Business Training, presentation skills, public speaking

Advantages & Disadvantages of Using Visual Aids in Public Speaking

In public speaking, when a speaker speaks in front of the audience, he not only puts his ideas in the form of words but may also use many other audio-visual aids. These visual aids in public speaking can be an exhibit, a flip chart, a white board, videos, pictures, PPTs, OHP etc.

Why is it important to use public speaking aids?


A visual aid acts like an add-on to your words. Along with listening, to enhance the visual attraction of the audience towards himself, the speaker often uses presentation aids.

Let us imagine that you work so hard on your speech (without any aids) that you consider it useless to use visual aids in your speech. But there are many reasons why you should not ignore the importance of these aids.

According to Dale Ludwig “Well-designed visuals do more than provide information; they bring order to the conversation.”

These days people are extensively using powerpoint presentations as their most important aid. With this, people also use flip charts, slide projectors, movie projectors, white boards etc. at times.

Let us see why it is advantageous to use visual aids in public speaking.

  1. It is easier to hold the attention of the audience towards you when you use visual aids. It may be unexciting to just sit and pay attention to someone’s talk but use of visual aids would catch the interest of most of the people present there.
  2. Involvement and engagement of the participants increases when you use aids as they are hearing as well as seeing. This would give a better learning experience to the audience.
  3. With the use of visual aids, it is easier for the audience to understand and remember the information you provide. Seeing text with relevant image is easier to understand than a simple text. People remember more of what they see than what they hear.
  4. Correct usage of visual aids also minimizes the chances of any kind of mistakes. If used correctly, visual aids can make presentations more exciting, more vibrant, and more effective.

Now how these aids can be disadvantageous, let us see.

  1. Firstly, having visual aids need a lot of presentation material and preparation for the same. This may be really time consuming and you may end up giving more time to this than to your speech.
  2. Use of visual aids may also distract your audience from your speech as they pay more attention on the visual aids. Ultimately, the purpose of your speech may not be fulfilled.
  3. Keep away from overly elaborated visual aids. The ability to see and understand the aid by the audience is more important than the way of delivery.

To sum up, we may say that an appropriate use of visual aids can give your presentation a really superior turn. On the other hand, if you pay more attention on the aids than on your speech, they may overshadow you in the eyes of the addressees and seize all the attention of the audience.

So choose your visual aids wisely and become a star in public speaking before the spectators. Click here to read about different types of visual aids in public speaking.


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