Presentation Logic


Logic has many definitions. For presentations, its definition can be as follows:

Logic is the study of the principles of correct reasoning. It helps a presenter prove or belie the assertions.

Every presentation is aimed at something. As a rule, the aim of presentations is influencing an audience in some way; and it’s impossible for a reporter to reach this aim without the basic principles of logic.

Logic helps reporters

  • express an idea/thought/opinion influencing the audience’s intellect instead of emotions,
  • make presentations easy to follow along, and
  • produce meaningful presentations.

Rules of logical definitions

  1. The definition of a term should not contain any tautologies.

    A presentation is an act of presentation.

  2. The definition should not be based on negations.

    Males are humans that aren’t females.

  3. The definition should clarify a term instead of tangling it.
  4. The definition should be proportioned. It should be necessary and sufficient to define a term.
  5. The definition should be short and not contain any unnecessary information.

Ambiguities make presentation sound incoherent. So, it’s important to remove as many ambiguities as possible.


It’s a mistake to build presentations on simple ideas, no matter how awesome they are. To influence the audience and activate their feedback, it’s not enough to share opinions with them: people will listen to you but they will hardly follow you. In other words, your idea will never persuade them if not supported with strong argumentation.

Arguments are the best tool to effectively engage the audience. To construct them, a presenter considers their three elements and uses points of both agreement and disagreement to influence listeners.
The elements of an argument are:

  • Assertion, aka an opinion.

Example: Nebraska is a red state.

  • Reasoning, aka an analysis of the opinion.

Example: Red states are those that have Republican political identification and Nebraska is solidly Republican.

  • Evidence, aka verifying the information with references, examples, evaluations, etc

Example:Red states are those that have a Republican political identification and Nebraska is solidly Republican. Nebraska voters have supported the Republican presidential candidate in every election since 1968.

A speaker is welcome to add several pieces of evidence of different types to his argument. If the audience is rather dubious, it would be better to list evidence in descending order of priority; and in case the audience is positive-minded, a speaker can list his pieces of evidence in ascending order of priority.

Besides the elements of an argument, speakers should take care of its anticipation and refutation.

Every person has their own ideas and beliefs, and that is why any particular insight from a presenter may conflict with his audience’s perspectives. To form the opinion, a speaker should be ready to anticipate disagreements or critical commentaries in a simple manner. This trick is known as argument anticipation, which involves resistance accommodation and adaptation to prospective comments from the audience, too.

To influence opinions and persuade individuals, it’s necessary for a speaker to know and apply the principles of refutation, which is proving that an individual’s claim is wrong or inappropriate. Effective refutation includes argument anticipation, a range of refutation options, which are relevance, significance, capture, and answer, and a clear expression of disagreement.

For more detailed information, check John Meany’s Primer on Argumentation and Refutation.