Presentation Skills: Creating a good set of notes

Presentation Skills: Creating a good set of notes

Last Tip we highlighted the importance of using notes to keep you on track and make your life easier. We trust you are seeing a change in the results. This tip will give you a few pointers as to how you could do this.

Those of you who have experienced our coaching will know the value of a staggered layout to assist in delivery. One of the things that is critical is the type of language you use. Broadly speaking language falls into a hierarchy:

• Formal
• Semi Formal
• Normal
• Colloquial
• Slang

Normal and above should be reserved for written language
Normal and below is best suited for spoken language

As people tend to view presentations as formal events and also tend to write them, typically the language is too formal. Our advice is to pitch it at the normal/colloquial level and avoid slang.  If you remember our central premise of getting both your message and your personality over- it is impossible to get your natural personality over if you are using overly formal language. Think to yourself “how would I say it?” and capture that. The acid test is that your notes should appear a bit strange as you are capturing spoken language in written format!

The other “name of the game” here is economy of language, think to your-self “how can I sum up the idea using as few words as possible?”

For the next month I encourage you to think about the language you use to communicate your ideas. Can you make it simpler and more user-friendly?