Quiz: What’s your writing style when crafting a presentation?

Research shows that word choice conveys personality. Answering six questions can identify your tendencies, be they prim, methodical or descriptive.

The words we choose provide a wealth of insight into our personalities.

Professor James W. Pennebaker conducted research that discovered how writing reflects characteristics of a person. These apply to formal presentations, as well. Are you the Prim Presenter, the Methodical Presenter or the Descriptive Presenter?

Answer the questions below, based on Pennebaker’s findings and Ethos3’s experience with presenters in several industries, to determine your prevailing presentation writing style:

1. How often do you use articles (a, an, the) and prepositions (of, for, in, at, on, etc.) in your presentation writing?

A. Frequently

B. Occasionally

C. Rarely

2. What kind of tone do you set in your presentations?

A. Formal

B. Insightful

C. Inclusive

3. In which part of crafting a presentation narrative do you excel?

A. Detailing data

B. Comparing and contrasting information and experiences

C. Telling an engaging story

4. In what tense do you write?

A. Present

B. Future

C. Past

5. Which speaking tactics or strategies do you employ in your presentation writing?

A. Authority

B. Authenticity

C. Relatability

6. How would your audience describe your presentation writing—script and slide text?

A. Informative

B. Analytical

C. Compelling

If you answered mostly A:

You are the Prim Presenter. Your presentation writing commands the room. You make direct calls to action, such as “Phone us today!” or “Order now!” Prim Presenters focus on immediate value. To back up your points, you rely more on solid data than on a client or customer story. Status and reputation are important to you. Your slide text adheres to established industry guidelines, whether they are AP Stylebook, Chicago Manual of Style or some other authority. You don’t spend much time reflecting, and you think in a traditional manner. Your content structure is more organized than that of your Methodical and Descriptive peers (below).

If you answered mostly B:

You are the Methodical Presenter. Your presentation shows how you, your product/service or your company/brand stands out from the rest. It includes sections that highlight key points. Credibility and sincerity underpin your message. A Methodical Presenter is more likely to derive information from books than their presenting counterparts are, and they engage in purposeful self-reflection.

If you answered mostly C:

You are the Descriptive Presenter. Your presentation narrative will probably begin and end with a story. You’ll want to describe how a world without your product or service looked like in the past and compare that with how the world looks now for your clients or customers. You may even use one consistent story throughout the narrative—using collaborative words such as “together,” “with,” and “in addition to.” You are extroverted; people get along with you. Those qualities, paired with your storytelling skills, enchant your audiences.

A version of this post first appeared on the Ethos3 blog .


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