For most typical workplace presentation situations, no one expects you to memorize the message. Learn it – of course. But, memorizing takes way too much time and creates the illusion of a canned performance rather than an interactive dialogue or conversation from the platform. So, effective speaker notes are a must:
- Appropriate speaker notes will help you practice and deliver. Start with a detailed full sentence outline during the content development stage. Once comfortable, revert to simple minimal notes to keep you on track. That’s where the PowerPoint screen print with notes option can be useful.
- Bigger is Better and Less is More. The fewer the words and the larger the type make them easier to read in a quick glance from the table, podium or held in your hand.
- And remember the downside of using 3 x 5 note cards – way too small to hold much and they can restrict both eye contact and gesturing. Half-page card stock works well if you need to hold your notes … in your non-gesturing hand of course.
- While appropriately designed PowerPoint slides can be that source of speaker notes beyond adding value for the audience, be careful. The tendency is to refer to the screen too often to refresh your memory, thus reducing eye contact and audience engagement. An effective technique is to position your lap top on a podium or table in your direct line of sight to the center of the audience. So, a quick downward glance should be enough without losing ‘face contact’ with the audience.
So, make your speaker notes work for you … and the audience.