Notes provide a convenient way to keep track of your speech, but depending on them hinders audience engagement. It keeps you from establishing eye contact, and communicating nonverbally through hand gestures and body movements.
So when are you allowed to use it all throughout your speech?
To Use or Not to Use?
If you’re discussing a complex topic that needs an in-depth approach, then there’s no problem with using it as a script. This is because there are certain subjects that can only be thoroughly explained with notes.
Ideally though, notes should be for recalling only main points and important data. While it’s still possible to keep audiences engaged with a script in hand, master your topic and give yourself more time to maximize your stage presence for a more effective presentation.
If you have no other choice but to use your script, here’s how you can best utilize your PowerPoint presentation notes:
1. Write in a Conversational Tone
According to presentation trainer, Gary Genard, you should write a speech with the intentions of delivering it, not reading it. Before you craft your speech, plan it with a natural delivery in mind. One way to do this is to construct each statement by using contractions. Instead of writing “will not,” you can compose it as “won’t” to sound more conversational.
Remember to use simple words as if you’re just talking to a friend. Simpler language makes it easier for your audience to follow your arguments and understand your points.
2. Know When to Pause
Learning how to pause allows you to emphasize each point, making it easier for listeners to digest what you’re discussing. When you type your script out, make sure to use double-spacing.
You can use these spaces to write notes on where you should be pausing for dramatic effect.
3. Project Your Voice
Strive for a voice that’s loud enough for the audience and venue, but still pleasant to listen to. Speech coach Lenny Laskowski advises that presenters take note of their tone, pitch, and inflection in order to stay aware of how audible they are to an audience.
Record yourself or ask a colleague to listen while you speak with your notes. Then, listen to how you deliver each statement, and pay attention closely to your voice’s inflection.
A measured, dynamic, and powerful voice projection keeps your audience at the edge of their seat and glued to your every word.
One More Thing to Note...
Practice more often to sound natural and conversational. By writing in a conversational tone, knowing when to pause, and projecting your voice, you can successfully engage your audience with your notes on.If you need to use a script, compensate with writing, delivery, and projection.
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“4 Common Ways To Remember Material – Presentation Skills.” LJLSeminars. Accessed August 14, 2015
Genard, Gary. “How to Speak from Notes or a Manuscript in Public Speaking.” The Genard Method. February 10, 2013. Accessed August 14, 2015
Featured Image: “Friendship” by Nicola from flickr.com