As an engaging speaker, you may find visual aids helpful in communicating your message to the audience. They can make a presentation or speech memorable, fun and effective. Why?
People remember more of what they are told if the experience is multi-sensory, rather than just reading a handout or listening to someone speak. Visual aids, or props, have a physical presence, texture, feel which act as an extension of your presentation and can create powerful and memorable metaphors. They help break the ice, warm up the audience, and a unique visual aid will illustrate your point much better than just using words.
Since visual aids are any physical item that is on stage with you, they can also be distracting. Think about watching a speaker fiddle with their overhead projectors, notes or pens. Ensure you are comfortable with any physical item you plan to use during your speech – from a flipchart, a computer and slide projector, a podium or any other a/v equipment. Through practice and using these items effortlessly, the props you are using to make a point will stand out and attract attention.
A few things to think about when using visual-aids:
– Be imaginative!
– Don’t get caught up about bringing in the real thing: Find a symbol. Bring in children’s toys, hats, fruit, magnifying glass, wigs, goggles, candy, flowers, paper plane…
– Practice using them: Remember the function of a visual aid is to illustrate the speaking points you are trying to make and keep the audiences attention. Always to speak to the audience and not to the prop and make sure everyone in the room can see it.
– Know your audience: Does the prop fit with the type and size of the audience? Would it be inappropriate to pass around a prop?
What visual aids have been effective for you??? Let us know!