Right now, we have a serious problem. Our sales are declining, and our market strategy has proven to be ineffective. If things continue, I must make tough decisions to get us back on track. This could include cutting our budget and potential layoffs. But this doesn’t have to be our future. What if we leveraged our contacts and made them offers they couldn’t refuse? What if we promoted our products across all platforms with compelling content? We can turn things around and save our business, and now is the time to do it.

Think about this segment of a speech? What feeling does it evoke? You might say something along the lines of hopeful. You can achieve this by using juxtaposition in your presentation content. In this article, we will look at examples of how you can include this literary device that will elevate your message. This presentation skill will help your message stand out and inspire your audience to take action.

Presentation Skill

Juxtaposition is defined as “an act or instance of placing close together or side by side, especially for comparison or contrast.” This placement of opposing content side by side creates tension that builds up to a climax. There are different ways to use this in your presentation content.

Problem, Then Solution

Look back at the sample speech at the beginning of this blog. It begins with the problems the company is facing. But that information is immediately followed by the solutions for how they can turn things around. Presenting information in this format creates tension and makes the conclusion inspiring.

Solution, Then Problem

What if that speech was flipped? Beginning with a vision of the future and backtracking to the present day could be just as effective with a little tweaking.

This is our future. We are going to make offers our clients can refuse and drive our business forward. Our marketing team will implement promotions and advertisements across all platforms to drive up our sales effort. This is our plan for the future. Right now, our sales are down and our marketing strategy isn’t working. This could affect our budget if things don’t turn around. But we have a future and now is the time to create it.

Reversing the order of the solution and problem can still make juxtaposition effective. It gives your message more authority because you deliver your solutions right off the top of your speech.

Compare and Contrast

Which would you rather have? A device that can tell you the weather and direct you through traffic. Or a device that can tell you the weather *while* directing you through traffic?

Comparisons are effect for pitches. If you are trying to sell a new product or pitch your company to investors, using a juxtaposition to highlight your differentiators is an effective tool. This presentation skill can help you seal the deal.

Elevate your message and inspire your audience with literary devices like juxtaposition. For more tips on how to advance your content and presentation skill, check out these posts from the Ethos3 blog:

Using Intertextuality in Presentations

3 Steps for Using Motifs in Presentation Content

How to Use Correct Subject-Verb Agreement in Your Presentations


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