Are you informational speaker or an inspirational speaker?

Lots of presentations are informational. They are designed to be full of (useful and/or necessary) information. They are content designed and content–led. Often the first question presenters of this type of presentation ask themselves is ‘What is it that I have to say?’

The best informational presentations will then answer the (unsaid but oft thought questions) by the audience of ‘what does this mean for me?” and ‘how might I make use of this information’

Which is fine. Except that often informational presentations fall into the trap of being:

  • Full of bullet points (on a slide in most cases)
  • Too full of information so that the most important points are lost
  • Assume that once people hear the information, they will know what to do with it
  • Suffer from the curse of knowledge – i.e. the knowledgeable speaker shares too much
  • Spoken too fast to cram it all in
  • Overruns the time because there’s too much content

Inspirational presentations are presentations that make a connection between the speaker and the audience so that what is said is not only understood intellectually but resonates emotionally. They are audience designed and audience-led. The first questions a speaker of inspirational presentations ask themselves is ‘ What does this audience need to hear’

If your presentation requires that your audience take action (and let’s face it, if it doesn’t, why are you delivering?) then it’s not just information that’s needed, it is a clear message that speaks directly to them – that is meaningful to them and that resonates with them.

Think beyond simply content – what’s the message and whats the motivation to take action?  In other words, build in the inspiration!


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