visual aids

Using Visual Aids

Visual aids can powerfully help the effectiveness of a speech. Many speeches benefit from having objects, images, key quotes, or data presented in a clear and dramatic fashion. Visual aids vary in kind, but there are similar benefits and tips for dealing with any kind of supplementary evidence that is shown to an audience.

Why Bother?
-make speech clear, effective, and memorable.
- also caters to the learners who have a photographic memory
-add dimension to your presentation.
-keep interest of audience.
-helps audience to understand what you are presenting.
-makes your job easier.

Types of Visual Aids




Photographs, Pictures, Diagrams, Sketches

Projected Images
-overhead projectors
-Powerpoint presentation

Tips for Using Visual Aids

1. aid should be easy to see
-distance from the audience, will everyone in the room be able to see?
-use colors that are easy to read
-stand to the side of your visual aid

- Maintain eye contact. While the visual aid will be tempting to many speakers, the audience should still be their main focus. When a speaker loses eye contact, they often end up turning their back to the audience. A SPEAKER SHOULD NEVER TURN THEIR BACK TO AN AUDIENCE.

- Introduce a visual aid before talking about the information contained in it. Giving background on where the information for the visual aid was obtained from provides the audience with more resources for understanding the content of the speech.

2. aid should be easy to understand
-people should be able to look at your aid quickly and get the point.
-be careful not to use too much text. It tends to distract the audience.
3. aid should look professional
-sloppiness kills your credibily.
-doesn’t have to be fancy, just organized.
4. aid should demonstrate something
-don’t just list facts, show examples.
-ex: instead of listing characteristics of sun damaged skin, show photos of different types of sun damage. OR, use a graph showing the incidence of skin cancer in the past ten years.

-Make sure the visual aid supports the message. Consistency between what is being said and what is being seen is crucial to a speaker's credibility.

- Supplement, do not supplant, the speech with the visual aid. Do not allow the visual aid to overwhelm the speech itself. Visual aids are not crutches to lean on, but rather lampposts to illuminate.

5. aid should not be distracting
- visual aid should flow with the theme of your speech.
- tip: don’t pass a visual aid around for people to see. They worry too much about passing it that they stop listening to you.
6. have relevance to your audience
-try to relate to them. For example, when talking about crime on college campuses, show information relating to Pitt.
7. be appropriate for your audience
-consider age, location of group, education level.
-just use common sense

Remember that simplicity is a good design principle. Do not overload a visual aid with unnecessary information, color, font changes, or superfluous images.

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