Many don’t realize this, but the words we choose to say and write provide a wealth of insight into our personalities. Professor James W. Pennebaker conducted research that discovered how writing reflects various characteristics of a person. Are you the Prim Presenter? How about the Methodical Presenter? Or are you the Descriptive Presenter?

What’s Your Presentation Writing Style? [Quiz]

Answer the questions below, which are based off of Pennebaker’s findings and Ethos3’s experience with presenters across several industries, to determine your presentation writing style.

1. How often do you use articles (a, an, the) and prepositions (before, between, but, as, at, on, near, etc.) in your presentation writing?

A. Frequently

B. Occasionally

C. Rarely

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

A. Formal

B. Insightful

C. Inclusive

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

A. Detailing data

B. Comparing and contrasting information and experiences

C. Telling an engaging story

4. In what tense do you usually write?

A. Present

B. Future

C. Past

5. Which of the following speaking tactics or strategies do you prefer to employ through 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 tend to make direct call to actions – such as “Call us today!” or “Our product is the best on the market.” This also shows that Prim Presenters are focused on the here and now – caring mostly about the value you are adding presently. You’re more concerned with having solid data to back up your points than a client or customer story. Status and reputation are important to you. The text you include on each slide likely adheres to established industry guidelines – whether they are AP Style, Chicago Style, MLA, or something else. According to Pennebaker, you probably don’t spend much time reflecting on yourself and you tend to think in a traditional manner. You can expect your content structure to be much more organized than your Methodical and Descriptive peers.

If you answered mostly B

You are the Methodical Presenter. The majority of your presentations serve to demonstrate how you, your product or service, or your company or brand stand out from the rest. Your presentation will include distinct sections that highlight the 3 or 4 main points of the talk. Credibility and sincerity will be the basis of your entire message. Relaying the potential benefits of your product or service – your goal. Based off of Pennebaker’s studies, a Methodical Presenter will be more likely acquire information from books than their presenting counterparts. And they will engage in purposeful self-reflection.

If you answered mostly C

You are the Descriptive Presenter. A presentation narrative created from your mind will most likely 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 – utilizing words that inspire collaboration like “together,” “with,” and “in addition to.” Pennebaker says you are the type of person who is socially outgoing. Everyone gets along with you. And this quality, paired with your storytelling presentation writing skills dazzles your audiences.

For more information about enhancing your presentation writing, view the articles listed below!

The Difference Between Speaker’s Notes and Scripts

How Not to Approach Presentation Writing

How Presenters Can Cut Through the Fluff

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