Can you imagine viewing a speech about a diesel engine without a visual aid? Can imagine hearing a speech about music therapy without some music? Can you imagine observing a speech on diet fads with elaborate posters, book covers, and healthproducts displayed and the speaker fails to discuss the visuals during the presentation?
The most successful speakers in America today use visuals in their presentations- Oprah Winfrey, Bill Gates, Tony Robbins to name a few. But for many speakers a visual is an afterthought. Some speakers fail to create an eye catching visual. Some speakers fail to practice their speech with a visual. We live in a visual generation. Today’s public audiences pay more attention to visuals. High quality visuals are essential to public speaking success. Here’s my top 10 strategies for using visuals for presentations:
1. Brainstorm ideas- brainstorm all the types of visual aids that could be used for your speech. Try researching Google.images during your brainstorm.
2. Don’t forget impact- As you prepare your speech ask yourself the question: Would the impact of my speech on the audience increase with the use of the visual selected?.
3. Reference visuals- Reference your visual during the speech. I have listened to many speeches where the speaker prepared a great visual aid but did not refer to it during the presentation.
4. Learn presentation technology- become. familiar with new technology. For example, the use of PowerPoint slides can enhance the quality of many types of presentations.
5. Be professional- nothing is worse than a poster that has been developed in hurry or a poorly organized handout. The quality of your credibility as a speaker can be greatly enhanced by a professional visual.
6. Practice, practice, practice your speech utilizing the visual aid. Practicing with the visual aid will help you to decide how much time to spend with the visual and whether the visual is adding or detracting from your presentation.
7. Avoid too many visuals- Don’t overdo it with visual aids. Too many visuals may detract from the presentation of your ideas and can waste valuable speaking time.
8. Avoid distractions-Don’t pass visuals aids around the audience during the presentation. Passing a handout or physical object around the audience is distracting and invites side conversations.
9. Add color- Use color in your visual aids. Color adds audience interest and increases the quality of your presentation.
10. Use visuals- Remember, for every speech topic there is a potential visual aid.
Visual aids can spice up any presentation. The old cliché that a picture is a thousand words is often true. Research shows that the use of professional visuals will increase your credibility as a speaker and help your audience to retain your information.
Write by Reed Markham