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Over the past ten years, I've created hundreds of presentations on PowerPoint (and sometimes on Google Slides) — and I know how important these are for different uses. Whether you want to give a speech, present a product, or share finances in a board meeting, everything is typically possible with a PowerPoint presentation.
But there's no point in watching a two-hour-long presentation only to know it does not contain any relevant information, right? Thankfully, that's where summarizing a presentation can help. It's like creating a short description that reveals what the viewers can expect from the long slideshow.
So, how to summarize a presentation, especially when you don't have enough time for it? In this guide, I'll reveal my tried and tested tips to create a short summary.
A presentation summary is a short, sweet, and meaningful version of the long video in which you introduce the different components of the presentation and a few key points that you’re talking about.
In other words, it typically includes the main points or key takeaways that'll provide you with the gist of the presentation — without you having to watch the presentation from start to end.
Here, you're not trying to convey the entire business strategy or selling points — instead, your goal here is to help the attendees understand the core concept of the presentation.
As a freelance writer who wears all the hats of the business, I try to save as much time as I can. As much as I value my time, I look for ways to save energy and effort for my audience. Writing a summary of lengthy videos, articles, documents, interviews, and presentations is one method to help everyone get all the important information in a clear and concise way. However, condensing all information into a few paragraphs (or one page) isn't an easy task.
Here's the process I follow to summarize presentations in a few paragraphs.
People love free stuff — but only if it's useful. Nobody wants to waste their time and/or effort watching a presentation that does not have the information they need. That's why your first step is to identify the main goal or objective. Here, you'll need to tell them what the presentation is about, what it includes, and what the key takeaways are.
Your ultimate goal is to write the key points in the most concise, easy-to-read way possible. Before you're tempted to include everything in the summary, know that viewers are looking for specific information before they watch the presentation. Tell them why they should spend time on the presentation and fearlessly let them know who the presentation is not meant for.
While summarizing the presentation, write as though you're talking to someone whose attention you don't want to lose. Get your ideas with the fewest, most effective words possible — but don't forget to add visual aids that keep the audience engaged. It's a great practice for every writer to help their audience not feel overwhelmed with a wall of texts.
Any presentation is incomplete if you don't include proper examples and quotations. When you write the summary, allot some space for writing examples (two examples per page). Remember, holding onto the reader's attention is very important — and quotations can help you do just that.
The presentation summary begins with a hook that draws the audience in, helps them understand the value you offer, provides some proof, and finally ends with a strong CTA. It's relatively easy to incorporate these elements and create a summary. But if you're still finding it hard, here's a real-life presentation summary example for inspiration.
Today, we are excited to share with you our new Product X — the future of eyewear technology. At Company X, glasses aren't just for style — but it's a combination of comfort, innovation, and productivity.
That's why we developed Product X, which combines two top technologies — AI and AR. The users reported a 20% boost in productivity and a 40% reduction in eye fatigue. It's now available for everyone — and anyone can place their orders on the website.
Summaries can be incredibly effective for both hosts and audiences — only if you know how to craft attention-grabbing ones. Here, I'll show you how I summarize a presentation that gets positive responses from almost all the attendees.
The best presentation summary should be clear, concise, direct, and descriptive. Your main aim is to use simple language and give the attendees what they want.
My best tip is to: write for your audience, not yourself — and, for this, you need to put yourself in the shoes of a specific audience as you write.
Use bullet points, numbers, and/or bolding to make your summary skimmable and digestible — that emphasizes the key points. The success of the summary will depend upon making the presentation's key takeaways easy for your readers to quickly process the main points.
If you struggle to condense information into a basic, short summary, give Notta a try. Unlike nearly all other AI presentation summarizer apps on the market, Notta is a more accurate transcriber and summarizer that can condense long audio/video files into an informative summary.
What I really found useful is Notta's ability to structure a summary into an overview, key chapters, and action items. You can even share this summarized version with the presentation attendees once the meeting is over — helping them understand what was covered in the presentation and what the next steps are.
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PowerPoint has become synonymous with presentations — it's a free tool where you can make a slide deck and collaborate with your team. A good summary on PowerPoint can attract more audience to your presentation and even help the attendees get more clarity. Here, I'll reveal the three pillars of writing a good summary.
Include Key Points: The first thing is to write the key (or main) points in a concise and focused way. You can even use bullet points or some visual aids to keep things clear and uncluttered on slides.
Identify & Summarize Each Section: If you're giving a lengthy presentation, I'm assuming you've categorized it into different sections. While summarizing, you'll need to focus on each section and identify the key takeaway from it.
Highlight the Main Takeaway: If the presentation focuses on any problem and offers a solution, it's time to highlight it. As a presenter, you'll need to introduce the problem in the first line, followed by the solution that's offered in the presentation.
Yes, there are many AI online summarizers that can summarize PowerPoint slides. Copilot in PowerPoint, for example, can read through the slides and provide a bulleted summary with key points. If you've pre-recorded presentation recordings, you are probably searching for a dedicated way to summarize the slides.
Notta is one powerful and popular AI note-taking application — and, that too, for a good reason. There's a summarizing feature for almost imaginable purposes: just upload the presentation audio/video, and Notta will automatically transcribe the spoken words and then summarize the content.
Once you discover the power of summaries, the temptation to create summaries for everything is real. But this can leave you with a new problem: a lot of manual work. So, how to summarize a presentation without much time and effort? That's where the third-party AI summary generators make it easy for you.
Notta is an AI note-taking and AI presentation summarizer tool, especially for people who are not making presentations for fun. It comes with a free generous plan and affordable paid plans that help you record, transcribe, and then summarize media files (including presentations) — with high accuracy.