Can I use notes in my presentation?


It’s a question we are often asked. “Can I use a notecard?“ “How much should I put in my notes?“ “Will I have a script?“

The answer is simple: Yes.

If you get nervous, anxious, or excited during a presentation, you should probably use notes. If you don’t want to forget something, you can use notes. And if you just think it’s the “thing to do,“ that’s okay, you can use notes too.

Your slides aren’t notes. We’ve all sat in a presentation where the speaker did nothing but read the slides. Your audience can read! We at Cool Beans like to think of a powerpoint as a good wingman- it should always support you as the presenter, never distract from you. Leave something to the imagination and keep your slides short and sweet.

Don’t read from your notes. When you look at your notes, don’t speak. As tricky as that can be, it is a lot more enjoyable for an audience to pause with the speaker as they glance down at their notes than it is to watch them read from them. Instead, read your notes when you take a breath in between ideas. Then look up, plant yourself, and start your next sentence with confidence.

Your notes should be “notes to self.“ Keep them personal to keep yourself on track. Instead of writing out your whole speech on cards or paper, jot down the most important parts so you can remember which main points to hit when you glance down quickly. Use a short hand style, specific to you, to make your notes easier to read in a quick amount of time.

Go out there and deliver your presentation on a high note!

Stay Cool,
The Cool Beans Team

Adapted from an article shared by MillsWyck Communications