Presentations are an integral part of the business. Whether you are presenting a proposal to an investor for raising funds for your business growth or presenting to customers on how to upgrade to the new version of the software, you have a specific purpose behind every presentation. You present either to inform or to persuade. Understanding the difference between persuasive and informative presentations will help you prepare a powerful and winning presentation to serve your purpose well.
Let’s dive deep to know the difference between both presentations!
The Persuasive Presentation
The advertisements that you see on television, pop-up ads on the internet, and sales pitches – all these are the perfect examples of persuasive presentation. Influencing the audience with your viewpoints, ideas, and thoughts, convincing them to acknowledge your opinions and take required actions, and changing their values, beliefs, and attitudes are the major goals of persuasive speech. A well-thought-out speech incorporates any of the following persuasion modes:
- Ethos – appeals to the morals and ethics of the audience
- Pathos – appeals to the emotions
- Logos – appeals to the reasoning capacity (logic)
Principles of Persuasion
Most speakers assume that the best way to convince the audience is by brimming the slides with text and images. In fact, it is a misconception! You can make your presentations truly compelling by incorporating some or all principles of persuasion – Liking, Consensus, Authority, Scarcity, and Reciprocity.
Tips to Craft a Persuasive Presentation
- Define Your Goal and Do Thorough Research
What’s your presentation goal? Do you want to change the opinion or behavior of the audience after listening to your speech? Or do you want them to make a purchase decision? Or do you want to convince them to donate money for a noble cause? Understanding your goal will help you determine the future course of action.
After defining the goal, conduct meticulous research to know the needs and expectations of the target customers. It will help you prepare your content tailoring to the interests of the audience and choose the best presentation technique to better relate with them on the subject and keep them engrossed throughout the speech.
- Include Facts and Statistics
If the purpose of your presentation is stimulation, you would want to reinforce and intensify the existing beliefs of the audience by presenting facts. And if you want to change their judgements and values, you will have to present various points, expert opinions, and examples in support of your views, claims, or arguments. To be precise, incorporating statistical data, testimonials, evidence, and research studies in your presentations is a smarter way to appeal to your logical readers and convince them to embrace your ideas.
One important thing to keep in mind while presenting facts and statistics is that they should not be misleading and must be presented in a visually impressive manner using high-definition charts and graphs for easy comprehension.
- Use Storytelling Technique
Statistics and facts work best to woo the audience driven by logic, but stories are the best bet for the emotionally driven audience. Emotions have the power to influence one’s own point of view. Thus, by including stories in your presentations, you can elicit an emotional response and encourage the audience to act in certain ways. Moreover, by weaving the facts and data into the right story, you can appeal to both the logic and emotions of the audience.
Remember, stories are powerful only if you know how to use them. So, next time when you want to convince someone of your assertions and opinions, reframe them using the story that fits the context well.
- Pay Heed to Your Body Language
Do you know that your body language has an untold power of persuasion? If you are still unaware of this fact, recognize it soon, and start working on your gestures, eye contact, voice, and facial expressions to maximize the influence!
A feeble body language can weaken the impact of your words. If there is any inconsistency between your body language and words, you will likely undermine your credibility. Contrary to this, good body language makes you look expressive, confident, and relaxed, making your words seem more trustworthy and rational.
- Speak Ethically
Using irrelevant, distorted, fabricated, or false facts or evidence to support your claims and arguments, intentionally advocating something that you yourself don’t believe in, or using emotional appeals that lack reasoning and supporting evidence are not at all going to persuade your audience; instead, these tactics will put a question mark on your ethics. So, be fair and honest in our speech to persuade.
Adhere to principles of ethics, i.e., truthfulness in the message, integrity in the subject matter, dignity in conduct, respect for others, and trustworthiness, if you want to earn approval from the audience.
- Incorporate a Call to Action
If you have persuaded your audience to believe in your idea but have not provided them a clue of what to do with your ideas, your presentation is worthless. So, to give a finishing touch to your presentation and encourage the audience to act in a certain way, add a clear link to action associated with the solutions. Knowing what motivates audience members will help you craft a well-tailored and powerful CTA that describes what will happen if the audience chooses to act. Add personalization to make your CTA more persuasive.
The Informative Presentation
The induction provided to the new recruits by the HR and tutorials to enhance one’s skills are the best examples of the informative presentation. The main focus of such presentations is to make people aware of a new product, increase their understanding of a concept, help them gain new skills, instruct them how to perform an action, or educate them on a particular topic. Unlike a persuasive presentation, an informative presentation doesn’t rely too much on pathos; instead, it uses visual aids to help the audience quickly retain the information.
Principles of Informative Presentation
Since the informative presentations are data-driven, they must be structured in an engaging manner to keep the audience members hooked. By including the five principles, i.e., creativity, credibility, intellectual stimulation, relevance, and emphasis, you can establish relevance, increase the overall effectiveness, and meet the audience’s needs.
Tips to Craft an Informative Presentation
- Choose a Topic that Interests You
Speech topics are generally assigned, but if you are asked to choose the topic on your own, pick the one that interests you the most and on which you would be eager to do thorough research. Narrow down the topic into more specific terms so that you will be able to add more value.
For example, if you are planning to present the history of the CRM (Customer Relationship Management), you can choose to present on a particular CRM (such as Salesforce, HubSpot, Zoho, etc.). The more specific topic you will choose, the more targeted research you will be able to conduct.
- Do Audience Analysis
Audience analysis is important to know their understanding level, expectations, how much they are familiar with your topic, and the aspects that they are not aware of. This analysis will provide you with a roadmap to create a compelling, audience-centered presentation and the best approach to convey your message.
For example, if your audience already knows about basic genetics, you need not go into detail as it will make them bored. Instead, you can provide a brief review of key concepts and terms at the beginning of the presentation to refresh their memories.
- Use Relevant Visual Aids
Do you have a large volume of information to share but don’t know how to represent it in a truly remarkable manner to awe your audience? Visual aids can be of great help!
Presenting through visual aids makes it easy for you to explain the information coherently and helps the audience grab and retain it quickly. Depending on your content and data, you can use images, charts, graphs, infographics, videos, demonstrations, etc., to make the presentation more gripping and insightful.
- Make Your Content Delivery Impressive
The success of informative presentations hugely depends on how the speaker presents and delivers the new information in a more relatable manner, coupling it with the pre-existing knowledge of the audience. Explain the concepts in easy language without using jargon, and project your passion and confidence with apt posture, gesture, and eye contact. Before wrapping up the presentation, explain how the audience can use the shared information for their own benefit.
A complete understanding of the difference between persuasive and informational speech will help you determine what rhetorical strategies to use for achieving the desired goal.
The below table represents the difference between both types of presentation in a summarized manner. Take a look!
|Promoting, convincing, actuating, stimulating
|Enlightenment, instructing, educating, training
|Liking, consensus, authority, scarcity, and reciprocity
|Creativity, credibility, intellectual stimulation, relevance, and emphasis
|Ethos, pathos, logos
|Role of the speaker
|Facts, evidence, statistics, examples, testimonials, expert views, etc.
|Demonstrations, graphs, charts, videos, infographics, etc.
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