A presentation is often confused with making a speech. The fact is that very few people ever have to actually give a speech…or want to. Even fewer people want to sit through a speech. When it comes to business presentations, it is important to recognize key distinctions between a speech and a presentation. There are at least two to bear in mind.
First, speeches are typically more about the speaker than they are about the information. In other word, “speakers” tend to have some “celebrity” about them and audiences are there to see the speaker at least as much (usually more so) as they are to hear the information. On the other hand, presentations are more about the information than the presenter.
The second key distinction is that speakers don’t change information; they change audiences. Presenters routinely change information and often speak to the same audiences, or subsets of a consistent broad audience. Thus for the speaker, each speech becomes a dress rehearsal for the next one and they become more comfortable with each delivery and appear more comfortable and confident.
Keep these distinctions in mind as you anticipate and prepare for your presentations. Focus on the audience’s needs and the information first and foremost. Do not put undue performance pressure on yourself. The audience is there for the information, not so much to see you.
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