Knowing when to make a speech and when to make a presentation may be more important than you think.
You may have seen a Toastmaster speak passionately about issues of importance only to dampen the impact of his or her speech by putting up Power Point slides full of technical data. The effect was to dilute the passion and conviction in the speech. When this happens, how do you evaluate the speech? Do you view the Power Point as part of the speech?
When do you speak and when do you present? First, it helps to know the difference.
A presentation typically employs visual aids to convey data.
A speech relies on words alone to create feeling and imagery in the minds of the listeners.
How do you choose? Determine what’s best for each occasion, each audience, based on their needs, their concerns and expectations.
A presentation is generally the best vehicle for showing specific, detailed information. Ideally, clear uncomplicated visual data detail to prove or support the presenter’s points.
A speech is more appropriate for striking larger themes and conveying emotion, with a greater dependence on language to convey ideas ‘visually’.
Philip Coakley ALB, ACS - Speak to Inspire Toastmasters
Adapted ‘The Total Communicator’