Mastering several presentation styles is important as an entrepreneur. We communicate with our audience in different ways. It depends on the intent and purpose. Nothing is worse than using one style and your intent is something different. For instance, when creating sales video, you wouldn’t wing it and hope you included all the important points. At the very least, you would do some preparation. For example, create an outline to make sure you are conveying the most important aspects.
Knowing and mastering the different presentation styles is important. It will help you connect with your audience and build a strong community. It will also help you sell your product or service more easily.
Why Knowing Different Presentation Styles is Important
Your message and presentation style need to align. Have you ever watched a video, webinar, or even a live presentation and felt something was off? Most likely the person was using a style that didn't match their purpose or message.
As an entrepreneur it is imperative you connect with your audience clearly all the time. The deeper the connection the more likely someone will buy from you. Being off in your presentation style isn’t going to create a deeper connection. It will instead drive people away. Then you will keep trying and trying and not see the results you want.
Types of presentation styles
This is a style you would use for group or one-on-one coaching either during a Zoom call or in-person. With this style you are guiding the audience to improve their situation in some way. You can use a variety of strategies like role-playing or active listening.
This style allows you to connect with your audience in a more intimate way. It provides opportunities to have a two conversation and ask questions for clarity. This can be either between you and an individual or in a group setting among attendees.
The coaching presentation style doesn’t scale well for large audiences. It can fall flat in situations where you are more of the sage on a stage rather than a guide on the side.
The educational/instructor style works well when teaching your audience something new. This is particularly well suited for video and in-person sessions. It provides flexibility for high impact visuals, whether this is a slide deck or a physical item. Use this style if you're demonstrating a new product. It also works for a video launch sequence with a new service.
The educational/instructor presentation style is fitting if you've got videos and other visuals to show your audience. You can use metaphors and figures of speech to help make a point. Best suited for online courses or demonstration videos.
Not meant for short presentations. You need time to prepare especially if you are using lots of graphics and other visuals. It is easy to get lost in the details and lose track of your main points making confusing for your audience.
This style is very impromptu or off-the-cuff. It is great for a short video like a Facebook Live or Instagram Story. The presentation isn’t intended to be highly polished and practiced. It is intended to convey an idea or thought in the spur of the moment. When you know your subject well, the freeform style is easier to do.
The freeform style is a great way to connect with your audience in a more authentic way. It reveals a side of you that appears real and human. It is a good way to establish a deeper connection with your community.
If you are new to presenting or the subject matter, you might look distracted or chaotic. This is not a good style if you have a large amount of time you need to speak.
The persuasive style is what we most commonly associate with a sales pitch. Yet, at the core, you are trying to motivate the audience to take some type of action. This can be buying a product or service, donating money, or shifting their point of view. It allows you to connect with the audience in different ways. For example, a shared or similar experience or conveying relatable emotions. The purpose is to move the audience to act.
There are a variety of techniques you can use during a persuasive presentation. This enables you to keep the audience’s attention more easily. This style can be used by novice presenters. But, the more experience you have, the easier this style becomes.
If you have a perception of persuasion as “sleazy sales” then you might resist using this style. Remember, it is about your core message and the benefit to the audience. It isn't about making a quick buck at the expense of others.
Techniques for All Presentation Styles
When creating a video or doing a live presentation, consider your presentation techniques. The presentation style relates to your core message or purpose. The techniques can be used to engage your audience.
Whether you are using a slide deck or creating a video, you want to include visual elements. For slide decks, this will be images, graphs, or animation. In your video, you can include animation or text overlay. These visual elements will help keep your audience’s attention. The key, though, is to make sure the visual element is related to what you are saying. A mismatched visual will make you look out of touch or even insensitive. Get tips for engaging your audience and creating visual impact.
This is one of the most powerful techniques you can use when you are connecting with your audience. Research done by Paul J. Zak showed that people remembered a presentation's core message better when linked to a story. Don’t over complicate this, remember you aren’t writing a novel. The story can be a case study of a former client or maybe your own compelling journey to overcome an obstacle.
When presenting, it is so important to have the right energy level. When recording video or doing a live stream, a normal energy level often comes across as flat. To avoid that you need to amplify your energy level. At first it feels weird but the more you do it the easier it becomes. If you are doing an in-person speaking session, adjust your energy level to the size of the room.
Interaction & Engagement
The last thing you want to be is bland or static talking head either on video or on stage. In the digital environment, having audience interaction and engagement is crucial. For a live virtual session, this can be something simple. For instance, encouraging comments and questions in the chat feature. Grouping individuals into breakout rooms is another example. For a posted video, ask questions throughout the video and always ask for comments. For in-person, this can include a variety of hands-on activities. Read about more tips for engaging your audience from the beginning and throughout.
Different presentation styles and some key techniques is important for ever entrepreneur. You build a better relationship with your community and existing customers. Matching the style with your message will help you avoid looking insincere and out of touch. When you pair the style with tried-and-true presentation techniques, you having a winning formula for success.
In the comments below, share some of your favorite presentation styles. Or which one you think is most applicable to your community and customers.