13 Secrets of Effective Presentation Skills – Secret #12

Secret #12 – Use pictorial, colourful notes, not solely the written word.

Good and highly effective notes are one of the most useful and powerful tools to build confidence, fluency and effectiveness.

In general, the notes that most people use for presenting are not even worth the paper they are written on. A strong statement but 28 years of experience has shown me this. Mostly they are too wordy, one colour(monotone) and just not fit for purpose – unless you are going to read them like a speech. Reading a speech is an art in itself, and as you can see from television , most have not mastered it. I do not teach the reading of speeches and talks, but if that is what you need – and how to use autocues – then I am happy to recommend those who specialise in it.

What I teach is how to create foolproof notes that allow you to cover everything, miss nothing, engage the audience with eye contact 95% of the time, never lose your way or be stuck for words, be fluent, natural and enthusiastic – and look as if you are being spontaneous and making it up as you go. Oh, and this method cuts your preparation time by up to 90%. It is almost magical and works every time.

But for now, allow yourself to make your notes symbolic and pictorial -eg: use the Tube sign, the Mercedes star, the hammer and sickle for Russia (no longer current, but a powerful symbol that had it’s origins in the Soviet Union), a smiling sun , an umbrella, a tank, a gun, a laptopscreen, arrows, $,£,€, the Eiffel tower for Paris, a red, green and white tricolour rather than the word Italian etc. Use highlighters. Have some fun – and remember, the picture is worth a thousand words – ESPECIALLY when used for presentation notes. These sorts of notes are not only easier to create, they are MUCH faster to create, infinitely easier to use and work WITH the brain rather than against it.

Your last “Secret” will be with you the day after tomorrow!



Best wishes