Want a Great Presentation? Throw the Writing Rulebook Away.

When first preparing for a presentation, many speakers will write out the material in the form of an essay.

Although it is important to organize the material, they prepare as though their words will be read. They follow all the guidelines for essay writing, but this usually leads to a dull presentation.

When you start to prepare your material, throw the writing rulebook out of the window.

Even in professional settings, remember, you are aiming for a conversational tone. This will keep your colleagues engaged and attentive.

  • You can use abbreviations. If it is easier to say “the US” rather than The United States of America, then do so.
  • If you want to pose a quick question, “Clear? Right?” you can.
  • You may include figures of speech: metaphors, similes, alliteration. “We will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters, and righteousness like a mighty stream.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • You can repeat yourself. (Anaphora: the repetition of a word or phrase at the beginning of successive clauses.) “… we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields…, we shall fight in the hills..” – Winston Churchill. 

Record yourself and then listen to make sure you are speaking in a normal conversational manner. The more natural your pattern of speech, the higher the chance your listeners will stay tuned in.