After my post last week (Presentation and Public Speaking Terms to Know), a reader emailed me asking, “What is the difference between public speaking and presenting?” Admittedly, I did not know because, in today’s common language, people use the two words interchangeably, although they have two distinct differences (see below). When it comes to coaching public speaking and presentation skills, there is a big difference, and I luckily and subconsciously nailed it. (Hint: The difference between the two types of coaching is actually my biggest pet peeve with “public speaking consultants”.)
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Obviously, today’s language uses the word presenting and presentation differently then each word is defined. The biggest difference between the two terms, public speaking is a noun and presenting is a verb. Thesaurus.com doesn’t even list presenting as a synonym of public speaking. The noun version of presenting is a presentation, which just means “
So I dug into the unofficial references (e.g. Google) and found that difference between presentation and public speaking training is quite grand, and you need to know what differentiates them before you ever hire a consultant for a presentation.
Public speaking training involves the physical aspects of speaking such as vocals, eye contact, hand gestures, and body language. I call all this “Mechanics” in my S-I-M-P-L-E philosophy.
Obviously, that is just one part of my philosophy, so what does the rest of my acronym cover? It covers presentation training, which also includes developing a speech goals & thesis, crafting an outline, developing a visual aid like PowerPoint slides (if you need a visual aid), practicing your presentation, delivering the presentation [that part overlaps with public speaking], answering Q&A, and debriefing your presentation.
My S-I-M-P-L-E philosophy covers the entire skill set a speaker needs. Many times people think they need help with the mechanics, but I find 9 out of 10 times that they are uncomfortable with the physical aspects of speaking because they haven’t done the proper preparation for the presentation such as brainstorming, creating goals and an outline, and actually rehearsing the presentation.
As you can see by the number of links to my other blog posts, I have a holistic view of speaking and my S-I-M-P-L-E philosophy stands for:
Now you know the difference between public speaking and presenting. If you’re interested in learning more about my S-I-M-P-L-E philosophy and curriculum, check out my independent learning presentation skills course, SpeakU, or download one free presentation guides from my library.
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