A lot of public speaking experts suggest using notes pages in PowerPoint as an alternative to reading from slides.
In PowerPoint, below each slide in "normal" view, there is a space to write out notes to accompany the slide. Look below the slide where it says, "Click to add notes." The notes can only be seen by the speaker.
While I agree that anything is better than reading directly from the screen, turning your back to the audience and reciting what's right in front of their faces, there's one big problem with using notes pages.
Notes pages keep you tied to the computer.
Standing at the computer pushing buttons and reading from the monitor is not much more engaging than standing behind a lectern or, in fact, reading from the projected slides.
Notes pages can be good for brainstorming the content that will go with each slide during the creation of your slideshow. I just don't recommend reading from them during your presentation.
Walk away from the computer. Use a wireless remote to advance your slides. If you need to use notes, go ahead and put them on paper. In fact, the lectern is a great place to keep your notes, as long as you're not behind it.
I like to use a document holder (something like this) on a table off to the side, so my notes are close by if I need them and already standing up so I don't need to touch them. But they're not distracting to the audience.
And, most importantly, I'm free to move around the room and interact with my audience, remote in hand. Not chained to the computer or my notes pages.
How do you use your notes pages?
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