Notes are psychological as well as practical help for a reporter, allowing him to stay confident during presentations and avoid uncontrolled pauses or digressions.
NB! Notes should be short. It’s a huge mistake to try putting as much information on cards as possible: it forces presenters to read off instead of speaking, and it makes it difficult for them to wade through details.
Presentation notes are concise, containing nothing but main points.
Reasons to use notes
When are presentation notes worth using?
When a reporter has no experience in speaking to the public. Notes will guarantee a 100% topic coverage and make a presentation less stressful.
When a presentation is of long continuance and big chances are a reporter can forget some points. If a presentation lasts longer than 30 minutes, notes can help to avoid such unpleasant situations.
When a presentation is aimed at sharing a valuable information: financial statistics, KPI, and other significant data are easier to remember with notes.
How to prepare presentation notes?
The following tips can help reporters prepare notes for better presentations.
- Notes must fit into an arm: the optimal size is 8x16 cm.
- Thick paper is ideal to use for notes. It makes them easier to shift.
- It’s better to use words, not sentences.
- Colors and images matter, as they make presentation notes scannable.
- One note equals one presentation element: an introduction, an idea with one-by-one points, etc.
Proper Use of Presentation Notes
Both experts and beginners use presentation notes. Experts are easy to distinguish because they behave naturally, which includes proper use of notes. These tips will help you learn how to use them right:
Practice a fleet glance at your notes. You make a pause every time you look into notes, and it distracts listeners as well as lower their feedback activation. Hence, your goal is to speed up your peeking as much as possible. Also, you may look into notes when you finish saying the previous phrase to liquidate the unwanted pause.
Peek at your notes infrequently. Otherwise, you will look incapable of speaking without assistance. Set your peek limit during presentation rehearsal and try not to exceed it during your speech. You have no obligation to use notes: it’s a perfect scenario when you remember all information and do not use them.
Notes hinder the presenters’ gestures. Practice your gestures when holding the presentation notes.
Presentations are hard to imagine without notes. Even if a reporter has years of experience in speaking, he will prepare presentation notes to keep his back covered and make sure his information will be complete.
Still, a speaker shouldn’t read the text of his presentation word by word. To have the vibe of a successful presenter, one should know it by heart and use notes 2-3 times during the presentation. Writing down the whole text of his presentation, a speaker ties to it and have no room for maneuver: one fluff - and he will have to check all notes in search of his lost train of thought. The audience will hardly appreciate that.