There are many different types of research presentations, but the different types of presentations can be divided into two general categories: written presentations and oral presentations. Written research presentations include dissertations and theses, posters, grant and project proposals, blogs, websites, PowerPoint slides, etc. Oral research presentations include lectures, conference presentations, job talks, etc. Often, oral and written methods of presentation are combined to effectively convey information about research. For example, posters or PowerPoint slides may be used to support oral presentations of research, or information on posters may be supplemented with oral explanations. Whichever type of research presentation you choose for your research, you should remember the following about the similarities and differences between oral and written presentations.
Similarities Between Oral and Written Presentations
The fundamental elements of successfully presenting research apply to both oral and written presentations. Whether you choose to present your research orally or in written form, you should know and actively engage your audience in the presentation of your research to effectively deliver your ideas. Organization is also important in both written and oral presentations. You can create outlines of your research that you can use to help you organize information for both oral and written presentations.
Differences Between Oral and Written Presentations
The most important difference between oral and written presentations is the time that is available for your audience to process what you have presented about your research. In written presentations, your audience has an unlimited amount of time to read, re-read, and analyze your research; if your audience does not understand particularly dense elements of your research, your audience has plenty of time to mull over your research until it becomes more understandable. In oral presentations, however, you generally have a limited amount of time to present your research, and your audience has even less time to understand what you have said. In both oral and written presentations (but particularly in oral presentations), you can help your audience understand your research by defining important key terms. After you have defined the key terms for your written or oral presentation, you must use them and any other jargon consistently throughout your entire presentation to help your audience avoid confusion.