Grammar Matters and Style Rules in Presentations, Too

Before you deliver a presentation, you do a lot of checking. It could run something like this: Notes? Check! Pointer? Check! Water? Check! Cough drops? Check! Glasses? Check! Distracting, shiny name badge off? Check! Distracting, shiny jewelry off? Check! Clothing appropriate and immaculate? Check! Shoes polished? Check!

typo mistake on powerpoint slideBut did you remember to check your presentation itself for annoying distractions like typos and ungrammatical phrasing in the headlines and body of the slide text? Asking a colleague to help you proofread and polish your presentation shouldn’t be an optional check but instead an integral part of the process of finalizing your presentation.

It’s easy to overlook errors that will lower the persuasive impact of your presentation. It happens to all of us. Check back on this site shortly as I’m reaching out to my virtual colleagues in various discussion groups to gather some ”headline howlers and hiccups” that they’ve seen in their industry.

Do you have a dedicated person to help you polish your presentations and make them more powerful every time? Ask, assess, then act. We’re here to help!

See also: Grammar Matters and Style Rules, Part 1: Practical Style Guides for Thought Leaders

Photo Credit: Brett Jordan

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Grammar Matters and Style Rules! Practical Style Guides for Thought Leaders

style guidesTeaching is on my mind right now as the schools in Zurich have recently opened. That’s because I once was an English teacher—and once an English teacher, always an English teacher.

In fact, when I moved from academia into the business world, I retained my reputation as a Grammar Guru and a Punctuation Policewoman. I plead ”intentionally guilty” to the charge of insisting on high-quality, mistake-free writing in business documents that matter. And they all matter.

Yes, as a thought leader, even your emails should be error free when it comes to grammar and style. Advanced tools help you to spell-check and grammar-check, and there’s even a fail-safe way to ensure you don’t hit send without taking time to confirm its accuracy one last time. (Contact me if you need instructions on that.)

But more critical documents require more thorough editing and proofreading to make sure your messages have the impact you intend. Subtle changes in style and tone and improve the persuasive value of your writing. Grammatical ”guffaws” and ”gaffes” can devalue your discourse.

Many businesses today are recognizing that reality and trying to rectify it. In a 2012 survey  conducted by the Society for Human Resource Management and AARP, nearly half (45%) of 430 employers said they were adding training programs to improve employees’ grammar skills.

Several style guides exist to help you polish your writing style; some of these books you’ll remember from your own English classes.

5 Practical Reference Sources for Grammar and Style

Your company’s communications team may have a style guide of its own or at least a strong preference about which one to use. The key to raising the quality bar is to demand consistency in style and grammar…Consistently right, that is.

Do you need a brush-up on how “grammar matters and style rules”? Ask, assess, then act. We’re here to help!

Photo Credit: Terry Freedman

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