How To Aid A Presentation With Visual Notes

Let’s say that you’ve got a presentation to give and you’d like the information to stick. You want the audience to leave your presentation having engaged with the ideas that you’ve shared.

To help you achieve that goal, consider adding some hand-sketched images to your slides.

Here are some ideas to help you do that.

How To Aid A Presentation With Visual Notes - Doug Neill, sketchnotes, visual note-taking, doodling

Start With The Takeaway

Begin by defining the specific impact that you hope to have on your audience by the end of your presentation.

With that impact in mind you’ll have an easier time organizing the flow of ideas from the start of your presentation through to the end, and you’ll be better able to include visuals that support the takeaway.

Share One Idea At A Time

Despite the power of visuals to convey multiple ideas in a succinct way, I suggest you build up to the bigger picture just one idea at a time.

If you start with a fully formed diagram with too many elements you will overwhelm your audience.

Instead bring your audience along while you build up the pieces of that bigger picture.

Use As Few Words As Possible

It will likely take some practice to figure out the balance between words and images that is best suited to your purpose, but when in doubt: use fewer words.

Everyone is tired of text-heavy slides, so throw those out the window. Instead rely on visuals while including only the words that are absolutely necessary.

And don’t forget that you have your voice to add context and details. So use your slides to engage the audience first emotionally, and then intellectually.

Now it’s your turn. Use these ideas to help you build a more visual and more effective presentation.


Want To Dig Deeper?

If you’re new to the idea of sketchnoting and excited to develop more visual thinking tools, I think you’d enjoy our foundational course An Introduction To Visual Note-Taking.

If you’d like to make sketchnoted videos like the one you saw here, we’ve got a course for that too! Check out How To Make Sketchnote Videos.

And if you’re an educator interested in bringing visual note-taking into your classroom, check out Sketchnoting In The Classroom.