Presentation Geeks

Informal vs Formal Presentation: What You Need To Know

Table of contents, what is a formal presentation.

There are three key elements which make a presentation formal – your audience, your supporting material and the time you’re given to prepare in advance.

A presentation is considered formal when you’ve been asked to share ideas with an individual or group and you’ve been given time to prepare. Formal presentations require a very different approach than presenting to your team during a weekly meeting or in an impromptu discussion.

Let’s take a closer look at what goes into creating a formal presentation.

How Do You Create A Formal Presentation?

Creating a formal presentation is an art which requires hours of practice to create an effective presentation.

At Presentation Geeks, we know the importance of crafting an excellent formal presentation. That’s why we’ve put together a simple structured template of main points you should include in your next presentation to take it from a generic, informal presentation to a formal presentation which will surpass your audience’s expectations.

1 – Clearly Defined Goals

Before you begin writing your presentation or the speech you’ll deliver, you want to take the time to think about the following questions, “What do I want the audience members to remember and what is the key message I’m trying to drive?”.

Knowing your expected outcome is the goal of the presentation. Always keep reminding yourself what the goal is and don’t lose sight of it. This is the foundation of your formal presentation.

2 – Know Your Audience

Every audience is different and every audience consumes, absorbs and remembers information differently.

If you’re presenting to a graduating class of university students, your delivery will be much different than your presentation to an audience of senior executives at a Fortune 500 company or an audience of single mothers with newborns.

Get familiar with your audience members and prepare your presentation accordingly.

Bonus Tip: Try and figure out where the presentation will take place. Will it be held in an auditorium? A church? A boardroom? Perhaps it will even be held virtually. The venue in which your presentation will take place will also determine the supporting material you’ll use to help engage the audience during your presentation.

3 – Create An Outline

The success of your presentation depends on how well your audience can understand it. If you’re delivering a presentation that continuously jumps back and forth from one idea to another, your audience won’t follow and you’ll lose them.

Develop an outline that will guide the flow of your presentation. Think of it like a story. You want to keep it interesting. Provide appropriate examples that resonate with your audience. By tapping into an experience your audience is familiar with, it will work to your advantage as it will help the audience get engaged and keep them interested.

4 – Use Visual Aids

Using visual aids will help support your overall presentation and increase audience engagement.

Visual aids can include slides, videos, images and other visual supporting material. Although it might take some creative finesse to put visual aids together, you don’t have to do it alone.

Consider enlisting the help of a company that offers presentation design services. Presentation Geeks offers a variety of presentation services ranging from e-learning solutions, Google Slides, sizzle reels, Prezi design and much more!

5 – Dress Appropriately

Remember, first impressions are everything and your attire is a form of communication.

If you want to be seen as the expert on the topic matter and have people take your knowledge seriously, you want to dress appropriately.

Although this might seem like an outdated way of thinking, it is rooted in our psychology. These small details make or break a presentation and you don’t want to take a chance.

Don’t know where to start? Nine millionaires shared how they dress to make an impactful first impression which you can use in your wardrobe.

What are the types of formal presentations?

a presentation can be formal or informal

There are many types of formal presentations you’ll be exposed to throughout your career.

We’ve outlined six types of formal presentations you may consider when developing your next presentation.

However, if you’re looking for more examples of formal presentations in action, TED Talks are a great resource. TED Talks are presentations ranging on a variety of topics from science and business to motivational and unique life experiences.

Review the list below and determine which style your presentation will focus on. This will help you structure your notes, write your presentation and ultimately how you will present.

1 – Informative Presentation

This is the most common type of presentation, be it in an educational setting, business or corporate setting.

The aim of an informative presentation is to give detailed information about a product, concept, or idea to a specific kind of audience.

2 – Persuasive Presentation

Persuasive presentations are used to motivate or convince someone to act or make a change in their actions or thoughts.

3 – Demonstrative Presentation

A demonstrative presentation involves demonstrating a process or the functioning of a product in a step-by-step fashion.

4 – Inspirational Presentation

An inspirational presentation’s aim is to motivate or emotionally move your audience.

Using techniques like storytelling, narrating personal anecdotes, or even humor work wonders to enhance your presentation as your audience develops an emotional connection to the message.

5 – Business Presentation

A business presentation can encompass pitching client presentations , raising business capital, articulating company goals, RFP presentations , screening candidates, status reports, investment pitching and many more.

6 – PowerPoint Presentation

PowerPoint presentations or PPTs are the most effective ones among all types of presentations simply because they are convenient and easy to understand.

They are available in different formats and are suitable to use in practically any type of presentation and context, be it business, educational, or for informal purposes.

The only downside to PowerPoint presentations is the time it takes to create them and the creativity needed to make them stand out. Fortunately, there are PowerPoint presentation design services you can use that will help you save time and deliver new ideas in a creative way.

See What We Can Do For You

What is an informal presentation.

It is fairly common for business meetings to include impromptu presentations. Most presentations you’ll encounter are informal presentations.

These types of presentations are usually prepared in a short amount of time and do not require the same organizational methods as a formal presentation such as using audience engagement or presentation software.

Oftentimes, they are very much like a conversation and you won’t be using any note cards. The presenter is usually speaking to a much smaller audience where each audience member will feel like they’re being spoken to.

What Presentation Style Should I Use?

Now that you know what the difference is between a formal presentation and an informal presentation, it is now time for you to decide which style to choose.

More often than not, if you have the time to be reading this article, you have the time to prepare a presentation. That means you’ll likely lean towards the formal style.

Informal presentations are more impromptu and you won’t have the time to research it ahead of time like you are now. But since you do have the time, here are some additional resources to help you master the craft of a formal presentation.

Additional Resources To Master Your Formal Presentation

Presentation 101: How to become a better presenter . We’ve put together a list of 10 actionable items you can start working on to become a better presenter. This article covers body language such as eye contact and voice projection to the topic you’ll talk about.

Secondly, if your presentation is held online, you need to have the skills to present a virtual presentation. We’ve got you covered once again. We take a deep-dive into how to ace your virtual presentation . We cover virtual presentation software you might encounter,

The last article you should review to incorporate into your presentation arsenal is how to give and receive constructive presentation feedback . The only way you’ll improve is through ongoing feedback and data collection of what your audience thought of your presentation and presentation skills.

If these aren’t enough, download and review some of the past presentation work we’ve done for Fortune 500 companies and other industries to help spark some inspiration for your next presentation.

If you review these three articles and incorporate them into your next presentation, you’ll be on your way to becoming an influential speaker who can convert any audience with a well crafted presentation.

Author:  Ryan

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Informal vs formal presentation (plus tips on creating and delivering both)

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Informal vs formal presentation (plus tips on creating and delivering both)

To give a successful presentation, whether in front of a client, student, colleague, or stranger audience or virtually, you must understand the difference between formal and informal presentation. This article will help you learn just that and provide information on delivering powerful presentations in both styles to effectively promote your skills and make your audience more receptive to your message. So, let’s dive in!

What is a formal presentation?

Your audience, supporting materials, and the amount of time you have to prepare in advance are the main elements that define a presentation as formal.

A presentation is considered formal when you are requested to share your thoughts with a person or group and given the opportunity to prepare. This type of presentation requires a totally different approach than presenting to your team during an informal discussion or weekly meeting.

Formal presentations often take place in an academic or professional setting and adhere to a specific set of guidelines. They can be delivered orally or via video chat, which enables participants to connect from different locations and meet on screen so they can see each other while speaking without having anybody else around to listen.

The different types of formal presentations include:

  • Informative
  • Demonstrative
  • Inspirational

Now that you know the formal presentation definition and its types, let’s examine how to create one in more detail.

How to make a formal presentation?

Crafting an excellent formal presentation that surpasses your audience’s expectations is an art that requires countless hours of practice to master.

Here at SlidePeak, we understand that a properly delivered formal speech can make a huge difference in how effectively someone expresses their thoughts. That’s why we’ve created this simple guide that will educate you on how to make your formal presentation PowerPoint the best it can be and help you prevent typical rookie mistakes.

What to include in the formal presentation:

  • A clear introduction that captures the audience’s attention.
  • A well-organized body that presents your research and supporting evidence.
  • A brief conclusion that summarizes your main idea.

What is the voice of the formal presentation?

Typically, the voice of a formal presentation is strong, authoritative, and appealing. Such a voice is crucial when presenting or speaking to a large audience. This comes from your ability to make your voice resonate since a resonant voice is more pleasing and can make you sound more confident. Speaking softly or mumbling, on the contrary, might give the impression that you are uncertain and undermine the strength of your presentation.

Tips for creating a formal presentation:

  • Clearly define your goals.
  • Get to know your audience and prepare a presentation accordingly.
  • Ensure the topic you choose is suitable for the audience.
  • Conduct in-depth research and collect reliable data.
  • Craft a detailed outline that will guide the presentation’s flow.
  • Include questions for audience interaction.
  • Choose a professional presentation format, such as Keynote or PowerPoint.
  • Add visual aids (e.g., slides, videos, images) to support your presentation and increase audience engagement.

Don’t know where to start? Check this formal presentation example or enlist the help of PowerPoint presentation services to save time and ensure your ideas are presented in an appealing way that combines aesthetics alongside content.

formal presentation

Tips for delivering a formal presentation in person

When giving a formal presentation, there are also a few things to consider:

  • Ensure you are well prepared.
  • Speak slowly and try to be as clear as possible.
  • Look your audience in the eyes when speaking.
  • Use formal language.
  • Dress appropriately, as first impressions are everything.

Tips for delivering a formal presentation virtually

If you are going to give an online presentation, make sure to consider the below tips in addition to the ones above.

  • Choose a background that looks professional.
  • Test your video and audio settings beforehand.

So, what is the difference between a formal and informal presentation? Read on to find out what an informal presentation is, what makes it different from a formal one, and how to give one like a pro.

Informal presentation definition

Informal presentations, also known as impromptu presentations, can be presented in a variety of settings. They have the same structure as formal ones but are less formal. This type of presentation can be delivered in person or virtually via video chat and frequently has a more conversational tone.

An informal presentation is pretty common for business meetings and is typically prepared quickly, without much organization. It’s more like a conversation where everyone feels like they’re being spoken to directly by the presenter rather than watching the presenter talk to an audience from behind slides. This makes it a fantastic way to engage the audience. And unlike a formal, lecture-like presentation with a few questions at the end, informal presentations are often followed by vivid discussions.

Tips for creating informal presentations:

  • Understand the purpose of your presentation.
  • Pick a topic that is suitable for the setting and audience.
  • Conduct research, but don’t try to compile as much data as for a formal presentation.
  • Make an outline, but it doesn’t have to be as thorough as one for a presentation in a formal setting. Instead, hit what’s important.
  • Choose an appropriate presentation format, such as a PowerPoint or whiteboard.
  • Consider a hand-out (in case of an in-person presentation).

Here are some excellent informal presentation examples to get you started:

informal ppt presentation

Pro tip: If you have an outdated presentation on a similar topic or one with a similar structure but on a different topic, you can opt for a PPT redesign service and have it revamped while you practice your presentation or indulge in other important activities.

How to give an informal presentation?

There are a few things to remember when delivering informal presentations, and they are as follows:

  • Ensure you are adequately prepared.
  • Keep eye contact with the audience.
  • Stick to a conversational, positive, and optimistic tone.
  • Don’t mumble; speak slowly and try to be as clear as possible.
  • Interact with your audience: ask questions and allow feedback.
  • Insert on-purpose jokes every now and then (if suitable for the audience).
  • Make sure to test your audio and video settings (in case of a virtual presentation).

Wrapping up

Both formal and informal presentations have their benefits. However, it’s crucial to take your particular situation into account to choose the most appropriate style, as formal presentations are more acceptable in a professional setting, while informal ones work better if there is no formality requirement (e.g., team discussion, conference, weekly meeting).

“But what is the secret to delivering powerful presentations in both styles?” you might ask. The answer is pretty straightforward: when you’re putting together your presentation, always ensure that your organization and research abilities work in harmony and find time to practice. Remember, practice makes perfect, and passion persuades. Polished presenting skills provide payoffs. Speak slowly and clearly, look your audience in the eyes, and give them something to talk about when your speech is over.

For assistance with the presentation design part, you can always count on . Our dedicated team is at your service 24/7!

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Understanding the difference: formal vs informal presentations

Learn the difference between formal and informal presentations and when to use them.

Supriya Sarkar


team discussing the difference between formal vs informal presentations

Learn the difference between formal and informal presentations and when to use them. Enhance your presentation skills, with practical tips for any setting.

Presentations are a valuable tool—whether in academic, professional, or social settings. How information is delivered significantly impacts its reception and comprehension.

The two primary presentation styles that exist are formal and informal. While both serve distinct purposes, understanding their differences is crucial for effective communication.

This article covers the characteristics, usage, and strategies associated with formal and informal presentations—providing readers with comprehensive insights into both approaches.

Formal vs informal presentations: Definition

Creating a formal presentation requires careful planning and adherence to established guidelines. Presentations are usually structured and follow a predefined outline or agenda. This type of presentation is considered formal and is commonly given in professional settings such as board meetings, conferences, or academic seminars. Speakers maintain a professional disposition, employ formal language, and adhere to established standards of dress and conduct.

In contrast, informal presentations take on a different approach than presenting formally. They occur in more casual settings, like team meetings, workshops, or social gatherings. Informal presentations are often spontaneous and may be loosely structured or entirely improvised, allowing for more flexibility and spontaneity in delivery. Speakers adopt a conversational tone, often engaging the audience through anecdotes, humor, or personal stories.

When giving a formal presentation, it's common for business meetings to include a virtual presentation component, especially in today's digital age. This may involve using a slideshow to provide information to the audience. Speakers are usually given time to prepare their presentation and ensure that it meets the standards of professionalism expected in the given context.

However, when presenting to your team in a weekly meeting, the atmosphere is typically more relaxed. Presentations may feel more like a conversation, and speakers may take a less formal approach in delivering their content. This allows for a more interactive exchange of ideas among team members.

Characteristics of formal presentations:

The characteristics of a formal presentation encompass several key elements. Understanding and incorporating these elements can help you deliver formal presentations that are informative, engaging, and impactful.

Structure: Formal presentations follow a structured format, typically beginning with an introduction, followed by the main body, and concluding with a summary or conclusion. Each section is explained, with transitions facilitating smooth progression between topics.

Language: Formal presentations employ precise, technical language suited to the audience's expertise. Jargon and terminology relevant to the subject matter are commonly used, enhancing credibility and professionalism.

Visual aids: Visual aids such as slideshows, charts, or graphs are integral parts of formal presentations, aiding in information retention and comprehension. They are carefully designed to complement the spoken content, emphasizing key points and data.

Interaction: While interaction with the audience may occur in formal presentations, it is typically more structured, with designated question-and-answer sessions or opportunities for feedback at specific intervals.

formal presentation

Strategies for effective formal presentations:

The following strategies for formal presentations will enable you to communicate, engage the audience, and achieve your presentation objectives.

Preparation: Thorough preparation is essential for formal presentations. This includes researching the topic, organizing content logically, and rehearsing delivery to ensure fluency and confidence.

Clarity: Clear and concise communication is paramount in formal presentations. Articulate your points clearly, avoiding ambiguity or unnecessary complexity.

Engagement: While maintaining professionalism, you should strive to engage the audience through compelling storytelling, relevant examples, or thought-provoking questions.

Professionalism: Research on appearance-based inferences shows that formally dressed individuals are perceived as more competent and establish credibility. Dressing appropriately, maintaining eye contact, and exhibiting confidence are all characteristics of professionalism in formal presentations.

How to make an effective formal presentation?

Crafting an effective formal presentation involves meticulous planning, thorough preparation, and polished delivery. A well-crafted presentation script provides a solid foundation for exceptional delivery, enabling you to engage your audience and convey your message impactfully. Here are key steps to ensure success:

Define objectives:

Clarify the purpose and objectives of the presentation as it guides your planning and content creation process. A clear purpose ensures that you stay on track, maintain audience interest, and effectively communicate your message. Identify the key messages you want to convey and the desired outcomes you hope to achieve.

Know your audience:

Understand the needs, interests, and expectations of your audience as it allows you to create personalized content. By understanding your audience demographics, interests, and expectations, you can create content that resonates with them on a deeper level, increasing engagement and retention. Personalized content demonstrates that you value your audience's time and attention, leading to a more meaningful and impactful presentation experience for both you and your audience.

Research thoroughly:

Conducting comprehensive research on the topic is crucial to gather relevant information, data, and examples. This step is essential for several reasons:

-    It enables you to gain a thorough understanding of the subject matter, allowing you to speak confidently and authoritatively during your presentation. -    Thorough research helps uncover pertinent data, statistics, and examples to support your points, thereby enhancing the credibility of your presentation. -    In-depth research allows you to anticipate potential questions or objections from your audience and prepare thoughtful responses. -    Verifying the credibility of your sources ensures accuracy and relevance in your content.

By prioritizing comprehensive research, you equip yourself with the necessary knowledge and evidence to deliver a compelling and credible presentation.

Organize content:

Structure your presentation logically and coherently. Develop an outline or storyboard to organize key points, transitions, and visual aids effectively. A presentation outline acts as the foundation for a well-organized and impactful presentation. Here's why having one is crucial:

‍ -     Clarity and structure: An outline offers a clear framework, allowing you to organize your ideas logically. It ensures a smooth flow of information from start to finish, helping your audience grasp the main message effectively. -     Prevention of information overload: With a structured outline, you can prioritize key points and avoid overwhelming your audience with excessive details. This keeps your presentation focused and engaging. -     Time management: Effective time allocation is vital in presentations. An outline helps you manage time efficiently by dividing your content into manageable segments. This ensures that you stay within the allotted time and maintain a steady pace throughout your delivery.

Create compelling visuals:

Research indicates that over 50% of our brain is dedicated to processing visuals, highlighting the importance of visual storytelling in communication. Designing visually appealing slides or multimedia presentations to accompany your spoken content can significantly enhance audience engagement and improve information retention.

Compelling visuals not only make presentations more captivating but also facilitate the understanding of complex information. By incorporating clear and concise visuals such as charts, graphs, or images, you can effectively break down dense data or intricate processes into easily understandable and memorable segments.

This approach is particularly beneficial for business presentations, which often involve conveying valuable insights, system workflows, or customer journeys. Visual representations of statistics or stages help simplify complex information, making it more accessible and digestible for your audience.

Practice delivery:

Rehearse your presentation multiple times to familiarize yourself with the content and flow. It goes beyond just explaining your topic and data—it's also about mastering soft skills like speaking without reading, maintaining eye contact, and controlling your pace. This combination helps convey confidence and professionalism. Here's how rehearsing your presentation can benefit you in an effective presentation delivery :

‍ -     Enhances confidence: Regular practice boosts confidence and reduces anxiety, leading to a more polished and assured performance. -     Improves timing: Rehearsing helps refine the timing of the presentation, ensuring it fits within the allotted time frame. -     Enhances clarity: Practicing enables presenters to articulate their message clearly, improving audience comprehension. -     Refines delivery style: Repeated rehearsal allows presenters to refine their tone, pacing, and body language, enhancing overall communication effectiveness. -   Increases preparedness: Regular practice ensures presenters are well-prepared to handle unexpected situations or questions during the actual presentation.

Engage the audience:

An engaging and interactive presentation is more memorable as it prevents distractions and effectively communicates key messages. It also fosters a connection between the presenter and the audience, building rapport, trust, and a positive impression. To keep your audience engaged, consider the following tips:

-     Start with a compelling opening: Grab the audience's attention with a thought-provoking question, surprising fact, or relevant anecdote. -     Use visual aids: Incorporate visually appealing slides, videos, or images to enhance the presentation and reinforce key points. -     Tell stories: Share relevant stories or examples to make your points more relatable and evoke emotional connections. -     Encourage interaction: Foster engagement through polls, quizzes, or group discussions, and invite audience questions and thoughts. -     Involve the audience: Invite volunteers to participate in demonstrations or role-plays to encourage active participation and experiential learning. -   End with a call to action: Conclude with a clear call to action that motivates the audience to take the next steps, whether it's signing up for a newsletter or implementing new ideas.

Creating an interactive environment during a presentation is an art but it is not impossible to learn how to engage your audience . By incorporating the above-given tips into your presentation, you can help you create an engaging and memorable experience that resonates with your audience and achieves your presentation goals.

Handle Q&A sessions:

Q&A sessions are vital components of successful presentations as they gauge your preparedness, establish credibility, and provide clarity to stakeholders. To handle them effectively, it's essential to:

-   Prepare in advance: Anticipate potential questions and objections from the audience, and formulate clear, concise responses to address them effectively. -     Maintain composure: When facing challenging or confrontational questions, remain composed and avoid becoming defensive . Acknowledge concerns respectfully and respond thoughtfully. -   Restate and clarify: If necessary, restate questions for clarity before providing your response. This ensures that everyone understands the context and facilitates a more effective exchange. -     Redirect tactfully: If a question veers off-topic or becomes disruptive, tactfully redirect the conversation back to the presentation's focus while acknowledging the importance of the audience's input.

By following these strategies, presenters can navigate Q&A sessions with confidence, professionalism, and effectiveness.

Evaluate and adjust:

Evaluating and adjusting your presentation is essential for continuous improvement. After delivering your presentation, it's essential to seek feedback from audience members or peers to identify areas for improvement. If possible, take the time to review a recording of your presentation, paying close attention to verbal and non-verbal cues, audience reactions, and overall flow.

Use this review to pinpoint areas where adjustments can be made to enhance your delivery, such as modifying slides, refining talking points, or practicing delivery techniques. Each presentation should be viewed as a learning opportunity, encouraging continuous growth and refinement of your skills based on audience response and evolving objectives.

Understanding the significance of different types of formal presentations is essential for achieving presentation objectives effectively. Each type serves a specific purpose, catering to various communication needs in business contexts. By exploring these different forms, you can tailor your approach to suit the specific requirements of their audience and message. Dive into our article, " Exploring 8 different types of presentations to excel in business communication ," to gain valuable insights on different types of presentations and enhance your presentation skills.

Characteristics of informal presentations:

In the realm of formal vs. informal presentations, it's essential to recognize the unique characteristics that set informal presentations apart. Here's what distinguishes them:

Flexibility: Informal presentations offer greater flexibility in content and delivery. Speakers may deviate from a predefined structure, responding to audience feedback or incorporating spontaneous ideas.

Tone: The tone of informal presentations is conversational and relaxed, fostering a sense of fellowship and connection with the audience. Humor, personal anecdotes, and informal language are often employed to create a more engaging atmosphere.

Interactivity: Informal presentations encourage active participation from the audience, fostering conversation and collaboration. Speakers may invite questions, facilitate group discussions, or encourage audience members to share their experiences.

Visual aids: While visual aids may still be used in informal presentations, they are typically simpler and less formal than those used in formal settings. Hand-drawn diagrams, whiteboard sketches, or multimedia clips may supplement verbal communication.

informal presentations

Strategies for effective informal presentations:

When delivering an informal presentation, certain strategies can significantly enhance its effectiveness. By creating a relaxed and engaging atmosphere, informal presentations allow for a more conversational approach. Here are some key strategies to help you make the most of this dynamic setting:

Authenticity: Authenticity is key in informal presentations. You should express genuine enthusiasm and passion for the topic, fostering rapport and connection with the audience.

Adaptability: Flexibility and adaptability are essential in informal presentations. Be prepared to adjust their approach based on audience reactions, improvising as necessary to maintain engagement and interest.

Interactivity: Encouraging audience participation is crucial in informal presentations. You should create opportunities for dialogue, actively listening to audience feedback and incorporating it into the presentation where appropriate.

Engagement: Captivating the audience's attention is paramount in informal presentations. Make smart use of storytelling, humor, or interactive activities to maintain interest and foster a memorable experience.

How to make an impactful informal presentation:

Crafting a compelling informal presentation involves creating a relaxed and engaging environment while effectively conveying key messages. Here's how to enhance the impact of your presentation:

Start strong:

Starting your presentation strong is crucial to capture the audience's attention and set the tone for the rest of the session. A compelling opening statement, question, or anecdote can stimulate curiosity and encourage active participation from the outset.

Research suggests that when we anticipate a specific outcome, our attention may fade, but uncertainty about what comes next keeps us engaged. Therefore, using this principle can help maximize audience engagement and retention throughout your presentation.

Foster conversation:

Establishing a connection with your audience is key, and adopting a conversational tone and demeanor can help achieve this. By speaking naturally and using relatable examples, you can ensure clarity and engagement throughout your presentation. Avoiding complex jargon makes your message easier to follow, fostering a deeper connection with your audience. This approach creates a more inclusive and interactive atmosphere, enhancing the overall effectiveness of your presentation.

Harness the power of storytelling:

Storytelling is a powerful art form that can significantly enhance your overall message and captivate your audience. By incorporating storytelling, you can effectively illustrate complex ideas in a memorable and relatable manner. Share personal anecdotes or case studies that resonate with your audience, evoking emotions and deepening their understanding of the topic at hand. Through a compelling narrative, you can create a connection with your audience , making your message more impactful and memorable.

Encourage participation:

Encouraging participation involves involving the audience in the conversation right from the beginning. While presenting exhibit authenticity and confidence to foster an environment where questions, comments, and feedback are welcomed. This approach creates a participatory atmosphere where open dialogue and collaboration thrive, enhancing engagement and a sense of involvement among the audience members. By actively involving the audience throughout the presentation, you can create a more dynamic and interactive experience that resonates with the audience and encourages active participation.

Use visuals wisely:

When it comes to visual aids in informal presentations, simplicity and relevance are key. While formal presentations may rely heavily on polished powerpoint presentation slides, informal settings often favor more spontaneous tools like whiteboards, hand-drawn charts, and multimedia clips. These tools offer unique benefits, as they allow presenters to build visuals in real time, enhancing the impact of their spoken words.

‍ Using whiteboards or hand-drawn charts enables presenters to illustrate complex concepts on the spot, simplifying them for the audience's comprehension. This interactive approach fosters engagement and encourages audience participation. Additionally, multimedia clips can supplement verbal explanations, providing visual and auditory reinforcement to enhance understanding.

Inject humor appropriately:

Utilize humor to create a lively atmosphere and enhance audience engagement during your presentation. Incorporating wit and playful anecdotes not only lightens the mood but also encourages the audience to connect with and retain the information more effectively. By infusing your presentation with humorous elements, you can captivate your audience's attention and leave a lasting impression.

Stay flexible:

Stay responsive to your audience's reactions and feedback during your presentation to maximize your impact as a presenter. Pay attention to their non-verbal cues, which can offer valuable insights into their engagement and feelings toward the content. Embrace spontaneity and remain flexible, allowing space for improvisation to address audience interests or concerns in real time. This adaptability ensures that your presentation remains dynamic and relevant, fostering a deeper connection with your audience.

End on a strong note:

A strong conclusion ensures that the audience retains the most important information from the presentation and can motivate the audience to take certain actions. Additionally, it shows that the speaker has carefully considered the structure and content of the presentation, leaving a positive impression on the audience, and enhancing the speaker's credibility.

By implementing these strategies, speakers can create informal presentations that resonate with the audience, foster meaningful interactions, and make a lasting impact.

FAQ on informal vs formal presentation

What are the key differences between formal and informal presentations?

Explore the distinct characteristics and usage scenarios of formal and informal presentation styles, from the structured design of formal slideshows to the conversational flow of impromptu exchanges.

How can I effectively craft a formal presentation?

Discover the essential elements and strategies required for creating a polished formal presentation, including meticulous preparation, clear communication of main points, and engaging presentation design services.

Are impromptu presentations common in virtual settings?

Understand the prevalence of impromptu presentations in virtual environments and learn how to adapt presentation styles to effectively engage audiences during virtual meetings or discussions.

What organizational methods are typically employed in formal presentations?

Explore the organizational methods utilized in crafting a formal presentation, from outlining main points to structuring content for maximum impact and retention.

How can I engage my audience during a formal presentation?

Learn effective techniques for captivating your audience during a formal presentation, such as incorporating storytelling, utilizing persuasive presentation styles, and fostering interaction through questions and discussions.

Summarizing key takeaways:

  • Understanding the difference : Presentations can be categorized into formal and informal styles, each requiring a different approach. Formal presentations are structured, planned, and usually occur in professional settings, while informal ones are more relaxed and spontaneous, akin to a conversation.
  • Crafting effective formal presentations : Crafting a successful formal presentation involves meticulous preparation, clear communication, and professionalism. Speakers must dress appropriately, maintain eye contact, and employ precise language suited to the audience's expertise.
  • Strategies for formal presentations : Key strategies for formal presentations include thorough preparation, clarity in communication, engagement through storytelling, professionalism in demeanor, and the use of compelling visual aids.
  • Characteristics of informal presentations : Informal presentations offer flexibility, encourage interactivity, and adopt a conversational tone. They may include impromptu elements, involve the audience in discussions, and utilize simpler visual aids like whiteboards or multimedia clips.
  • Strategies for informal presentations: Effective informal presentations prioritize authenticity, adaptability, interactivity, engagement through storytelling, visual aids tailored to simplicity and relevance, appropriate use of humor, flexibility in response to audience reactions, and a strong conclusion.
  • Meeting audience expectations : Whether giving a formal or informal presentation, understanding audience expectations is crucial. Crafting presentations that align with audience needs, interests, and preferences enhances engagement, fosters connection, and increases the likelihood of achieving presentation goals.

How does Prezent help you in presentation creation?

Prezent uses Generative AI features to transform the process of presentation creation. It offers a wide range of features designed to streamline workflow, enhance visual appeal, and engage audiences effectively. Here's how it enhances workflow efficiency:

Templates and themes : Prezent provides you with a wide range of professionally designed templates and themes, offering the flexibility to choose the ideal layout and design for their presentations. With thousands of layouts available, covering various corporate agendas and topics, Prezent saves your valuable time and effort in creating visually appealing presentations tailored to their needs.

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  • Delivery Techniques →

Formal vs Informal Presentations: A Complete Breakdown

formal vs informal presentations

Have you ever kept funny snaps of your friends or siblings to play them on a big screen on their birthday?       

Whether it be a corporate setup, college project, or merely a friends get-together slideshow, presentation skills always leave your audience with a great impact.

Knowing what type of presentation will serve you best and capture your audience's attention is vital for its success.

With that in mind, here we break down the ins and outs of formal and informal presentations. Hopefully, you’ll find all your answers in the next 5-6 minutes.

Formal vs Informal Presentation Styles

Formal presentations.

These are the types of presentations one would give in a formal setting, as the word itself suggests, something you would do in an office or a business meeting, sometimes even a job interview.

Formal vs Informal Presentation

Thus, there are many crucial factors that you should keep in mind while preparing for this type of presentation . Some of the most significant factors are as follows:

  • Choosing the right topic
  • Knowing the audience
  • Informative rather than creative
  • To the point
  • Length as required
  • Proper dressing and body language
  • Keep the jokes to a minimum
  • Keeping the audience's interest without losing the essence
  • Choosing the suitable color scheme for a slideshow
  • Proper structure and formats

If your setup ticks everything on this checklist, then you're good to go!

Informal Presentations

Now, these are the types of presentations you would give in a more straightforward and friendly setting, something you would give in a lighter note to your friends & family or co-workers.

This would include a family slideshow, memories from a trip, or pitching an idea to your colleagues before you give your boss the formal version of it.

Here is the 10-point consideration list for informal presentations

  • Choose a captivating topic
  • Creativity plays a significant role
  • Proper dressing isn't a must
  • Body language should be more open and welcoming
  • You probably should keep a couple of jokes in
  • Keep it short but get your point across
  • Put more pictures to keep your audience glued
  • More engagement with the audience
  • Prefer more bright colors
  • Formats and structure aren't important

This list makes sure to give you and your audience a lovely time!

How to Decide Which Presentation Would Be the Best?

A formal situation.

Has the boss asked you to do some work? Or are you preparing to impress those investors? Perhaps a group project in front of the whole school? Or a dream job interview?

All those are straight-up indicators that a formal presentation would do you best. This is because all these situations demand a degree of seriousness and professional work as you would be working towards portraying your presentation as a skilled worker who keeps everything to the topic.

Here are a few indicators to look out for

  • Is the work official?
  • Has it been assigned to me by someone of authority?
  • Does it have deadlines?
  • What's at stake?
  • How important is the responsibility?
  • Is there a format/structure for it?
  • Will you have to present in an organized setup?

As such, deciding the right type to present might go a long way.

An Informal Situation

Is it for recreational purposes? Are your close friends the audience? Are you presenting photos of a recent trip? Game night with family?

It's a no-brainer that all these situations call for an informal presentation, as instead of worrying about being professional, you have to be concerned about keeping everyone interested.

Furthermore, this doesn't necessarily have to be too serious and should be held on a much lighter note compared to formal situations.

An Informal presentation

  • Is it an unofficial work?
  • Have you decided to make a presentation yourself?
  • Do you decide on the deadlines?
  • Not too much at stake?
  • Do you determine the format?
  • Will you present in an informal setup?
  • Does the responsibility depend on you?

To conclude, a rightly made presentation leaves a significant impact.

That is what we will talk about next!

How to Make the Right Presentation for the Right Situation

Steps to make a formal presentation.

To make this type of presentation, here are things required beforehand:

  • Proper research
  • Using information from trusted sites only
  • Compilation in a brainstorming document
  • Choose a solid but formal color scheme
  • Limit the number of slides
  • Research your content thoroughly for any questions
  • Filter any unwanted data from your research
  • Make a mind map of how you want your presentation to look like
  • Organize all your information in the formats provided

Done with these steps? Now onto things to ensure you are ready for the big day:

  • Check if your presentation is in one flow
  • Avoid monotony
  • Make sure you practice your speech enough
  • Try a mock presentation to calm any nerves
  • Make sure your tone is just right
  • Practice a serious body language
  • Pick out an outfit that fits right to your presentation
  • Make sure you look presentable

That said, a formal presentation also requires some post-presentation work. This involves a fair question-and-answer session to encourage feedback from your audience and welcome any criticism. Moreover, these can be essential steps to gain your audience's respect.

Steps to Make an Informal Presentation

To make this type of presentation here are things required beforehand:

  • Collect all your information that will interest your audience
  • Source of information shouldn't be an issue
  • Brainstorming is optional
  • Bright colors will make your presentation look more lively
  • Don't make it too long and boring
  • Memorizing information isn't a must
  • Fill it with pictures
  • Choose the right theme
  • Make sure it isn't mundane
  • Have a lively tone
  • Involve and engage everyone
  • Time isn't a constraint as long as everyone is enjoying
  • Include jokes and interesting analogies
  • Choose an outfit that fits your theme
  • Involve skits and other presenters to mix things up

The post-presentation work requires asking people for their views on it. Ask them what they liked best and what you could do better; start a conversation .

Types of Presentations

  • Informative Presentation: This is the most used type of presentation, be it in a school setting, office, or corporate situation. The purpose of an informative presentation is to give information about a sample, concept, or idea to a particular type of person.
  • Persuasive Presentation: Persuasive presentations are to encourage or compel someone to work or make a difference in their life or views.
  • Demonstrative Presentation :  A demonstration requires a presentation or the working of a product or procedure in a step-by-step manner.
  • Inspirational Presentation: An inspirational presentation aims to affect or emotionally impact your presenters. Using explanations, talking about personal experiences, or even a keen sense of humor work in miles to perfect your presentation as people develop a sentimental bond to the presentation.
  • Business Presentation: A business presentation can involve pitching a new product or conveying and selling a product to your investors. You can prepare a business presentation individually or collectively. You then base the content on your or the client’s needs and present it in a way that sells your idea to the client.
  • PowerPoint Presentation: PPTs are the most commonly used type of presentation used almost worldwide for any kind of setting. PPTs have preset formal templates that you can use for any sort of presentation mentioned above.
  • Interactive Presentation: This can contain interactions and choices with which the presenter or the audience can interact , which decides the course of the presentation.
  • Slideshow Presentation: This usually contains a picture of either an event or a specific trip intended to show to friends or family. It barely has text and focuses more on visual aids .

Related: 14 Types of Speeches for All Occasions

Mixing It Up: The Formal and Informal Presentation Hybrid

A hybrid means a mixture or something in between two extremes. Have you ever wondered what creating a formal and informal mixture hybrid would be like? 

This would mean that while your audience can be a mixture of both, we can go out on a limb and be more flexible. This implies while wearing formal clothes, we can still have a sense of humor.

Additionally, while using bright colors, we can still keep the information serious and to the point.

When to use this, though?

You can use this hybrid in situations where you are the one in the position of authority and you are the one responsible.

One can use this to portray their uniqueness, impress, and leave a significant impact.

Summary: Informal vs Formal Presentations

A presentation is said to be formal when you have been asked by someone else in authority to share your ideas with a specific audience and have also been provided preparation time.

Additionally, formal presentations call for a totally different approach compared to an impromptu meeting.

Will you be standing in front of hundreds, or will you speak to a limited number of people? Will you be presenting to your boss and investors? Or are you presenting a family slideshow? 

Formal Presentations

You must know the people you will be presenting to, so you can shape your content in order to them. Furthermore, handing out brochures or flyers can also have a lasting effect on the audience.

Formal presentation equals formal wearing, whereas informal leans towards something more casual. A proper suit or a business dress is the way to go. Don't forget to stand up before presenting, though!

Have a question-and-answer session! Ask them about their opinions.

Informal presentations are more of an action and looking out for a reaction setup, keeping your audience interested and interacting. It ends up being a fun conversation. 

Formal presentations are more about you talking and them listening . Whereas informal ones are interaction and engagement based.

It is preferred to encourage discussion during an informal presentation and let it take its course while also returning to the topic naturally.


Choosing the right color schemes and slide lengths for any kind of presentation can decide its fate. It directly affects interaction rates and the audience's willingness to engage with the given work.

The hybrid system is the one where we can include both types of presentation to create something unique. However, it may be unconventional but can end up being totally out of the box if done correctly.

To conclude, presentations can be a daily routine in our work and school lives.

Among the various types of presentations, choosing the right one is the first and somewhat the most crucial step as it will decide the success of your presentation.

Properly conducting yourself and choosing from suitable options can go a long way. Formal and informal presentations require different approaches, content, and styles.

Thus, you should understand your audience and the purpose of the presentation before deciding on a method. That said, we hope you understand what's best for you. Happy presenting!

Presentation Xcellence

How To Master Formal and Informal Presentations: Key Differences

Table of contents.

Did you know that 75% of professionals believe that effective presentations and oral statements are crucial for career success? Views on this matter are supported by the fact that a well-delivered paragraph can greatly impact one’s professional growth. In addition, informal discussions also play a significant role in career advancement. Whether it’s pitching a new idea, delivering a job interview speech, or leading a team discussion, the ability to captivate an audience and hold their attention is invaluable. This skill is especially important when presenting different types of views or discussing specific clauses and sections of a topic. While formal presentations have long been the go-to method for sharing information and ideas, there’s a growing recognition of the power and impact of informal presentations . Informal presentations are gaining popularity due to their ability to engage different types of audiences and offer a more relaxed atmosphere . This recognition is leading to an increase in the number of people who prefer informal presentations over formal ones, as they believe it allows for more authentic and genuine interaction s. As a result, the use of informal presentations is becoming a common practice in various industries, with many organizations incorporating this type of presentation into their communication strategies.

Unlike traditional slideshow-driven talks, informal presentations focus on fostering genuine conversations and encouraging active participation to create an open exchange of thoughts, ideas, and views. This type of presentation does not rely on a rigid clause structure but instead values organic dialogue. We’ll outline the key differences between formal and informal presentation styles , discuss their unique benefits, and provide practical tips on how to deliver an impactful informal presentation. In this blog post, we will specifically focus on the different types of presentation styles, including formal and informal, and highlight their benefits. Additionally, we will provide practical advice on delivering an impactful informal presentation that captures the attention of your audience and leaves a lasting impression.

So if you’re looking for a different approach to captivate your audience and make meaningful contributions in any setting, buckle up as we dive into the world of informal presentations. These presentations can help you engage with your audience and express your views in a more relaxed and conversational manner. By using this type of presentation, you can also incorporate the use of visual aids and interactive elements to enhance the clause of your message. Get ready to unlock your conversational prowess!

Understanding the Difference between Formal and Informal Presentations

Definition and characteristics of formal presentations.

Formal presentations are typically structured, organized, and follow a specific set of rules. These rules often include a clause and depend on the type of presentation. They are often delivered in professional settings such as conferences, board meetings, or academic environments. These types of speeches are commonly given in various professional scenarios, including conferences, board meetings, and academic environments. These type of presentations tend to be more serious in nature and require a high level of professionalism. The clause is that they demand a certain level of seriousness and professionalism. Some key characteristics of formal presentations include:

  • Structured Approach: Formal presentations of any type have a well-defined structure with an introduction, body, and conclusion. Each section in this blog post serves a specific purpose to effectively convey information about the type of content being discussed.
  • Professional Language: The type of language used in formal presentations is usually precise, concise, and avoids slang or colloquialisms. The type of tone in this blog post is formal and respectful to maintain a sense of professionalism.
  • Visual Aids : Formal presentations often incorporate visual aids such as slideshows or charts to enhance understanding and engage the audience visually.
  • Time Management : Time management is crucial in formal presentations as there is typically a set time limit for each speaker. Presenters need to ensure they stay within the allocated time while effectively delivering their message.
  • Audience Interaction : While there may be opportunities for questions at the end, formal presentations generally prioritize delivering information rather than engaging in extensive audience interaction during the presentation itself.

Definition and Characteristics of Informal Presentations

Informal presentations are more relaxed in nature and allow for greater flexibility compared to their formal counterparts. They are commonly seen in casual settings like team meetings, brainstorming sessions, or social gatherings where there is a focus on sharing ideas or discussing topics collaboratively. Here are some defining characteristics of informal presentations:

  • Flexibility: Unlike formal presentations that adhere strictly to a predetermined structure, informal presentations offer greater flexibility in terms of format and content organization.
  • Conversational Tone: Informal presentations often adop t a conversational tone, allowing presenters to engage with the audience more casually. This includes the use of personal pronouns, anecdotes, and humor to create a relaxed atmosphere.
  • Less Reliance on Visual Aids: While visual aids can still be used in informal presentations, they are typically less formal and may include more casual elements such as memes or gifs to add humor or emphasize points.
  • Audience Interaction: Informal presentations encourage active participation and engagement from the audience throughout the presentation. This can involve asking questions, seeking input, or encouraging discussions.
  • Adaptable Time Management: Unlike formal presentations where time management is crucial, informal presentations allow for more flexibility in terms of time allocation.

Key Elements of an Effective Informal Presentation

Importance of engaging the audience through storytelling.

Engaging the audience is a crucial aspect of delivering an effective informal presentation. One powerful way to captivate your audience is through storytelling . By weaving personal anecdotes or relatable narratives into your presentation, you can create an emotional connection with your listeners. Storytelling not only grabs their attention but also helps them connect the information presented to real-life experiences.

When incorporating storytelling into your informal presentation, consider using vivid language and descriptive details to paint a picture in the minds of your audience members. This will help them visualize the content and make it more memorable. Sharing personal stories or anecdotes can add authenticity and credibility to your presentation, as it shows that you have firsthand experience or knowledge about the topic at hand.

Utilizing Visual Aids to Enhance Understanding

Another key element of an effective informal presentation is the use of visual aids. Visual aids such as slides, diagrams, charts, or videos can greatly enhance understanding and retention of information for your audience members. These visual elements provide a visual representation of complex ideas or data, making it easier for people to grasp and remember.

When creating visual aids for your presentation, keep in mind that simplicity is key. Use clear and concise visuals that support and complement your spoken words rather than overwhelming or distracting from them. Avoid cluttered slides or complicated graphics that may confuse or bore your audience.

Visual aids should be used strategically throughout your presentation to reinforce key points, highlight important information, or illustrate concepts that are difficult to explain verbally alone. Remember to refer back to these visuals during your talk and provide explanations or insights related to what is being shown on the screen.

Encouraging Interaction and Participation During the Presentation

Incorporating interaction and encouraging participation from your audience is vital for creating an engaging informal presentation. Instead of simply talking at them, aim for a more interactive and dynamic approach that involves your listeners. This can be achieved through various means, such as asking questions, conducting polls or surveys, or facilitating small group discussions.

By actively involving your audience, you create a sense of ownership and investment in the presentation. This not only keeps them attentive but also allows for a deeper understanding and retention of the information shared. Encouraging participation can also help address any potential doubts or questions that may arise during the presentation, fostering a collaborative learning environment.

To encourage interaction, consider using open-ended questions that promote discussion rather than simple yes-or-no answers. Allow ample time for audience members to share their thoughts or experiences related to the topic at hand. Incorporate activities or exercises that require active participation from everyone present.

Characteristics and Benefits of Formal and Informal Presentation Styles

In the world of presentations, there are two distinct styles that can be employed: formal and informal. Each style has its own unique characteristics and benefits, catering to different types of events and audiences. Let’s explore these two presentation styles in more detail.

Formal: Structured, Professional, Suitable for Official Events

Formal presentations are characterized by their structured nature and professional tone. These presentations are often used in official settings such as conferences, board meetings, or academic symposiums. The key aspect of a formal presentation is maintaining a sense of professionalism throughout the delivery.

One of the main benefits of a formal presentation is its structured format. It allows presenters to organize their content in a logical manner, making it easier for the audience to follow along. This structure often includes an introduction, body sections with clear points or arguments, supporting evidence or data, and a conclusion that summarizes key takeaways.

Another advantage of formal presentations is that they create an atmosphere of credibility and authority. By adhering to a professional tone and using appropriate language, presenters can establish themselves as experts on the subject matter. This can help build trust with the audience and enhance the overall impact of the presentation.

Informal: Relaxed, Conversational, Fosters Connection with the Audience

On the other end of the spectrum is informal presentations. These presentations have a more relaxed and conversational style compared to their formal counterparts. Informal presentations are often used in smaller group settings or casual events where a personal connection with the audience is desired.

The primary characteristic of an informal presentation is its conversational tone. Presenters use everyday language, anecdotes, humor, and engage directly with the audience to create an interactive experience. This style fosters a sense of connection between presenter and audience members.

Informal presentations offer several benefits over formal ones. Firstly, the relaxed atmosphere of an informal presentation puts the audience at ease, making them more receptive to the information being shared. This can lead to increased engagement and participation from the audience.

Secondly, informal presentations tend to be more memorable for the audience. The conversational style allows for a deeper level of connection and understanding between presenter and listener. As a result, the audience is more likely to retain and recall the information presented long after the presentation has concluded.

Benefits of having strong presentation skills include increased engagement, better retention of information, and adaptability to different situations. These skills are particularly important in job interviews and when providing services as they help individuals effectively convey their main points.

Both formal and informal presentation styles offer unique benefits that cater to different situations and audiences. Let’s take a closer look at these advantages:

How to Decide Which Presentation Would Be the Best?

Considering the purpose and context of the presentation.

When deciding which presentation style would be the best, it’s crucial to consider the purpose and context of your presentation. Ask yourself what you hope to achieve and what message you want to convey. Are you trying to inform, persuade, or entertain? Understanding your goals will help determine whether an informal or formal presentation is more suitable.

For example, if you’re presenting a business proposal to potential clients, a formal presentation may be more appropriate as it conveys professionalism and seriousness. On the other hand, if you’re delivering a training session within your organization, an informal approach might be better suited for fostering engagement and interaction.

Assessing audience expectations and preferences

Another important factor in deciding which presentation style is best is assessing audience expectations and preferences. Consider who your audience is and what they are accustomed to. Are they expecting a traditional PowerPoint-style presentation with slides and bullet points, or are they open to a more casual format?

Understanding your audience’s preferences can help you tailor your presentation accordingly. For instance, if your audience consists of younger individuals who are used to interactive presentations with multimedia elements, an informal approach that incorporates videos or group activities may be well-received.

Evaluating desired outcomes and level of formality required

The desired outcomes of your presentation also play a role in determining which style would be most effective. Think about what specific actions or responses you want from your audience after the presentation. Do you want them to make a decision, take action, or simply gain knowledge?

In some cases, a formal presentation may be necessary when dealing with sensitive topics where precision and accuracy are paramount. However, for less complex subjects where creativity and spontaneity can enhance engagement, an informal approach might yield better results.

It’s also essential to consider the level of formality required based on the setting or industry norms. Some industries or environments demand a more formal presentation style due to their nature, such as legal or financial sectors. Conversely, in more relaxed settings like creative industries or informal gatherings, an informal presentation can create a more comfortable and engaging atmosphere.

Types of Presentations (Formal and Informal)

In the world of presentations, there are two main types: formal and informal. Each type serves a different purpose and is suited for various settings. Let’s take a closer look at these two types and understand their differences in tone, structure, and delivery style.

Examples of Formal Presentations

Formal presentations are often associated with professional settings such as business conferences or academic lectures. These presentations have a more serious tone and follow a structured format. Here are some examples of formal presentations:

  • Business Conferences: In a business conference, presenters aim to convey important information or share insights with an audience consisting of professionals from various industries. The content is usually well-researched, data-driven, and delivered in a formal manner.
  • Academic Lectures: Professors or subject matter experts deliver academic lectures to students in educational institutions. These presentations focus on teaching complex concepts, theories, or research findings. The language used is typically formal and technical.

Examples of Informal Presentations

On the other hand, informal presentations are more relaxed and casual in nature. They are commonly seen in team meetings, workshops, or even TED talks where speakers engage with the audience on a personal level. Here are some examples of informal presentations:

  • Team Meetings: In team meetings, colleagues come together to discuss project updates, brainstorm ideas, or share progress reports. The atmosphere is less rigid compared to formal presentations, allowing for open dialogue among team members.
  • Workshops: Workshops provide interactive learning experiences where participants actively engage in discussions and activities facilitated by a presenter. These sessions encourage collaboration and creativity through hands-on exercises.
  • TED Talks: TED talks have gained immense popularity due to their engaging nature and ability to deliver powerful messages in an informal setting. Speakers often use storytelling techniques to captivate the audience while sharing their unique perspectives.

Highlighting Differences in Tone, Structure, and Delivery Style

The key differences between formal and informal presentations lie in their tone, structure, and delivery style.

  • Tone: Formal presentations adopt a more serious and professional tone, using formal language and avoiding slang or colloquialisms. In contrast, informal presentations embrace a conversational tone that connects with the audience on a personal level.
  • Structure: Formal presentations typically follow a structured outline with clear sections such as an introduction, main points, supporting evidence, and conclusion. Informal presentations may have a looser structure that allows for spontaneity and flexibility depending on the presenter’s style.
  • Delivery Style: In formal presentations, speakers often rely on visual aids like PowerPoint slides to enhance their message.

Mixing It Up: The Formal and Informal Presentation Hybrid

In the world of presentations, there’s often a clear divide between formal and informal styles. However, what if we could combine the best of both worlds? Enter the hybrid approach—a unique blend that incorporates elements from both formal and informal presentations. This article will explore this innovative approach, discussing its appropriateness in different scenarios and highlighting the benefits it offers.

Exploring a Combination Approach

The hybrid presentation style is all about finding a balance between formality and informality. It involves incorporating certain elements of an informal discussion into a more structured format. By doing so, presenters can create an engaging and interactive experience while maintaining professionalism.

One way to achieve this combination is by adopting a conversational tone throughout the presentation. Instead of strictly adhering to a rigid script or formal language, presenters can inject some personality into their delivery. This allows for better connection with the audience and helps to establish rapport.

Another aspect of the hybrid approach is incorporating visual aids or multimedia elements that are commonly associated with informal presentations. Including relevant images, videos, or interactive slides can help to break up the monotony of a traditional formal presentation and keep participants engaged.

When Is the Hybrid Approach Appropriate?

While the hybrid style may not be suitable for every situation, there are specific instances where it can be highly effective:

  • Informative Presentations : When presenting information-heavy content such as data analysis or research findings, using a hybrid approach can make it more digestible for the audience. Breaking down complex concepts through casual conversation or relatable anecdotes helps participants grasp key points more easily.
  • Team Meetings : In team meetings or brainstorming sessions, adopting a hybrid style encourages open communication among team members. By creating an environment that feels less rigid and hierarchical, individuals are more likely to share ideas freely without fear of judgment.
  • Training Sessions : When conducting training sessions or workshops, a hybrid approach can foster a more interactive and engaging learning experience. Incorporating group discussions, hands-on activities, or even incorporating gamification elements can enhance knowledge retention and participant involvement.

Benefits of the Hybrid Approach

The hybrid presentation style offers several advantages that make it worth considering:

  • Engagement : By combining elements from informal presentations, the hybrid approach keeps participants engaged throughout the session. The conversational tone and interactive components create a dynamic environment that encourages active participation.
  • Flexibility : The hybrid style allows presenters to adapt their delivery based on audience feedback or preferences. They can gauge the level of formality required and adjust accordingly during the presentation, ensuring that participants are comfortable and receptive to the content.

How to Choose a Presentation Style

One of the key decisions you need to make is choosing the most suitable style. While formal presentations have their merits, informal presentations can also be highly effective in engaging and connecting with your audience.

Identifying Personal Strengths in Delivering Formal or Informal Presentations

When deciding on a presentation style, it’s important to consider your own strengths and comfort level as a speaker. Some individuals thrive in formal settings, where they can demonstrate professionalism and authority through structured speeches and polished delivery. On the other hand, if you are more relaxed and charismatic in casual conversations, an informal presentation style might suit you better.

  • Formal presentations allow you to showcase your expertise and knowledge.
  • They provide a sense of structure and formality that can be reassuring for both you and your audience.
  • Formal presentations are often perceived as more professional and credible.
  • Formal presentations may feel rigid or scripted for some speakers.
  • The pressure to adhere strictly to a formal format can lead to increased anxiety or nervousness.
  • It may be challenging to establish a genuine connection with the audience when using a formal approach.

On the flip side, informal presentations offer greater flexibility for speakers who prefer a conversational tone. This style allows for spontaneity, storytelling, humor, and interaction with the audience. If you excel at building rapport quickly or engaging listeners through relatable anecdotes, an informal presentation style might be ideal for you.

  • Informal presentations create a relaxed atmosphere that encourages open dialogue.
  • They allow for more creativity in delivery techniques such as storytelling or incorporating multimedia elements.
  • Informal presentations can foster stronger connections with the audience by showcasing authenticity and personality.
  • Informal presentations may require more improvisation and quick thinking.
  • Without a structured format, it’s important to maintain focus and avoid rambling or going off-topic.
  • Some formal settings or topics may not be suitable for an informal presentation style.

Considering Audience Preferences for a Specific Topic or Event

Another crucial factor in choosing a presentation style is understanding your audience’s preferences. Different audiences have varying expectations and respond differently to different styles of presentations. By tailoring your approach to their preferences, you can increase engagement and ensure that your message resonates effectively.

For example, if you are presenting to a group of executives or professionals in a formal business setting, a more traditional and structured style might be appropriate.

How to Adapt Your Presentation Style

Transitioning from a formal presentation style to an informal one, or vice versa, can be a challenging task. However, with the right approach and some key adjustments, you can successfully adapt your presentation style to suit different audiences and contexts. Here are some tips to help you navigate this transition effectively.

Tips for transitioning from a formal job interview to an informal presentation skills situation or vice versa can be helpful. Here are some steps to consider when navigating these different situations.

  • Assess the audience: Before making any adjustments to your presentation style, it’s essential to understand your audience. Consider their demographics, such as age, education level, and professional background. This information will guide you in determining whether a more formal or informal approach is appropriate.
  • Adapt your language use: One of the most significant differences between formal and informal presentations lies in the language used. When delivering a formal presentation, it’s crucial to use proper grammar, avoid slang or colloquialisms, and maintain a professional tone throughout. On the other hand, when presenting informally, you have more flexibility in using conversational language and incorporating relatable phrases or expressions.
  • Adjust your visuals: Visual aids play an important role in presentations and can contribute significantly to setting the tone. In a formal setting, opt for clean and professional-looking slides with minimal distractions. For informal presentations, consider using more visually engaging elements like images or videos that resonate with your audience on a personal level.
  • Be mindful of attire: Your appearance also plays a part in conveying formality or informality during a presentation. Dress appropriately for the occasion while considering what would make your audience feel comfortable and engaged.
  • Use humor strategically: Humor can be an effective tool for engaging audiences during both formal and informal presentations. However, it’s important to gauge the appropriateness of humor based on the context and audience preferences.

Adjusting language use according to audience demographics

When adapting your presentation style, it’s crucial to consider the demographics of your audience. Different age groups, educational backgrounds, and professional experiences may respond better to specific language choices. Here are some key considerations:

  • Simplify complex concepts: If you’re presenting to a diverse audience with varying levels of expertise, avoid using jargon or technical terms that might alienate certain individuals. Instead, focus on simplifying complex concepts and explaining them in relatable terms.
  • Tailor your vocabulary: Adjusting your vocabulary is essential when addressing different demographics. For formal presentations, use precise and sophisticated language appropriate for the subject matter. In informal settings, opt for simpler words and phrases that resonate with your audience’s everyday language.
  • Consider cultural nuances:

Congratulations! You’ve made it to the end of this blog post on formal and informal presentations. By now, you should have a clear understanding of the differences between these two styles and how to choose the right one for your needs.

Remember, There is no one-size-fits-all approach. It’s important to consider various factors such as audience, topic, and desired outcome. Formal presentations are great for professional settings where you need to convey information in a structured manner. On the other hand, informal presentations allow for more flexibility and can be effective in engaging and connecting with your audience on a personal level.

To make the most impact with your presentations, I encourage you to experiment with different styles and adapt them based on your specific situation. Don’t be afraid to mix it up by incorporating elements from both formal and informal presentation styles. This hybrid approach can help you strike a balance between professionalism and authenticity.

Now that you have all this knowledge at your disposal, go out there and give some amazing presentations! Remember to be confident, authentic, and always keep your audience engaged. Happy presenting!

If you found this article helpful or have any questions or suggestions, feel free to leave a comment below.

What is an informal presentation?

An informal presentation is a relaxed and casual way of sharing information or ideas with others. It’s less structured than a formal presentation and often involves more interaction and discussion with the audience.

Why should I consider giving an informal presentation?

Informal presentations can be a great way to engage your audience in a more personal and conversational manner. They allow for open dialogue, encourage participation, and create a relaxed atmosphere that promotes better understanding and connection.

How do I prepare for an informal presentation?

To prepare for an informal presentation, start by clearly defining your key points or messages. Keep your content concise and focus on the most important information. Practice speaking in a natural and conversational tone to ensure you come across as approachable and engaging.

Can I use slang or colloquial language during an informal presentation slideshow or oral statement? In situations where I am presenting my work, is it appropriate to incorporate slang or colloquial language?

Absolutely! In fact, using slang, idioms, or colloquial language can help you connect better with your audience during an informal presentation. Just make sure to gauge the appropriateness based on the context and the familiarity of your audience with such language.

How can I make my informal presentation more interactive?

To make your informal presentation interactive, encourage audience participation through activities like Q&A sessions, group discussions, or small breakout exercises. Incorporating multimedia elements such as videos or interactive slides can also enhance engagement levels.

Is it okay to deviate from my prepared script during an informal presentation? This question often arises when creating a slideshow or oral statement. In certain situations, it may be appropriate to stray from the planned content and speak more freely. However, it is essential to maintain a coherent flow and ensure that each paragraph contributes to the overall message.

Yes! Informal presentations are meant to be flexible and adaptable. While having some key points in mind is important, feel free to deviate from your script if it allows for more spontaneous conversations or addresses specific questions raised by the audience.

What’s next after delivering an informal presentation?

After delivering an informal presentation, don’t forget to provide clear call-to-action steps for your audience. This could include sharing additional resources, inviting them to follow up with questions via email or social media, or encouraging them to take specific actions related to the topic discussed.

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a presentation can be formal or informal

  • Presentation

formal and informal presentation

onliner content creation team

  • June 25, 2022

formal and informal presentation

Presentation skill is one of the important skills that can play a significant role in our career and academic success.

The following are examples of the application of presentation skills in our professional and educational lives:

  • prepare a proposal and talk about it in a meeting with the clients
  • prepare a set of slides to introduce a theory or tool
  • Speech at a meeting to defend or critique a new plan
  • Educational lecture for the audience

In order to give a good presentation, it is necessary that you know the difference between formal and informal presentations. This article will help with this knowledge by providing information on how one can effectively represent both styles of talk so they may promote their skills more effectively!

Table of Contents

1. Formal presentations

What is a formal presentation.

When presenting formally, there are three key elements that need to be considered. The first is your audience – who will most likely have very specific expectations of how the presentation should go and what information they’re looking for; secondly, you’ll want supporting material such as Powerpoint slides or Presentation design services which can help give additional context around points made during delivery (this might include visuals too); lastly, remember not everyone has time on their side so make sure any media used isn’t too intensive!

Formal presentations are usually done in a professional or academic setting and follow specific guidelines. They can be given either orally to an audience of one (or more) or through video conference software like Skype for Business which allows participants across different locations with internet access to get together on screen so they don’t have any problem seeing each other’s facial expressions while speaking without having anyone else around listening!

How to make a formal presentation:

You’ll need to research and plan an outline before giving your presentation. A well-executed formal speech can make all the difference in getting what’s on someone’s mind out there! You might feel like a failure if it doesn’t go as planned, but don’t worry – we’ve got this crazy easy guide that will teach how exactly not only to practice making them successful (and remind yourself why these presentations are important) but also help avoid common mistakes made by newbies like myself 😉

Tips for making formal presentations:

  • Make sure to choose a topic appropriate for the audience and setting.
  • Do extensive research and gather high-quality information.
  • Create a detailed outline.
  • Choose a formal presentation format, such as PowerPoint or Keynote.
  • Practice your presentation several times before delivering it.
  • Key things to remember:
  • Formal presentations are typically given in a professional or academic setting.
  • They may be given in person or virtually, and often follow specific guidelines.
  • Formal presentations are usually formal in tone.

The different types of formal presentations

here are different types of formal presentations:

  • PowerPoint presentation
  • Keynote presentation
  • Poster presentation
  • formal speech

What to include in a formal presentation

Formal presentations should include:

  • An introduction
  • The body of the presentation
  • A conclusion
  • Formal presentations should be:
  • Well-researched
  • Well-organized
  • Formal in tone

Tips for delivering a formal presentation

When delivering a formal presentation, there are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Make sure you are well-prepared.
  • Practice your presentation beforehand.
  • Speak clearly and slowly.
  • Make eye contact with your audience.
  • Use formal language throughout the presentation.
  • formal presentations can be given in person or virtually. If you’re giving a virtual presentation, make sure to:
  • Choose a professional-looking background.
  • Test your audio and video settings beforehand.

There are a series of tips that I think should be mentioned here, and these tips are very useful for formal PowerPoint presentations:

Set clearly defined goals.

In order for you to present a successful formal presentation, it’s very important that beforehand (or at least during) all of the information you want your audience members to learn should be written down. This way they can use this as a guideline in putting together what is expected from each slide and how much time should actually pass by until going onto the next point or idea being discussed within the slides themselves!

Know your audience.

Whether you’re presenting to a room full of people or just two, it’s important that your presentation includes key points and is tailored toward meeting certain needs. For example, if I was speaking before managers/executives then maybe my content would be more technical while someone else might need something simpler – this all depends on who their audience are so make sure they know!

Create an outline.

Giving a formal presentation is an opportunity to shine! If you’re not prepared, your audience will know it. They’ve been given time so they can judge how well-prepared and rehearsed we are – which means that our presentations need some structure too…

Include questions for audience interaction.

Formal presentations are more than just reading off a Powerpoint deck. You need to engage your audience and end with either a Q&A session or continue asking questions along the way after each point you make in order for it to be effective!

Use visuals.

When given time to prepare, it is expected that you will have visual aids for your audience. Formal presentations usually include PowerPoint or slideshow material so the viewers can follow along with what’s being shown on screen in order better understand its significance and impact upon them personally (or at least this was true before all our digital devices took over!).

2. Informal presentations

What is an informal presentation.

Informal presentations are typically less formal than formal ones and may be given in various settings. They may be given in person or virtually, and often have a more conversational tone.

The type of presentation you’ll encounter at a business meeting is usually impromptu, informal. These types are prepared quickly and don’t require as much organization due to their quick-fire nature – they’re more like conversations where each person feels talked about directly by the presenter rather than looking out on stage from behind slides or note cards!

Informal presentations are a great way to engage your audience. They’re less formal than their more clinical counterparts, and can be given in many different formats: person-to-person or virtually via video chat! These casual sessions often feature interactive tools that will allow participants to take part with you during the presentation so there’s no need for Powerpoint slides at all if it suits them better – just bring along what feels necessary based on how much time each participant has available before meeting up again later…

How to make an informal presentation

When making an informal presentation, there are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Choose a topic that is appropriate for the audience and setting.
  • Do research, but don’t feel like you need to gather as much information as you would for a formal presentation.
  • Create an outline, but it doesn’t need to be as detailed as it would for a formal presentation.
  • Choose a presentation format that is appropriate for the setting, such as a PowerPoint or a whiteboard.
  • Practice your presentation before delivering it.
  • Informal presentations are typically less formal than formal ones.
  • They may be given in person or virtually, and often have a more conversational tone.

What to include in an informal presentation

informal presentations should include:

  • informal presentations should be:
  • Informal in tone

Tips for delivering an informal presentation

When delivering an informal presentation, there are a few things to keep in mind:

  • The language throughout the presentation.

Prepare your material

It’s not easy to brief a speaker in just two hours, but it is possible. Start by jotting down some notes on the topic and main points you want to cover for your presentation so that when they give us only a limited time before going live with their project we can still deliver an effective message without wasting too much of our own precious energy or using up all available meeting minutes trying thing out until college decides what kind theirs will be!

Understand the purpose

Informal presentations are a great way to get your audience invested in what you have planned. Informally talking with people rather than presenting their information can make for more interesting conversations, as they’ll be able to hear how it sounds when spoken aloud and ask questions about anything from the content itself all throughout its duration- which gives us greater insight into their thoughts on our ideas!

Consider a hand-out

Informal presentations are more effective than formal ones because you don’t have enough time to prepare a slideshow and it can be distracting for audiences who might not fully understand the information being presented. Instead, use handouts in these types of settings so that people will know where they need their attention focused when listening actively instead!

Keep visual aids to a minimum

The slide deck is the most formal way of presenting your data. It should be prepared with care and attention to every detail, from font choices down through visuals like images or animations—all in an effort that combines aesthetics alongside content. However, if you’re short on time then don’t worry! Informal presentations still benefit greatly by using quick presentations rather than lengthy ones so long as they hit what’s important without sacrificing clarity The key difference between formal vs informal shows occur at different points: While making sure there’s enough information included throughout our presentation (such because this might become outdated quickly), we can get away without doing much work.

Interact with your audience

Informal presentations are more about engaging with the audience and less so they’re just listening. It’s perfectly acceptable to get your attendees involved, by asking questions or allowing them feedback on what you’ve discussed in depth already beforehand! A formal presentation can sometimes feel like one long Q&A session where everyone analyzes every little detail – but this isn’t always effective for getting people excited enough about topics that aren’t new information (i e anything stick shift). Informality also allows room outside the traditional “lecture” format; instead relying heavily upon the interaction between speaker/ AUDIENCE members.

Formal and informal presentations both have their own set of benefits. It’s important to consider the right type for your situation, as well-formals can be more appropriate in professional settings while informality would work better where there isn’t any formality required or desired by attendees (such as at conferences).

When you are preparing for a presentation, it’s important to make sure that your research and organization skills come together in perfect harmony. You should practice before going into the big show so as not to slip up on stage or give away valuable information too soon! Speak clearly with slow-paced speech; look at all of those listening – they may be able to provide some feedback about what works well (or doesn’t) when we’re delivering our messages orally.

Formal presentations are usually done in a professional or academic setting and follow specific guidelines.

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Formal, Interactive or Informal Presentation – Which Type Is Best?

a presentation can be formal or informal

Simon Morton shares a chapter of his latest book, “The Presentation Lab”.

Understanding the presentation landscape

There’s no getting away from it, bookstores, social media and the web are awash with great advice to support the business presenter. Tap “help with business presentations” into Google, and you’re greeted with over 450 million results.

The good news is that most of these links will offer considered, practical advice to help you navigate your way through a formal presentation. They’ll no doubt provide hints and tips on how to stand, project your voice and ensure that your PowerPoint slides look good. If you’re wearing a suit, presenting to an audience that knows not to ask any questions until the end of the presentation and are determined only to use PowerPoint as a visual aid, you’re in good hands.

The bad news is that most business presentations are nothing like this.

Indeed, most of the day-to-day presentation situations in which you’ll find yourself do not lend themselves to the (many) rules that surround formal presentations. You’ll often be presenting to a single individual over an informal coffee or to a group on a topic that needs greater levels of interaction than a linear PowerPoint slide deck will support. You might be next up on stage at a conference and can tell from the coma-like expressions of the conference audience that another 30-slide PowerPoint deck would push them over the edge.

Whatever the particular details, more and more presentation situations exist outside of this ‘formal’ environment. Yet pretty much the entire canon of presentation thinking remains transfixed on addressing the shortcomings of the “I speak, you listen” format.

How does the Presentation Landscape break down?

As with all good things in the presentation world, the landscape breaks down rather nicely into three key areas shown in the graphic below:


And while they aren’t hard-and-fast rules, there are some basic parameters we can use to determine which kinds of presentations might fit into each.

The Formal Presentation


Typical presentation scenarios that fall into the Formal category are bids and pitches, conferences and investor presentations. They have one thing in common: the presenter speaks and the audience listens, and then (ideally) a lively Q&A session kicks off at the conclusion of the presentation at the behest of the presenter. In short, the majority of the presentation is a broadcast rather than a conversation .

If it seems that I’m a little snooty about ‘Formal’ presentations, or that I feel they lack an intimacy that plays well with audiences, please know that this couldn’t be further from the truth. Getting ‘Formal’ presentations right is hard – damned hard. This is because these kinds of presentations, more than any other, are subject to disengaged audiences. They also frequently have more at stake, which inadvertently but understandably puts the presenter at a disadvantage before they’ve even stepped onto the stage. Formal presentations are also more likely to be ‘one-offs’ or delivered irregularly, which means that studious rehearsal is required by all involved (and, lest we forget, most of the intended rehearsal time will be eaten up by last-minute changes to the slides – an unavoidable part of human nature).

My semi-snooty tone might come from the fact that the Formal presentation structure has been foisted on presenters and audiences alike for way too long. We’ve followed the unwritten (and in some cases, written) rules regarding posture, diction and how many bullet points you’re allowed on a slide so slavishly that they’ve hindered audience engagement. Communication – the primary goal of most presentations – is, ironically, the first casualty of over formalizing.

So how do we fix this? Being a little more casual with all presentations is foolish, since some do demand the formal approach. However, a good place to start is to recognize that not all presentations fit the same mold.

This leads rather nicely onto our next category – the Interactive presentation.

The Interactive Presentation

The ability to interact has never been so widely embraced as it is today. Our media thrives on its ability to engage and interact with its audiences, from the occasionally hysterical discussion boards on newspaper websites to the hordes of business Tweeters and Facebookers, to the ease of voting contestants on and off reality TV shows. (My children don’t believe a Saturday evening in front of the TV is complete if they haven’t called a premium-rate phone line to vote off a dancer/singer/juggler who doesn’t meet their high standards.)

With interaction being so prevalent across the media landscape, it seems strange that presentations have, on the whole, managed to dodge the trend. It might be that conventional wisdom scorns the idea of an audience asking questions throughout a presentation; heaven forbid they got ideas above their station and started driving the presentation towards something that actually appealed to them. Or, it might be that presenters have preferred to stay within the lines and stick with the formal approach.


Another reason for the lack of interactivity in presentations is that presenters are simply not aware that many presentation tools at their disposal are eminently capable of supporting an interactive audience engagement.

The starting-off point is ultimately less about the tools you choose to use and more about the decision to move away from the Formal approach’s comfort zone. When we embrace the Interactive approach, we must rethink the rules and allow a presentation to become more about discussion than broadcast. This apparent lack of control demands that the presenter has a much greater grasp of the presentation story and message, an intimate knowledge of the tool, and an awareness of the audience and how and when to react to their engagement.

Make no bones about it: as the presenter, you are still in charge of the process and need to navigate the presentation and your audience from A to B. The only difference with the Interactive model is that you may meander ‘off-course’ occasionally if and when a given topic proves of particular interest to your audience. But as long as you complete the journey and end up at ‘B’ with message duly delivered and understood, then it really doesn’t matter how circuitous a route your audience may have taken you. You’ve still succeeded.


The good news is that it’s not as scary as it sounds! A good interactive presentation requires as much from the presenter as a business conversation. You simply need to know your subject — since there’s no opportunity to simply read words from the slide autocue style – and be ready to listen to your audience.

As such, the good presentation opportunities to move from a Formal to Interactive style are exhibitions, demonstrations and account management sales meetings. It’s less about delivering a ‘slick pitch’ and more about building a bond and rapport and demonstrating you can support your audience.

It’s for these reasons that Interactive presentations tend to work best for smaller audience groups. Any more than five audience members and you can find yourself in the middle of an argument rather than a conversation. At this point, you’ll be better served by calling upon the more traditional rules of the Formal approach.

The question remains – why eschew the well-established Formal approach for the apparently more risky Interactive route? The answer is simple: audience engagement.

Ultimately, the reason we present is to engage with the audience to the point where they will listen to, understand and ideally act on our message. By putting them in the driver’s seat and allowing them into the presentation conversation, you dramatically change the dynamics of the presenter–audience relationship. You’re giving them license to test, question and evaluate your message as part of the process. By doing so, you’re much more likely to keep the audience on your side and thus to get the result you desire.

The Informal Presentation


The example I always use is the ubiquitous airport bar conversation. You’re unwinding with a beer while waiting for your flight to board when you strike up a conversation with the person next to you. As business people do, you ask each other what line of work you’re in and the reason for your travel. One thing leads to another, and soon enough you’re sharing your business message with your new friend – just like you had done three hours prior to a room of prospects.

The power of the Informal presentation is that rather than pulling out your laptop and firing up PowerPoint – thereby killing the nice, informal environment you’ve created – you are able to tell/sell your story using no more than a napkin and a pen by way of visuals.

Note: the use of handmade impromptu visuals as part of an Informal engagement is not restricted to bars! It’s a running joke in our offices that I find it difficult to chat with anyone without a pad of paper and selection of pens to hand. I’m always doodling to visually share my thoughts and ideas with someone. Despite the jokes, people understand that this is my informal way of presenting and engaging with the team, and ultimately ensuring that they understand and receive my message loud and clear.

It’s essential to know that using an Informal approach only works if the presenter really knows their subject. This is more than aimless doodling and a meandering story; it’s about recognizing that the engagement with the audience demands a more relaxed approach, while still delivering a focused and powerful message.

Delivering Competitive Advantage

The evolving Presentation Landscape is an incredibly exciting change in the way we deliver our messages to audiences. In my opinion, it trumps any new technological developments (while the birth of the iPad/tablet was exciting, it’s just another tool at the end of the day) or new design thinking.

The Presentation Landscape takes our ability to truly build a relationship with audiences to a whole new level…something that no single presentation tool will ever be able to do.

The reason for this bold statement is a simple one – it relies on people recognizing and acting on the opportunity. Once we understand the dynamics in play at any presentation situation – and use this insight to apply the right story-telling approach and tools to meet the audience’s requirements – we automatically move up the scale in terms of engagement. This increased engagement provides us not only with a greater chance of meeting our objectives (remember Must-Intend-Like!) but also of addressing our audience’s specific needs.

There’s no getting away from it: a greater understanding of the Presentation Landscape coupled with a Blended Presenting approach delivers huge competitive advantage that, while useful for internal or conference presentations, is invaluable for sales or investor presentations.


Blended Presenting – A Customer’s Tale

As news of our Presentation Optimization methodology spread, we started getting calls from international companies looking for support and guidance. These were always exciting projects that combined travel to some remarkable countries with the opportunity to work with some truly fantastic companies and people.

Of all these early international projects, there is one that stands out for a couple of reasons. We’d been working with the European offices of a German software company for a number of years, having supported them in all manner of different presentation scenarios. We’d been there for sales decks, kick-off events and for internal presentations – and we’d used PowerPoint as the visual tool each and every time.

There’s no doubt that they’d categorized us as their “PowerPoint people”. This suited us down to the ground; they required a lot of PowerPoint, we had a great reputation within the business and, top down, they were nice people to work with. Then the message spread to the US.

I was asked to join a confidential conference call where it was announced that the software company was in the process of acquiring one of their largest competitors. This acquisition would make a huge difference to the already very impressive business – a revised and improved customer proposition, greater leverage in a vibrant marketplace and the opportunity to embed themselves even deeper into their growing customer base. It was all very exciting – and they needed a PowerPoint presentation to release as part of the rollout training and coaching for their global sales team. I was summoned to the US and arrived at their offices fresh as a daisy after being flown over business class and being put up in one of the finest hotels the East Coast could offer.

With a suitably senior (and, let’s be honest, expensive) executive team seated behind closed doors, we commenced the Presentation Optimization process. We established a good understanding of the prospect audience, discussed objectives, and quickly identified a compelling key message (it was such a wonderful proposition that none of this was all that tricky). Then we moved onto the content.

And this is where the cold sweats started.

The audience heatmap profile was heavily weighted towards the Factual with a strong sense of Visionary. This was to be expected – it was a highly technical sale with a multimillion price tag attached. Due to the very technical nature of the new combined solution, we were going to have to get pretty detailed quite quickly in terms of content, which could alienate the Visionary section of the audience. My business prides itself in getting PowerPoint to do things it wasn’t originally designed to do, but this seemed like a step too far.

I had no option but to voice my concerns. So, with more than a little trepidation, I turned to my senior and generous hosts and uttered the fatal words: “This isn’t right for PowerPoint. I don’t see how we can make this work using simple slides.”

Somewhat understandably, a silence fell over the room. (Oh dear.)

I pressed on, however, explaining that the story itself was extremely compelling and that by sticking purely to PowerPoint, we ran the very real risk of switching off what should and would be an audience hooked on everything we had to say.

I suggested that we continue to think visually and see where the rest of the session took us. I think it’s fair to say that there was a sense in the room that this had all turned a bit sour…and I was to blame. (Oh dear indeed.)


About an hour in, I had a flash of inspiration after scribbling up comments and ideas on the very fancy electronic whiteboard. I was using the whiteboard to share my ideas and demonstrate visually my message; so why couldn’t my customer and their sales team do the same thing?

Over the following three hours, we created a proposition story that could be visualized using the whiteboard. We “topped and tailed” this innovative approach using conventional PowerPoint; this not only suited the audience but also gave the presenters a familiar and defined way of starting and concluding the formal presentation.

The customer was delighted and went on to make a huge success of their new combined solution, cutting a swathe through the competition and opening up new opportunities left, right and center.

Importantly, there were a couple of completely unforeseen benefits to this new way of presenting. It seemed that the audience was compelled to interact as the salesperson used the interactive whiteboard to tell the visual story and explain how the elements might work for their prospect; they often jumped to their feet, grabbed a marker and drew their requirements right on the board. Despite our best efforts, PowerPoint or Keynote never got close to this level of interactivity.

Add to that the fact that our customer’s sales team now had a visual describing their prospects’ specific requirements IN THE PROSPECT’S HANDWRITING. This meant that they could use the wonders of Smartboards to e-mail and insert them directly into proposal documents – and could reference them later on to produce a truly bespoke offering.

From moments of blind panic came a solution that exceeded all of our expectations.

Personally, this was a sea change in the way we looked at the entire process of presenting. By challenging the established norms and mixing things up a bit, we’d made a great story even more powerful and palatable for the audience. It was a simple as using the right tool at the right time for the right type of content — and by doing so, we’d inadvertently created a new approach to presentations. Blended Presenting had been born.

We no longer view presentations as necessarily being purely of one format. Our customer base now generally accepts that getting the message and story optimized is the first and often most challenging phase in the development of a presentation. The visualization of that story into an array of different presentation outputs is the fun bit. It’s what allows us to engage with any audience type, in any number and in any situation in a way that truly makes a difference.

Suddenly, the audience is in charge of the format the presentation takes – and the presenter is able to call upon any number of combinations from their toolkit of formats.

It’s exciting, it’s relevant and it’s powerful.

a presentation can be formal or informal

Simon Morton

Simon Morton launched his PowerPoint presentation design company Eyeful Presentations in 2004, with a simple goal of creating better, more effective business presentations that would engage audiences and actually get presenters results and success. A published author, his first book, ‘ The Presentation Lab ’ is making waves and has been released around the world in 6 languages. A hugely experienced speaker, writer and trainer, Simon is recognized as an influential business leader and expert in the field of presentations. Connect with him on LinkedIn or follow him on Twitter .

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Toomey Business English

Learn Formal and Informal Phrases for Presentations

In this Business English lesson, you’re going to learn what Formal and Informal Means, the differences in Formal and Informal Presentations and examples of Formal and Informal Phrases to help ‘Start your Presentation.’

Watch the lesson and then read the article for definitions and examples.

It’s recommended to download the cheat sheet below.

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Understanding Formal Situations

A formal situation requires professionalism and follows certain rules of etiquette and protocol.

When do we use Formal Language?

We use formal language when we talk to:-

  • people we don’t know.
  • people in positions of authority.
  • people who are older than we are.
  • people we want to impress.

How do Formal Phrases differ in comparison to Informal Phrases?

When we use Formal Phrases, grammar is usually more complex, and sentences are generally longer. Normal, everyday phrases are used in informal presentations.

When will I use Formal Phrases in my Presentation?

  • When you don’t know your audience, and you want to make a convincing first impression.
  • When there’s an expectation that you prepare thoroughly beforehand.
  • When the audience that you’re presenting to is a professional group of people.

What kind of Presentations would benefit from Formal Phrases?

  • Training Presentations.
  • Business Presentations.
  • Academic Presentations.
  • Public Speaking (speeches, lectures.)
  • External Invitations to speak.

Examples of Formal Phrases to help Start your Presentation

“Good morning, everyone. For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Martin Short, and I work in the Research Department.”

“Hello everybody. Before we start, let me introduce myself briefly: My name is Maria Kinsella, and I’m the Head of Research.”

“Good afternoon. On behalf of John Smith Industries, I’d like to welcome you.”

“My name is Teddy Shamrock and I am Senior Management of the Finance Department.”

“Good afternoon. My name is Jenny Mann and welcome to the fifth annual conference of Cosmic Industries.’

What clothes should I wear for a formal presentation?

You should dress at a professional level.

Should I use powerpoint/keynote slides for an formal presentation?

It’s the presenter’s decision. However, given that more preparation goes into a formal presentation, slides are more likely to be used.

Understanding Informal Situations

An informal situation is casual and laid back.

When do we use Informal Language?

We use informal language when we talk to:-

  • family members.
  • people we know well,
  • people our own age.

Overall, to put it into perspective, you can talk with your audience like you talk to your friends in informal presentations.

When will I use Informal Phrases in my Presentation?

  • When you are comfortable in the knowledge that you know your audience and that they will accept informal language and phrases.
  • When there’s no real expectation that you should prepare thoroughly beforehand. (You do not have to be 100% prepared.)

What kind of Presentations would benefit from Informal Phrases?

  • Mainly in-house presentations such as team meetings, 
  • Group discussions, seminars.

Examples of Informal Phrases to help Start your Presentation

“Hey, guys! It’s great to be here today. If you don’t know me, I’m Marco, and I’m the Head of Public Relations.”

“Hi, there! It’s great to see so many new faces here today. Firstly, I’ll say hello: My name is Samantha, and I’m one of our Research Team Officers.”

“Hi everyone, I’m Barney, Senior Marketing Officer. Thanks for coming.”

“Hi folks, it’s great to see you all today. Just in case, I’m Tim, and I’m the company’s Media Officer.”

“It’s nice to see you all again, and thanks for coming to my talk about procurement. For those of you who don’t know me, I’m Kylie, and I work in the Accounting Department as a clerk.”

What clothes should I wear for an informal presentation?

You can wear casual clothes.

Should I use powerpoint/keynote slides for an informal presentation?

It’s the presenter’s decision. However, given that less preparation goes into an informal presentation, slides are less likely to be used.


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a presentation can be formal or informal

Style of Presentation Formal VS Informal

Presenting a topic in a business or organization is common. The presenter explains in proper manners to the audience. The style of presentation can be distinguished into two styles, formal and informal. There are some differences in style, skill, and how to deliver the topic. Here is the information about them.

a presentation can be formal or informal

Style of Presentation in Formal

1. definition.

A formal presentation requires a lot of things because it is an ideal meeting to present the topic. The approach is very different because it relates to the audience’s background and important purposes such as business and the time to have the presentation.

2. The goals

The goal of the presentation in a formal style is different. Usually, you have to prepare the goal that you will deliver to the audience. It should be clear and consist of the points you will remark on. Write the ideas before having this presentation.

3. Dressing

In a formal presentation, the style of presentation is wearing formal attire. For the man, the formal attires consist of a suit and tie. For the woman, it should be a business suit or dress. The hairstyle should be neat as well. Dressing formally is a sign that you are a professional to convey the topic.

4. Use interactive question

This presentation includes an interactive questions and answers session. This is how you engage and get some feedback. However, the formal presentation only lasts after the presentation ends. The audience will not be able to ask anything in the middle of the presentation.

5. Preparing the materials

Before you present the formal presentation, you have to prepare the material well. It should be well-structured and in the form of slides as PowerPoint. The outline has to be systematic with subheadings, etc. It helps the audience to understand the topic you present to them.

6. Using the visual in slides

Although it is not a must, using visuals in the slides of the presentation is a good suggestion. The audience will understand more when they see some graphics, diagrams, or illustrations. The visualization is way better than presenting text words in the full slide.

Informal Style of Presentation

Definition of informal presentation is a session where you don’t have to prepare many things beforehand. It is simple and the audience might only catch a particular idea in the presentation. The session is more relaxed and you have time to talk to the audience during the presentation.

An informal presentation has a simple goal, you only need to provide some information. The discussion occurs during the presentation and involves more than one audience to see and know their reaction. The style of presentation looks more like a conversation.

The dressing in this presentation is informal, but you still have to be polite because you face an audience. It means you don’t have to wear business or formal attire, but a simple outfit will do. As a presenter, you have to have the professional look because you are going to share some information.

4. Interaction

The interaction should be very interactive and it doesn’t have a particular time to do Q & A sessions. The audience and presenter can interact with the presentation. Once they find out that they don’t understand the topic, they can immediately ask and the presenter will give some feedback.

5. The slide styles

Sometimes, an informal presentation might not need a slide. You can simply bring a handout for the audience as their reference. If you are going to prepare a slide presentation, then make sure the content has fewer visuals. Usually, the presenter will write on the board.

Style of presentation in formal and informal has many differences. The communication style is not only the main difference, but also the dressing, preparation, and the session along with the presentation. However, a successful one means you deliver the topic well and professionally.

Frantically Speaking

Formal Vs Informal Speeches: An A-Z Guide

Hrideep barot.

  • Public Speaking , Speech Writing , Workplace Communication

Formal Speech VS Informal Speech

A speech is either formal or informal. Meaning, it can either be a formal address delivered to an audience or the daily use of grammar and words to communicate. The only purpose of either of those speeches is to put across a message well enough to invoke the desired response from your audience. Throughout history, humans all across the world cleverly inspired world-wide revolutions solely through the power of speech. Since then, a lot of tools and techniques of speeches have developed to ensure we use this power to its maximum capacity.  

The two broad classifications of events we use speeches are called formal events and informal events. Therefore, depending on the kind of audience, the situation, the message, the tone and the environment, the orator must decide whether they should address a formal speech or an informal speech. Working out where you use what kind of speech is the most important aspect of being a good communicator.

Man delivering a formal speech to a crowd

Formal Speeches

What are formal speeches.

Formal Speeches are made when you’re speaking to a sizable audience you don’t personally know. These are professional events where you’re expected to make a good impression on the audience. The nature of these events is often serious and decorous. These events therefore demand a similar respectable tone of language and speech.

For example, while at a job interview, speaking to an individual of authority, delivering a lecture, making a presentation, giving a pitch, motivating the audience, hosting a business event etc., you must ensure you speak formally. 

A formal business meeting

What makes a speech formal?

Formal speeches are also called orations. They are used in situations that are more ‘serious.’ They project a specific tone and specific characteristics. A few basic tools and attributes of formal speeches are:

The tone of a formal speech is always polite and respectful. Since formal speeches are mainly used to communicate with people in authority or strangers, it is important to structure your sentences suitably. The use of civilised words, appropriate grammar, complete sentences and enhanced vocabulary maintains the decorum of a formal speech.


A formal communication style usually takes no stances. The sentence is spoken in a passive voice with a minimum use of personal pronouns. When we avoid using personal pronouns such as ‘I’, ‘We’ and ‘You’, the essence of the point changes from being an opinion to a fact. Therefore, the content of your speech sounds more objective than subjective.


A formal speech is more effective than an informal speech because it comprises longer sentences and clear, non-colloquial phrases. It is well-spoken and the pronunciations are fathomable and precise. Its adherence to the Standard English language makes it comprehensible for the entire audience, even the non-native English speakers. It therefore proves to be extremely effective, suitable for a workplace or a business environment.

Standard English Language

A formal speech naturally follows the standards and rules formally set by the language. Languages tend to have regional differences and additional local slang to them. Even within England, British English and Scottish English tend to have different dialects and colloquial. For example, maybe phrases like “sure-fire” or “works like a charm” are deemed normal at your workplace but you cannot expect a non-English speaking trader to know them. When we adhere to the Standard English prescribed by Oxford, everybody who has academically learnt the English language is able to understand what one is trying to say.

The generous use of long sentences, no contractions, minimum abbreviations, proper grammar, complex sentence structure, clear pronunciation and overall objectiveness of the information brings a lot of clarity to one’s speech. There is seldom any room for doubts or misunderstandings. The extensive use of impersonal and formal language brings out professionalism and makes your information more credible.

Employees listening to a formal speech

What should you NOT include in a Formal Speech

The obvious ways of distinguishing between a formal speech and an informal speech are determined through the process of elimination. The following are a few things that you shouldn’t include in a formal speech:

Casual Greeting

There are a number of ways you can greet a person. Each kind of greeting has formal and informal versions that you can use based on how well you know the person and what degree of professionalism you are required to maintain with that person. For example,

  • Formal: Hello, how do you do?
  • Informal: Hey, how are ya?
  • Formal: Nice to meet you/ Pleased to meet you.
  • Informal: Good to see you.
  • Formal: How have you been?
  • Informal: Long time no see!

Slangs and Colloquialism

Slangs include a language that’s peculiar to a particular group, a regional reference, or even curse words. It’s extremely important to keep slang words at bay when you’re delivering a formal speech. A formal tone prescribes standard, professional English language. For example,

  • Informal: Stats say, stress is the reason why this workplace is always screwing up.
  • Formal: According to statistics, stress is one of the most frequent factors that disrupts efficiency and encourages problems in the workplace.
  • Informal: Know yourself honestly and well enough to find what stresses you out.
  • Formal: Being candid with ourselves is the most effective way to establish the triggers of stress we experience.


Contracting words and sentences assert an informal and casual tone. If you are aiming to sound professional and polished, avoiding contractions is recommended. For example,

  • Informal: I’ve had enough, I don’t think I’m gonna let this slide the next time.
  • Formal: Your limit has been surpassed, I do not think this mistake will go unpunished the next time.

Personal Pronouns

The main characteristics of a formal speech are its impersonal nature and the precise, passive and objective delivery of information. While writing a formal speech, avoid using pronouns altogether. However, if required, try using neutral pronouns such as ‘one.’ For example,

  • Informal: I was alarmed when I found out the effects of stress.
  • Formal: The effects of stress were found to be quite alarming.
  • Informal: You shouldn’t stress out about the things you can’t control.
  • Formal: One shouldn’t take stress about the things beyond one’s control.

Poor Vocabulary

Gather your thesaurus before you write your formal speech because the better your vocabulary, more formal the content of your speech sounds. While both your sentences would mean the same thing, the tone in which they are delivered would classify them as informal speeches or formal speeches. For example,

  • Informal: He took the item back to the shop.
  • Formal: He returned the item to the shop.
  • Informal: The CEO of this company gave up his position because his mental health was being affected.
  • Formal: The CEO of this company relinquished his position due to his mental health being compromised.

How should you structure a Formal Speech?

The basic structure of a formal speech is no different than the structure of an essay. Organising your speech not only improves the clarity of thought but also amplifies the effectiveness of your content. A formal speech includes an introduction, a body and a conclusion.

The Introduction

A formal introduction establishes a respectful contact between the speaker and the listener. The introduction should last for one minute at the most. It should sound deferential and strictly adhere to formal English. How should you begin a formal speech?

The Greeting

The introduction of a formal speech can typically begin with a greeting. After wishing ‘good morning’ or ‘good evening’ depending on the time of the day, you may introduce yourself humbly. You can thank the organisers of the event for inviting you to speak or compliment a senior member of the event to pay respect. 

Acknowledging the Audience

It is polite to thank the audience for gathering to hear you out. Greet them with a genuine smile and express what an honour it is to be speaking before them today. After all, they have sacrificed their precious time to be here today.

Placing your Claim

The introduction is the most crucial segment of your speech. The curiosity you are able to pique in this part decides how much audience you will retain throughout your speech. It is extremely important you place your claim in the most catchy manner. Even in a formal speech, you can use quotes, rhetorical devices, imagery, startling elements, stories or even silence. As long as the language used is respectful, professional and follows the formal English, it can be a good opener for a formal speech. 

In case you’re looking for a few creative ways you can open your speech, you can refer to our blogpost for help!

The body makes up everything you have to say about the claim you placed in the introduction. It can have additional facts, supporting arguments and other temporal modes of organising your information. The temporal modes of organising information can be:

  • Cause-effect relation in past, present or future tense
  • Effect-cause relation which is basically inverting it and highlighting the effects before you state how they are achieved.
  • Compare and contrast your entities.
  • Narrate your topics as a story by organising the flow of the speech by finding relation and joint-relevance between two topics.
  • Subdividing a large chunk of information into headings and subheadings is also a good topical way to organise your information formally.

The Conclusion

How do you end a formal speech? The conclusion follows the transition that was laid down by the body. The two main aims of a conclusion are to summarise the ideas of the speech and provide a closure. The conclusion of any formal speech can include:

  • A summary of the speech.
  • A ‘Now-What?’ statement elucidating the takeaway of the speech for the audience.
  • A reference back to the introduction of the speech.
  • An open-ended question to ponder upon.

If the last line of your speech is as important as the introduction segment where you make the claim. The weight and impact of the last sentence decides how memorable your speech would be. If you don’t feel like dropping the mic after the last sentence of your speech, maybe it’s not as mind-blowing and impactful as it ideally should be. 

If you are looking to seek more advice on how you can structure your formal speeches more professionally , be sure to check out our guidelines.

Coworkers informally discussing a project

Informal Speeches

Informal speeches are casual and relaxed. They are made while talking to friends, colleagues or people you personally know. There are no hard and fast rules while making an informal speech other than somehow conveying the message you want to convey. 

What makes a speech informal?

Informal speeches radiate a very comfortable and relaxed energy. They’re friendlier than formal speeches and they often carry the personality of the person addressing them. A few characteristics that can help you identify informal speeches are:

Since casual speeches don’t require a very strict preparation like formal speeches, they are often easygoing. Informal speeches are made sporadically and are mostly off the record. The level of ease informal speeches carry can differ from person to person given how extroverted they are, or how comfortable they are with the audience. 

Informal speeches sound colourful. In the sense, the speaker is given the liberty to express themselves as they truly are. They don’t have a monotonous tone like formal speeches. The speaker can add their own slang, phrases they normally use, their personality, their dialects and in general make the speech as entertaining and fun as they please. 

Informal speeches give you the artistic and comedic liberty to put forth your message. While formal speeches usually adhere to the strictness of sounding ‘serious’ and ‘professional’, informal speeches are like laid back and pleasurable conversations.

You do not normally talk in complex sentence structures or dramatically use vocabulary. Likewise, informal speeches are often simple and straightforward. They use short sentences and terms and references from day-to-day life. You may use words and phrases like ‘that’s dope’, ‘don’t be salty’, ‘bruh’, ‘I’m shook’, ‘No cap’ etc. 

Informal speech is used in day-to-day life. Unlike other languages, most English speakers tend to speak informally with strangers on the street. While they’re friendly, they might not necessarily be polite if the listener cannot interpret the tone of your speech. 

Since informal speeches are more often used in everyday life, they don’t really have a structure. They do not require an introduction, a body or a conclusion. Apart from the unspoken rules of exchanging pleasantries and courtesy, you do not need to ‘prepare’ anything formal, just have the idea of what you want to say in mind.

A few examples of informal speeches would be:

  • A Best Man’s Speech for his Brother’s Wedding: In this example, the occasion is properly informal. The speaker is amongst friends and family, speaking about his brother and his new wife. It is hilarious and also contains a poem to deliver the message!

  • A Valedictorian Speech for the Class of 2010: In this example, while the occasion is formal, the speaker has very cleverly added a subtle informal tone while still maintaining the collective polite structure. He framed all inside jokes in a way everybody could understand. It was overall confident, humorous, ingenious and a great valedictorian speech.

A man giving a toast on his wedding

What are the Main Differences Between Formal and Informal Speeches?

The following table elucidates the main differences between formal and informal speeches, summarising all its characteristics.

Case Study: A Sales Pitch

Let’s study the an applied example of formal and informal speeches. The above video is a sales pitch for electric cars. There are two characters in this video, each used in informal speech and formal speech respectively. Let us analyse both their speeches to understand how you can implement the two styles in your communication. 

Informal Speech

The first man uses an informal style of speech. He begins his speech by saying, “Ladies and gentlemen, electric cars. They’re totally gay.” Naturally, in a work environment where formal tones are expected, the opening statement left all the members of the meeting stupefied. They found his speech disrespectful and all the faces around the room were either shocked, perplexed or disapproving. The casual tone could have easily been found offensive on the pretext of homophobia. He also says things like ‘rock-and-roll-ness’, ‘sexiness of the car’, ‘this model took more virginities than Francis Albert Sinatra’, which can come across as rather controversial in a formal business meeting. Gradually, the informal and blunt approach did work out for the salesperson. However, the chances of it being successful are bleak and you could just be overruled any time. Using a formal tone is therefore a safer option.

Formal Speech

The second man in the film, referred to as Nicholas, takes over and summarises the pitch using formal speech. He uses statements like, ‘We believe we can produce the technology to incorporate an electric motor in your current model.’ He said the exact same thing the first man was trying to communicate but in a far more classy manner. Instead of calling it ‘sexy’ or ‘rock-and-roll’, he refers to its features as ‘exhilarating’ and ‘aggressive’, making the experience ‘visceral’ and retaining a manly retro element of the car than making it look ‘gay’. 

This example distinguishing formal speech with informal speech hopefully gives you a thorough idea of what they are. However, when should you use formal speech? And when should you give an informal speech?

Should you use Formal Speech or Informal Speech?

Knowing what speech is best suited for the given situation always depends on the context. You should be intelligent enough to be able to recognize situations that demand a formal tone and situations that can be handled casually.

Generally, informal speeches are made at weddings while giving a toast or at birthdays to express love etc. Formal speeches are made in professional settings, work places, educational institutes, talking to authorities, job interviews, business meetings, negotiations, elders or people you don’t know.  

However, sometimes in job interviews, the interviewer can be looking for what your personality is like. In situations like this, you need to tone down how formally you talk. Some corporate cultures embrace a casual and informal tone in their business affairs while some companies prefer individuals who can maintain a strong formal and professional persona. 

When you are doubtful about what speech to use, always stick to formal speech. While informal speech is friendly, formal speech is polite. It establishes goodwill and credibility. Although it’s not good to be overly formal either. Saying “Greetings, let me guide you through the floorplans of this building so you can navigate the office easily.” is frankly absurd and foolish. Being too formal can also come across as cold, distant and ironically even impolite. You do not want to be a robot. Sometimes saying, “Good morning, allow me to give you an office tour.” does just the right thing.

To Conclude,

A good communicator can not only convey any kind of message to their audience but also convey their message to any kind of audience. And in order to achieve this, a good communicator is the master of the art of speech as well as the master of knowing the audience and what tone they would appreciate. 

Hrideep Barot

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How to Make a “Good” Presentation “Great”

  • Guy Kawasaki

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Remember: Less is more.

A strong presentation is so much more than information pasted onto a series of slides with fancy backgrounds. Whether you’re pitching an idea, reporting market research, or sharing something else, a great presentation can give you a competitive advantage, and be a powerful tool when aiming to persuade, educate, or inspire others. Here are some unique elements that make a presentation stand out.

  • Fonts: Sans Serif fonts such as Helvetica or Arial are preferred for their clean lines, which make them easy to digest at various sizes and distances. Limit the number of font styles to two: one for headings and another for body text, to avoid visual confusion or distractions.
  • Colors: Colors can evoke emotions and highlight critical points, but their overuse can lead to a cluttered and confusing presentation. A limited palette of two to three main colors, complemented by a simple background, can help you draw attention to key elements without overwhelming the audience.
  • Pictures: Pictures can communicate complex ideas quickly and memorably but choosing the right images is key. Images or pictures should be big (perhaps 20-25% of the page), bold, and have a clear purpose that complements the slide’s text.
  • Layout: Don’t overcrowd your slides with too much information. When in doubt, adhere to the principle of simplicity, and aim for a clean and uncluttered layout with plenty of white space around text and images. Think phrases and bullets, not sentences.

As an intern or early career professional, chances are that you’ll be tasked with making or giving a presentation in the near future. Whether you’re pitching an idea, reporting market research, or sharing something else, a great presentation can give you a competitive advantage, and be a powerful tool when aiming to persuade, educate, or inspire others.

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  • Guy Kawasaki is the chief evangelist at Canva and was the former chief evangelist at Apple. Guy is the author of 16 books including Think Remarkable : 9 Paths to Transform Your Life and Make a Difference.

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Presenting across the table: successful informal presentations.

Woman smiling while presenting to colleagues

To help you remember some of the keys to success across the table, here is a checklist in acronym form.

T une in to your audience. Take time to think about WHO you are speaking with. WHY is this presentation important? What do they expect to hear? How will you make your case compelling, especially if you are suggesting a change or presenting something new? Tune in to the rational as well as the emotional makeup of your audience as you plan what you are going to say.

A ttend to your delivery skills. How are you sitting? Are you alert, calm, and facing the other person? Are your arms and legs uncrossed, and your hands relaxed? Is your face pleasant and engaged? Are you enunciating clearly, and speaking with conviction? Be sure to breathe, open your mouth, and make steady but not overbearing eye contact as you speak.

B egin and end strong. As in all presentations, your audience will tend to remember what you say first and last. Plan ahead. Think it through. Create a one or two-sentence position statement that is clear and direct. After appropriate (but brief) social niceties, state your point of view and then back it up with three or four supporting facts. As the discussion comes to a close, use your pre-planned closing comments to summarize your discussion, or to end with a call to action or next steps.

L earn your content. You may think these presentations require no rehearsal, since you don’t plan to be standing up in front of a crowd. But trust me; you can get just as tongue-tied in front of a client or boss. Take a few minutes in the days or hours before this conversation to rehearse your part of the conversation out loud. Record it on your smartphone, and then listen to it. Or have a friend or colleague role-play with you. The payoff will be increased confidence and credibility when you deliver the content to the intended audience.

E xpect discussion. These informal presentations most often end up being discussions rather than monologs. Prepare yourself for several possibilities, so that whatever happens, you won’t be blindsided. Will your listener agree wholeheartedly? Great! But you can’t always be sure how a listener will react. Maybe they will object strenuously. Become angry or defensive, or demand more information. Think about how you might handle each of these outcomes so you at least have a plan in mind. And stay flexible — you can’t always predict what will happen.

So as you see, presentations across the table, although more informal, require some of the same thought and planning that a formal presentation does. The good news is that each time you properly prepare and execute a successful informal presentation , you build and reinforce an important skill set you will use again and again.

How do you prepare for and execute informal presentations and critical discussions? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

a presentation can be formal or informal

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Not long ago I worked with an energetic, creative group who, while focusing on presentation skills, wondered how to best engage their audiences. I asked them what engagement strategies they appreciated when they were in the audience. They had plenty of ideas about engagement techniques that I think any speaker could benefit from. These are …

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Communicating Via Visual Designs

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a presentation can be formal or informal

Understanding Formal vs. Informal Language: A Comprehensive Guide

Formal and Informal English Language

English is a flexible language that allows us to communicate across different contexts. Whether speaking with friends, writing an academic paper, or giving a professional presentation, the level of formality used can vastly change the meaning and impact. Understanding when to use formal versus informal English and switching between the two is a key communication skill.

This comprehensive guide will examine the key differences between formal and informal English, provide examples of each, discuss when to use them, and give tips for navigating between the two registers smoothly. With the information provided here, you will be able to confidently adapt your communication style to fit any situation.

What is Formal English?

Formal English is used in professional, academic, or official settings. It is characterized by its adherence to grammatical rules, precise vocabulary, and structured tone. Formal language is commonly employed in professional correspondence, academic papers, and business communication. It has a serious tone and demonstrates respect for the audience. Some key characteristics include:

  • Complete sentences and proper grammar
  • Advanced vocabulary and longer words
  • Lack of slang, idioms, contractions
  • Objective and precise language
  • Third person perspective rather than first person.

For example, in a formal email to a potential employer, one would use phrases like "Dear Mr. Smith" and "Sincerely yours," maintaining a respectful and professional tone.

In academic writing, phrases like "Furthermore," "In addition," and "Moreover" are commonly used to link ideas and provide logical transitions between points. 

Similarly, in legal documents, formal language is crucial for precision and clarity. Terms like "hereinafter," "notwithstanding," and "heretofore" are used to establish legal relationships and define specific rights and obligations. 

What is Informal English?

In contrast, informal English is used in casual, spontaneous, and friendly conversations. It has a more relaxed, conversational tone. Informal language often includes colloquial expressions or slang. It fosters a sense of familiarity and closeness between individuals. 

Some informal English features include:

  • Incomplete sentences and fragmented phrases
  • Simplified grammar and structure
  • Slang, idioms, phrasal verbs
  • Contractions like isn’t, don’t, haven’t, they’re
  • First and second person perspectives
  • Opinions rather than facts
  • Repetition of words or phrases for emphasis.

Among friends, one might say, "Hey, what's up?" instead of the more formal "How are you?".

In formal English we would say: "The research methodology requires modification in order to achieve more accurate results." In informal English we would say: "We gotta change how we're doing the research to get better results."

When to Use Formal English

The level of formality used depends greatly on the situation, audience, and purpose of communication. Using formal language conveys professionalism, respect, and seriousness.

Formal English is most appropriate for:

  • When communicating with someone you don't know well
  • When addressing superiors or authority figures
  • Official communications like cover letters, resumes, presentations
  • Job interviews and business meetings
  • Academic writing such as research papers, essays, dissertations
  • Official documents like contracts, application forms, letters to authority figures
  • Diplomatic protocol
  • Legal documents
  • Speaking in professional or academic settings
  • Writing for a general audience.

When to Use Informal English

Informal language facilitates casual interactions and fosters a sense of camaraderie among peers. It allows for spontaneity and authenticity in communication, creating a relaxed atmosphere. For example, during a lunch break with colleagues, one might say, "Let's grab a bite to eat," using informal language to suggest a casual outing.

Informal English works best for:

  • Informal meetings and social gatherings 
  • Casual conversations with friends, family, peers
  • Personal communications like text messages, emails, social media
  • Creative writing such as poetry, fiction, lyrics
  • When it is appropriate - in advertising and marketing
  • Speaking to children or in relaxed social situations
  • Writing for a familiar audience
  • On social media.

For example, a job interview calls for formal English but chatting with co-workers around the office can be informal. 

The language used when publishing an academic paper would be much more formal than writing in a personal journal.

Examples of Formal vs. Informal

Let’s look at some examples to see the key differences between formal and informal style:

Examples of formal language: "I apologize for the inconvenience caused."

Examples of informal language: “Sorry about that.”

Formal: "Could you please provide me with further information?"

Informal: “Can you tell me more about it?”

Formal: "The company is experiencing a decline in revenue."

Informal: “The company's not making as much money as before.”

Formal: "It is essential to complete the project by the deadline."

Informal: “We need to finish the project on time.”

Formal: "I am interested in learning more about the job opportunity."

Informal: “I wanna know more about the job.”

Formal: "The meeting has been rescheduled to next Monday."

Informal: “We're meeting next Monday instead.”

Formal: "We need to address the issue as soon as possible."

Informal: “Let's deal with the problem ASAP.”

Formal: "I am writing to inquire about the status of my application."

Informal: “Just checking on my application. Any updates?”

Formal: "It is imperative that we adhere to company policies."

Informal: “We gotta follow the rules.”

Formal: "Please find attached the requested documents."

Informal: “I've sent the stuff you asked for.”

As you can see, formal English relies on sophisticated vocabulary, full sentences, and an objective tone. 

Informal English uses more casual language, contractions, idioms, and a conversational style.

Formal & Informal Verbs 

Verbs are an important part of speech that can shift in formality. In formal English, verbs are properly conjugated and tense is used precisely. In informal English, verbs may be truncated or conjugated loosely. Moreover, formal English relies on verbs like utilize, facilitate, elucidate, while informal English uses simpler verbs like use, help, explain. Choosing verbs carefully is key for controlling formality level.

Examples of informal language: "Let's go grab lunch."

Examples of formal language: “We should proceed to have lunch.”

Informal: "I gotta finish this by tomorrow."

Formal: “I must complete this by tomorrow.”

Informal: "She's gonna call you back later."

Formal: “She will contact you at a later time.”

Informal: "He's been seeing a therapist."

Formal: “He has been consulting with a therapist.”

Informal: "We're heading out soon."

Formal: "We are departing shortly."

Formal & Informal Abbreviations 

Abbreviations are generally more common in informal English. Contractions like shouldn’t, don’t, or can’t are acceptable in moderation in informal contexts, but should be avoided in formal writing. For example:

Examples of informal language: "I don’t think we should go."

Examples of formal language: “I do not think we should go.”

Other informal abbreviations like kinda, gonna, gotta would be out of place in formal communication. For instance:

Informal: "I’m kinda tired."

Formal: “I am somewhat fatigued.”

Acronyms like ASAP or BTW are casual ways to shorten information that would be written out fully in formal English, such as “as soon as possible” and “by the way.”

Informal: "BTW, I'll be there in 10."

Formal: “By the way, I will arrive there in ten minutes.”

Informal: "ASAP, please."

Formal: “As soon as possible, if you would.”

Informal: "FYI, the meeting's been rescheduled."

Formal: “For your information, the meeting has been rescheduled.”

Informal: "IDK if I can make it."

Formal: “I don't know if I will be able to attend.”

Informal: "LOL, that's hilarious!"

Formal: “That is amusing.”

However, abbreviations like e.g. (stands for "exempli gratia," which means "for example") and i.e. (stands for "id est," which means "that is") are conventions accepted even in formal writing. 

Knowing which abbreviations align with the register being used is important.

Formal & Informal Slang

Slang should be predominantly confined to informal communication, where it adds color and informality. Slang terms like cool, dude, easy peasy, cringe, or yikes would not be appropriate for a professional context. Other very casual slang like wanna, gotta, or gimme have no place in formal communication. 

However, slang can be used judiciously in some informal business contexts, marketing, or advertising to convey authenticity. In formal academic writing, slang would generally detract from the scholarly tone, unless being analyzed or intentionally used in quotes or dialogue. Being able to recognize slang as too informal for most professional and academic purposes is a key linguistic skill.

Examples of informal language: "That's lit!"

Examples of formal language: “That is impressive.”

Informal: "She's a total boss."

Formal: “She is highly competent.”

Informal: "I'm gonna bail on the party."

Formal: “I will not attend the party.”

Informal: "This place is a dump."

Formal: “This location is in poor condition.”

Informal: "He's such a slacker."

Formal: "He lacks motivation."

Formal & Informal Emphasis Words

Words used for emphasis also differ between registers. In formal English, words like notably, significantly, substantially might be used to stress key information. For example, “The new policy will substantially improve employee retention.” 

In informal English, words like so, really, super, and totally can emphasize points instead. For instance, “This pizza is so amazing!” Likewise, informal emphasis words like absolutely, obviously, and literally are frequently overused in casual conversation, while formal English relies more on logic and facts for impact. Knowing when to temper emphasis is important for appropriate formality.

Examples of informal language: "She's really talented."

Examples of formal language: “She is exceptionally talented.”

Informal: "That's so cool!"

Formal: “That is quite impressive.”

Informal: "He's incredibly smart."

Formal: “He is highly intelligent.”

Informal: "This is super important."

Formal: “This is of utmost importance.”

Informal: "It's really fun."

Formal: "It is quite enjoyable."

Formal & Informal Transitions

Formal English utilizes transitional words and phrases to create structured, logical connections between ideas. Common formal transitions include: therefore, consequently, as a result, in conclusion, etc. Academic writing also relies heavily on transitions like: however, furthermore, additionally, in contrast. 

In informal English, transitions tend to be more direct and conversational. For instance: then, next, after, also, well, anyhow, anyway, so, and then. While all languages benefit from transitions, formal English requires more sophisticated and precise transitions to develop academic arguments or professional narratives.

Examples of informal language: "Anyway, let's move on."

Examples of formal language: “In any case, let us proceed.”

Informal: "But hey, that's life."

Formal: “However, such is life.”

Informal: "So, what's the plan?"

Formal: “Therefore, what is the proposed course of action?”

Informal: "And then, she said..."

Formal: “Furthermore, her statement was...”

Informal: "Well, I think..."

Formal: "Indeed, I believe..."

Other Formal and Informal Words

In addition to verbs, abbreviations, slang, and transitions, many other types of words vary in formality.

For example, formal English relies on Latin-derived vocabulary like "utilize" instead of simpler words like "use." Words of French origin like "commence" or "facilitate" are also more formal.

Informal English embraces more casual, colloquial words like "hang out" instead of "socialize." Direct words like "go," "big," or "stop" are more informal than elaborate options like "proceed," "substantial," or “cease.”

Likewise, descriptive words differ in formality. Formal words include "systematic," "adequate," "erroneous," while casual options are "organized," "enough," “wrong.”

Modes of address also change; formal English uses titles like "Doctor," "Professor," "Sir/Ma'am" versus informal choices like "Doc," "Dr. [Surname]," or first names.

In short, formal English adopts sophisticated, precise vocabulary while informal English uses common, everyday words. Considering connotations of formality helps determine word choice.

Here are some more examples:

Formal: Commence, elucidate, aforementioned

Informal: Start, explain, above-mentioned

Formal: Consequently, furthermore, however

Informal: So, also, but

Formal: Purchase, inquire, residence

Informal: Buy, ask, house

Formal: Colleague, companion, physician

Informal: Co-worker, friend, doctor

Formal: Utilize, terminate, approximately

Informal: Use, stop, about

Formal: Huge, tiny, acceptable, amiable, rude

Informal: Enormous, diminutive, okay, friendly, disagreeable.

Students Coffee Break

Tips for Switching Between Formal and Informal

As English learners, mastering the art of navigating between formal and informal language is essential for effective communication. Pay attention to the context and audience when choosing the appropriate register. Practice reading and listening to various forms of English to familiarize yourself with formal and informal expressions. Additionally, seek feedback from native speakers or language instructors to refine your language skills.

Here are some tips for smoothly switching between formal and informal English:

  • Identify your audience and purpose first - this determines the appropriate register
  • Make formal writing clearer and more direct; avoid unnecessarily complex language
  • Use contractions and personal pronouns to add a conversational tone when appropriate
  • Gradually introduce idioms and phrasal verbs to add color to informal speech
  • Temper opinions and personal perspectives in formal contexts
  • Use the third person point-of-view for objectivity
  • Proofread to check formality level matches the situation
  • Read texts aloud to identify any language that sounds too formal or informal
  • Ask others to review to get feedback on your formality level
  • Consume quality examples of formal and informal English.

With practice, you will be able to artfully adapt your communication style to connect with any audience in a meaningful way.

Formal & Informal Letter Expressions

The language used in letters and emails can vary greatly between formal and informal contexts. In formal letters and professional correspondence, standard greetings like “Dear Mr./Ms. [Surname]” are used along with formal closings such as “Sincerely” or “Best regards.” 

Informal emails and personal notes use more casual openings like “Hey” or “Hi [First Name]” and sign-offs like “Thanks!” or “Talk soon.”

Likewise, formal expressions of gratitude include “Thank you for your consideration” while informal emails use simpler phrases like “Thanks for helping me out.” 

Making requests also changes with formality, for example, “I would appreciate if you could provide an update at your earliest convenience” versus “Can you give me an update when you get a chance?” 

Formal letters also tend to use longer, complete sentences whereas informal notes often use sentence fragments and brief phrases. Adjusting letter language based on the relationship with the recipient and the purpose of the message is key for conveying respect and formality when needed.

  • Formal letter opening:

Dear Mr./Ms. [Last Name],

To whom it may concern,

Dear Sir/Madam,

  • Informal letter opening:

Hey [Friend's Name],

Hi [Friend's Name],

Dear [Friend's Name],

  • Formal letter closing:

Yours faithfully,


  • Informal letter closing:

Best wishes,

  • Formal gratitude expression:

Thank you for taking the time to consider my proposal. I appreciate your assistance.

  • Informal gratitude expression:

Thx for the help!

  • Formal request:

I would be grateful if you could provide an update on the status of my application at your earliest convenience.

  • Informal request:

Can you let me know if you’ve heard anything about my application?

Promova Language Learning Options

Promova offers a wide range of effective English learning options to help improve your language skills. Whether you prefer online group lessons, personalized 1-on-1 tutoring, or learning through our convenient mobile app, Promova has the right tools to help you master English communication for any situation, formal or informal.

Our  online group classes connect you with expert tutors and fellow students in a virtual classroom, allowing you to actively practice conversing in English. These sessions are not only about conversational skills but also cover essential aspects of the language such as grammar, vocabulary, pronunciation, listening, and writing.

For those seeking personalized attention, our online English tutors offer  individual, 1-on-1 classes tailored to your skills, goals, and schedule. Whether you want to study business English, prepare for international exams, get ready for travel, or ace a job interview, our teachers are here to help you achieve your objectives.

For self-paced learning on-the-go, our  innovative language learnin app , available for both  Android and  iOS smartphones, offers courses in 10 languages including German, Italian, Spanish, French, Portuguese, Ukrainian, Korean, Arabic, and Chinese.

Promova also provides a  quick placement test to assess your current English level, so we can customize your learning plan.

The key to skilfully using language is understanding when formal or informal English is best suited for the occasion. While informal language serves us well in relaxed, personal environments, formal English gives credibility and respect in professional academic settings.

Learning to identify situational cues, become comfortable code-switching between the two registers, and seeking feedback will enable you to effectively navigate diverse social and rhetorical contexts. Whether drafting an email to your professor or chatting with friends, you will be able to communicate with purpose and intention.

Confidently using both formal and informal language is a valuable skill that demonstrates linguistic dexterity and emotional intelligence. With this comprehensive guide from Promova, you now have the knowledge needed to tailor your communication style to any audience or situation.

Is formal English required for all academic writing?

Generally yes, formal English is expected in academic writing to demonstrate objectivity and respect for the audience. However, exceptions can be made for creative works, dialogues, or quoted passages which intentionally use informal language.

Can I use contractions in formal writing?

Occasional use of contractions can be acceptable in formal writing, depending on the specific context and level of formality required. However, it's important to use them judiciously and consider the overall tone and style of the writing. In more formal settings such as academic papers, professional correspondence, or official documents, contractions are generally avoided to maintain a more serious and precise tone. However, in less formal situations such as certain types of business communication or informal reports, the use of contractions may be more acceptable. Ultimately, it's best to follow any guidelines provided by the specific context or audience.

Is it acceptable to use some informal language in a job interview?

It’s best to maintain formal English when interviewing, as this shows professionalism. After being hired, workplace culture determines how much informality is appropriate with colleagues.

How can I improve my formal writing skills?

Promova offers various learning opportunities to help you enhance your formal writing skills. Our online group classes and personalized 1-on-1 tutoring sessions are designed to cater to your specific needs and goals, whether you're looking to improve grammar, expand your vocabulary, or refine your writing style. Our expert tutors provide constructive feedback and guidance to help you develop clarity, precision, and professionalism in your formal writing. Additionally, our language learning app offers interactive lessons and exercises focused on formal language usage, allowing you to practice and reinforce your skills at your own pace. With Promova, you'll receive the support and tools you need to become a confident and proficient formal writer.

Is it appropriate to use emojis in formal emails?

Emojis are generally not suitable for formal emails or professional communication as they can be perceived as unprofessional or immature. It's best to express emotions and tone through the content of the message rather than relying on emojis.

Can I use personal pronouns in formal writing?

Personal pronouns such as "I," "you," and "we" should be used sparingly in formal writing, particularly in academic or professional contexts where objectivity and impartiality are valued. Instead, focus on conveying ideas and information objectively without relying heavily on personal pronouns. Use third-person pronouns or passive voice when appropriate.

Signposts for Presentations

Signposts are words or phrases that guide the listener during a presentation. They let the listener know what has happened so far, and what is going to happen next. Below is a guide for using signposts during a presentation. It is divided into three sections: signposts for the introduction of a presentation, signposts for the middle of a presentation, and signposts for the conclusion of a presentation. The first column contains signposts for a formal presentation, and the second column contains signposts for an informal presentation.

Signposts for the Introduction of a Presentation

Signposts for the middle of a presentation, signposts for the conclusion of a presentation.

How to Say Presentation: Formal and Informal Ways, Tips, and Examples

Presentations are an integral part of both professional and personal life, allowing us to convey information, pitch ideas, or deliver speeches confidently. However, knowing how to express the concept of “presentation” in various situations and contexts can be crucial for effective communication. In this guide, we will explore the formal and informal ways to say “presentation,” providing useful tips and examples along the way. So, let’s dive in!

Formal Ways to Say Presentation

When it comes to formal settings such as professional meetings, conferences, or academic environments, using the appropriate terminology is essential. Here are some formal ways to say “presentation”:

1. Presentation

The most common and straightforward term is simply “presentation.” This term is widely understood and can be used universally in both professional and academic settings. For example:

During tomorrow’s meeting, I will be giving a presentation on our quarterly sales report.

In more academic contexts, the term “lecture” may be used to refer to a formal presentation or speech delivered by a teacher or speaker to a group of students. For instance:

Professor Johnson will be delivering a lecture on quantum mechanics in the physics department tomorrow.

3. Demonstration

When emphasizing the visual or practical aspect of a presentation, the term “demonstration” can be used. It implies showing or illustrating something during the presentation. An example would be:

Our team will conduct a demonstration of the new software features during our client meeting.

4. Symposium

In more formal and academic contexts, a “symposium” refers to a conference or meeting where multiple speakers present on related topics. This term is commonly used in scientific or research-oriented environments. Consider the following example:

We are excited to invite you to our annual medical symposium, where renowned doctors will present their latest research findings.

Informal Ways to Say Presentation

In less formal or casual scenarios, you may opt for more relaxed and conversational terms to refer to a presentation. Let’s explore some popular informal expressions:

Using the term “talk” in an informal context implies a less structured and more relaxed presentation or speech. This term is commonly used in informal business meetings or community gatherings. For example:

John will be giving a talk on digital marketing strategies at the local entrepreneur meetup next week.

2. Show and Tell

In educational settings or informal discussions, particularly involving children, “show and tell” is often used to describe a presentation where someone demonstrates or shares something of interest. Consider this example:

Timmy brought his pet turtle to school for show and tell today and gave a short presentation on reptiles.

In contexts involving marketing, sales, or entrepreneurship, the term “pitch” is frequently used to refer to a presentation aimed at persuading others to invest in an idea, product, or service. An example would be:

The startup founders delivered an engaging pitch to potential investors at the venture capital firm.

Tips for a Successful Presentation

Regardless of the terminology you choose, delivering a successful presentation requires careful preparation and effective communication skills. Here are some tips to help you shine during your presentation:

1. Plan and Structure Your Content

Begin by creating a clear and logical structure for your presentation. Organize your ideas, key points, and supporting material to ensure a cohesive flow that keeps your audience engaged.

2. Know Your Audience

Tailor your presentation to suit the needs and interests of your audience. Understand their background, level of expertise, and what they hope to gain from your talk. By addressing their specific concerns or questions, you will establish rapport and connection.

3. Use Visual Aids Wisely

Visual aids such as slides, diagrams, or illustrations can enhance your presentation. However, make sure they are visually appealing, concise, and complement your verbal message rather than overwhelm it. Aim for simplicity and clarity.

4. Practice, Practice, Practice

Rehearse your presentation multiple times to build confidence and familiarity with the content. Practice in front of a mirror, record yourself, or give a mock presentation to friends or colleagues to receive constructive feedback and make necessary adjustments.

5. Engage Your Audience

Actively involve your audience through questions, interactive exercises, or real-life examples. Open the floor for discussions or encourage participation to make your presentation more dynamic and memorable.

6. Speak Clearly and Confidently

Choose your words carefully, speak at a moderate pace, and project your voice to ensure everyone can hear and understand you. Maintain good posture and eye contact with your audience, conveying confidence and authority.

7. Be Time-Conscious

Respect your allotted time and avoid going over the time limit. Plan your presentation’s duration and allocate sufficient time for questions if necessary. Being mindful of time shows professionalism and consideration for your audience’s schedule.

Understanding how to express the concept of “presentation” in different settings and situations enables effective communication. In formal environments, terms such as “presentation,” “lecture,” “demonstration,” or “symposium” are commonly used, while more casual situations may involve terms like “talk,” “show and tell,” or “pitch.” Remember, successful presentations require careful planning, engaging content, confident delivery, and audience interaction. So, whether you’re presenting in a boardroom, classroom, or community event, apply these tips and find the best way to convey your message and leave a lasting impression.

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    The purpose of formal presentations is to provide information to a group of people with a few questions at the end. Informal presentations, however, are about providing information, listening to the reaction, and generating a discussion. It becomes more like a conversation and the audience will be more involved. -Keep visual aids to a minimum.

  6. How To Master Formal and Informal Presentations: Key Differences

    Firstly, the relaxed atmosphere of an informal presentation puts the audience at ease, making them more receptive to the information being shared. This can lead to increased engagement and participation from the audience. Secondly, informal presentations tend to be more memorable for the audience.

  7. Formal vs Informal Presentation Styles: How to Choose and ...

    An informal presentation style allows more room for improvisation, interaction, and storytelling. You can use a more conversational approach, such as asking questions, telling jokes, or sharing ...

  8. Difference Between Formal and Informal Presentations

    Informal presentations, furthermore known as extempore presentations, can breathe presented in a diverse starting settings. They have the same structure as formal ones but are less formal. This type of presentation cannot be delivered in person or virtually via video chat and mostly has a more conversational tone.

  9. The Importance Of Formal And Informal Presentations

    When delivering a formal presentation, there are a few things to keep in mind: Make sure you are well-prepared. Practice your presentation beforehand. Speak clearly and slowly. Make eye contact with your audience. Use formal language throughout the presentation. formal presentations can be given in person or virtually.

  10. Formal, Interactive or Informal Presentation

    The Formal Presentation. As already highlighted, the Formal presentation is the traditional setting for PowerPoint, Keynote and the multitude of other presentation software packages. Used properly, these tools can be incredibly powerful and guide an equally formal audience down your chosen path, to a mutually satisfying conclusion.

  11. Learn Formal and Informal Phrases for Presentations

    Examples of Formal Phrases to help Start your Presentation. "Good morning, everyone. For those of you who don't know me, my name is Martin Short, and I work in the Research Department.". "Hello everybody. Before we start, let me introduce myself briefly: My name is Maria Kinsella, and I'm the Head of Research.". "Good afternoon.

  12. The 6 types of presentation (And why you need them)

    PowerPoint presentations or PPTs are the most effective ones among all types of presentations simply because they are convenient and easy to understand. They are available in different formats and are suitable to use in practically any type of presentation and context, be it business, educational, or for informal purposes.

  13. Style of Presentation Formal VS Informal

    1. Definition. A formal presentation requires a lot of things because it is an ideal meeting to present the topic. The approach is very different because it relates to the audience's background and important purposes such as business and the time to have the presentation. 2. The goals. The goal of the presentation in a formal style is different.

  14. 5 Types of Presentation Styles

    When it comes to giving presentations, there's no one-size-fits-all approach. Depending on the topic, the audience, and the presenter's goals, a presentation can be formal or informal, serious or ...

  15. What is a Presentation?

    A presentation can be given in a classroom as a class assignment, or a presentation can be given in a meeting in a work setting. The definition or meaning of a formal presentation is a ...

  16. Formal Vs Informal Speeches: An A-Z Guide

    A speech is either formal or informal. Meaning, it can either be a formal address delivered to an audience or the daily use of grammar and words to communicate. The only purpose of either of those speeches is to put across a message well enough to invoke the desired response from your audience. Throughout history, humans all across the world ...

  17. How to Make a "Good" Presentation "Great"

    Think phrases and bullets, not sentences. As an intern or early career professional, chances are that you'll be tasked with making or giving a presentation in the near future. Whether you're ...

  18. Oral Presentations

    Oral presentations can be formal or informal, depending upon their explicit and implicit purposes and the delivery situation. An oral presentation can be almost any report type, such as a design review, a proposal, or a conference talk. Whatever the specific type, however, an effective oral presentation is carefully planned with your objectives ...

  19. Informal Presentation Communication: Presenting Across the Table

    Presentations don't have to be formal, stand-up affairs. Many times we make our case across the table from a client, a boss, or a colleague. It may be tempting to consider these informal presentations as unimportant, but just think about what is riding on them — a major sale or business relationship, a raise or promotion, or the success or ...

  20. Key Differences Between Formal and Informal English Language

    Formal: "I am somewhat fatigued.". Acronyms like ASAP or BTW are casual ways to shorten information that would be written out fully in formal English, such as "as soon as possible" and "by the way.". Informal: "BTW, I'll be there in 10." Formal: "By the way, I will arrive there in ten minutes.".

  21. Types of Communication

    Communication can be formal or informal. Formal communication is communication that follows a certain order with rules. ... They often include formal presentations and handouts for employees to ...

  22. Formal and Informal Presentations Guide: How to use Signposts

    Signposts for the Conclusion of a Presentation. Formal. Informal. Summarizing and concluding the presentation: •Finally, let's summarize some of the main points. •To conclude, I'd like to summarize. •Let's summarize/recap what we looked at today. •Finally, let's look back at what we covered today.

  23. How to Say Greetings Before Presentation: Formal and Informal Ways

    1. Be confident. Confidence is key when giving a presentation. Make sure to deliver your greeting with a clear, strong voice and maintain eye contact with your audience. This will help you establish credibility and gain the attention of your listeners. 2. Consider the audience. Tailor your greeting to your specific audience and the context of ...

  24. How to Say Presentation: Formal and Informal Ways, Tips, and Examples

    1. Talk. Using the term "talk" in an informal context implies a less structured and more relaxed presentation or speech. This term is commonly used in informal business meetings or community gatherings. For example: John will be giving a talk on digital marketing strategies at the local entrepreneur meetup next week. 2.