7 Trends in Public Speaking and Presentations (Part 1)

Presentations have changed a lot since the days of clip art. The Public Speaker walks you through the latest trends in public speaking and presentations in the first part of this mini-series.

Lisa B. Marshall
5-minute read
Episode #227

Trend #4: Growth in Webinars and Live Presentations

Webinars are continuing to grow in popularity, although the desire for live presentations is also growing. I am a professional speaker who loves to deliver in-person presentations. You might suspect that I would advise that webinars remain secondary to in-person meetings. But because of travel and time constraints, I expect the popularity of webinars will continue to grow. >

I also believe that we will see even more live presentations as we move forward. This trend will likely continue because the next generation of workers who are currently sitting in high schools, colleges, and graduate schools are highly relational and already accustomed to working in teams and small groups and they are also comfortable with technology.  

My advice: Use webinars in conjunction with live events.

Trend #5: Amateur Movies

Historically, movie clips, commercials, and training role-plays were incorporated into a presentation only when you were sure you would be delivering the same presentation multiple times. It was necessary to ensure you could recoup the investment (both in time and money) needed to create and incorporate videos.

Today, however, personal and amateur video is being increasingly incorporated either as a direct confirmation of what the speaker is saying, or else a springboard for future group discussion. With the ability to very quickly create and easily incorporate video, we are definitely seeing more video utilized in presentations. I’m hopeful that the trend we see as we move forward is higher quality and better technique incorporating video into our presentations!

Check out my episode on How to Use Video and Sound to Support Your Message for tips and techniques.

Trend # 6: Small Group Technology

Smaller meeting rooms are requiring advances in small group technology. For example, we’re now using big screen TVs as monitors, iPads and iPhones as clickers, and personal or pocket projectors both to hold files and to project them. These changes in technology are requiring that more people to learn better presentation skills.  Finally, while PowerPoint is still Presentation King, we are branching out. In addition to Apple's popular Keynote, programs like Google Presentations, Prenzi, and SlideRocket offer tools that The King just doesn't.

Trend #7: Faux Retro

Presentations are getting less formal. Less polished can appear more approachable, so abandoning a fixed presentation (either in part or in whole) and instead actually writing on digital whiteboards or smartboards as a presenter is talking seems to be making a resurgence.

Don’t go real retro, though. The idea fosters familiarity, but no one actually wants to see you lugging a real overhead projector into the room. You would think I wouldn’t need to say this, but I did see a person present using an overhead machine and awful overhead transparencies.

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Presentations are both more and less of what they used to be. They are less formal, less one-sided, lesser in size, and even lesser in scope. At the same time, they’re becoming more relational, more inspiring, more interactive, and a lot more engaging. Relatability is everything in presentations these days. And though the effort to appear friendly, casual, and inspiring requires an ironic amount of crafting, planning, and investment, it’s an effort well worth it.

Join me for Part 2 of this series when we’ll discuss the latest trends in presentation technology. This is Lisa B. Marshall, helping you maximize sales, manage perceptions, and enhance leadership through keynotes, workshops, books, and online courses. Passionate about communication; your success is my business.

Do you struggle with difficult conversations?  Do you procrastinate when it comes to delivering feedback? Do you know how to effectively persuade and influence others?  Learn this and more in Smart Talk. Get your personally signed copy today!

Presentation, business casual, and whiteboard images courtesy of Shutterstock.


About the Author

Lisa B. Marshall

Lisa B. Marshall Lisa holds masters with duel degrees in interpersonal/intercultural communication and organizational communication. She’s the author of Smart Talk: The Public Speaker's Guide to Success in Every Situation, as well as Ace Your Interview, Powerful Presenter, and Expert Presenter. Her work has been featured in CBS Money Watch, Ragan.com, Woman's Day, Glamour, Cosmopolitan, and many others. Her institutional clients include Johns Hopkins Medicine, Harvard University, NY Academy of Science, University of Pennsylvania, Genentech, and Roche.