Presentation Tips

Effective Use of Presenter Notes To Improve The Flow of Your Presentations

Jordan Turner
September 9, 2021
 min read
Effective Use of Presenter Notes To Improve The Flow of Your PresentationsEffective Use of Presenter Notes To Improve The Flow of Your Presentations
Table of Contents

If you’re a seasoned presenter, you’re probably well-versed in storytelling. Visual storytelling is telling your narrative through the use of visual assets— like presentations. While your story is the star of the show, your deck serves as the supporting act. Both need to complement each other in order to nail your presentation and how it lands with the audience. To achieve this, it’s important to have a strong position on your topic and a beautifully designed deck to back it up. 

Your story should be detailed and thorough, but your deck should be the opposite. Where your presentation slides are clean and concise, your narrative can fill in the blanks. A yin and yang, if you will.

Nailing a presentation— design and delivery— from beginning to end can be intimidating, especially considering most people fear public speaking more than death itself. Being prepared, mentally (your speech) and physically (your deck) is essential to an effective presentation and successful call to action at the end. 

Presenter notes to the rescue. 

Presenter notes can help carry you through your presentation with less stress and more ease. Presenter notes are exactly what they sound like: a space on each presentation slide that can be used for internal notes, key points, or reminders. It’s intended to be used as a digital note-card, without requiring you to actually read off of a note-card during the presentation. The best part? They’re not visible to anyone but you, so you can write whatever you need to. Presenter notes allow you to stay engaged and maintain eye-contact with your audience, while acting as guardrails (or life preservers) to ensure you’re on the right track. 

The effective use of presenter notes can help improve the flow of your presentation. Here’s how. 

Leave B-list content behind

We talk a lot about the importance of clean, modern presentation design. A big part of that is being meaningful with the content you include on each slide. If it’s not essential to your overarching story, leave it behind. That said, you may still want to mention a secondary metric, or add color or additional context to something on the slide. In this case we recommend you stick to the headline-worthy content on the slide itself, and write supporting text in your presenter notes so you remember to touch on some of those B-list points verbally. Not only will this help keep your deck looking professional, it will make your slides more digestible to your audience. 

Call-out main points

Your presenter notes are great for making important annotations without having them clutter your slide. This can be a call-out for a graph or chart, or a secondary thought you want to touch on before advancing to the next slide. Think of these presenter notes as to-do lists for your talking points, without actually adding the text-heavy bullet points to each slide. It’s an incognito reminder of what you need to touch on during your presentation, but you don’t necessarily need to show. This will ensure you don’t leave any tidbits out that might jeopardize the overall delivery of your message.  

Keep your story flowing

Storytelling is a critical part of your presentation. Studies have shown that audiences are a lot more likely to stay engaged if they feel that your presentation has a strong narrative. Of course, we’re human, and sometimes things get jumbled. Chalk it up to nerves. Presenter notes can help to keep your story on track and flowing. Even if you have a hiccup along the way, it will be easy to refer back to your presenter notes and jump back in without too much of a fumble. 

Using presenter notes in

Presenter notes are common for PowerPoint power users, but did you know that you could use them in, too? It’s easy. Simply click the Notes icon on the bottom left hand side of your browser. A blank Speaker Notes note-box will appear underneath your slide, and you can start typing as much or as little as you need. And don’t worry about losing a thought or idea, all of your notes will be automatically saved in the cloud. If you choose to export your presentation to an editable PowerPoint, your notes will export with your deck and should appear in PowerPoint, too. Presenter notes in are there as a cushion to make your presentation, and story, more seamless.  

Jordan Turner

Jordan Turner

Jordan is a Bay Area writer, social media manager, and content strategist.