Is There a Difference Between Delivering a Presenation and Public Speaking?

presenting vs public speaking

It’s a great question to ask. We often have clients contact us about our Presentation Skills training course and ask if it will help with public speaking. You might think the initial answer is ‘yes of course as they are essentially the same thing’. But are they?

There are definitely some similarities to presenting and public speaking, but there are also some differences.

What things are the same?

Essentially, a lot. Whether you are delivering a presentation you will certainly need to do some preparation. You will need to think about:

  • You will need to know who your audience is – this will help with the next couple of points
  • What is your objective – what do you want the audience to leave thinking or knowing at the end of what it is you deliver to them
  • You will need a structure – what order will the items you deliver come in
  • You will need to make it engaging – how will you grab and maintain peoples attention
  • You will need some visual aids – you will probably need to put together some kind of visuals i.e. slides, videos etc. that you will use as part of your delivery

What are the differences?

  • Presentations are typically in smaller settings. When public speaking you may be presenting to larger audiences
  • Presentations normally have some kind of audience interaction. These may be throwing questions out to the audience, some kind of exercises etc. When public speaking, we often just pass the information on to the audience (although, you may do things such as asking the audiences option by a show of hands).
  • Presentations may be about providing updates, learning or sharing new ideas. Public speaking is about inspiring others, moving people, introducing new initiatives or ideas.

When deciding whether a presentation skills course will suit your requirements will really depend on the audience you are delivering to and the approach you wish to take. As you can see, there are definitely some transferable skills.

Related Articles

Skip to content