Developing powerful visuals for your presentation

BusinessPresentation

  • Author Reed Markham
  • Published July 30, 2020
  • Word count 611

Can you remember the last presentation you attended? Do you remember the visuals that were shared in the presentation? The most successful speakers in America today use visuals in their presentations -Oprah Winfrey, Dave Ramsey, Tony Robbins to name a few. But for many 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. Keep in mind the following strategies to assist in moving your average presentation into a great one.

Brainstorm your ideas- brainstorm all the types of aids that could be used for your speech. Try researching Google.images or yahoo.images during your brainstorm. Audiences are attracted to visuals that are attention getting, new and clarify ideas in your presentation.

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? We are surrounded by visual images every day-- our cell phones, laptops, and other devices. Audiences have a short attention span. Visuals help to capture the attention of your audience.

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. Some presenters prepare visuals but they fail to bring them into the presentation. Talk about your visuals. Describe what is happening in the chart, graph or picture that you show.

Learn presentation technology- become. familiar with new technology. For example, the use of PowerPoint or Prezi slides can enhance the quality of many types of presentations. Audiences are more persuaded by a speaker who uses professional looking visuals. PowerPoint and Prezi technology is user friendly.

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. Audiences rely on first impressions. A misspelled word, a grainy photo, or outdated chart can impact your presentation in a negative way. Take the time to produce professional-looking visuals.

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. Professional speakers rehearse their speeches 10-12 times before presenting to an audience. Find an audience of family members or friends to watch your rehearsal. Feedback from your practice audience can assist in making decisions about the best visual to use for your presentation.

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. The focus of the presentation should be on the speaker, not the visuals.

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. Avoid uses bells and whistles with the presentation of your slides.

  1. Add color- Use color in your visual aids. Color adds audience interest and increases the quality of your presentation. I rarely see the use of black and white visuals. The only exception would be a presentation on a historical topic.

  2. Use visuals- Remember, for every speech topic there is a potential visual aid. And every speech has the potential for an engaging, audience centered chart, picture or graph that will greatly enhance your presentation.

Reed Markham, Associate Professor

World Languages and Speech

Daytona State College

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