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A speaker giving a presentation using a projector

A presentation conveys information from a speaker to an audience. Presentations are typically demonstrations, introduction, lecture, or speech meant to inform, persuade, inspire, motivate, build goodwill, or present a new idea/product.[1] Presentations usually require preparation, organization, event planning, writing, use of visual aids, dealing with stress, and answering questions.[2] “The key elements of a presentation consists of presenter, audience, message, reaction and method to deliver speech for organizational success in an effective manner.” [3].The term can also be used for a formal or ritualized introduction or offering, as with the presentation of a debutante.[4] Presentations in certain formats are also known as keynote[5] address. Interactive presentations, in which the audience is involved, are also represented more and more frequently. Instead of a monologue, this creates a dialogue between the speaker and the audience. The advantages of an interactive presentation is for example, that it attracts more attention from the audience and that the interaction creates a sense of community.[6]

Visual elements[edit]

A presentation program is commonly used to generate the presentation content, some of which also allow presentations to be developed collaboratively, e.g. using the Internet by geographically disparate collaborators. Presentation viewers can be used to combine content from different sources into one presentation. Some of the popular presentation products used across the globe are offered by Apple, Google and Microsoft.

Microsoft PowerPoint and Google Slides are effective tools to develop slides, though Google Slides allows groups to work together using Google Drive to update each account as it is edited. Content such as text, images, links, and effects are added into each of the presentation programs to deliver useful, consolidated information to a group. Visual elements add to the effectiveness of a presentation and help emphasize the key points being made through the use of type, color, images/videos, graphs, layout, and transitions.


According to the journal, "Prepare and Deliver an Effective Presentation,"[7] effective presentations typically use serif fonts (e.g. Times New Roman, Garamond, Baskerville, etc.) for the smaller text and sans serif fonts (e.g. Helvetica, Futura, Arial, etc.) for headings and larger text. The typefaces are used along with type size to improve readability for the audience. A combination of these typefaces can also be used to create emphasis. The majority of the fonts within a presentation are kept simple to aid in readability. Font styles, like bold, italic, and underline, are used to highlight important points.

It is possible to emphasize text and still maintain its readability by using contrasting colors. For example, black words on a white background emphasize the text being displayed but still helps maintain its readability. Text that contrasts with the background of a slide also enhances visibility. Readability and visibility enhance a presentation experience, which contributes to the effectiveness of it. Certain colors are also associated with specific emotions and the proper application of these colors adds to the effectiveness of a presentation through the creation of an immersive experience for an audience.


Large images relevant to the presentation attract an audience’s attention which in turn can clarify the topics within the presentation. Using pictures sparingly helps support other presentation elements (e.g. text). Short videos are used to help the presenter reinforce their message to the audience. With the additional reinforcement that images and videos offer, the effectiveness of a presentation is further maximized.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "presentation | Definition of presentation in English by Oxford Dictionaries". Oxford Dictionaries | English. Retrieved 2018-01-23.
  2. ^ Swathi, T.V.S.S (June 2015). "The importance of effective presentation for organizational success". IUP Journal of Soft Skills. 9 (2). Retrieved 12 April 2021.
  3. ^ Swathi, T.V.S.S (June 2015). "The importance of effective presentation for organizational success". IUP Journal of Soft Skills. 9 (2). Retrieved 12 April 2021.
  4. ^ Baden Eunson: Writing and Presenting Reports. (The communication skills series), John Wiley & Sons, Australia 1998, ISBN 978-0-4713-3563-4.
  5. ^ "keynote | Definition of keynote in English by Oxford Dictionaries". Oxford Dictionaries | English. Retrieved 2018-01-23.
  6. ^ "Interactive Presentations". 2020-07-24. Retrieved 2021-05-23.
  7. ^ Thawani, Rajat; Ravishankar, Arjun; Shad, Rohan (2013-12-20). "Prepare and deliver an effective presentation". BMJ: f7372. doi:10.1136/sbmj.f7372. ISSN 1756-1833.

External links[edit]

Definition of presentations
Content (types, audience, visual)
  • Daria Price Bowman. (1998). Presentations. Madison WI: F+W Publications Inc.