Public Speaking 911
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Examples of Visual Aids

Many people will understand the message of your speech more clearly when it is more visual. What we see often leaves a more lasting impression than what we hear. You can use slides, photographs, PowerPoint presentations, or even a simple whiteboard to add visual cues to your speech.

 

Below are some of the more common visual aids:

 

Flip Charts

 

The flip chart is the most commonly used audio visual aid in business presentations. As the name implies, a flip chart is a large pad of paper on an easel which allows you to write or illustrate on the paper, then flip the used sheet over when you're ready to use another sheet.

 

The good thing about flip charts is that they are not expensive and easy to use.  However, many people tend to write their letters or illustrations so small that only those seated close up can make out what is on the flip chart.  To be sure that your flip chart text can be read by everyone in the room aim for letters that are at least three inches tall. Also, do not write in capitals, they are difficult to read.

 

Flip charts ideally suited for smaller, more informal groups of people, and not really suited for larger or more formal presentations as they appear to be cheap and amateur.

 

Overhead Projectors

 

 Overhead projectors are similar in many respects to flipcharts. They are easy to use, unpretentious, and could be ideal in transferring data to smaller numbers of in-house delegates.  You can also find some under $200.  But, they may be unsuitable for more formal presentations, as the audience may expect something more hi-tech..

 

Slide Shows

 

Like they say, a picture says a thousand words.  And, a good photo can get your point across quickly and powerfully. 

 

If your goal is to sell yourself or your company, a slides show can convey a professional and polished image.  And, if you develop your slide show utilizing software such as PowerPoint, you can employ some fun special effects like different fonts, or a fade in and out of your slides. 

 

Avoid the temptation to get too cute with any special effects.  It's always nice to have a little humor in your presentation but if your slides are overly "cutesy", it can reduce the credibility of your talk.  Also, you don't want your special effects to distract your audience. 

 

In addition, beware of your slide show running too long.  A picture may be worth a thousand words, but a bunch of them tend to lose their impact.

 

Handouts

 

Speakers too often disregard handouts. That's too bad, because handouts may summarize the key points of the speech and allow the audience to follow your presentation or gain added information.  Also, a handout taken home by an audience member may prompt someone to remember your speech and take the action you wanted. 

 

When giving handouts to your listeners, do remember to choose the right time. It is not recommended to give them out right away at the beginning of your speech. This will only make the listeners tend to lose focus. It is important in public speaking to catch the attention of your audience at the start of the speech. 

 

And finally...While using any visual aid, it is vital that you don't turn your back on your audience as you use your visual aid.  You may lose your audience.  And don't turn the lights on low for long periods, or you might be surprised to look up and see they are all sleeping!

 

 

 

 

Synonyms:  Isual, ivsual, vsual, vsiual, viual, viusal, visal, visaul, visul, visula, and visua are typos for "visual."  Ids, iads, ades, ads, adis, ais, aisd and aid are typos for "aids."