The use of visual aids is essential to all presentations. Without them, the essence of your presentation may not register. Your message will quickly leave the audience after they leave you. By preparing a presentation with visual aids that can reinforce your main ideas, you’ll reach your audience far more effectively and with more of a memorable impact.
Visual aids engage your audience by playing upon their senses, using their eyes and ears to get your message across. These props act as an extension of your presentation and by appealing to more than one sense at a time, your audience will be more likely to remember what you’re saying.
Different Types of Visual Aids:
- Overhead Projector
- White Board
- Paper Handouts
- Flip Chart
- Video – Skype and Web Cams
- Social Media
Visual Aid Tips:
- Each element must be simple and contain only one message. Placing more than one message in a single image/slide confuses the audience. Keep it brief.
- Decide the difference between what you will say and what the visual aid will show. Your audience should not be reading while you talk but rather be observing your highlighted points as you address them.
- Paper copies of specific information relating to your presentation gives your audience something for future reference. Don’t let them be distracting during your presentation, they should provide reinforcement.
- Use templates on a PowerPoint presentation to make them look clean and professional.
- Use photographs to provide the certain image your would like you audience to imagine. Sharing a personal photograph can be inspiration and impactful.
- Use charts and graphs to support numerical information, changes over time or comparative data.
- Create sketches to convey certain designs or plans.
- Use dark colors to ensure writing can be seen from the back of the room. Test them.
- Check all slides for typos and numerical errors – you will lose your credibility fast with an audience if they catch just one.
- Never forget to bring a backup and a backup of your backup.
Visual aids are memorable, they help you communicate your message by providing emphasis on whatever is being said. They create excitement, reinforce points and clarify your message. Some visual aids can be distracting so keep them simple. Ensure you’re comfortable with any physical item you use during your speech and don’t rely on that aid too much. Keep eye contact with the audience and remember to not talk to your visual aid.
Productive and positive communication can only happen when messages are simple, clear and coherent.