A strong title will entice your audience to read the rest of the text on your slide. Clear copy, however, will make sure they fully absorb your message.

​Presentation handouts- or slidedocs– require full sentences, particularly if they don’t have a presenter to fill in the gaps. But they also require precision and clarity, both of which can be achieved by writing in full sentences versus bullets.

​Making your copy more direct can help sharpen your thinking. The best way to do that is to use an active voice. The active voice helps make your writing sound more interesting by propelling your readers through your prose.

​Grammar nerds can tell whether you’re using the active voice or its evil twin, the passive voice. They simply search for forms of the verb “to be,” a key indicator of the passive voice’s presence. You can think of the passive voice as any wording that delays or avoids your main point.

​Changing your copy from passive to active voice most often means putting your subject at the beginning of your sentence and having it perform an action.

​Writing in active voice isn’t always possible—some sentences are stubborn. The most effective authors use it as often as they can.

​For more writing pointers, check out William Zinsser’s classic, “On Writing Well”.

passive voice vs active voice

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