The Use of Notes, helpful or not so helpful

Notes.pngNotes 1

Using notes is never a problem. It is ‘how’ you use notes that is crucial. For example, you are only doing a five minute speech, then it may be a simple three by five inch card with one or two hand written words. Of course, if you are doing a half-day technical workshop, notes that are typed and on several sheets may be needed.

One key consideration to remember is the use of notes should never interfere with the connection between you and your audience. If your notes are small, compact and hard to read, you may lose your eye contact with your audience once too often. In this case, notes that are typed with a large font, on several numbered pages and can be read three to four feet away may be the best. This will allow you to glance quickly at these notes and still maintain eye contact with your audience.

Remember to think of notes as another tool to connect with your audience and not as a distraction.


What’s in a note?

speech notes

A constant concern for many speakers is the use of notes in their presentation. Should I use notes? The answer is “depends.”

If your presentation is long and technical then the use of notes is imperative. During your talk you must present yourself as the expert. If your information is incorrect to any degree, it will impact your reputation as the “expert”. Or giving an incorrect quote can be detrimental. During this type of presentation your audience expects you to use notes. The complexity of your notes is not as important as being able to see and read your notes. It is imperative that your notes are easy to read and accessible. This also takes practice.

Trust your ability as the expert. Maybe all you need is a series of words in a large font to remind you of what you want to tell your audience. Large font makes words easier to see and does not restrict you to the close vicinity of the lectern.