Be clear and consistent
It can be very helpful to use acronyms and abbreviations on PowerPoint slides during a presentation. This helps save time and space. The key is to be clear as to what they represent, and then be consistent in using them. A manager I train recently asked me to give feedback on a presentation he was giving to two new senior managers he would be directly reporting to. The presentation was about his department’s performance over the first half of this year. After introductions, he settled in to his stride and I was really pleased to see that he had taken on board a lot of what we’d been working on in training. The presentation was well structured, pace and delivery were good, and he even felt confident enough to throw in a couple of jokes. One problem; it wasn’t until a good few minutes in to the presentation that I and his audience realized what some of the topics were that he was referring to. The problem? Abbreviations and acronyms.
Being Clear with Acronyms and Abbreviations in Presentations
Acronyms and abbreviations are fine, as long as everybody is familiar with them. You’d be amazed at the amount of slides, documents and presentations I see where the use of acronyms and abbreviations confuses the reader about what is being presented. Believing that your audience will automatically understand because they come from the same business area or field of expertise as you is an easy trap to fall into.
Introducing Acronyms and Abbreviations in Presentations
When using acronyms or abbreviations in presentations, the first time you introduce them make sure to give the full word, name or title followed by the acronym or abbreviation in brackets.
For example: Structured Query Language (SQL). Using only the acronym or abbreviation after this shouldn’t then cause any problems.
Commonly Used Acronyms and Abbreviations in Presentations
AOB – any other business
asst. – assistant
B2B – business to business
CEO – Chief Executive Officer
CFO – Chief Financial Officer
dept. – department
mtg. – meeting
P & L – Profit and Loss
QTD – quarter to date
ROI – return on investment
YTD – year to date
So, being clear from the beginning with your acronyms and abbreviations in presentations can save you time and space on your slides. All the while not confusing your audience, which is the most important thing. Want to improve your presentations overall? Click here.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
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- 3 basic rules to capitalization
- Common contract language decoded