually interesting. They expect to see data, metrics that support assertions. And now, with so many previously in-person meetings occurring virtually, there’s an entirely new level of technical preparedness required.

The leadership development tools and the individual learning opportunities you’re providing should include presentation skills training that covers both the evergreen fundamentals and the up-to-date capabilities that can make or break a presentation.

So, just what should be included in solid presentation skills training? Here’s what I think.

The fundamentals will always apply When it comes to making a powerful and effective presentation, the fundamentals will always apply. You need to understand your objective. Is it strictly to convey information, so that your audience’s knowledge is increased? Is it to persuade your audience to take some action? Is it to convince people to support your idea? Once you understand what your objective is, you need to define your central message. There may be a lot of things you want to share with your audience during your presentation, but find – and stick with – the core, the most important point you want them to walk away with. And make sure that your message is clear and compelling.

You also need to tailor your presentation to your audience. Who are they and what might they be expecting? Say you’re giving a product pitch to a client. A technical team may be interested in a lot of nitty-gritty product detail. The business side will no doubt be more interested in what returns they can expect on their investment.

Another consideration is the setting: is this a formal presentation to a large audience with questions reserved for the end, or a presentation in a smaller setting where there’s the possibility for conversation throughout? Is your presentation virtual or in-person? To be delivered individually or as a group? What time of the day will you be speaking? Will there be others speaking before you and might that impact how your message will be received?

Once these fundamentals are established, you’re in building mode. What are the specific points you want to share that will help you best meet your objective and get across your core message? Now figure out how to convey those points in the clearest, most straightforward, and succinct way. This doesn’t mean that your presentation has to be a series of clipped bullet points. No one wants to sit through a presentation in which the presenter reads through what’s on the slide. You can get your points across using stories, fact, diagrams, videos, props, and other types of media.

Visual design matters While you don’t want to clutter up your presentation with too many visual elements that don’t serve your objective and can be distracting, using a variety of visual formats to convey your core message will make your presentation more memorable than slides filled with text. A couple of tips: avoid images that are cliched and overdone. Be careful not to mix up too many different types of images. If you’re using photos, stick with photos. If you’re using drawn images, keep the style consistent. When data are presented, stay consistent with colors and fonts from one type of chart to the next. Keep things clear and simple, using data to support key points without overwhelming your audience with too much information. And don’t assume that your audience is composed of statisticians (unless, of course, it is).

When presenting qualitative data, brief videos provide a way to engage your audience and create emotional connection and impact. Word clouds are another way to get qualitative data across.

Practice makes perfect You’ve pulled together a perfect presentation. But it likely won’t be perfect unless it’s well delivered. So don’t forget to practice your presentation ahead of time. Pro tip: record yourself as you practice out loud. This will force you to think through what you’re going to say for each element of your presentation. And watching your recording will help you identify your mistakes—such as fidgeting, using too many fillers (such as “umm,” or “like”), or speaking too fast.

A key element of your preparation should involve anticipating any technical difficulties. If you’ve embedded videos, make sure they work. If you’re presenting virtually, make sure that the lighting is good, and that your speaker and camera are working. Whether presenting in person or virtually, get there early enough to work out any technical glitches before your presentation is scheduled to begin. Few things are a bigger audience turn-off than sitting there watching the presenter struggle with the delivery mechanisms!

Finally, be kind to yourself. Despite thorough preparation and practice, sometimes, things go wrong, and you need to recover in the moment, adapt, and carry on. It’s unlikely that you’ll have caused any lasting damage and the important thing is to learn from your experience, so your next presentation is stronger.

How are you providing presentation skills training for your learners?

Manika Gandhi is Senior Learning Design Manager at Harvard Business Publishing Corporate Learning. Email her at [email protected] .

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Chapter 10: Developing Business Presentations

It usually takes me more than three weeks to prepare a good impromptu speech.     –Mark Twain

Being in the right does not depend on having a loud voice.     –Chinese Proverb

Getting Started

Introductory exercises.

1. Complete the following self-inventory by brainstorming as many items as you can for each category. Think about anything you know, find interesting, or are involved in which relates to the topics below. Have you traveled to a different city, state, or country? Do you have any projects in other classes you find interesting? List them in the questions below.

  • What do you read?
  • What do you play or do for fun?
  • What do you watch (visual media)?
  • Where do you live or have you lived?
  • What places have you visited (travel)?
  • Whom do you know?
  • What’s important to you?
  • If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be?

Choose your three favorite categories from the list above and circle them. Then ask a friend what they would be most interested in hearing about. Ask more than one friend, and keep score of which item attracts the most attention. Make sure you keep track of who likes which category.

Introductory Exercises (cont.)

2. What do you know about the world?

  • What is the most populous country on the planet?
  • The United States is home to more foreign-born residents than any other country. Which country has the next-highest number of foreign-born residents (Bremner, J., et. al., 2009)?
  • As of 2008, what percentage of the world’s population lived in an urban setting?
  • The world’s population was about 6.5 billion in early 2009. In what year is this figure expected to double to 13 billion (Rosenberg, M., 2009)?

Answers: 1. c, 2. a, 3. c, 4. c.

Mark Twain makes a valid point that presentations require preparation. If you have the luxury of time to prepare, take full advantage of it. Speeches don’t always happen when or how we envision them. Preparation becomes especially paramount when the element of unknown is present, forcing us to improvise. One mistake or misquote can and will be quickly rebroadcast, creating lasting damage. Take full advantage of the time to prepare for what you can anticipate, but also consider the element of surprise. In this chapter we discuss the planning and preparation necessary to prepare an effective presentation. You will be judged on how well you present yourself, so take the time when available to prepare.

Now that you are concerned with getting started and preparing a speech for work or class, let’s consider the first step. It may be that you are part of a team developing a sales presentation, preparing to meet with a specific client in a one-on-one meeting, or even setting up a teleconference. Your first response may be that a meeting is not a speech, but your part of the conversation has a lot in common with a formal presentation. You need to prepare, you need to organize your message, and you need to consider audience’s expectations, their familiarity with the topic, and even individual word choices that may improve your effectiveness. Regardless whether your presentation is to one individual (interpersonal) or many (group), it has as its foundation the act of communication. Communication itself is a dynamic and complex process, and the degree to which you can prepare and present effectively across a range of settings will enhance your success as a business communicator.

If you have been assigned a topic by the teacher or your supervisor, you may be able to go straight to the section on narrowing your topic. If not, then the first part of this chapter will help you. This chapter will help you step by step in preparing for your speech or oral presentation. By the time you have finished this chapter, you will have chosen a topic for your speech, narrowed the topic, and analyzed the appropriateness of the topic for yourself as well as the audience. From this basis, you will have formulated a general purpose statement and specific thesis statement to further define the topic of your speech. Building on the general and specific purpose statements you formulate, you will create an outline for your oral presentation.

Through this chapter, you will become more knowledgeable about the process of creating a speech and gain confidence in your organizational abilities. Preparation and organization are two main areas that, when well developed prior to an oral presentation, significantly contribute to reducing your level of speech anxiety. If you are well prepared, you will be more relaxed when it is time to give your speech. Effective business communicators have excellent communication skills that can be learned through experience and practice. In this chapter we will work together to develop your skills in preparing clear and concise messages to reach your target audience.

Bremner, J., Haub, C., Lee, M., Mather, M., & Zuehlke, E. (2009, September). World population highlights: Key findings from PRB’s 2009 world population data sheet. Population Bulletin, 64 (3). Retrieved from http://www.prb.org/pdf09/64.3highlights.pdf .

Rosenberg, M. (2009, October 15). Population growth rates and doubling time. About.com Guide . Retrieved from http://geography.about.com/od/populationgeography/a/populationgrow.htm .

Business Communication for Success Copyright © 2015 by University of Minnesota is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License , except where otherwise noted.

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Learning Objective

  • Provide examples of four main types of speech to inform.

Speaking to inform may fall into one of several categories. The presentation to inform may be

  • an explanation,
  • a description, or
  • a demonstration of how to do something.

Let’s explore each of these types of informative speech.


Have you ever listened to a lecture or speech where you just didn’t get it? It wasn’t that you weren’t interested, at least not at first. Perhaps the professor used language and jargon, or gave a confusing example, or omitted something that would have linked facts or concepts together. Soon you probably lost interest and sat there, attending the speech or lecture in body but certainly not in mind. An effective speech to inform will take a complex topic or issue and explain it to the audience in ways that increase audience understanding. Perhaps the speech where you felt lost lacked definitions upfront, or a clear foundation in the introduction. You certainly didn’t learn much, and that’s exactly what you want to avoid when you address your audience. Consider how you felt and then find ways to explain your topic—visually, using definitions and examples, providing a case study—that can lay a foundation on common ground with your audience and build on it.

No one likes to feel left out. As the speaker, it’s your responsibility to ensure that this doesn’t happen. Also know that to teach someone something new—perhaps a skill that they did not posses or a perspective that allows them to see new connections—is a real gift, both to you and the audience members. You will feel rewarded because you made a difference and they will perceive the gain in their own understanding.

As a business communicator, you may be called upon to give an informative report where you communicate status, trends, or relationships that pertain to a specific topic. You might have only a few moments to speak, and you may have to prepare within a tight time frame. Your listeners may want “just the highlights,” only to ask pointed questions that require significant depth and preparation on your part. The informative report is a speech where you organize your information around key events, discoveries, or technical data and provide context and illustration for your audience. They may naturally wonder, “Why are sales up (or down)?” or “What is the product leader in your lineup?” and you need to anticipate their perspective and present the key information that relates to your topic. If everyone in the room knows the product line, you may not need much information about your best seller, but instead place emphasis on marketing research that seems to indicate why it is the best seller.

Perhaps you are asked to be the scout and examine a new market, developing strategies to penetrate it. You’ll need to orient your audience and provide key information about the market and demonstrate leadership as you articulate your strategies. You have a perspective gained by time and research, and your audience wants to know why you see things the way you do, as well as learn what you learned. A status report may be short or long, and may be an update that requires little background, but always consider the audience and what common ground you are building your speech on.


Have you ever listened to a friend tell you about their recent trip somewhere and found the details fascinating, making you want to travel there or visit a similar place? Or perhaps you listened to your chemistry teacher describe a chemical reaction you were going to perform in class and you understood the process and could reasonably anticipate the outcome. Describing information requires emphasis on language that is vivid, captures attention, and excites the imagination. Your audience will be drawn to your effective use of color, descriptive language, and visual aids. An informative speech that focuses description will be visual in many ways. You may choose to illustrate with images, video and audio clips, and maps. Your first-person experience combined with your content will allow the audience to come to know a topic, area, or place through you, or secondhand. Their imagination is your ally, and you should aim to stimulate it with attention-getting devices and clear visual aids. Use your imagination to place yourself in their perspective: how would you like to have someone describe the topic to you?


You want to teach the audience how to throw a fast pitch in softball or a curveball in baseball. You want to demonstrate how to make salsa or how to program the applications on a smartphone. Each of these topics will call on your kindergarten experience of “show and tell.” A demonstrative speech focuses on clearly showing a process and telling the audience important details about each step so that they can imitate, repeat, or do the action themselves. If the topic is complicated, think of ways to simplify each step.

Consider the visual aids or supplies you will need. You may have noticed that cooking shows on television rarely show the chef chopping and measuring ingredients during the demonstration. Instead, the ingredients are chopped and measured ahead of time and the chef simply adds each item to the dish with a brief comment like, “Now we’ll stir in half a cup of chicken stock.” If you want to present a demonstration speech on the ways to make a paper airplane, one that will turn left or right, go up, down or in loops, consider how best to present your topic. Perhaps by illustrating the process of making one airplane followed by example on how to make adjustments to the plane to allow for different flight patterns would be effective. Would you need additional paper airplanes made in advance of your speech? Would an example of the paper airplane in each of the key stages of production be helpful to have ready before the speech? Having all your preparation done ahead of time can make a world of difference, and your audience will appreciate your thoughtful approach.

By considering each step and focusing on how to simplify it, you can understand how the audience might grasp the new information and how you can best help them. Also, consider the desired outcome; for example, will your listeners be able to actually do the task themselves or will they gain an appreciation of the complexities of a difficult skill like piloting an airplane to a safe landing? Regardless of the sequence or pattern you will illustrate or demonstrate, consider how people from your anticipated audience will respond, and budget additional time for repetition and clarification.

Informative presentations come in all sizes, shapes, and forms. You may need to create an “elevator speech” style presentation with the emphasis on brevity, or produce a comprehensive summary of several points that require multiple visual aids to communicate complex processes or trends. The main goal in an informative presentation is to inform, not to persuade, and that requires an emphasis on credibility, for the speaker and the data or information presented. Extra attention to sources is required and you’ll need to indicate what reports, texts, or Web sites were sources for your analysis and conclusions.

Here are additional, more specific types of informative presentations:

  • Biographical information
  • Case study results
  • Comparative advantage results
  • Cost-benefit analysis results
  • Feasibility studies
  • Field study results
  • Financial trends analysis
  • Health, safety, and accident rates
  • Instruction guidelines
  • Laboratory results
  • Product or service orientations
  • Progress reports
  • Research results
  • Technical specifications

Depending on the rhetorical situation, the audience, and the specific information to be presented, any of these types of presentation may be given as an explanation, a report, a description, or a demonstration.

Key Takeaway

An informative speech may explain, report, describe, or demonstrate how to do something.

  • Watch a “how-to” television show, such as one about cooking, home improvement, dog training, or crime solving. What informative techniques and visual aids are used in the show to help viewers learn the skills that are being demonstrated?
  • Prepare a simple “how-to” presentation for the class. Present and compare your results.
  • Compare and contrast two television programs, noting how each communicates the meaning via visual communication rather than words or dialogue. Share and compare with classmates.

Business Communication for Success: Public Speaking Edition Copyright © 2015 by University of Minnesota is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License , except where otherwise noted.

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How to prepare and deliver an effective oral presentation

  • Related content
  • Peer review
  • Lucia Hartigan , registrar 1 ,
  • Fionnuala Mone , fellow in maternal fetal medicine 1 ,
  • Mary Higgins , consultant obstetrician 2
  • 1 National Maternity Hospital, Dublin, Ireland
  • 2 National Maternity Hospital, Dublin; Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Medicine and Medical Sciences, University College Dublin
  • luciahartigan{at}hotmail.com

The success of an oral presentation lies in the speaker’s ability to transmit information to the audience. Lucia Hartigan and colleagues describe what they have learnt about delivering an effective scientific oral presentation from their own experiences, and their mistakes

The objective of an oral presentation is to portray large amounts of often complex information in a clear, bite sized fashion. Although some of the success lies in the content, the rest lies in the speaker’s skills in transmitting the information to the audience. 1


It is important to be as well prepared as possible. Look at the venue in person, and find out the time allowed for your presentation and for questions, and the size of the audience and their backgrounds, which will allow the presentation to be pitched at the appropriate level.

See what the ambience and temperature are like and check that the format of your presentation is compatible with the available computer. This is particularly important when embedding videos. Before you begin, look at the video on stand-by and make sure the lights are dimmed and the speakers are functioning.

For visual aids, Microsoft PowerPoint or Apple Mac Keynote programmes are usual, although Prezi is increasing in popularity. Save the presentation on a USB stick, with email or cloud storage backup to avoid last minute disasters.

When preparing the presentation, start with an opening slide containing the title of the study, your name, and the date. Begin by addressing and thanking the audience and the organisation that has invited you to speak. Typically, the format includes background, study aims, methodology, results, strengths and weaknesses of the study, and conclusions.

If the study takes a lecturing format, consider including “any questions?” on a slide before you conclude, which will allow the audience to remember the take home messages. Ideally, the audience should remember three of the main points from the presentation. 2

Have a maximum of four short points per slide. If you can display something as a diagram, video, or a graph, use this instead of text and talk around it.

Animation is available in both Microsoft PowerPoint and the Apple Mac Keynote programme, and its use in presentations has been demonstrated to assist in the retention and recall of facts. 3 Do not overuse it, though, as it could make you appear unprofessional. If you show a video or diagram don’t just sit back—use a laser pointer to explain what is happening.

Rehearse your presentation in front of at least one person. Request feedback and amend accordingly. If possible, practise in the venue itself so things will not be unfamiliar on the day. If you appear comfortable, the audience will feel comfortable. Ask colleagues and seniors what questions they would ask and prepare responses to these questions.

It is important to dress appropriately, stand up straight, and project your voice towards the back of the room. Practise using a microphone, or any other presentation aids, in advance. If you don’t have your own presenting style, think of the style of inspirational scientific speakers you have seen and imitate it.

Try to present slides at the rate of around one slide a minute. If you talk too much, you will lose your audience’s attention. The slides or videos should be an adjunct to your presentation, so do not hide behind them, and be proud of the work you are presenting. You should avoid reading the wording on the slides, but instead talk around the content on them.

Maintain eye contact with the audience and remember to smile and pause after each comment, giving your nerves time to settle. Speak slowly and concisely, highlighting key points.

Do not assume that the audience is completely familiar with the topic you are passionate about, but don’t patronise them either. Use every presentation as an opportunity to teach, even your seniors. The information you are presenting may be new to them, but it is always important to know your audience’s background. You can then ensure you do not patronise world experts.

To maintain the audience’s attention, vary the tone and inflection of your voice. If appropriate, use humour, though you should run any comments or jokes past others beforehand and make sure they are culturally appropriate. Check every now and again that the audience is following and offer them the opportunity to ask questions.

Finishing up is the most important part, as this is when you send your take home message with the audience. Slow down, even though time is important at this stage. Conclude with the three key points from the study and leave the slide up for a further few seconds. Do not ramble on. Give the audience a chance to digest the presentation. Conclude by acknowledging those who assisted you in the study, and thank the audience and organisation. If you are presenting in North America, it is usual practice to conclude with an image of the team. If you wish to show references, insert a text box on the appropriate slide with the primary author, year, and paper, although this is not always required.

Answering questions can often feel like the most daunting part, but don’t look upon this as negative. Assume that the audience has listened and is interested in your research. Listen carefully, and if you are unsure about what someone is saying, ask for the question to be rephrased. Thank the audience member for asking the question and keep responses brief and concise. If you are unsure of the answer you can say that the questioner has raised an interesting point that you will have to investigate further. Have someone in the audience who will write down the questions for you, and remember that this is effectively free peer review.

Be proud of your achievements and try to do justice to the work that you and the rest of your group have done. You deserve to be up on that stage, so show off what you have achieved.

Competing interests: We have read and understood the BMJ Group policy on declaration of interests and declare the following interests: None.

  • ↵ Rovira A, Auger C, Naidich TP. How to prepare an oral presentation and a conference. Radiologica 2013 ; 55 (suppl 1): 2 -7S. OpenUrl
  • ↵ Bourne PE. Ten simple rules for making good oral presentations. PLos Comput Biol 2007 ; 3 : e77 . OpenUrl PubMed
  • ↵ Naqvi SH, Mobasher F, Afzal MA, Umair M, Kohli AN, Bukhari MH. Effectiveness of teaching methods in a medical institute: perceptions of medical students to teaching aids. J Pak Med Assoc 2013 ; 63 : 859 -64. OpenUrl

presentation meaning in business communication


  • Written By Gregg Rosenzweig
  • Updated: November 8, 2023
We’re here to help you choose the most appropriate content types to fulfill your content strategy. In this series, we’re breaking down the most popular content types to their most basic fundamentals — simple definitions, clarity on formats, and plenty of examples — so you can start with a solid foundation.

What is a Presentation?

A communication device that relays a topic to an audience in the form of a slide show, demonstration, lecture, or speech, where words and pictures complement each other.

Why should you think of presentations as content?

The beauty of content creation is that almost anything can become a compelling piece of content . Just depends on the creativity used to convert it and the story that brings it to life.

presentation meaning in business communication

The long and short of it

Although the length of a presentation in terms of time can depend on the overall approach (Are you talking a lot? Are you referring to the screen in detail or not?), consider the number of informational content slides when tallying the overall presentation length. For instance, don’t include title slides in your tally when conveying length to a content creator.

A general guide to presentation length:

  • Short Form (5 content slides)
  • Standard Form (10 content slides)
  • Long Form (20+ content slides)

Popular use cases for presentations…

Let’s consider TED Talks for a minute: one of the best examples (bar none) of how words, pictures, and a narrative can make people care about something they otherwise might not.

These “talks” pre-date podcasts and blend a compelling use of language and imagery in presentation format to spread ideas in unique ways.

TED Talks have been viewed a billion-plus times worldwide (and counting) and are worth considering when it comes to how you might use video-presentation content to connect with your customers in creative, cool, new ways.

Business types:

Any company that has a pitch deck, executive summary , sales presentation, or any kind of internal document that can be repurposed into external-facing content pieces — without pain.

Presentation Examples – Short Form

presentation meaning in business communication

Presentation Examples – Standard Form

presentation meaning in business communication

Presentation Examples – Long Form

presentation meaning in business communication

Understanding Content Quality in Examples

Our team has rated content type examples in three degrees of quality ( Good, Better, Best ) to help you better gauge resources needed for your content plan. In general, the degrees of content quality correspond to our three content levels ( General, Qualified, Expert ) based on the criteria below. Please consider there are multiple variables that could determine the cost, completion time, or content level for any content piece with a perceived degree of quality.

presentation meaning in business communication

Impress your clients, co-workers, and leadership team with exceptional content for your next presentation, product demonstration, and more. If you need help getting your message across in a succinct, attention-grabbing, and persuasive way, talk to one of our content specialists today.

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Unit 32: Presentations – An Overview

Learning objectives.

target icon

  • demonstrate how to plan a presentation
  • understand how to construct the different parts of any presentation
  • identify the use of different organizing principles for a presentation
  • identify the different methods of speech delivery
  • utilize specific techniques to enhance speech delivery


presentation meaning in business communication

To get started, let’s review the video below to gain an understanding of what is required to develop world class and effective presentations.

Planning Your Presentation

Planning a presentation is much like planning other business documents.  There is importance to undertaking and applying a systematic process of planning, researching, drafting, and revising before delivering the final product.  Completing this process can take a considerable amount of time.  Figure 32.1 provides the planning process

presentation meaning in business communication

Planning in any presentation is helpful both to you and to your audience. Your audience will appreciate receiving the information presented in an organized way, and being well organized will make the presentation much less stressful for you.

Successful presenters know their material, are prepared, do not read a script or PowerPoint presentation, do not memorize every single word in order (though some parts may be memorized), and do not make it up as you go along. Your presentation is scripted in the sense that it is completely planned from start to finish, yet every word is not explicitly planned, allowing for some spontaneity and adaptation to the audience’s needs in the moment.

Your organization plan will serve you and your audience as a guide, and help you present a more effective speech. Just as there is no substitute for practice and preparation, there is no substitute for planning.

Knowing the Purpose

Speeches have traditionally been seen to have one of three broad purposes: to inform, to persuade, and — well, to be honest, different words are used for the third kind of speech purpose: to inspire, to amuse, to please, or to entertain. These broad goals are commonly known as a speech’s general purpose, since, in general, you are trying to inform, persuade, or entertain your audience without regard to specifically what the topic will be. Perhaps you could think of them as appealing to the understanding of the audience (informative), the will or action  (persuasive), and the emotion or pleasure.

Before getting into the specifics of how to create a purpose statement for a presentation, the following video provides an overview of the process.

Now that you know your general purpose (to inform, to persuade, or to entertain), you can start to move in the direction of the specific purpose. A specific purpose statement builds on your general purpose (to inform) and makes it more specific (as the name suggests). So if your first speech is an informative speech, your general purpose will be to inform your audience  about a very specific realm of knowledge.

In writing your specific purpose statement, you will take three contributing elements (shown in figure 32.2) that will come together to help you determine your specific purpose :

  • You (your interests, your background, past jobs, experience, education, major),
  • Your audience
  • The context or setting.

diagram demonstrating three beginning categories, you, your audience, your context leading to a specific purpose statement followed by a central idea statement.

Keeping these three inputs in mind, you can begin to write a  specific purpose statement , which will be the foundation for everything you say in the speech and a guide for what you do not say. This formula will help you in putting together your specific purpose statement:

To _______________ [Specific Communication Word (inform, explain, demonstrate, describe, define, persuade, convince, prove, argue)] my [ Target Audience (my classmates, the members of the Social Work Club, my coworkers]  __________________. [T he Content (how to bake brownies, that Macs are better than PCs].

Example:  The purpose of my presentation is to demonstrate for my coworkers the value of informed intercultural communication.

Formulating a Central Idea Statement

While you will not actually say your specific purpose statement during your speech, you will need to clearly state what your focus and main points are going to be. The statement that reveals your main points is commonly known as the central idea statement (or just the central idea). Just as you would create a thesis statement for an essay or research paper, the central idea statement helps focus your presentation by defining your topic, purpose, direction, angle and/or point of view. Here are two examples:

Specific Purpose  –  To explain to my classmates the effects of losing a pet on the elderly.

Central Idea  –  When elderly people lose their animal companions, they can experience serious psychological, emotional, and physical effects.

Specific Purpose  –  To demonstrate to my audience the correct method for cleaning a computer keyboard.

Central Idea  –  Your computer keyboard needs regular cleaning to function well, and you can achieve that in four easy steps.

Knowing the audience

Given the diverse nature of audiences, the complexity of the communication process, and the countless options and choices to make when preparing your presentation, you may feel overwhelmed. One effective way to address this is to focus on ways to reach, interact, or stimulate your audience. All audiences fall into four categories: friendly, neutral, uninterested, or hostile (see Figure 32.3).  No matter the audience, your job is to deliver a presentation that will address the needs of your audience.  Ask yourself these questions to determine how well your presentation will meet the needs of your audience:

  • How will this topic appeal to this audience?
  • Does the presentation meet my audience’s needs?
  • What strategy or strategies will be most effective in communicating the information to my audience?
  • What activities will encourage the audience to remember the main points of the presentation?

presentation meaning in business communication

Developing and Organizing Content

Presentation outline.

You’re now ready to prepare an outline for your presentation. To be successful in your presentation, you’ll need two outlines: a preparation outline , and a speaking outline .

Preparation outlines are comprehensive outlines that include all of the information in your presentation. Your presentation outline will consist of the content of what the audience will see and hear. Eventually, you will move away from this outline as you develop your materials and practice your presentation.

Your speaking outline will contain notes to guide you; notes that are usually not shared with your audience. It will summarize the full preparation outline down to more usable notes. You should create a set of abbreviated notes for the actual delivery.

Your organizational model will help determine how you will structure (see below) your preparation outline. You can use your presentation outline as a starting point to developing your speaking outline. It’s a good idea to make speaking notes to align with your main points and visuals in each section.  See Unit 12 for more information on constructing an outline.  Figure 33.4 provides the basic parts of a presentation outline.

presentation meaning in business communication

Developing the Content

The general organization for presentations include:

  • Attention Statement : an engaging or interesting statement that will cause your audience to sit up and take notice.
  • Introduction : setting out your general idea statement (LINK) and giving the audience an idea of what to expect.
  • Body : This section contains your research, main points and other relevant information. It will follow your organizational pattern.
  • Conclusion : reiterating your idea statement, and/or includes a call-to-action — what you want the audience to do or think about following your presentation.
  • Residual Message : this is an optional section, but a powerful one. It is the final message you want the audience to remember.

In putting together a presentations, presenters will often use examples and scenarios to help illustrate the their message. The main difference between examples and scenarios is that while both help “show” the audience what you mean, an example is the “thing” itself, while a scenario would include more detail about the sequence or development of events. Scenarios also tend to be longer and more nuanced.

Storytelling can be an effective way to convey your message to your audience. Stories are a fundamental part of the human experience, and, if well-told, can resonate with listeners. Some of the most inspiring  speakers use storytelling effectively in their presentations. You can find out more about how to incorporate storytelling techniques into presentations from the video below.

“ The next 10 minutes might save your life”

“ In the end we will not remember the words of our enemies but the silence of our friends ”

Did these quotes heighten your interest in what the speaker is about to say?.  During the first two to three minutes of a presentation, gaining the attention of listeners is crucial.  Using words and phrases (like the ones above) and effective visual aids will make an immediate impact on listeners and capture their attention.  Presentations that are able to immediately capture the audience’s attention are also more likely to keep the audience’s attention throughout.  Take a minute to view these effective presentations attention getters from experienced and established speakers at TedTalks.

Effective attention getting strategies that you can incorporate into a presentation include:

  • Tell a compelling story that illustrates an important and relevant point.
  • Ask a question that will get your audience thinking about your message.
  • Share an intriguing, unexpected, or shocking detail.
  • Open with an amusing observation about yourself, the subject, or circumstances surrounding the presentation.

In addition to stimulate the listener’s interest,  the introduction must also establish the speaker’s credibility, and preview the main points of the presentation.

To establish credibility with an audience, provide information on the qualification that empower you to speak about the topic: your job, experience, education, knowledge, etc.  Credibility is established by connecting your qualifications to the presentations subject matter.  If you are not a well known authority on the matter, establishing your credibility will go along way to influence the audience’s decision to listen to your presentation and to take it seriously.

The Introduction must also preview the main points the presentation will discuss.  The preview will provide a broad overview of the presentation’s main points and indicate the order each point will be discussed.  Using a visual aid to present the points and their order is often an effective strategy.

Most of your presentation will be spent filling in the details of the main points first announced in the Introduction of your presentation.  Effective presenters do not overwhelm their audience with too much information.  Instead, effective presenters streamline their presentations by including only one or two important details for each main point.  To accomplish this task, a presenter must be very informed on the topic and very aware of the audience in order to determine what information will be most impactful to a particular audience.  No matter the audience, too much information can confuse listeners and conceal the central message of the presentation.  So keep presentations simple and logical.  Applying one of several organizing systems to a presentation will assist in streamlining information. For example: Chronology, Comparison/Contrast , Importance , or Best/Worst Cases .

An important part of any presentation is knowing how to connect your main points in a relevant manner, so that your presentation appears fluid?  Using t ransitional words and phrases provide is one method to help the audience follow the speaker’s ideas, connect the main points to each other, and see the relationships you’ve created in the information you are presenting. Transitions are used by the speaker to guide the audience in the progression from one significant idea, concept or point to the next issue. They can also show the relationship between the main point and the support the speaker uses to illustrate, provide examples for, or reference outside sources. Depending your purpose, transitions can serve different roles as you help create the glue that will connect your points together in a way the audience can easily follow.

presentation meaning in business communication

The concluding section of a presentation acts very much like a concluding paragraph for an essay: it summarizes the information presented.  However, for presentations, the concluding section also provide additional benefits for presentations.  An effective conclusion will

  • Provide a transition signalling the end of the presentation
  • Summarize the main themes of the presentation
  • Leave the audience with specific and noteworthy takeaways
  • Motivate the audience to take action

The conclusion should be memorable.  Ask yourself the question: what do you want my audience to remember most?  The answer to that question is the subject of your conclusion.  Don’t just say the same things you said during the presentation.  Breath fresh air into the information or come at the information from another angle.  End on a strong and positive note.  Think through and plan your last remarks to ensure the audience walks away with a positive impression of you and your company.

Types of Business Presentations

As we’ve discussed, a presentation will have one of three general purposes: to inform, to persuade, or to entertain.  However, each of these purposes may be required to deliver many different types of information.  In business, you will be involved in different projects, assignments, departments, etc., and be required to provide updates, reports, and overviews of the various activities.  A presentation about an ongoing project to your supervisor will not be the same type of presentation provided to the sales team; the type presentation students give for a class assignment, is not the same type of weekly presentation your instructor provides.  There are many types of business presentations.  Understanding each type will help to ensure you target your message at the right audience in the right way.

Briefings: A condensed account of  business situation.  Briefings bring the members of a department or project together so information can be shared and discussed.

Reports: Routine reports on ongoing projects, issues, problems, or proposals are expected.  There are many types of routine reports, including: progress, convention, incident, trip, etc. (see Chapter 13 ).  During your career, you may be required to present one or more of these types of reports to your superior, colleagues, or rank-and-file employees, inside and outside your organization.  This type of presentation range from very simple presentations with minimal audio-visual and multimedia integration to  presentations that include elaborate audio-visual and multimedia integration.

Podcasts: A podcast is an online, prerecorded audio clip delivered online.  Podcasts are used by companies to present up-to-date information on current products and services.  In addition, podcasts are be used to introduce and train employees.

Virtual Presentations: Business teams are often composed of individuals who are not in the same geographic location or perhaps have to work collaboratively outside of normal office hours.  This type of collaborative effort is greatly facilitated by the availability of information technology.  In your career, you may be required to work with a remote team to develop and present a project or different types of reports by making a virtual presentation. The steps to developing effective virtual presentations are the same as any other type of presentation.

Webinars: A webinar is a web-based presentation that is transmitted digitally, with or without video.  Companies use webinars in a similar manner to podcasts.  Company products and services as well as employee training and introductions are presentations common to webinars.

presentation meaning in business communication

Additional information on developing presentations can be found at The Learning Portal .

 Key Takeaway

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  • All presentation must have a general purpose, specific purpose and central idea statements is 
  • Correctly profiling an audience will ensure your presentation delivers the right message in the most effective manner
  • All presentations include an attention getter, introduction, body, and conclusion.
  • Correctly the matching the message to the correct type of presentation will increase the effectiveness of the message

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  • Interview one or two  individuals in your professional field.  How is oral communication important in this profession.  Does the need for oral skills change as one advances?  What suggestion can these people make to newcomers to the field for developing proficient oral communication skills?

presentation meaning in business communication

Bovee, C.L., Thill, J. V., & Scribner J. A. (2016). Business communication essentials (4th ed.). Don Mills, ON: Pearson Canada Inc.

COMMpadre Media. (n.d.).  Speech purpose & central idea [Video file].  Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jsOxyci_CNM

Communication Coach Alex Lyon. (2017). How to end a presentation [Video file].  Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fBO0riisOzU

eCampusOntario. (2020). Chapter 5: Presentation organization. Communication for business professionals . Retrieved from https://ecampusontario.pressbooks.pub/commbusprofcdn/chapter/introduction-3/

Duarte, Inc. (n.d.). Five simple rules for creating world changing presentations [Video file].  Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hT9GGmundag&t=1s

Guffey, M., Loewry, D., & Griffin, E. (2019). Business communication: Process and product (6th ed.). Toronto, ON: Nelson Education. Retrieved from http://www.cengage.com/cgi-wadsworth/course_products_wp.pl?fid=M20b&product_isbn_issn=9780176531393&template=NELSON

Reed, G. (2017). Your go-to presentation outline. Ethos3.com . Retrieved from https://www.ethos3.com/2017/01/your-go-to-presentation-outline-template/

Rule the Room. (2013).  How to do a presentation: 5 steps to a killer opener [Video file].  Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dEDcc0aCjaA

Standford Graduate School of Business. (2013).  Nancy Duarte: How to tell a story [Video file].  Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9JrRQ1oQWQk

A presentation that presents the history of an issue or circumstance in time order

A presentation presenting the pros and cons of two or more issues, products, methods, etc.

Presentations of reasons to do or not to do something moving from most to least important or visa versa

Presenting the best and/or worst scenario of an action or inaction.

Communication at Work Copyright © 2019 by Jordan Smith is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License , except where otherwise noted.

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Oral Presentations

Presentation basics, key elements of good presentations.

presentation meaning in business communication

There are three key elements of good presentations: Content, Organization, Delivery.  Your audience needs interesting and appropriate content in order to pay attention, especially at the start of a presentation.  Logical organization helps retain your audience’s attention – they need to be able to follow your train of thought and predict where you are going with your ideas.  Delivery also is important, as your own engagement with the information helps your audience engage.

Content deals with the substance of your presentation. Your ideas and information should be original and significant.  Use accepted and relevant sources in your research, and reference those sources as needed.  Offer a clear analysis that’s comprehensive and concise at the same time – strive for the right amount of information for your audience’s needs and the allotted presentation time. Make sure that your content is relevant to your audience, so that they understand immediately why they should pay attention to your presentation.

Garr Reynolds, in his book Presentation Zen: Simple Ideas on Presentation Design and Delivery , identifies characteristics of presentation content that create what he calls SUCCES(s): [1]

  • Simplicity – reduce information to key points and essential meanings
  • Unexpectedness – pose questions, offer interesting statistics, “make the audience aware that they have a gap in their knowledge and then fill that gap”
  • Concreteness – use specific language, provide real-life examples
  • Credibility – use sources, facts, statistics to back up your content; deliver information confidently; know your information well
  • Emotions – engage your audience to feel something about your content
  • Stories – use examples and illustrations to create a “story element” to the presentation

Finally, to make your content effective, repeat key information throughout your presentation. A memory research pioneer, German psychologist Hermann Ebbinghaus, found that we forget approximately 50 percent of new information within 18 minutes, with retention falling to 35 percent after a week. However, Ebbinghaus also discovered that repetition of the new information at key intervals can change this trajectory, a discovery known as the spacing effect. The lesson for presenters: work repetition into your presentation content.


Good organization requires a clear beginning, middle, and end. Link your ideas logically throughout the presentation to lead to an ending that resolves the problem or summarizes the situation you presented at the start. If you’re presenting based on a formal report or proposal, you may want to follow the order of the longer written document, but you don’t have to; as long as you include main ideas, it’s up to you to determine your presentation’s organization based on your audience and purpose. Strive for clear transitions between individual points, slides, and topics.

presentation meaning in business communication

Delivery involves a range of factors from body language and word choice to vocal variety. A good presenter has a passion for the subject and an ability to convey and perhaps elicit that emotion in the audience. Audience engagement through eye contact, facial expression, gestures, and/or vocal tone contributes to an effective presentation. Delivery also deals with the confidence and professionalism with which you deliver the presentation.  Hesitations, “ums,” and other types of vocal fumbling will distract your audience, while a clear, confident presentation helps to engage them.

Content, organization, and delivery work together and are equally important aspects of presentations.

The following two videos provide basic tips for creating effective presentations in terms of content, organization, and delivery.  As you view them, consider their similarity of information and dissimilarity in presentation style. What can you infer about the presenter and intended audience of each presentation?  Which video resonates more fully with you personally, and why?  In terms of conveying information to a general audience, which video do you think is most effective, and why?

Planning Presentations

As you can see based on the video examples, presentations always require a situational analysis in the planning stage.  Identify your audience, purpose, context, and all of the communication variables that you need to consider in order to make choices that will result in an effective presentation for your purpose and audience. For example, your purpose – the one, main idea that you want to convey through your presentation – can influence your content, organization, delivery, and overall approach.  Identifying your audience can help you with what may be the most critical aspect of your presentation, making your information relevant to your audience.  Analyzing communication variables for your presentation also will help you determine if you need supplemental materials or handouts, how to arrange a room for an in-person presentation, how best to structure a virtual presentation, and more.

Even if you are creating a presentation based on a formal report or proposal for which you have already done a situational analysis, do another situational analysis for your presentation, as your audience, organization, language, and overall approach may differ based on the different communication mode.

Planning Online Presentations

In addition to doing a situational analysis, online presentations may require some additional planning time in terms of how you present information.  A real-time, in-person audience may pay attention to your presentation simply because you are present, and you may be able to adapt your presentation to audience reaction.  However, it’s more difficult to capture the attention of a virtual audience, either real-time or asynchronous, so online presentations need to be thought through very deliberately in terms of their content, organization, look, and approach.

The following video, while written for online instructors, nonetheless offers important points to consider for any type of virtual, online presentation.

Understanding Presentation Audiences

Audiences are egocentric, meaning that they operate under the principle of WIIFM: what’s in it for them. Don’t expect your audience to meet you where you are; meet them where they are and then take them where you want to go together. According to Lucas, audiences “pay closest attention to messages that affect their own values, beliefs, and well being. Listeners approach speeches with one question uppermost in mind: ‘Why is this important to me?’ … What do these psychological principles mean to you as a speaker?  First, they mean that your listeners will hear and judge what you say on the basis of what they already know and believe.  Second, they mean you must relate your message to your listeners–show how it pertains to them, explain why they should care about it as much as you do.” [2]

Also, audiences have relatively short attention spans, and often decide whether or not to give you their attention within the first minute or so of a presentation. Various research studies indicate a five – twenty minute attention span for any type of presentation (note that results of studies vary). An article titled “ Neuroscience Proves You Should Follow TED’s 18-Minute Rule to Win Your Pitch ” discusses the concept of “cognitve backlog,” or the idea that the more information you provide, the more information your audience will tune out and not remember. [3]

presentation meaning in business communication

These audience characteristics lay the groundwork for presentation strategies identified in the videos, strategies such as starting with and continuing a story, engaging attention with an interesting statistic, and more.  The point to remember is that you need to make conscious, reasoned decisions about ways to engage your audience.  Keeping audience attention span and egocentrism in mind, strive for the following presentation basics:

  • Conciseness
  • Connection with audience

Expectations for Presentations

The 10/20/30 rule, generally attributed to venture capitalist Guy Kawasaki, is a good guideline to help you achieve a “just right” balance in your presentations. Geared for entrepreneurs pitching their business, his advice is a discipline that would improve the quality—and, effectiveness—of most presentations. In brief, 10/20/30 translates to a maximum of 10 slides, a maximum of 20 minutes and a minimum of 30 point font. [4]

A visual representation of the 10/20/30 rule as described in the text.

While this rule is a good starting point, it does not overrule your audience analysis or understanding of your purpose. Sometimes, you may need more slides or have a more involved purpose—like training people in new software or presenting the results of a research study—that takes more than 30 minutes to address. In that case, go with what your audience needs and what will make your presentation most effective. The concept behind the 10/20/30 rule—to make new learning easy for your audience to take in, process and remember—should still be your guide even if you don’t follow the rule exactly.

One last way to gauge presentations is to consider most audiences’ expectations for good presentations:

  • main ideas are compelling and relevant
  • information is organized with a clear beginning, middle, and end; audience can follow where the ideas are leading
  • delivery shows the presenter’s enthusiasm and engagement
  • visuals apply good design practices
  • presentation length is appropriate for audience, purpose, and context

The following video summarizes characteristics that create effective presentations.

[1] Reynolds, Garr. (2012) Presentation Zen: Simple Ideas on Presentation Design and Delivery. 2nd ed. New Riders, Pearson Education. Information from pages 78- 81. http://ptgmedia.pearsoncmg.com/images/9780321811981/samplepages/0321811984.pdf

[2] Lucas, Stephen E. (2020) The Art of Public Speaking (13th edition).

[3]  Gallo, Carmine. “Neuroscience  Proves You Should Follow TED’s 18-Minute Rule to Win Your Pitch.”   Inc. ,  https://www.inc.com/theupsstore/small-biz-ings.html

[4] Kawasaki, Guy.  The 10/20/30 Rule of PowerPoint . December 2005.  ↵

  • Presentation Basics, original material and material adapted from Business Communication Skills for Managers, see attributions below. Authored by : Susan Oaks. Project : Communications for Professionals. License : CC BY-NC: Attribution-NonCommercial
  • Making a Presentation for a Meeting. Authored by : Nina Burokas. Provided by : Lumen Learning. Located at : https://courses.lumenlearning.com/wmopen-businesscommunicationmgrs/chapter/making-a-presentation-for-a-meeting/ . Project : Business Communication Skills for Managers. License : CC BY: Attribution
  • image of professional making a presentation. Authored by : rawpixel. Provided by : Pixabay. Located at : https://pixabay.com/photos/agreement-brainstorming-business-3408113/ . License : CC0: No Rights Reserved
  • video Create an Effective Business Presentation. Authored by : Nick Morgan. Provided by : Harvard Business Review. Located at : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HTRt0zkD73M . License : Other . License Terms : YouTube video
  • video How to Give a Great Presentation - 7 Presentation Skills and Tips to Leave an Impression. Provided by : Practical Psychology. Located at : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MnIPpUiTcRc . License : Other . License Terms : YouTube video
  • video Teaching Tip: Designing Online Lectures and Recorded Presentations. Authored by : Greg Steinke and Jill Zimmerman. Provided by : CCAPS Teaching Tips, University of Minnesota. Located at : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GCAaRZJFJAU . License : Other . License Terms : YouTube video
  • image of businesswoman presenting to an audience. Authored by : rawpixel. Provided by : Pixabay. Located at : https://pixabay.com/photos/analyzing-audience-board-3565815/ . License : CC0: No Rights Reserved
  • Visual Aids. Authored by : Nina Burokas. Provided by : Lumen Learning. Located at : https://courses.lumenlearning.com/wmopen-businesscommunicationmgrs/chapter/visual-aids/ . Project : Business Communication Skills for Managers. License : CC BY: Attribution
  • video Five Simple Rules for Creating World Changing Presentations. Authored by : Nancy Duarte. Provided by : Duarte Inc.. Located at : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hT9GGmundag . License : Other . License Terms : YouTube video

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  • Business Management & Operations
  • Business Communications & Negotiation

Communicating Through Business Presentations

How to Create a Business Presentation

presentation meaning in business communication

Written by Jason Gordon

Updated at April 15th, 2022

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Table of Contents

What is a business presentation.

A Business presentation is a means of exchanging info for decision-making and policy developing, relating the benefits of the services offered and sharing our goals, values, and visions.

  • Formal Presentations Allow time and planning. Ex. Presentation during a scheduled meeting.
  • Informal Presentations (Oral Briefings) Less formal presentations that entails a short update on a current project. Ex. Update requested during a meeting with little or no notices. Ex. Informal update in the boss's office.
Back to:  Negotiations & Communications

Identify Your Purpose

Understanding the purpose you hope to achieve and conceptualizing your audience will enable you to organize the content in a way that is understood and accepted. Technique 1: At the end of my presentation, the audience will ________. Technique 2: What is my Message? Develop a phrase, single thought, or conclusion you want the audience to take away from the presentation. Imagine your audience summarizing your message what do you want to hear them describe as your central purpose.

Know Your Audience

Don't presume you know the audience find out about them. The audience wants to know, Whats in it for me. Determine what motivates your audience, how they think, and how they make decisions. Who is the audience, and who requested the presentation? Why is the topic important to the audience? (What will they do with the information). 

Helpful Info: Age, gender, occupations, education level, attitude, values, broad and specific interests, needs. Keep in mind the occasion or location of the presentation. Environmental factors affecting presentation will reveal whether the environment is intimate or remote; the audience is receptive and alert or non-receptive and tired; whether you will need additional motivation or persuasion tactics:

  • # of people in the audience.
  • Are there any other presenters?
  • Where and at what time does my presentation fit into the agenda?
  • How much time will I have?
  • How will the audience be seated? And what is the layout? (Podium, microphone, seated.)

Organizing the Content

The standard format is:


The dominant technique is:

  • Tell the audience what you will tell them.
  • Tell them what you told them.

Goals of the Introduction:

  • Capture attention and involve the audience.
  • Establish rapport.
  • Present the purpose statement and preview the points that you will develop.

Capture attention and involve the audience. Choose an attention-getter that is relevant to the subject and appropriate for the audience. Techniques:

  • A shocking statement or startling statistic. Ex. Lack of personnel management costs companies $200 Billion in the US every year, and is among the most wasteful aspects of any business.
  • Quotation by an expert. Ex. Attracting quality people to your business is the life of any business - Sir Richard Branson.
  • A rhetorical or open-ended question that generates discussion from the audience. Ex. Do you want to spend time building your business, or worrying about payroll administration?
  • An appropriate joke or humor. Used to break the ice. Self-denigrating is often the best.
  • A demonstration of dramatic presentation aid. Ex. If youre pushing social media optimization, you may want to do a Google search of the company up front to show their poor page rank.
  • An anecdote or timely story from a business periodical. Malcolm Gladwell says that there is no such thing as innate talent.
  • Involve the audience. Ex. Ask for a show of hands regarding an example.

Establish Rapport

Show concern that they benefit from the presentation. Share a personal story or share a part of your background that relates to the topic. 

Present the purpose statement and preview the points that will be developed. Once you have captured attention for the topic, present your purpose statement directly. 

Then, preview the major points you will discuss in the order that you'll discuss. This helps the audience understand how the parts of the body are tied together to support the purpose statement. 

If the presentation is long, you may want to use a visual to show the points covered.

In a short presentation (ex. 20 mins) limit your presentation to a few major points. Promote audience attention and absorption.

  • Provide support for your points in a manner that is easy to understand. Use simple vocabulary and short sentences that the listener can understand easily and that sounds conversational and interesting. Avoid jargon or technical terms that the listeners may not understand. Use a familiar frame of reference. Draw analogies between new ideas and familiar ones. Use comparisons to past events or relevant stories.
  • Provide relevant statistics. Use specific, quantitative measures available to lend authority and credibility to your points. Use techniques to make the statistics easy to remember. Ex. 34.2% of the students work full-time vs. 1/3 of the students work full-time.
  • Use Quotes from prominent people. This helps build credibility, particularly if the audience is familiar with the source.
  • Use interesting anecdotes. Audiences like and remember anecdotes or interesting stories that tie into the presentation and make strong emotional connections with audiences.
  • Use Jokes and humor appropriately. Jokes and humor can build rapport, ease an approach to sensitive subjects, disarm a non-receptive audience, or make your message easier to understand and remember.
  • Use presentation visuals. Try to enhance the audiences ability to see, hear, feel, and understand your presentation.
  • Encourage audience participation. Reflective questioning, role-playing, directive audience-centered activities, incorporating current events and periodicals into the activity.

The Close provides unity to your presentation by Telling the audience what you have already told them. 

The conclusion should be your best line, your most dramatic point, your most profound thought, your most memorable bit of information, or your best anecdote. 

Develop the close so that it supports and refocuses the audiences attention on your purpose statement. Tips:

  • Commit the time and energy needed to develop a creative, memorable conclusion. In an analytical presentation, state your conclusion and support it with the highlight from your supporting evidence. In a persuasive presentation, the close is often an urgent plea for the members of the audience to take some action or to look on the subject from a new point of view.
  • Tie the close to the introduction to strengthen the unity of the presentation. Ex. Take an anecdote from the introduction and answer or build on it as your conclusion.
  • Use transition words that clearly indicate you are moving from the body to the close. Practice your close until you can remember it without stumbling.
  • Smile and Stand back to accept any audience applause.
  • Show eagerness to answer questions if that is part of the presentation.

Designing Compelling Presentation Visuals

Presenter who uses visuals is considered more prepared and interesting. Tell me, Ill forget. Show me, Ill remember. Involve me, and Ill understand. Advantages:

  • Clarifies and emphasizes important points
  • Increases retention from 14 to 38 percent.
  • Reduces the time required to present a concept.
  • Speaker achieves goals 34% more often when visuals used.
  • Increases group consensus by 21% when presentation visuals used in a meeting.

Types of Presentation Materials

  • Boards and Flipcharts,
  • Overhead transparencies,
  • Electronic Presentations,
  • 35mm Slides,
  • Objects & models.

Design of Presentation Visuals

The purpose of each visual aid should be clear, and almost speak for itself. A visual aid can provide emphasis, effectively highlighting keywords, ideas, or relationships for the audience. Visual aids can also provide the necessary support for your position. Visual aids accomplish several goals:

  • Make your speech more interesting
  • Enhance your credibility as a speaker
  • Serve as guides to transitions, helping the audience stay on track
  • Communicate complex or intriguing information in a short period of time
  • Reinforce your verbal message
  • Help the audience use and retain the information

Create an appealing, easy-to-read design that supports your main point without overwhelming the audience. Techniques:

  • # of Visual Aids. Limit the number of visual aids used in a single presentation. The visuals should direct the audiences attention to major points and clarify or illustrate complex information.
  • Slide Content . Limit slide content to key ideas presented in as few words as possible. Remember, you should enhance the audiences ability to grasp your message NOT state the entire message.
  • Singular Idea . Develop only one major idea using targeted keywords that the audience can scan quickly, understand, and remember. Use words, not whole sentences. Eliminate (a, an, the , we, you, your, are, to). If you have to put text use no more than 7 words per line, 7 lines per slide.
  • Use an effective template that enlivens boring content . Choose an effective color scheme. Limit color to no more than 3 per slide. Background color should reflect formality and tone. Cooler shades for more formal. Lighter shades for former. Use complementary foreground (text) colors that have high contrast the background to ensure readability.
  • Use of Type : Use capital letters sparingly- only at begining of a sentence, important words, and property nouns. Choose an appealing font that can be read onscreen easily.

Types of Delivery

After you have organized your message, you must identify the appropriate delivery method, refine your vocal qualities, and practice your delivery. There are Four general business presentation methods:

  • Memorized - Written out ahead of time, memorized, and recited verbatim. Benefits: Well planned in content and organization. Lends itself well to ceremonies. Negatives: Limited ability to react to feedback. Forgetting a point (mental block) can damage entire presentation. Can appear monotone.
  • Manuscript or Scripted - Writing speech word for word and delivering to the audience. Benefits: Beneficial at technical conference presentations or when accuracy is absolutely critical. Beneficial when several presentations have to be given close together or you dont have as much time to prepare. Negatives: Limit speaker-audience rapport (particularly when the speaker fails to look up from the Manuscript). May use teleprompter to appear that you are speaking extemporaneously.
  • Impromptu - Called on without prior notice (off-the-cuff). Benefits: It is a fundamental skill where you can demonstrate your knowledge at key or critical moments. If you can foresee the question arising, you may be able to prepare ahead of time and be very impressive in the presentation. Negatives: Often requires an experienced speak to analyze the request, organize supporting points from memory, and present a simple, logical response.
  • Extemporaneous - Presentations are planned, prepared, and rehearsed but not written in detail. Brief words prompt the speaker on the next point, but words are chosen spontaneously as the speaker interacts with the audience and anticipates their needs. Includes body gestures, sounding conversational. Benefits: Can be delivered with great conviction, because the speaking is speaking with rather than to the audience. Negatives: Requires the most preparation. Most difficult type of presentation for teams difficult to coordinate for a uniform presentation style.

Preparation and Practice

Tips for effective preparation and practice include:

  • Prepare Thoroughl. It is the best manner to control speech anxiety.
  • Prepare Effective Presentation Support Tools . Follow the steps in the graphics chapter to develop a design that works for the presentation. Have a contingency plan in the event something goes wrong (technical glitches).
  • Practice, Rather than Rehearse . You are working to deliver the presentation in a style that allows you to talk to the audience. Rehearsing can make the presentation sound mechanical, where practicing makes it more fluid.
  • Spend additional time practicing the introduction and conclusion . Remember the conclusion is often the strongest and most memorable portion.
  • Practice displaying the presentation visuals . This is very helpful and important in making certain the presentation is effortless and seamless. . Remember, these are just in support of your presentation they are not the presentation.
  • Seek feedback from others . This will allow you to polish your performance and improve organization. You can also practice by presenting in front of a mirror.
  • Arrive Early . This allows you to become familiar with the setup of the room and to check the equipment.
  • Communicate confidence, warmth, and enthusiasm . Confident appearance with alert posture. Smile genuinely throughout the presentation. Maintain steady eye contact with the audience in random places throughout the room. Refine gestures to portray a relaxed, approachable appearance. Move from behind the lectern and toward the audience to reduce the barrier created between you and the audience.
  • Exercise Strong Vocal Qualities - To maximize vocal strengths, focus on three important qualities of speech: Phonation, Articulation, and Pronunciation. Phonation The production and variation of the speakers vocal tone. (3 Primary Factors). Pitch The highness of lowness of the voice. The pitch should rise and fall to reflect emotions. Lower pitches are perceived to sound more authoritative. Higher pitches convey less confidence are can be perceived as whining. Volume Loudness of tones in your voice. Vary loudness to hold the audiences attention, emphasize words or idea, and create a desired atmosphere (energetic, excited, solemn, serious, etc.) Rate The Speed at which words are spoken. Vary the rate of speech with the demands of the situation. Speak at a lower rate when emphasizing an idea that is complex or a process. Use pauses to add emphasis to key points. Articulation Smooth, fluent, and pleasant speech resulting from the way a speak produces and joins sounds. Faulty articulation results from not carefully forming individual sounds. Dropping word endings, Running words together, Imprecise enunciation. This is not dialect (accent) which is a variation on pronunciation, usually of vowels. Techniques to improve clarity in your voice, educe strain and voice distortion, and increase your expressiveness with the following guidelines: Stand up straight, shoulders back, speak from diaphragm rather than head voice. Focus on completing the endings of all words, not running words together, and enunciating words correctly. Pronunciation - Use principles of phonetics to create accurate sounds, rhythm, stress, and intonation. A well-articulated word can still be mispronounced. There is often a preferable and acceptable pronunciation for lots of words. The key is choosing word pronunciation that is acceptable to the audience.
  • Watch Your Audience - Read your audience to view the interest level.
  • Use Your Visuals Effectively . Step to one side of the visual when you intend for the audience to see it. Paraphrase the visual rather than reading the text from it.
  • Handle questions  form  the Audience . Be prepared to field questions that arise when you are giving the presentation. Keep Within the Time Limit. Be prepared for a question and answer period. Answer questions in a calm and non-combative manner. If you have a team, always have a moderator.
  • Distribute handouts - Only when needed in the presentation. Try not to give out at beginning it distracts audience. Use to provide additional information at the end of the lecture.
  • Culturally Diverse Audiences - Focus on the individual, rather than stereotyping a specific culture. Speak simply. Avoid words that trigger negative emotional responses. Enunciate each word precisely. Use jokes or humor cautiously. Learn cultures preference for a direct or indirect presentation. Adapt to subtle differences in nonverbal communication. Seek feedback to determine whether the audience is understanding our message.
  • Team Presentations - Selecting your team members who are complimentary in skill and ability and have a social fit with other members. Agree on the Purpose and Schedule. Avoids lack of coordination. Submitting off-topic material. Practice ahead of time - Preparing an entire team is much for difficult than preparing oneself. Decide who will deliver what portion of the presentation. Work on transitions between segments of each presenter. Deliver as a team and field questions as a team.

Related Topics

  • Communicating via Memoranda or Letter
  • Electronic Communications
  • Writing Business Reports
  • Writing Business Proposals
  • Business Presentations

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  • Distributive Negotiation - Explained

Presentation Definition: A Comprehensive Guide

Table of contents, unraveling the presentation definition.

Presentation – a word frequently used in English, Spanish, Latin, French, and Arabic contexts, but what does it exactly mean? In this article, we delve into the definition of presentation , exploring its various facets and applications in different fields.

The Essence of Presentation: A Definition

What is a presentation.

A presentation is the act of presenting information or ideas to a group of people in a structured and deliberate manner, often with the aid of visual aids like PowerPoint, Keynote, or multimedia tools.

Presentations are a ubiquitous part of the professional, educational, and social landscape. The act of presenting, essentially communicating information and ideas to a group of people, has evolved significantly over time. This article explores the definition of a presentation, its various formats, the skills required to make it effective, and the nuances of a great presentation, all while weaving in an eclectic mix of keywords.

Historical Roots: From Latin to Modern Day

The Evolution from ‘Praesentātiō’ to ‘Presentation’

In its essence, a presentation is the act of presenting or displaying information or ideas to an audience. The Oxford English Dictionary defines it as “the action or process of presenting something to someone.” In Latin, the term stems from ‘praesentātiō’, denoting the action of placing before or showing. This definition has broadened in modern English to encompass various methods of showcasing information, whether it’s a business pitch, an academic lecture, or introducing a new product.

The term has its origins in Latin (‘praesentātiō’), evolving through various languages like French and British English, symbolizing the act of presenting, displaying, or giving something to others.

Types and Formats of Presentations

Diverse Formats for Different Needs

Presentations can vary in formats – from formal PowerPoint presentations to informal Prez (an informal abbreviation of presentation) discussions, each tailored to suit specific requirements.

Enhancing Presentation Skills: A Guide

Mastering the Art of Presentation

Presentations come in various formats, from the traditional speech to more contemporary multimedia showcases. PowerPoint, a widely used tool, allows the integration of text, images, and graphs to create visually appealing slides. Similarly, Apple’s Keynote offers tools for creating impactful multimedia presentations. The inclusion of visual aids, like graphs and charts, enhances comprehension and retention. For those interested in learning Spanish, Arabic, or French, incorporating these languages in presentations can broaden audience reach.

Effective presentation skills involve a blend of clear communication, eye contact , engaging visual aids , and a confident delivery. These skills are crucial in both business and educational settings.

Presentation in the Digital Age: Multimedia and Keynote

Embracing Technology for Impactful Presentations

In the era of digital communication, tools like multimedia presentations and Apple’s Keynote software have become indispensable for creating dynamic and interactive presentations.

The Art of Visual Aids: Graphs and More

Using Graphs and Visuals Effectively

Effective presentations often include graphs and other visual aids to convey complex information in an easily digestible format, enhancing the audience’s understanding.

Presentation in Different Languages

A Multilingual Perspective

The concept of presentation transcends languages, from English to Arabic , each offering unique nuances in the art of presenting.

Presentation in Literature and Culture

Presentation Copy and Beyond

The term also appears in literary contexts, such as a “presentation copy” of a book, and in cultural scenarios like a “breech presentation” in childbirth, where the baby is positioned to exit the birth canal feet first.

Effective Presentation: Tips and Techniques

Crafting an Impactful Presentation

An effective presentation is more than just delivering facts; it involves engaging storytelling, structured key points , and the ability to connect with the audience.

To deliver an effective presentation, certain skills are paramount. English, being a global lingua franca, is often the preferred language for presentations. However, the ability to present in multiple languages, like Spanish or French, can be a significant advantage.

Eye contact is a crucial skill, establishing a connection with the audience and making the presentation more engaging. Additionally, the ability to read the room and adjust the presentation accordingly is vital.

Incorporating Quizzes and Group Activities

Interactive elements like quizzes can transform a presentation from a monologue into a dynamic group activity. They encourage participation and can be especially effective in educational settings. Quizzes can also be used in business presentations to gauge audience understanding or to introduce a new product.

Presentation in Educational Contexts

Learning Through Presentations

In educational settings, presentations are used as a tool for teaching and assessment, often involving quizzes and interactive sessions to enhance learning.

Synonyms and Related Terms

Exploring Synonyms and the Thesaurus

The thesaurus offers a range of synonyms for ‘presentation,’ such as exhibition, demonstration, and display, each with slightly different connotations.

The Thesaurus and Vocabulary Expansion

Utilizing a thesaurus can enrich presentation language, offering synonyms and example sentences to clarify points. The ‘word of the day’ concept, often found in English learning resources, can be an interesting addition to presentations, especially in multilingual contexts.

Historical and Specialized Types of Presentations

The term ‘presentation’ also has specialized meanings. In historical contexts, a ‘presentation copy’ refers to a book or manuscript gifted by the author. In obstetrics, ‘breech presentation’ denotes a situation where the baby is positioned to exit the birth canal feet or buttocks first. Understanding these specialized definitions enriches the overall grasp of the term.

Presentation in Business: Introducing a New Product

The Role of Presentation in Business

In business contexts, presentations are crucial for scenarios like introducing a new product , persuading investors, or communicating with stakeholders.

Word of the Day: Presentation

Expanding Vocabulary with ‘Presentation’

In language learning, ‘presentation’ can be a word of the day , helping learners understand its usage through example sentences and pronunciation (notated as /ˌprez.ənˈteɪ.ʃən/ in English).

Key Points and Summarization

An effective presentation distills complex information into key points, making it easier for the audience to remember the most important takeaways. Summarization skills are critical in achieving this clarity.

Cultural Influences and Adaptations

The concept of presentations varies across cultures. In Arabic-speaking countries, the style of presentation might differ significantly from that in English-speaking contexts. The benefice of understanding cultural nuances cannot be overstated, as it can significantly impact the effectiveness of a presentation.

The Role of Technology

Technology, particularly multimedia, plays a pivotal role in modern presentations. From PowerPoint slides to advanced software like Keynote, the use of technology has revolutionized the way information is presented. The integration of videos, sound, and interactive elements makes presentations more engaging and memorable.

Eye Contact and Body Language

In delivering a presentation, non-verbal cues like eye contact and body language are as important as the spoken content. Maintaining eye contact with the audience establishes a connection and keeps them engaged. Similarly, confident body language can convey authority and enthusiasm.

The Art of Storytelling

A great presentation often resembles storytelling. It’s not just about relaying facts; it’s about weaving a narrative that resonates with the audience. This involves understanding the audience’s needs and interests and tailoring the content accordingly.

Innovation and New Products

Presentations are often the first introduction of a new product to the market. The effectiveness of these presentations can make or break the product’s success. Highlighting the unique features and benefits in a clear, compelling manner is crucial.

The Power of Presentation

Presentations are a powerful tool for communication and education. Whether in a formal business setting or an informal educational environment, mastering the art of presentation can lead to more effective and impactful communication.

1. Oxford English Dictionary

2. Merriam-Webster Thesaurus

3. Apple Keynote User Guide

4. Presentation Techniques in Educational Literature

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## Frequently Asked Questions About Presentations

### What is in a presentation?

A presentation typically includes a combination of spoken words and visual aids such as PowerPoint slides, graphs, or multimedia elements. It’s an organized way to convey information or ideas to a group of people.

### What is meant by giving a presentation?

Giving a presentation refers to the act of presenting information or ideas to an audience. This act, known in various languages including English, Spanish, and French as ‘presentation’ (or ‘praesentātiō’ in Latin), involves communication skills, visual aids, and sometimes interactive elements like quizzes.

### What makes a good presentation?

A good presentation effectively communicates key points, engages the audience through eye contact and clear speech (often practiced as a ‘word of the day’ in English classes), uses visual aids like graphs, and is well-structured. Effective presentation skills are crucial for this.

### What are the types of presentation?

There are various types of presentations, including formal business presentations (often using PowerPoint or Keynote), educational lectures, sales pitches for a new product, and informal talks. Each type uses different formats and approaches.

### What are the 4 parts of a presentation?

The four main parts of a presentation are the introduction, the main body, the conclusion, and the Q&A session. Each part plays a vital role in delivering an effective presentation.

### What are the three things that a good presentation should do?

A good presentation should inform, engage, and persuade or inspire the audience. It’s about more than just delivering facts; it’s an act of communication that can change perspectives or encourage action.

### How is a presentation linked with multimedia?

Presentations often use multimedia elements like videos, audio clips, and animated graphs to enhance the viewer’s understanding and engagement. Multimedia tools like PowerPoint and Keynote are widely used in creating dynamic presentations.

### How long should a presentation be?

The length of a presentation can vary, but it’s typically between 15 to 30 minutes. The duration depends on the context and the amount of information to be covered. It’s important to keep presentations concise to maintain the audience’s attention.

These answers incorporate various aspects of presentations, including their definition, formats, and the skills required, in multiple languages and contexts, as seen in resources like Oxford dictionaries and thesaurus.

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Cliff Weitzman is a dyslexia advocate and the CEO and founder of Speechify, the #1 text-to-speech app in the world, totaling over 100,000 5-star reviews and ranking first place in the App Store for the News & Magazines category. In 2017, Weitzman was named to the Forbes 30 under 30 list for his work making the internet more accessible to people with learning disabilities. Cliff Weitzman has been featured in EdSurge, Inc., PC Mag, Entrepreneur, Mashable, among other leading outlets.

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14.3: Importance of Oral Presentations

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  • Arley Cruthers
  • Kwantlen Polytechnic University

In the workplace, and during your university career, you will likely be asked to give oral presentations. An oral presentation is a key persuasive tool. If you work in marketing, for example, you will often be asked to “pitch” campaigns to clients. Even though these pitches could happen over email, the face-to-face element allows marketers to connect with the client, respond to questions, demonstrate their knowledge and bring their ideas to life through storytelling.

In this section, we’ll focus on public speaking. While this section focuses on public speaking advocacy, you can bring these tools to everything from a meeting where you’re telling your colleagues about the results of a project to a keynote speech at a conference.

Imagine your favourite public speaker. When Meggie (one of the authors of this section) imagines a memorable speaker, she often thinks of her high school English teacher, Mrs. Permeswaran. You may be skeptical of her choice, but Mrs. Permeswaran captured the students’ attention daily. How? By providing information through stories and examples that felt relatable, reasonable, and relevant. Even with a room of students, Meggie often felt that the English teacher was just talking to her . Students worked hard, too, to listen, using note-taking and subtle nods (or confused eyebrows) to communicate that they cared about what was being said.

Now imagine your favourite public speaker. Who comes to mind? A famous comedian like Jen Kirkman? An ac

Laverne Cox speaking at the Missouri Theatre

tivist like Laverne Cox? Perhaps you picture Barack Obama. What makes them memorable for you? Were they funny? Relatable? Dynamic? Confident? Try to think beyond what they said to how they made you feel . What they said certainly matters, but we are often less inclined to remember the what without a powerful how — how they delivered their message; how their performance implicated us or called us in; how they made us feel or how they asked us to think or act differently.

In this chapter, we provide an introduction to public speaking by exploring what it is and why it’s impactful as a communication process. Specifically, we invite you to consider public speaking as a type of advocacy. When you select information to share with others, you are advocating for the necessity of that information to be heard. You are calling on the audience and calling them in to listen to your perspective. Even the English teacher above was advocating that sentence structure and proper writing were important ideas to integrate. She was a trusted speaker, too, given her credibility.

Before we continue our conversation around advocacy, let’s first start with a brief definition of public speaking.

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4.6 Presentations

Presentations are an interesting genre, since they can cover a variety of genres and purposes. Presentations provide the opportunity to present information in a multimodal format, and often require you to condense information for a broad audience. Within the very broad genre of “presentation” many genres fall with more specific conventions and constraints. Some examples include:

  • Conference presentations
  • Less formal meeting or business presentations (internal)

As technology continues to develop, you might consider other genres under the umbrella of “presentations,” including:

  • Youtube videos

In this section, we talk about the specific genre of presentations, but we also focus on taking complex information (such as gathered in a formal report) and reworking, condensing, and remixing that information into a presentation, a website, a poster or infographic, or a podcast.

Glacial icebergs in Iceland

Diversity, equity, and inclusion

Just like with the other common genres that we’ve discussed so far, presentations are developed for a specific audience. So, you need to consider how your audience might best receive the information that you are working to communicate. Presentations are a great way to reach an audience, and as a communicator you get to explore various communication modes and approaches. As with anything else, what might work for one audience would not work for another audience; think back to the different ways to communicate the process of conducting a Covid-19 nasal test. Each example was effective, but only in the context of their intended audience.

Technical presentations are a specific genre that often take the complex, lengthy information included in a formal report and condenses and translates that information in a way that includes visual and audio communication modes. Consider why it is useful to present information in various ways (as a formal report and as a 5-10 minute presentation). How might presenting information in various ways or formats increase accessibility? How might developing a presentation work towards equity of information access?

When creating a presentation, the principles of universal design are important things to keep in mind. One example might be adding captions if you create a presentation that has any audio component. The captions are essential for any audience members who are hearing impaired, AND they make it easier to absorb content and understand the audio for your entire audience. Remember that universal design means that accessibility of information is an essential part of your presentation: do not think about accessibility after you’ve created your content, but work it in from the beginning and throughout your process.

Technical presentations

Technical presentations can vary quite a bit in length and content, depending on your purpose, audience, and context (remember that the rhetorical situation is always relevant!). Generally speaking, a technical presentation will:

  • Condense a longer text, such as a formal report
  • Summarize the most important, useful, or meaningful information from that text
  • Use visuals, text, and audio together in order to tell a story

Most often, presentations work to inform, to persuade, or both. All the things that we’ve discussed so far are important to consider when you create a presentation, including plain language, document design, and considering diversity, equity, and inclusion. Just as with any other genre, to create an effective presentation, you must understand your audience.

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These are only 3 of many free tutorials available online.

When creating effective presentation slides, be sure that you balance the amount of information on each slide. Consider how your audience is interacting with these slides: they are not likely sitting down with so much time to carefully read through each one. Rather, they may only have a minute to take in all the content. So, less is often better than putting too much text on any one slide. It’s also important to use a variety of visual modes–such as graphics and images–along with text.

The text that you choose should summarize key points, and the images should reinforce or illustrate those points. Do not make your audience take in large blocks of text. Instead, summarize key questions, data points, findings, and conclusions. Show them examples that help to illustrate these important points, but do not overwhelm them. You cannot include everything in a presentation that you would include in a lengthy report. Rather, you must choose the most important pieces so that your audience has a clear idea of what you want them to take away from your project.

When planning and creating audio, be sure that you do not simply read the text from our slides. Instead, you can use the audio portion of your presentation to further explain key concepts. Give your reader a bit more detail, but do not overwhelm them. A presentation works to create a narrative or tell a story. The audio and text should complement each other, but not be exactly the same (if you’ve ever attended a presentation where the presenter read each slide out loud, you know how uninteresting that can be!).

Finally, consider accessibility when you design your presentation. Create closed captions or subtitles when recording audio, and be sure to incorporate the principles of universal design. Try to imagine how to make information accessible to your audience in regards to your text, your use of language and terminology, your use of visuals and graphics, and your use of audio.

Message titles

On way to create stronger, more memorable presentations is through the use of  message titles  rather than  subject titles  for each slide. It’s important to use strong titles, and a message title delivers a full message to your reader. A subject title is briefer and less specific. An example of the difference between a message title and subject title might be:

Subject title: 

Covid-19 prevention

Message title: 

How can I protect myself from Covid-19?

A message title is generally more effective for audiences because it provides more information. Further, delivering a full message helps audiences to retain the information presented in that slide and it frames what you cover in that section of your presentation. Remember that audiences must  listen  to your presentation and  read  your slides at the same time. Subject titles provide information, but message titles helps audiences place that information into a more specific framework. A message title delivers your message in a more complete way.

Condensing and remixing

While most formal reports use some sort of presentation software and rely on a combination of slides (which contain visuals and text) and audio (which may be spoken live as you present to an audience or may be recorded ahead of time), there are other ways to remix and present information in a condensed and useful way. As technology develops, so does the presentation genre. For example, podcasts, videos, or websites might be useful in place of a technical presentation, again depending on the audience, purpose, and context.

If you are enrolled in WRIT 3562W, you are not asked to create a podcast or website; however, you may come across such genres and want to use them as sources in your own report. And, you will likely want to (or be asked to!) create a website or podcast someday. So how can you begin to take information presented in something like a formal report and revise, translate, and remix it for a completely different medium?

First, consider the rhetorical situation and reflect on your own experiences as a website user or a podcast listener. Which websites do you like best? Which podcasts do you enjoy? Then, do some reflection and analysis and consider the following questions:

  • When interacting with a website, what features are most important to you? How are you typically interacting with content (do you want to be able to search for something specific, do you want something easy to skim, do you want to deeply read all the text, etc.)?
  • Think of the easiest to navigate website you’ve visited recently; what specific features made it easy to navigate? How did it use text, images, alignment, repetition, contrast, colors, language to help you know how to find and understand information?
  • Think of the most difficult to navigate website that you’ve ever visited; what made it difficult? What specific features can you identify or isolate that made it hard to find information?
  • Consider your favorite podcast; how does the creator(s) organize the content and present information clearly? How long does it take to listen to? What environment do you usually listen to podcasts in (your car, at home, using headphones, on a speaker while you cook dinner…). What specific features can you identify or isolate that make it enjoyable?

These types of reflection questions help you to make decisions about the texts that you create. They are useful when considering conventions or strengths of specific genres, AND they are useful when you have to create a genre that is completely new to you. Remember that analyzing the rhetorical situation and genre conventions together make it manageable as you approach any new communication task.

Throughout this text, we’ve discussed technical communication as rhetorical, as always concerned with diversity, equity, and inclusion, how we define or set the boundaries for technical communication, and the conventions of common genres. As you continue your education and practice as a technical communicator, or as you approach any new communication situation, keep doing the work of analysis and reflection. Consider how each act of communication engages a specific audience for a specific purpose. Even the most seemingly objective genres require you to make choices: what information do you include, whose voices and experiences do you elevate, how do you take in feedback and revise your texts, how do you approach research in a way that reduces bias and incorporates marginalized experiences–these are all important pieces of the communication process. As technical communication continues to develop and evolve, and as technology and genres also change, keep these considerations in mind.

Activity and Reflection: Presenting information 

Together or with a partner, find a presentation (you can search YouTube for technical presentations or Ted Talks). Reflect on the following questions to perform a  rhetorical analysis  on the presentation:

  • Who is the target audience for this presentation? How can you tell?
  • What is the main purpose or goal of the presentation? How can you tell?
  • What did you like about the presentation (be specific)? What features make it effective?
  • What would you change, and why?
  • How does the presentation use  text  and audio  together to deliver a message? How do these elements complement each other?

Introduction to Technical and Professional Communication Copyright © 2021 by Brigitte Mussack is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License , except where otherwise noted.

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How effective business communication can transform your company

The right business communication solutions and strategies can boost team morale and productivity.

By the team at Slack April 15th, 2024

People spend the vast majority of their workweek—88%—communicating, according to Grammarly’s 2024 State of Business Communication report . So when it comes to company success, a strong business communication strategy can go a long way.

Effective business communication helps promote collaboration, mitigate conflicts and encourage creative thinking among employees. By communicating thoughtfully, you can reduce misunderstandings and errors within your workplace and ensure that every team member gets the support they need.

Let’s explore communication tools and methods that can help you build better relationships with your employees, colleagues and clients.

Types of business communication

Communication can flow in several different directions within a company.

  • Upward: Communication flows upward when an employee responds to messaging from leaders or managers, such as when a customer service rep responds to feedback from a supervisor.
  • Downward: Downward communication happens when higher-ups cascade information to lower-level employees, such as when the CEO issues an announcement to mid-level managers, who then relay the message to their direct reports.
  • Lateral: Communication moves laterally when it flows between colleagues at the same hierarchical level. This might occur among managers in a strategy meeting or HR employees discussing policies and procedures.
  • External: External communication flows out of the organization, such as when a sales rep talks to a prospective client or a vendor.

Written vs. verbal vs. nonverbal communication in business

  • Written communications use written words as their medium. These might include company newsletters , marketing emails or blog posts.
  • Verbal communication can take place over the phone, in a video conference or in person. Verbal business communications happen during meetings, presentations, business workshops, and even spontaneous Slack huddles and informal watercooler chats.
  • Nonverbal communication uses wordless cues such as physical gestures, facial expressions, tone of voice and even emoji to relay information . For example, a manager might react with a 🙌 :thankyou: emoji to a direct report’s progress update in Slack to indicate a job well done.

What are the different methods of business communication?

From direct messages in Slack to external press releases, you can convey information using many business communication methods , but some methods work better than others for certain audiences or types of messaging. Let’s look at some of the most common business communication mediums.

  • Business messaging: Platforms like Slack support business messaging in either direct messages or channels . Use threads to organize conversations about specific topics, create a collaborative Slack canvas to record notes from a team meeting and use emoji to convey nonverbal messages.
  • Meetings: Meetings are ideal for discussions that require immediate feedback, such as brainstorming or planning sessions. You can conduct a meeting either in person or virtually by using video-conferencing software.
  • Phone calls: Phone calls enable quick information exchanges and urgent updates, often in a less formal environment than video conferencing.
  • Emails: Email is a relatively quick, efficient and informal way to deliver updates, responses and feedback. However, it lacks many of the collaborative features and dynamic characteristics of an intelligent productivity platform such as Slack.
  • Reports: Reports are detailed, formal knowledge sharing documents that present research findings, analyses or updates to either internal team members or external stakeholders.
  • Press releases: These are official statements distributed to media outlets to announce new developments, events or achievements.
  • Memos: A staple of internal business communication, memos are often used for company announcements such as policy or staffing changes.

Developing effective communication strategies

Regardless of your chosen medium, you should choose your business communication techniques wisely. As you set up a business communication process for your company, keep a few best practices in mind.

Adapt the message to your audience

Customize your message to your intended audience. Regardless of what you’re trying to communicate, you’d deliver the message differently to a group of kindergartners than you would to tech CEOs, or cattle farmers, or personal trainers. Evaluate your audience to make sure you provide an appropriate amount of context and assume a suitable tone.

Consider how you’ll present yourself

Your presentation is particularly important if you’re holding a meeting in person or through video conferencing. Take a few deep breaths, and evaluate your body language: Are you open and inviting? Are you making eye contact (or looking into the camera)? Maintaining a relaxed demeanor can help others feel relaxed too.

Whether you’re communicating in a video conference, over the phone or in person, stay enthusiastic and engaged while you’re speaking.

Manage nonverbal signs to control the message

Consider what you might be communicating with your nonverbal signals. In an in-person meeting, avoid glancing at the clock or the door. In a video meeting, try not to look at your phone or your second monitor. Otherwise, your audience may think you’re not engaged.

Nonverbal communication is even important on text-dominant platforms like Slack. A survey by Slack and Duolingo found that 53% of respondents use emoji when messaging their colleagues, and 67% feel closer and more bonded when their recipient understands the emoji they’re using.

Plus, emoji make professional conversations more efficient. Fifty-four percent say emoji can make workplace communication faster; 58% say emoji allow them to communicate nuanced messages in fewer words.

But not all emoji are appropriate, of course: 💋 : kiss: , 👅 :tongue: , 💩  :poop: and 🍆 :eggplant: rank among the most off-limits emoji to use at work.

Practice active listening when people respond to you

Active listening involves asking questions and giving thoughtful responses to show that you’re engaged with the discussion. By demonstrating your interest in the other person’s message, you’ll strengthen your relationship with them and make it easier to remember details from the conversation. Active listening matters no matter which communication method you’re using.

Ask for feedback from team members

One of the most effective and efficient ways to improve your communication practices is by asking for feedback. Implement a process for delivering feedback, and make sure your teammates feel comfortable using it. This could be a brief post-meeting survey or a thread or quick huddle in Slack .

Handle conflicts respectfully

Even with a flawless communication strategy, disagreements will inevitably crop up. When you don’t see eye to eye with a teammate, manager or direct report, ensure that you continue to communicate thoughtfully and respectfully.

Addressing common barriers in business communication

Communication problems arise due to various factors, including interpersonal differences and tech-related snafus. Let’s explore some of the most common barriers and how you can break them down for better business communication on your team.

Technological hurdles

Technology lets colleagues communicate instantaneously, seamlessly and cost-effectively, even across long distances. But software glitches, connectivity issues and hardware malfunctions are also commonplace and can significantly disrupt communication flow.

Make it a point to:

  • Regularly update hardware and software
  • Train employees on best practices for using communication technology
  • Implement backup methods to ensure continuity in case of system failures
  • Establish communication protocols in case primary systems fail

Email overload

Ever find yourself avoiding your email inbox on a Monday morning? Email overload can make it easy to lose track of important messages or fall behind on responding to colleagues.

To curb the negative effects of email overload:

  • Use folders, filters and labels to organize email by priority or project
  • Limit email checking to specific times of the day
  • Unsubscribe from non-essential notifications or newsletters
  • Train employees on email best practices, such as how to write subject lines and when to CC other team members
  • Shift to a more efficient team chat platform like Slack for quick questions and updates, reserving email for more formal communications

Language and cultural differences

Nonverbal cues, such as direct eye contact, convey different meanings across cultures. For example, Americans regard it as a sign of honesty and confidence, while the Japanese perceive it as disrespectful, even confrontational.

Certain nonverbal cues, idiomatic expressions and colloquialisms may not translate well across different cultures. This even applies to emoji: While many Americans might consider 🍑 :peach: flirty and inappropriate for work, 71% of Korean respondents to Slack’s survey interpreted the emoji as a literal peach. Similarly, 56% of Chinese respondents see 🍆 :eggplant: as simply an eggplant.

To enhance cross-cultural communication in business:

  • Invest in employee cultural training to prepare them for the nuances of working with diverse teams
  • Use professional interpreters and translators to prevent misunderstandings
  • Be ready to adapt strategies, communication methods and decision-making processes to accommodate cultural differences

Send the right message at the right time and place

Effective business communication takes time and effort. It’s up to team leaders to implement strong systems and processes to ensure that communication flows smoothly through their organizations.

Slack provides a feature-rich, scalable, AI-powered platform that easily integrates with third-party applications. No matter where your teammates are located around the world, Slack makes it easy for them to collaborate, stay informed and drive projects forward.

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Role of Communication in Presentation and Speech

Role of Communication in Presentation and Speech

What is a presentation in communication? Presentation in communication is the act of presenting a message or topic to an audience. It involves speaking, using visual aids, and engaging with the audience to convey a specific message. 

Being concise, using visual aids, speaking confidently, and engaging with the audience are all important aspects of delivering a successful presentation. Additionally, one should be prepared, practice extensively beforehand, and handle questions with ease.  

The Most Effective Communication Skills to Present Like a Pro

Do you want to present like a pro? The key to success is effective communication. It’s an essential skill for both personal and professional success. Fortunately, presentation skills in business communication can be developed and improved with practice. What is a presentation in communication? In this post, we will explore the 8 most effective communication skills to help you present like a pro. 

From understanding your audience to expressing yourself confidently, you’ll learn everything you need to know to make your presentations successful. Read on to discover how to become a masterful presenter.

Know your audience

Before you present, it is important to take the time to know your audience. Understand who they are and what their interests are. Knowing your audience will help you customize your presentation to appeal to them. 

Ask yourself questions like: Who are they? What is their level of knowledge on the topic? Are they primarily interested in the practical application of the topic or more theoretical aspects?

Answering these questions will help you tailor your presentation skills in business communication to make it more interesting and effective. When you have a good understanding of your audience, you can better  choose the communication techniques that are best for engaging them.

Make a connection

It is essential to make a connection with your audience when giving a presentation. Take time to get to know them and ask them questions to determine their needs and interests. Try to use examples and stories that will resonate with them and show that you understand their concerns. 

Use humour if appropriate and focus on engaging the audience as much as possible. When speaking, focus on being personable and making eye contact with people in the room. Show that you are passionate about what you are presenting and be sure to smile. 

Be sure to actively listen to feedback so that you can modify your presentation accordingly. If you make an effort to connect with your audience, you will be able to make your presentation more memorable and effective.

Tell a story

Stories can be powerful tools to help get your point across during a presentation. Not only do stories engage your audience, but they also help to personalize the topic and make it more interesting and memorable. Stories can be used to illustrate your points and give real-life examples of what you are talking about. 

When sharing a story, be sure to provide enough detail and keep it focused on the topic of your presentation. Focus on the key elements of the story and how it ties in with your message. 

Use the story as an example or analogy to help the audience better understand the information you are trying to present. Finally, be sure to use storytelling techniques like vivid descriptions, suspense, and a moral to bring the story to life and make a lasting impression on your audience.

Use strong words

Strong words can be a powerful tool for delivering an effective presentation. Not only do strong words help to capture your audience's attention, but they also convey your message with clarity and confidence. 

When preparing your  presentation skills in business communication , think about the kind of words you want to use. Use words that are relevant and make an impact on your audience. Avoid using too much jargon and complex language; this can be off-putting for some listeners. Instead, try to choose words that are interesting and engaging. Also, be sure to vary your word choice to keep your audience interested.

Moreover, don’t be afraid to emphasize certain words. This can help add weight to your point and create a sense of drama or urgency. Paying attention to your volume and pitch when you say certain words can also help create a more compelling presentation. 

Using strong words is an important way to communicate effectively in a presentation. It can help you engage your audience and make your message more memorable.

Use body language

Body language is a powerful tool for communication and can add emphasis to your presentation. Pay attention to how you stand, how you hold your arms and even the direction of your gaze. Positive body language conveys confidence and enthusiasm. 

Keep your arms open and away from your body. Speak with gestures and move around the room when appropriate. Eye contact is essential – make sure to look at the audience when you’re speaking and establish a connection with them. 

Don't be afraid to smile and pause for a few seconds while talking. Your body language should be congruent with what you are saying. Doing so will show that you are comfortable and competent in delivering your message.

Be aware of your voice

Your voice is a key factor in communicating effectively. It can be used to emphasize points and make your presentation memorable. When you're presenting, be conscious of the volume, tone, and pacing of your voice. 

Speak loud enough so that everyone can hear you, but not too loudly. Your tone should be confident and conversational. Speak clearly and pronounce each word correctly. Also, vary your speed and pitch to emphasize important points and keep your audience engaged. 

Taking pauses in the right places can help people better understand what you're saying. Lastly, don't rush through your presentation, and make sure to take your time. By being aware of how you use your voice, you can make a lasting impression on your audience.

Use visual aids

Using visuals in your presentation is a great way to engage your audience. Visual aids help break up the monotony of talking and can be used to explain complex concepts simply and concisely. 

There are various types of visual methods of effective communication ppt you can use, such as photographs, infographics, diagrams, slides, and videos. Make sure to choose visuals that are relevant to your presentation and that can be seen by everyone. 

When using visual aids, keep in mind that they should complement what you are saying, not overpower it. 

Be sure to practice with the visual aids before presenting so that you can be sure of their impact. By using visual aids in your presentation, you will be able to add depth and clarity to your message.

Practice, practice, practice!

The most important part of delivering an  effective communication skills , presentation is practice. It is the key to building your confidence and ensuring that you make the best possible impression on your audience. 

Start by writing out your presentation and practicing it alone, then practice in front of family and friends until you are comfortable with your delivery. 

Rehearse your presentation several times to familiarize yourself with it and to ensure that you don’t leave anything out. Familiarizing yourself with the material will help you present it confidently and make you appear more competent and professional. 

Practicing your methods of effective communication ppt will also help you identify any areas where you can improve, allowing you to make necessary changes and ensure that you are delivering the best presentation possible.

Presentation skills for engaged business communication

What is a presentation in communication? Successful business communication involves more than just knowing the right words to say. To truly engage your audience, you need to know how to effectively deliver your message. Presentation skills are an essential part of effective communication in the business world. 

In this post, we will explore 8 communication skills presentations that will help you engage your audience and ensure your message is delivered clearly and effectively. Whether you are presenting to a room full of colleagues or a single client, having strong presentation skills can make all the difference. Read on to learn more about the 8 presentation skills for engaged business communication.

1) The Art of Storytelling

Storytelling is an invaluable tool for making an impact with your business presentations. Telling stories helps to draw your audience in and create a connection with them while making complex concepts easier to understand. 

Through stories, you can capture their attention and share your message in a way that will stay with them long after the presentation has ended. When using methods of effective communication ppt stories, be sure to select relevant stories that illustrate the main points of your presentation, and keep them brief so you don't lose your audience's focus.

2) Be Concise

When presenting to an audience, it is important to be succinct. This means conveying your message in the most efficient manner possible. 

Avoid going off-topic and include only relevant information. Speak clearly, using language that everyone in the room can understand. Don't rely on jargon or slang to communicate your ideas. 

Focus on the main points and keep your presentation as concise as possible. Let your slides do some of the talking, too. Get to the point quickly and finish promptly. Being concise will help you keep your audience's attention and ensure they walk away with your key messages.

3) Use Visual Aids

Visual aids can be an effective way to engage with your audience and illustrate your points. Choose visuals that are easy to understand and keep the text to a minimum. Utilizing charts, graphs, or images can make complex ideas easier to digest. 

Use visual aids to bring life to your presentation, help break up the information, and maintain the audience’s attention. Make sure to practice using them so they are not distracting from your key message.

4) Speak with Confidence

When giving a presentation, it's important to speak with confidence. This doesn't mean you need to be overly loud or assertive; it simply means that you need to be sure of yourself and your topic. Projecting your voice and speaking clearly will help ensure that your message is communicated effectively. 

Additionally, use body language that indicates you are confident in what you are saying, like keeping eye contact with your audience and maintaining an open, upright posture. With practice, you'll find speaking confidently comes naturally.

5) Engage with Your Audience

When delivering a presentation, engaging your audience is essential for successful communication. Ask questions, make eye contact, and allow for interaction. Incorporating interactive activities like polls or brainstorming can help keep the audience engaged. 

Encourage feedback and discussion by using inclusive language like "we" and "us". Invite questions and address them thoughtfully, considering the interests and needs of your audience. Finally, create a dialogue with your audience, and don't be afraid to get creative!

6) Be Prepared

In business communication, it is vital to be prepared. Preparation includes researching your topic thoroughly and having an outline of what you would like to say. Make sure to have a few key points to emphasize and practice presenting them. 

Be organized and be able to defend any claims that you make. Finally, plan to ensure that you can accommodate any interruptions or questions. Having the right materials at hand will give you the confidence you need to engage your audience.

7) Practice, Practice, Practice

When it comes to mastering presentation skills in business communication, practice is essential. Not only should you practice out loud until you are confident in your delivery, but also practice different scenarios and answers to potential questions. 

Visualize yourself delivering the presentation and anticipate any challenges that could arise. Practicing will help you feel more prepared and confident during the actual presentation. With enough practice, you'll become a master of delivering engaging presentations that leave a lasting impact.

8) Handle Questions with Ease

An important part of any presentation is the Q&A session. Be prepared to answer questions from your audience effectively and confidently. Answer questions completely and honestly, and be sure to explain complex concepts. 

If you don’t know the answer to a question, take the time to research it and provide an informed response. By being prepared and providing honest answers, your audience will appreciate your transparency and respect your knowledge.

Communication is an essential tool for any presentation or speech. It helps to develop trust, gives you the ability to delegate tasks, encourages others to share their ideas, and allows you to have difficult conversations. By practicing effective  communication skills in presentation , you can improve your writing skills and get promoted in the process. Communication is a crucial skill that can be used to great effect in presentations and speeches.

Useful Resources:    What is an effective presentation |  What is written communication |  Types of communication formal and informal

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6 Common Leadership Styles — and How to Decide Which to Use When

  • Rebecca Knight

presentation meaning in business communication

Being a great leader means recognizing that different circumstances call for different approaches.

Research suggests that the most effective leaders adapt their style to different circumstances — be it a change in setting, a shift in organizational dynamics, or a turn in the business cycle. But what if you feel like you’re not equipped to take on a new and different leadership style — let alone more than one? In this article, the author outlines the six leadership styles Daniel Goleman first introduced in his 2000 HBR article, “Leadership That Gets Results,” and explains when to use each one. The good news is that personality is not destiny. Even if you’re naturally introverted or you tend to be driven by data and analysis rather than emotion, you can still learn how to adapt different leadership styles to organize, motivate, and direct your team.

Much has been written about common leadership styles and how to identify the right style for you, whether it’s transactional or transformational, bureaucratic or laissez-faire. But according to Daniel Goleman, a psychologist best known for his work on emotional intelligence, “Being a great leader means recognizing that different circumstances may call for different approaches.”

presentation meaning in business communication

  • RK Rebecca Knight is a journalist who writes about all things related to the changing nature of careers and the workplace. Her essays and reported stories have been featured in The Boston Globe, Business Insider, The New York Times, BBC, and The Christian Science Monitor. She was shortlisted as a Reuters Institute Fellow at Oxford University in 2023. Earlier in her career, she spent a decade as an editor and reporter at the Financial Times in New York, London, and Boston.

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presentation meaning in business communication

View, manage, and install add-ins for Excel, PowerPoint, and Word

When you install and use an add-in, it adds custom commands and extends the features of your Microsoft 365 programs to help increase your productivity.

Note:  This article only applies to add-ins in Excel, PowerPoint, and Word. For guidance on how to view, install, and manage add-ins in Outlook, see  Use add-ins in Outlook .

View installed add-ins

Screenshot of the add-ins in Office from Home tab.

You can directly install add-ins from this page or select  More Add-ins  to explore.

In the Office Add-ins dialog, select the  My Add-ins  tab.

Select an add-in you want to view the details for and right-click to select  Add-in details  option.

Install an add-in

Tip:  If you selected  Home  >  Add-ins , directly install popular add-ins from the menu that appears, or select  More Add-ins to view more options. 

Select  Add  from the add-in you want to install.

Manage installed add-ins

To manage and view information about your installed add-ins, perform the following:

Select  File > Get Add-ins .   Alternatively, select  Home  >  Add-ins > More add-ins .

In the Office Add-ins dialog, select the  My Add-ins tab.

Select  Manage My Add-ins . This opens the Office Store page in your preferred browser with a list of your installed add-ins.

Remove an add-in

To remove an add-in you installed, follow these steps.

Select  File  > Get Add-ins . Alternatively, select  Home > Add-ins .

In the Office Add-ins dialog, select  My Add-ins  tab.

Select an add-in you want to remove and right click to select  Remove  option.

Note:  Add-ins that appear in the  Admin Managed  section of the Office Add-ins dialog can only be removed by your organization's administrator.

Cancel an add-in subscription

To discontinue your subscription to an add-in, do the following:

Open the Microsoft 365 application and select the Home  tab.

Select  Add-ins from the ribbon,   then select  More Add-ins .

Select the My Add-ins tab   to view your existing add-ins.

Select  Manage My Add-ins .

Under the Payment and Billing section, choose Cancel Subscription .

Select  OK ,   then Continue .

Once you've cancelled your subscription, you should see a message that says "You have cancelled your app subscription" in the comments field of your add-in list.

Manage an add-in's access to your devices

Note:  The information in this section only applies to Excel on the web, Outlook on the web, PowerPoint on the web, and Word on the web running in Chromium-based browsers, such as Microsoft Edge and Google Chrome.

When an installed add-in requires access to your devices, such as your camera or microphone, you will be shown a dialog with the option to allow, allow once, or deny permission.

presentation meaning in business communication

If you select  Allow , the add-in will have access to the requested devices. The permission you grant persists until you uninstall the add-in or until you clear the cache of the browser where the add-in is running.

If you select  Allow Once , the add-in will have access to the requested devices until it's relaunched in the browser.

If you select  Deny , the add-in won't be able to access the requested devices. This persists until you uninstall the add-in or until you clear the cache of the browser where the add-in is running.

If you want to change an add-in's access to your devices after selecting  Allow  or  Deny , you must first uninstall the add-in or clear your browser cache.

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presentation meaning in business communication

Judges Mull Defining ‘Moving Target’ AI in Evidence Rules (1)

By Suzanne Monyak

Suzanne Monyak

Federal judges are wrestling with how to define artificial intelligence when dealing with evidence presented in trials, with some raising concerns that too broad a definition could sweep in items as common as receipts and thermometers.

The judiciary’s advisory committee on evidence rules heard testimony Friday from a panel of experts in computer science and the intersection between law and technology about how—and if—the judiciary should revise its rules to respond to the rise of generative artificial intelligence services.

Committee Chair Patrick Schiltz, chief judge of the Minnesota federal trial court, raised concerns that any AI policy crafted by the ...

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  1. What Is Business Communication? Process, Types, Importance

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  2. 4 Types of Business Communication and How They Benefit Your Business

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  3. Chapter 1: Effective Business Communication

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  1. What is Presentation? Definition, Parts and Factors

    Definition: A presentation is a form of communication in which the speaker conveys information to the audience. In an organization presentations are used in various scenarios like talking to a group, addressing a meeting, demonstrating or introducing a new product, or briefing a team. It involves presenting a particular subject or issue or new ideas/thoughts to a group of people.

  2. What It Takes to Give a Great Presentation

    Read more on Business communication or related topics Power and influence, Presentation skills and Public speaking Carmine Gallo is a Harvard University instructor, keynote speaker, and author of ...

  3. What Are Effective Presentation Skills (and How to Improve Them)

    Presentation skills are the abilities and qualities necessary for creating and delivering a compelling presentation that effectively communicates information and ideas. They encompass what you say, how you structure it, and the materials you include to support what you say, such as slides, videos, or images. You'll make presentations at various ...

  4. Business Presentation: Definition, Steps to Create & Tips to Remember

    A business presentation focuses on communication, interaction, and bonding between you and your audience. It allows you to build a good impression and brand image. This not only helps you convey messages and convince your audience but also establishes relationships and creates better connections. 2. Provides Information.

  5. Chapter 18: Business Presentations

    Preparing a Presentation. Develop your message while keeping in mind the format, audience, style, and tone. First, you'll need to think about the format of your presentation. This is a choice between presentation types. In your professional life, you'll encounter the verbal communication channels in Figure 18.1.

  6. What is a Presentation?

    A presentation is a means of communication that can be adapted to various speaking situations, such as talking to a group, addressing a meeting or briefing a team. A presentation can also be used as a broad term that encompasses other 'speaking engagements' such as making a speech at a wedding, or getting a point across in a video conference.

  7. Powerful and Effective Presentation Skills

    This is not surprising. Effective communications skills are a powerful career activator, and most of us are called upon to communicate in some type of formal presentation mode at some point along the way. For instance, you might be asked to brief management on market research results, walk your team through a new process, lay out the new budget ...

  8. Chapter 10: Developing Business Presentations

    Communication itself is a dynamic and complex process, and the degree to which you can prepare and present effectively across a range of settings will enhance your success as a business communicator. If you have been assigned a topic by the teacher or your supervisor, you may be able to go straight to the section on narrowing your topic.

  9. Making a Presentation for a Meeting

    In a business context, a good presentation is an effective presentation. That is, a good presentation achieves its intended outcome. Clearly, in order to achieve a specific outcome or objective, you need to know what it is. So, prior to crafting the drama (in word or slide), you need to hone in on three things: The purpose of your presentation

  10. Chapter 2: Developing Business Presentations

    Communication itself is a dynamic and complex process, and the degree to which you can prepare and present effectively across a range of settings will enhance your success as a business communicator. If you have been assigned a topic by the teacher or your supervisor, you may be able to go straight to the section on narrowing your topic.

  11. 8.1 Functions of the Presentation to Inform

    The basic definition of communication highlights the process of understanding and sharing meaning. An informative speech follows this definition in the aspect of sharing content and information with an audience. You won't be asking the audience to actually do anything in terms of offering a response or solving a problem.

  12. 8.2 Types of Presentations to Inform

    Learning Objective. Provide examples of four main types of speech to inform. Speaking to inform may fall into one of several categories. The presentation to inform may be. an explanation, a report, a description, or. a demonstration of how to do something. Let's explore each of these types of informative speech.

  13. How to prepare and deliver an effective oral presentation

    Delivery. It is important to dress appropriately, stand up straight, and project your voice towards the back of the room. Practise using a microphone, or any other presentation aids, in advance. If you don't have your own presenting style, think of the style of inspirational scientific speakers you have seen and imitate it.

  14. Exploring the Impact of Presentation Styles and Conventions in Business

    Verbal Communication and Its Influence in Business Presentations While visual elements are essential, the way information is verbally communicated also holds great importance in business ...

  15. What Is a Presentation? Definition, Uses & Examples

    What is a Presentation? A communication device that relays a topic to an audience in the form of a slide show, demonstration, lecture, or speech, where words and pictures complement each other.

  16. Unit 32: Presentations

    The main difference between examples and scenarios is that while both help "show" the audience what you mean, an example is the "thing" itself, while a scenario would include more detail about the sequence or development of events. ... Figure 34.5: A summary of the different types of business presentations (Business Communication, 2019).

  17. Presentation Basics

    Planning Presentations. As you can see based on the video examples, presentations always require a situational analysis in the planning stage. Identify your audience, purpose, context, and all of the communication variables that you need to consider in order to make choices that will result in an effective presentation for your purpose and audience.

  18. Communicating Through Business Presentations

    A Business presentation is a means of exchanging info for decision-making and policy developing, relating the benefits of the services offered and sharing our goals, values, and visions. Formal Presentations Allow time and planning. Ex. Presentation during a scheduled meeting.

  19. Presentation Definition: A Guide To Effective Communication

    Giving a presentation refers to the act of presenting information or ideas to an audience. This act, known in various languages including English, Spanish, and French as 'presentation' (or 'praesentātiō' in Latin), involves communication skills, visual aids, and sometimes interactive elements like quizzes.

  20. 14.3: Importance of Oral Presentations

    Page ID. In the workplace, and during your university career, you will likely be asked to give oral presentations. An oral presentation is a key persuasive tool. If you work in marketing, for example, you will often be asked to "pitch" campaigns to clients. Even though these pitches could happen over email, the face-to-face element allows ...

  21. 4.6 Presentations

    Technical presentations are a specific genre that often take the complex, lengthy information included in a formal report and condenses and translates that information in a way that includes visual and audio communication modes. Consider why it is useful to present information in various ways (as a formal report and as a 5-10 minute presentation).

  22. How effective business communication can transform your company

    Effective business communication helps promote collaboration, mitigate conflicts and encourage creative thinking among employees. By communicating thoughtfully, you can reduce misunderstandings and errors within your workplace and ensure that every team member gets the support they need. Let's explore communication tools and methods that can ...

  23. Role of Communication in Presentation and Speech

    Presentation in communication is the act of presenting a message or topic to an audience. It involves speaking, using visual aids, and engaging with the audience to convey a specific message. Being concise, using visual aids, speaking confidently, and engaging with the audience are all important aspects of delivering a successful presentation.

  24. Communicating in Business English

    Nowadays, most of the communication in business English you will do will be via email or online messenger. Here are ten examples of essential business English phrases to improve your emails: "Please find attached" - Use when attaching documents or materials to a letter or email.

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    Much has been written about common leadership styles and how to identify the right style for you, whether it's transactional or transformational, bureaucratic or laissez-faire. But according to ...

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    Note: This article only applies to add-ins in Excel, PowerPoint, and Word.For guidance on how to view, install, and manage add-ins in Outlook, see Use add-ins in Outlook.

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    Connecting decision makers to a dynamic network of information, people and ideas, Bloomberg quickly and accurately delivers business and financial information, news and insight around the world

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  29. PDF PFAS National Primary Drinking Water Regulation

    Hazard Index (HI): The Hazard Index is a long-established approach that EPA regularly uses to understand health risk from a chemical mixture (i.e., exposure to mul ple chemicals). The HI is made up of a sum of frac ons. Each frac on compares the level of each PFAS measured in the water to the health-based water concentra on.