In the previous post, we recalled various types of visual aids that are used in public speaking. As said earlier, visual aids help the speaker to deliver the message in clear and crisp way so that the audience is able to understand better. In public speaking, you may use different types of visual aids depending upon the topic, your comfortability and availability of resources.
- Make sure to darken the room a bit.
- Give enough time to the audience to read or see your slides.
- In case there is a technical issue, you must have a back-up plan like handouts or posters.
- Make your background simple and clear.
- Use of too many types of fonts or font sizes should be avoided.
- Use animations only for some purpose like if you want to show the stages of a process else it can be a bit distracting.
- Large font size shall be used wherever possible.
- To summarize the key points, use bullets.
- Handouts of diagrams may be given to make it easier for the audience to read.
- A lot of text on a slide should be strictly avoided.
- Try to put only one key point per slide.
- Always have a back-up plan in case there is a technical issue and you cannot show the visuals on the day, for example, bring handouts or a poster.
- Make sure to write in large and readable handwriting.
- Before rubbing the board, give enough time to the audience to take notes
- Write briefly in order to avoid facing away from the audience for a long time.
3. Video/ Audio clips
- Ensure the relevancy of videos/ audios you are using.
- Use only the essential part of the video/ audio.
- Do not use a very long video/ audio clip.
- Tell them what is the clip about.
- You may inform the about the length of the video/ audio clip.
- When playing a video clip, it should be played on “full screen”.
- When playing a video clip, darken the room a bit.
- When playing a clip, make sure it is clear and audible to all.
4. Charts and Graphs
- Use timelines, bars or charts to show the development of something from a particular time, to show the series of steps etc.
- Pie charts can be used to present outcomes of a survey, figures and percentages of achievements etc.
- Handouts of quizzes, games, questions, graphs and charts, summary etc. can be distributed before or after the presentation.
- If you want the audience to act the in a proposed manner then they should be distributed after the presentation.
- They should be distributed before the presentation if guidance is to be given to the audience on a particular content.
- If you give handouts in the beginning or in the middle, instead of listening to you the audience may be just reading the handouts. And if you give them at the end, the audience may keep taking notes instead of actually focusing on what you are saying. To maintain their focus on you, provide them with partially completed handouts. This will make them listen to you.
6. Flip chart
- Do not use flip charts as a pre prepared visual aid.
- Place the flip chart at a place that is easily accessible to you and visible to the audience before your presentation begins.
- Stand next to the flip chart to be able to write and continue facing the audience at the same time.
- Write only key points/ main ideas on the sheet.
- Write neatly and in large letters to make it more visible.
- Check once with the audience if they are able to read what you have written.
- If the audience is large, do not use a flipchart.
- Write in black or blue ink.
- Use red ink to circle or underline.
- Practice writing on a flip chart in advance to avoid nervousness on your presentation day.
- Use your imagination
- Your prop should be big enough so that the audience sitting at the end also can see it properly.
- If your prop is not big enough, then pass it around.
- If your prop is a costly one, then ask your assistant to do the needful to make it seen by the whole audience.
- Use a bold marker and write big characters.
- Number the sheets you are using.
- Darken the room somewhat.
- Keep the projector in “full screen”.
- Use a slideshow pointer.
- Avoid giving too much of data as it can be confusing.
- Use dark ink so that it is easily visible (you may avoid red colour as it can be difficult to see at times).
- Keep enough white space between the information.
You may take the opportunity of coming on stage and having a hands-on experience with these visual aids by joining a public speaking course or some groups where you can get such a chance.