1. The Two Types of Presentation


There are two types of presentations in PowerPoint, sit-down and stand-up. Each type requires a different design approach, which I'll explain in this lesson

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  1. Lesson Goal (00:06)

    The goal of this lesson is to learn about the two types of presentation in PowerPoint.

  2. Stand-Up Presentations (00:37)

    A stand-up presentation is a presentation given to a large crowd, for example at a large conference. Generally, the crowd will not have seen the material before, and you will have a limited amount of time (usually 10 to 30 minutes) to present. As a result, you won’t have time to go into extensive detail on the subject.

    In a stand-up presentation, your speech is the most important thing. Your slides are an aid to the speech rather than the focus of your speech. For this reason, your slides should contain relatively little information, using a large font. This ensures everyone can read your slides without difficulty.

  3. Sit-Down Presentations (01:33)

    A sit-down presentation is a presentation given to a small audience, for example at a business meeting. The audience will often receive a copy of the presentation beforehand, and they will be more familiar with the material. You will likely have more time (often an hour or more) to present.

    In a sit-down presentation, you can include more information and smaller text on your slide. You can also use more slides than you would in a stand-up presentation. In this context, your PowerPoint presentation is essentially a Word document which contains charts and images as well as text. 

    Sit-down presentations are actually much more common in the workplace than stand-up presentations. As a result, the tips in these lessons focus on preparing sit-down presentations.


Whether you like it or not, PowerPoint is the tool of choice for internal corporate communication. As a young professional, the ability to create compelling PowerPoint presentations is a very valuable skill to have.

When presenting to clients or management, you will be under pressure to deliver your message in a clear, concise, and compelling way. Now that you've mastered the technical aspects of PowerPoint in my previous courses, it's time to focus on how to structure, design, and build impactful presentations. When building a PowerPoint presentation, the first question that you have to ask yourself is, "Am I delivering a sit down or a stand up presentation?" A stand up presentation is given to a large crowd who will typically have never seen the content before. You will often only have 10 to 30 minutes, and not a lot of time to go into huge detail. What's more, in a big auditorium, people will struggle to read any slides that you have with a small font size. For stand up presentations, it's important that you learn off your script beforehand.

Your slides, like in this example, will only act as a visual aid, and require you to add context to the image or message on the screen. Keep the amount of information on the slide to a minimum, and always remember to use a big font size, at least 40 points, so that everyone in the room can read your slides. For sit down presentations, the opposite of what you just heard is true. Often your audience will have received a copy of the material beforehand. They will be well acquainted with the information, and will have much more time to digest the findings. In this scenario, it's important to put much more detail on your PowerPoint slides, and feel free to use as many slides as you need, if that's what the occasion requires. For sit down presentations, a PowerPoint presentation is essentially a Word document, that is more effective at conveying information, as shapes and charts can interact with your text. Contrast this Word document with this PowerPoint slide, both conveying the same information, to see the advantages of using PowerPoint in this way. In this course, I'll touch briefly on stand up presentations, but the main focus will be on sit down presentations, which are in fact much more common in the workplace, be it in a board meeting, advocating an investment strategy, a project status update, or financial performance reviews. In the next lesson, we'll begin this course by learning how to tell a compelling story and laying this out neatly on a PowerPoint presentation.

PowerPoint Essentials
Creating Business Presentations


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