When you speak before a group what is best: presentation or conversation? What are the differences between the two? When should you go for one, when for the other?

The fundamental difference between them is the involvement of the audience. Maximum in a conversation, lower in a presentation. I am not saying a presentation should have no interaction. Actually, even when you make a presentation, the more the audience participates, the better it is. Only there should be more guidance and control on your part, compared to a conversation.

Are you trying to convince the public of your idea, persuade them of a message or motivate them to take an action? A presentation is more suitable! However, still try to make it interactive and engaging for the public.

Do you want to gather as much information as possible and get to know your audience better? The right answer then is a conversation. Ask the right questions and then listen carefully, remaining silent.

Do you have to develop an idea by creating a consensus from the whole group? Opt for a conversation, perhaps with a guide to encourage constructive confrontation, some brainstorming technique could help in this case.

Do you have a limited time to pass a message? Choose a presentation, and if you want to hear from them, plan a question and answer session at the end.

Do you want to build a relationship with the public? Listen to them and get to know them: you want them to speak, so a conversation is better.

As you can see, the choice depends only on the context and above all on the result you want to achieve!

(cover image of Christina Morillo)