Approaches to Reasoning
When giving presentations, the need for a compelling argument is doubled. Aside from the subject, the structure of a presentations has the biggest role in guiding the audience towards the desired conclusion. It is essential to successfully portray the final vision. To do this, depending on the nature of the topic and the degree of acceptance of the audience, two main approaches to reasoning can be adopted to create the structure of the presentation. Inductive reasoning is the first and deductive, the second.
One approach to making a compelling argument is to first provide your audience with the specific information, statistics, and examples first. This can help them understand your main point of the presentation which is the goal. It helps preparing the audience to analyze these information to hopefully arrive at the conclusion you intended. Instead of jumping to a point in the beginning to tell them what you believe to be true, you guide them through the steps that lead you there.
This method is especially useful when the subject of presentation is a controversial one or unlikely to be accepted by your audience on the spot. It gives them time to make their own judgement and hypothesize, therefore giving a chance to your conclusion to be among them. The flow of information is constantly redirecting them to align with your reasoning. Therefore, the predictability of possible conclusions eliminates the element of surprise to a high extent.
Deductive reasoning is the opposite of inductive reasoning. The main point is presented first, and the evidence that supports the conclusion follow. Whereas in inductive reasoning the evidence and examples came before the main point, in this case, they succeed them. They attempt to clarify the reasons which lead the speaker to the final conclusion.
Needless to stress that cohesion and coherence are also central to the structuring in this approach. That is, the sentences and their ordering need to follow a route rather than sporadic mentioning of supporting points. The coherence leads to the audience better understanding the connection between the information and the main topic.
This approach is suitable for subjects where there is a general agreement among the audience or at least the reasoning that comes next is likely to be acceptable to them. Deductive reasoning is a suitable approach when all examples and evidence strongly support the main point of the presentation. Additionally, it is useful in cases where the argument is in favor of a matter that is to an extent generally accepted.
Neither of the approaches is superior to the other. Each one, if chosen carefully, can elevate the presentation to a higher probability of success in delivery. The choice of adopting an approach depends on the presenter’s understanding of the addressees and their personal preference. In the end, both will improve the structure and the flow of a presentation. The presenter gets the final say as to which one they believe will better enable them to do so.