Great presentations rely on great writing. Words hold limitless power– they’re your key tools to connect emotionally with your audience, convey your message clearly, and convince your target customer that your product or service can help them. Finding sensible yet compelling presentation language to use is well worth the extra effort required at the outset. And it’s not a bad idea to sidestep a few verbal pitfalls along the way.
At a Loss for Presentation Words?
It’s all too easy to be lazy in your word selection. If you’re reusing verbiage that’s run of the mill or just finding yourself at a loss for words, dig deeper into the vocab bank for presentation words that stimulate the senses and leave a lasting impression. Let’s start with the basics.
Use Vivid Verbs & Appropriate Adjectives
Verbs can be the call to action that grab your audience’s attention from the get-go. Find distinctive verbs to say exactly what you mean in a memorable way. For example:
- Instead of ‘make’ consider ‘craft’ or ‘build’ or ‘create’
- Replace ‘change’ with ‘alter’ or ‘upgrade’ or ‘transform’ or ‘adapt’
- Avoid dry verb clauses like ‘to be’ ‘to do’ ‘to have’ ‘to see’ or ‘there is’ and ‘there are’
Use adjectives and adverbs only when necessary; they often restate a quality that is already implied and tend to weigh down a simple concept. And when you do use them, find adjectives that will engage your audience. For example:
- Swap out ‘better’ or ‘unique’ for specifics that show (not tell) your audience how you are different.
- Omit generic adjectives like ‘great’ and ‘qualified’ and unnecessary adverbs like ‘truly’ or ‘exceptionally’
In the Words of the Great…
Don’t be afraid to let others do the talking. Sometimes the testimonials or reviews by your past customers can be more effective than your own words.
Use quotes and testimonials to validate your product or service.
Speak the Same Presentation Language
Remember that your presentation is essentially the beginning of a conversation with your audience. If your audience needs an interpreter, you aren’t going to get very far! Clear, accessible language that explains instead of sells is best.
Write for your customers and spend the time to familiarize yourself fully with the presentation words your audience uses to describe their needs, questions, or specific problem.
Put the Tired Presentation Words to Bed
Tread carefully in your search for words. For every list of “magic words” and “power phrases” you might discover online, you’re apt to find an equally long list of overused terms to be avoided. Words like ‘guaranteed’ or ‘unique’ or ‘quality’ are so pervasive that your audience will tune them out altogether. Cliched buzzwords like ‘cutting edge’ and ‘industry-leading’ or grand superlatives like ‘world class’ and ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ are better left unsaid.
Steer clear of the tired, meaningless, and downright annoying jargon that pops up everywhere in advertising copy and sales presentations.
When Words Get in the Way
While it’s marvelous to make friends with your thesaurus, don’t go overboard with sizzling synonyms and overly-emotional lingo. If your presentation language is too wordy, flowery or dramatic, you’re likely to lose the patience and attention of your audience.
Edit ruthlessly! Keep your presentation text logical and concise, use concrete examples, and be sure to connect the dots for your audience.
In the end, the familiar rule still applies: it’s not just the words you choose, but how you use them.
So choose your words wisely and use them well.