Why you should use speaker notes in your PowerPoint presentations

 In PowerPoint tips, Presentation tips

Why you should use speaker notes in your PowerPoint presentations

PowerPoint comes with many useful features, but if I had to choose one feature that I believe is either overlooked or not used to its full potential, it would be the speaker notes feature.

What are speaker notes (or notes pages)?  

Within each slide in PowerPoint, there is a special reserved space where a presenter can add notes for themselves. These notes can be used for various purposes such as adding key facts, messages and figures that the presenter does not want to forget to mention.

The notes are for the purpose of supporting the presenter throughout the presentation and they give the speaker peace of mind that important facts will not be forgotten.

What are the benefits of speaker notes?

When utilising the notes feature correctly, the presenter becomes a better storyteller.  The presence of the notes gives the presenter as sense of confidence as they know vital facts and messages will not be forgotten.

Also, during a presentation, the notes are not seen by the audience (only by the presenter). This gives the audience an impression that the presenter is extremely versed on the topic being presented as there is no evidence of the presenter referring to any prompts.

If you tend to suffer from nerves the speaker notes are a must! Or perhaps if you have a limited time to speak and you know you tend to go over-time, the notes will keep you on check.

How to use the speaker notes?

There are four key ways to make the most out of the speaker notes section of the presentation:

  1. A tool to help you condense the information that is on your slide, focus on the story you’d like to tell, cut back on as much text as possible, try to visualise the content whilst not losing the text you might want to refer to during the delivery of your presentation.
  2. Use the speaker notes as a prompt to assist with your keynote.
  3. When you are ready to present, make sure to click on the Use Presenter View box in the Slide Show menu tab, it’s a great way to view your presentation with speaker notes. You will need 2 monitors: your laptop, for example; while your audience views the notes-free presentation on a different monitor (like a larger screen you’re projecting to). Presenter View shows you the current slide, the next slide, and your speaker notes, to help you focus while presenting and connect with your audience.
  4. Print-out your presentation as handouts for your audience, the printout will show a thumbnail of your slide as well as the entire contents of the notes. These notes might have very detailed information about your chosen topic.

In Summary

A great hidden gem for many, this tool will save you if you’re having a momentary lapse in memory, it is easy to use and will certainly make your life a lot easier.

Need help preparing your speaker notes?

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