A Guide to Mastering Speaker Notes in PowerPoint

When we talk about PowerPoint and its innumerable benefits as a powerful tool for effective talks, we overlook a very useful feature it offers: speaker notes.

Speaker notes are basically pointers that you can add in your PowerPoint slide deck to help you recall key points or stats.

You must have seen it many times in PowerPoint towards the bottom of the screen and chose to hide that section. But that’s alright. We’re here to tell you exactly how you can make the most of PowerPoint with this added feature.

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You can use speaker notes section in a number of ways: to add further information about the slide, instructions, links to important sources or simply as a space to take general notes.

Now to the nitty gritty of as to ‘why’ speaker notes are beneficial. You, the presenter, are a storyteller and your slide deck is your support. Since there is a limit of how much information you can put on each individual slide in order to not have your audience lose concentration whether to listen to you or look at your slides, you need to carefully prioritize information for your slide deck.

For this, speaker notes allow you to put more complicated information in that section for additional information.

The best way to use speaker notes is to use bullet points as opposed to writing the script word-for-word and to write them in phrases or words that can act as cues for you during presentation.

There is another, more advanced way to make use of speaker notes; and that is as a standalone document. Suppose the audience loved your presentation and want copies of it for reference or later use. But since your slide deck is supposed to be shown and not read, it may not make a lot of sense to a different person. And speaker notes section is where you can put additional information, explanation and sources to help the reader understand your points. You can even print the notes section separately to make a document. How amazing!

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So the next time you sit down to make a slide deck, be sure to make good use of speaker notes for your own benefit and to make sure your message resonates with your audience for long!