Writing is easy, but good writing is hard and it gets even harder when you know your words are going to be put under special scrutiny, such as when your words are part of a presentation. Here are some tips to help you develop your presentation writing skills.
Become a much faster writer or use a Dictaphone
Ever have those times when you have lots of ideas to the point where you cannot get them all down fast enough. That is a problem because ideas usually flow like an avalanche and the less you get down then the lower the quality of your presentation will be. If you learn how to write quickly then you will be able to get your ideas down a lot quicker and you will not lose as many. If you have to do your presentation now, then use a Dictaphone to get down all your ideas. You can even use your microphone with your PC if you wish. Talk out all your ideas when you have them so you can store them a use them later.
You should become a faster writer because it will help to stop you burning out when you write your presentation. The longer you have to spend on your presentation then higher the chances are that you will burn out. You will become so tired of writing that you will become restless and will not want to continue. If you can type faster, with touch-typing, then you will not spend as long on your presentation and will have more chance of maintaining your enthusiasm throughout.
Learn how to get to the point
All you have to do is over-write the presentation. Add in too many words, add in too many points and expand on them needlessly. Make is too big and too bulky. You then go through every sentence and you delete the words that a not needed and keep the good bits.
You then go through it again but this time you create a word processor document called “extras.” You go through every line and pull out the sentences that may add value but that your presentation can do without. You should then be left with a punchy and powerful presentation that you can shrink down and make more concise. You keep the sentences in the “extra” document in case you need a bit more word count after you have made the presentation all concise and to the point.
Plan with bullet points
It is essential that you make a plan for your presentation. Start with all the points and ideas you are going to put into your presentation. Plan with bullet points because it is easier to refer to later. You may need to expand on those bullet points, but do that in the presentation and not in the plan. If you use bullet points then you can make sure that all the elements you needed to add into your presentation are present by ticking them off the bullet point list as you add them.
Think of how the presenter talks
If your presentation is one that has to be read aloud, then consider how the person presenting talks. If that person has never said “ergo” in his or her life, then it is not going to sound natural when he or she says it during the presentation. Also, remember that people say fewer words when they make a point. If you wish to make a point in text, it will cost you more words than if you were speaking to a person. This is because it is easier to decipher a point when people speak because of their voice tone, inflection and transition. In other words, it may be a good idea to severely cut the amount of words you use when making a point.
Less is more when it comes to presentations
If you are writing a presentation that is going to be spoken aloud then less is certainly desirable because it is very easy to bore people or lose people. If you are writing a presentation that will only be seen, then make it even shorter. Look at Infographics and see how the good ones cram lots of information into a small space. You can do this too and still make your point.
Check your work three days later
More importantly, you should check it and notice the times when you start to skim read. We all do it from time to time, especially when navigating the Internet, and you need to notice when you skim read your presentation. When you start skim reading it means that the part you are reading has become boring.
Be very careful how you approach this, because the bit you skim read may not be the boring bit, it may be the part you read just before you started skim reading. You are looking for the thing that triggered your skim reading and it may not necessarily be the thing you skim read.
The reason you should read it again three days later is because if you read it just after you have wrote it then you are very likely to skim read out of force of habit--after all, you know what the content of the presentation is because you just wrote it.