Write first, present later

Writing first and presenting later is one of the best pieces of advice I get in my career.
Write first, present later
Photo by Roma Kaiuk🇺🇦 / Unsplash

I had to communicate fully in English in the early days of working abroad. I needed to prepare for my first sharing about a design proposal. I was very nervous when preparing for it.

A project manager I worked closely with approached me and helped me prepare for the presentation. After listening to my incoherent presentation, she calmly said, “Trong, I was also very nervous in the past. But I have a trick to make it easier. You can write the content first, then you present later.”

That advice has changed the whole way I approach public speaking.

Writing to present isn’t about writing and reading the text while giving a presentation. The practice of writing content first is to get all the thinking and ideas out of your head and log them on paper. Then rewrite, refine, reorganize and practice presenting it.

To have a presentation, we need to prepare different things. If we do it all once, it could be overwhelming. We’re also putting too much unnecessary pressure on our shoulders. So we need to break it down into smaller steps.

Writing first helps me focus on the content, which is critical for any presentation.

The first draft is terrible, and that’s how it is. It’s time to re-read, rewrite, and revise to make it better. The more time we spend on editing, the better.

When the content is ready, it’s time to prepare visuals for your presentation. Nobody will read your slide. So make it visual and clean with clean typography and photos.

If you need a tool to create a desk quickly, iA Presenter could be a good tool for you. The tool helps to create a presentation desk from your writing effortlessly.

Next is to practice it. But this step is the easiest. Because through the act of writing, you already know what you want to speak. This is to practice your voice, tone, style, and gesture… The more we practice, the more confident we are.

I found this method is too good and always use it for my presentations. The book Write to Speak will help if you want to read more.

Writing first and presenting later is one of the best pieces of advice I get in my career.