You’d probably think that in this fast-paced tech-savvy society, the need for teaching effective business writing skills for PowerPoint presentations is useless, but you couldn’t be more wrong. With information flowing at such tremendous rates, the need for power and value-packed writing is at an all-time high. Business and presentation writing is a very vital skill in your career.
In this article, we’re going to discuss the business writing skills for a PowerPoint presentation to help you come up with an engaging, interactive, practical, and actionable presentation.
Know Your Audience
Our writing is often poor because we present it to the wrong audience. We craft convoluted slides, format the content poorly, and overall, the material isn’t reader-friendly. Your business PowerPoint Presentation should follow a particular format. It should be under strict guidelines of courtesy, clarity, and conciseness. Always keeping in mind what your audience seeks to learn helps you maintain the course.
Your tone, vocabulary, and style should also be in line with your audience. It’s not just about being politically correct and appropriate, but it’s about flexibility, content effectiveness, and the ability to connect beyond words with your audience.
Content and Style
Create a reader-friendly presentation in the active voice. Steer away from the overuse of adjectives and be direct and understandable. Steer away from buzzwords and clichés. On detecting a cliché, replace it with a fresher metaphor that sends the message home. Breakaway from the herd but don’t work too hard to appear intelligent. Your presentation also needs to be succinct. You can achieve this by focusing on facts, sticking to the subject, using clear, short sentences, and avoiding ambiguity. To avoid ambiguity, ensure you separate your opinion from facts. This will make your copy ambiguity free.
To maximize the efficiency of your copy, you need to format it correctly. Utilize the use of bullet points, headers, numbering, different colors, and other formatting features such as bold and italics. Clear formatting makes it easy to scheme through your text. However, don’t overdo it. Too many screaming visual elements might distract your audience from the message. Be subtle and engaging with your formatting. Whenever possible, substitute the text with presentations, charts or graphics.
Attitude and Perspective
Rarely do we emphasize attitude in business writing but it’s a critical aspect. People not only read what is in your presentation, but they also scheme through what it implies by not saying it. The word choice, expressions, viewpoints, and sentence structure reveal your attitude and perspective. Consider adopting your audience’s perspective; the “you” perspective. By choosing this perspective, you are likely to attract more attention from your audience. The audience is more attentive and keen to help when it realizes that it’s the focal point. More often than not, the recipient is motivated to act towards your direction making you appear more trustworthy and promoting a feel-good atmosphere.
Make It Simple
People skim through a document for vital information before deciding to read the entire thing. To make it simple for your audience,
- Write a clear heading
- Add short descriptive lists in bullet form
- Avoid using words where numbers will do, e.g., Twenty dollars instead of $20
- Ensure the vital points are at the top
In short, write the way you speak.
Avoid the Use of Abbreviations
In a PowerPoint presentation, you are probably writing to impress clients. You, therefore, can’t use shorthand messages such as ‘&,’ ‘e.g.,’ ‘etc.’ Use the full words. This makes your presentation more professional.
Ditch the Jargon
In every field of study, there are technical terms that are very useful if everyone understands the lingo. However, if you are writing for people not in your field, you need to ditch the jargon. It will make communication difficult and only end up creating confusion.
Think like a Journalist
When intimately engrossed in a topic, it’s easy to turn a blind eye to the obvious. Do thorough research before putting anything on your slides. For instance, it’s shocking how many restaurants and hotels neglect their address on the website. To avoid this, show your document to someone outside your department to counter-check your work. To make your work easier, you can solicit professional writing services from websites such as edusson.com and edubirdie.com. You don’t need to whip out your credit card and break your bank for a presentation. They will help you where you can’t.
The active voice is often ignored but writing in this tone makes it easier to communicate with the audience. It’s a quick way to brighten your writing. Active sentences are shorter and solicit more trust from the readers. Everyone in the audience wants to know who is doing what.
Revise your work ruthlessly. Your first draft is not your final copy. Check and counter-check over and over again. This is important for you to come up with respectable work. Proofreading is the crowning work of a professional piece. It keeps the flow and readability intact saving you from embarrassing errors.
You can also run your work through an online grammar checker such as Grammarly. Beware of the commonly misspelled words so that you can avoid them.
It might appear like a lot of work, but these tips will effectively polish up all your business writing skills in PowerPoint. Your communication with your audience will be more comfortable. The points will be concise, and thus your audience can easily consider your ideas.