Simply put, an essay is typed or written onto paper, while a presentation is given verbally. A presentation can be about an essay that was written, and it can also contain a written accompaniment, such as a PowerPoint presentation.
I would argue that it is a lot easier to write a paper than to give a presentation. When writing an essay, you have the opportunity to lay your thoughts and your argument out cohesively. While giving a presentation, on the other hand, you may be nervous, which could cause you to lose your train of thought or stumble over your words. Doing a presentation is far more interactive than writing an essay, as somebody could stop you in the middle of your presentation to ask a question.
Both writing an essay and giving a presentation require a great amount of research and preparation, and don't ever fall into the trap of thinking that you can "wing it" through a presentation.
For the purpose of this answer, I am assuming that an essay is written down on paper, and a...
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