visual aids in presentations

Maximizing the Use of Visual Aids in Presentations

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A picture, they say, is worth a thousand words. Using visual aids in presentations helps you pass a lot of information in a relatively shorter time. With the right visual aids, you can create the desired impact that you want your presentation to make on your audience. Learning how to use visual aids effectively will boost the quality of your presentations.

retention of information using visual aids
Source: PropelGrowth

Why use visuals for presentations?

There is no such thing as a perfect speech. However, there are ways to make your presentation that much closer to perfect. What are they? Simple: Visual aids. Visual aids can bring life back into a tedious speech, and they take less time to come up with than long notes. These are some ways visuals can help you achieve a better presentation.

They help you structure your work

Using the right types of visual aids can help you create a perfect picture of what you want your audience to see in your presentations. Instead of struggling to condense a lot of information into a long text, you can present your information in one straightforward image or video and save yourself the stress.

It is easier to engage the audience.

An excellent visual setup can help you elicit audience interest and sometimes their input in the presentation. When the audience is engaged, they tend to be more interested in the presenter’s work. Also, an interactive audience can boost your morale and give you some encouragement.

You save time on your presentation.

When presenting, time is of the essence. So, you can effectively reduce your presentation time if you have useful visual aids, and you use them properly. Would you prefer to go on and on for minutes about a topic when you can cut your speech down by inserting a few images or videos?

What are visual aids?

A visual aid is any material that gives shape and form to words or thoughts. Types of visual aids include physical samples, models, handouts, pictures, videos, infographics, etc. Visual aids have come a long way to now include digital tools such as overhead projectors, PowerPoint presentations, and interactive boards.

types of visual aids
Source: eztalks

How to make an informative speech with visual aids in presentations

If you have a presentation coming up soon, you can follow the instructions below to learn how you can take advantage of visual aids: 

Determine your overall objective

The aim of your presentations depends on you, what information is being presented, and your audience. The motivational speaker and the classroom teacher may approach the same types of visual aids differently due to differences in overall objectives. For instance, if you aim to inspire and remind your audience of salient points, a poster template should serve well, infographics work well when you are trying to show relationships between complex information. A chart will be quite effective if you seek to explain a given set of data.

Choose appropriate visual aids in presentations

After identifying the overall aim of your presentation, you have to match it with the right visual aids example. Will a graph, picture, or video suffice?  

If you are using the PowerPoint Presenter, ensure you focus mainly on the media that best conveys your message. Make sure that the notes you add a bold and brief. Try to keep your sentence in one line of text.

retention of information by medium
Source: Business and public speaking

Prepare thoroughly 

You will spend some time preparing your visual aids before the day of your presentation. It is good to allow yourself enough time to prepare so you can perfect your work accordingly. Take note of when, where, and how you are going to use your visual aids. If you discover some inconsistencies, you can compensate for them by adjusting your choice or use of visual aids in presentations.

After you have a final draft of your visual aids, run a series of sessions with them. Let your friends or colleagues be your audience and ask for their honest feedback. Make appropriate adjustments where necessary.

During presentation

First, you need to be comfortable and confident. A neat and appropriate dressing should boost your confidence. Follow the tips below during presentations.

  • Keep your face on your audience. It may help to look a little above their heads while presenting.
  • Only point to or take the visual aid when needed. When you do, explain what you mean immediately.
  • Do not read texts on your visual aids verbatim.
  • Once a visual aid has served its purpose, you should keep it away from your audience’s view.

If you need more help with boosting your confidence, we have written a detailed piece on how to conquer your fear of speaking in front of people.

What is the importance of using visuals in giving a presentation?

Visual aids in presentations are invaluable to both you and the audience you hope to enlighten. They make the job way easier for you, and the audience leaves feeling like they learned something. Apart from their time-saving abilities, here are some reasons why you need to incorporate visual aids in your presentations:

  • Visual aids can help your audience retain the information long-term. 
  • The human brain processes images faster than text, so visuals make us understand things faster
  • Using visual aids makes your presentations more enjoyable, interactive, and memorable
  • Visual aids help your audience connect and relate with you better
  • Presentations with visual aids are less likely to be misunderstood or misrepresented. They are usually easier to understand and leave little room for confusion
  • Visual aids are great for people with learning disabilities
  • Visual aids act as key cards and pointers for the presenter and help you keep track of what you’re saying
how well people retain information on presentation
Source: Slideshare

What are the ideas for speech topics using visual aids?

  • Use a picture or image that closely represents the topic. A one-hundred-dollar note can suggest topics revolving around money and finances
  • Use a chart showing trends or statistics that your audience finds appealing. You can use popular sayings or quotes to generate topics your audience can relate to.
  • Newspaper headlines on related issues can be good starters for opinion-based topics.

Conclusion

The visual aid definition is very clear on how much impact using visual aids in public speaking has on an audience. With a great selection of visual aids, you can transform your presentations into a pleasant experience that you and your audience will always look forward to.

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