I am writing a speech, and it is a speech presentation. I was wondering if I should be using です/ます form, or である form which is used in formal essays?
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In a speech presentation we use です/ます form without fail.
Here is an example of "a good presentation". She is giving a presentation using です/ます form.
Further to mackygoo's answer, using the である style is very formal, masculine and (I'd say) old-fashioned. It's used most in speeches in the Diet. If you want to see some examples turn on the broadcast of parliamentary proceedings. It used to be used in the Imperial Army and Navy up to 1945. I doubt that the modern SDF use it.