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Boost Your Presentations with Eye-Catching Graphs Made Online for Free
In today’s digital world, presentations have become an integral part of communication. Whether you are a student, a business professional, or a researcher, visual aids play a crucial role in conveying your message effectively. One of the most powerful tools at your disposal is graphs. They help simplify complex data and make it easier for your audience to understand and grasp the information. Thanks to advancements in technology, you can now create stunning graphs online for free, without the need for expensive software or design skills.
The Importance of Visuals in Presentations
When it comes to presentations, visuals have a significant impact on how well your message is received. Studies have shown that people are more likely to remember information when it is presented visually compared to text alone. Graphs provide a visual representation of data that helps break down complex information into digestible chunks.
Visuals also enhance engagement and hold the attention of your audience. A well-designed graph can capture their interest and make your presentation more memorable. By incorporating eye-catching graphs into your slides, you can effectively communicate key points and ensure that your audience stays engaged throughout.
Gone are the days when creating graphs required advanced design skills or expensive software. With the advent of free online graph-making tools, anyone can now create professional-looking graphs with ease. These tools offer a wide range of options to customize your graphs according to your needs and preferences.
Most online graph-making tools provide various types of graphs such as bar graphs, line graphs, pie charts, scatter plots, and more. Additionally, they offer customization features like color schemes, font styles, gridlines, labels, and legends that allow you to personalize your graphs to match your branding or presentation theme.
Benefits of Making Graphs Online for Free
One of the key advantages of using free online graph-making tools is accessibility. Since these tools are web-based, you can access them from anywhere with an internet connection. This makes it convenient for collaboration and allows you to work on your graphs from different devices.
Moreover, these tools often come with user-friendly interfaces that make graph creation a breeze. Even if you have limited design skills or technical knowledge, you can easily navigate through the features and create professional-looking graphs in minutes. The simplicity of these tools saves you time and effort, allowing you to focus on the content of your presentation.
Tips for Creating Effective Graphs
While free online graph-making tools offer convenience and ease of use, it’s important to keep some best practices in mind to ensure that your graphs effectively convey your message.
Firstly, choose the right type of graph that best represents your data. Different types of graphs are suitable for different types of data, so make sure to select the one that displays your information most accurately.
Secondly, keep your graphs clean and clutter-free. Avoid excessive decoration or unnecessary elements that may distract your audience from the main message.
Lastly, use clear labels and legends to help viewers understand the data presented in your graphs. Proper labeling ensures that your audience can interpret the information correctly without confusion.
Incorporating eye-catching graphs into your presentations is a powerful way to enhance engagement and effectively communicate complex information. With free online graph-making tools readily available, creating stunning visuals has never been easier or more accessible. By utilizing these tools and following some best practices for graph creation, you can boost the impact of your presentations and leave a lasting impression on your audience. So why wait? Start making free graphs online today.
This text was generated using a large language model, and select text has been reviewed and moderated for purposes such as readability.
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Microsoft 365 Life Hacks > Presentations > 5 reasons to use visual aids for speeches and presentations
5 reasons to use visual aids for speeches and presentations
A whopping 65 percent of humans are visual learners . This makes sense, considering the brain processes visual information about 60,000 times faster than text.
It also explains why it’s so important for speakers to incorporate compelling visual aids into their presentations . Impactful visuals help us communicate our ideas and messaging more effectively—no matter what type of audience we are trying to reach.
Here are 5 facts that drill home the importance of visual aids when it comes to delivering a memorable presentation or speech.
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1. Presentation visuals grab an audience’s attention—and keep it
Human beings are naturally curious creatures but we have a short attention span—and it’s gotten worse in our current era of information overload and non-stop scrolling. When listening to a speech or presentation, audience interest peaks around the 10-minute mark and then drops precipitously depending on the content and communication style of the speaker. (A Ben Stein soundalike drolling on about duality quantum algorithms? Godspeed.) That’s why so many experts insist on capping lectures at 15 to 20 minutes or mixing up the format with 20-minute blocks. Interesting visual aids can help you do that.
They spark interest when the brain is feeling fatigued, making it easier to receive and process complex information. Think of each new visual or animation as little shots of adrenaline—capturing the waning attention of an audience and re-energizing the room. This can be especially effective when embedding picture polls, or visuals that require audience members to pull out their phones and interact with the content you’ve presented.
2. Presentation visuals make complex ideas easier to understand
Not everyone computes information at the same speed. Infographics make data-heavy presentations more digestible—breaking statistics and other figures or timelines into bite-sized chunks. They’re also more persuasive. According to a study conducted at the Wharton School of Business, 67 percent of audience members were more convinced by the content of a verbal presentation with accompanying visuals versus 50 percent with a verbal-only presentation.
3. Presentation visuals build emotional bridges with the audience
They say a picture is worth a thousand words—it’s cliché but true. Images make viewers feel things that words cannot and give presenters a way to connect with their audience on a more visceral level. (Yes, even if your audience is a bunch of humorless academics.) Instead of listing off dull facts about global warming, pop in a few slides depicting recent floods or forest fires to drive home your point. Powerful imagery, including 3D effects and visually appealing templates , resonate with audiences and makes them care more deeply about what you’re saying.
4. Presentation visuals help audiences retain information
Researchers have found that people who are asked to recall information after a three-day period retained just 10 percent of what they heard during an oral presentation, 35 percent from a visual presentation, and 65 percent from an oral presentation with visuals. You’ve worked too hard preparing your address to have the audience walk away remembering only a tiny fraction of what you said. Embracing visuals will improve the odds by six times.
5. Presentation visuals keep your speech on track
Peppering your presentation with visual aids will help you organize your talking points, avoid off-topic rambling, and even jog your memory if you get hit with a bout of stage fright.
But remember: While thoughtful visuals will make a speech or presentation much stronger, they won’t save you if you show up unprepared. The purpose of a visual aid is to engage the audience, boost their understanding of your content, ignite an emotional response, and help you convey important messaging—but it is never a substitute for preparation .
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Using visual aids during a presentation or training session
June 21, 2018 - gini beqiri.
Visual aids can enhance your presentations - they can increase the audience's understanding of your topic, explain points, make an impact and create enthusiasm. It has become more important to make information visual:
"Something is happening. We are becoming a visually mediated society. For many, understanding of the world is being accomplished, not through words, but by reading images" - ( Lester, 2006 )
In this article, we discuss how to use visual aids for presentations or training sessions.
What are visual aids?
Visual aids are items of a visual manner, such as graphs, photographs, video clips etc used in addition to spoken information. Visual aids are chosen depending on their purpose, for example, you may want to:
- Summarise information.
- Reduce the amount of spoken words, for example, you may show a graph of your results rather than reading them out.
- Clarify and show examples.
- Create more of an impact, for example, if your presentation is on the health risks of smoking, you may show images of the effects of smoking on the body rather than describing this. You must consider what type of impact you want to make beforehand - do you want the audience to be sad, happy, angry etc?
- Emphasise what you're saying.
- Make a point memorable.
- Enhance your credibility .
- Engage the audience and maintain their interest.
- Make something easier for the audience to understand.
Preparation and use of visual aids
Once you have decided that you want to use a visual aid, you must ensure that the audience is able to quickly understand the image - it must be clear. They can be used throughout your speech but try to only use visual aids for essential points as it can be tiring for the audience to skip from one visual to another.
- Think about how can a visual aid can support your message. What do you want the audience to do?
- Ensure that your visual aid follows what you're saying or this will confuse the audience.
- Avoid cluttering the image as it may look messy and unclear.
- Visual aids must be clear, concise and of a high quality.
- Keep the style consistent, such as, the same font, colours, positions etc
- Use graphs and charts to present data.
- The audience should not be trying to read and listen at the same time - use visual aids to highlight your points.
- One message per visual aid, for example, on a slide there should only be one key point.
- Use visual aids in moderation - they are additions meant to emphasise and support main points.
- Ensure that your presentation still works without your visual aids in case of technical problems.
- Practice using the visual aids in advance and ask friends and colleagues for feedback. Ask them whether they can clearly see the visual aid and how they interpret it.
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During the presentation
- Ensure that the visual aids can be seen by everyone in the audience.
- Face the audience most of the time rather than the image.
- Avoid reading from the visual aid.
- As soon as you show the visual aid the audience's attention will be drawn to it so you must immediately explain it. You will be ignored if you talk about something else.
- Make it clear to the audience why you are using it.
- When you no longer need the visual aid ensure that the audience can't see it.
Tailor to your audience
Choose your visual aids tactically so you appeal to your audience. This means finding images your audience can relate to, images they will find familiar and images they will like. Also think about what style of visual aid is suitable for the audience; is it quite a serious presentation? Can you be humorous? Is it more formal or informal?
Example of using visual aids
When watching this video, notice how the presenters:
- Talk to the audience while writing
- Turn their body to the audience while writing
- Don't spend too long writing in one session
Types of visual aids
There are a variety of different types of visual aids, you must decide which will suit your presentation and your audience.
Microsoft PowerPoint is widely used for presentations because it's easy to create attractive and professional presentations and it's simple to modify and reorganise content compared to other visual aids. You can insert a range of visual items into the slides which will improve the audience's focus. Also, the audience can generally see slideshows better than other visual aids and you don't have to face away from them. However, your presentation can look unprofessional if this software is used poorly.
- Have a clear and simple background.
- Avoid using too many different types of fonts or font sizes.
- Only use animations for a purpose, such as, to reveal the stages of a process, otherwise this can be distracting and look amateurish.
- Use a large font size - a minimum of 24pt.
- Use bullet points to summarise key points.
- Consider providing handouts of diagrams because the audience will find the diagrams easier to read.
- Avoid putting too much text on a slide.
- Avoid using red or green text as it's difficult to read.
- There should only be one key point for each 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.
Whiteboards are great for providing further explanations, such as, showing the order of a process, creating diagrams or explaining complex words or phrases. They're often used to display headings and write down audience suggestions. Whiteboards are also ideal for displaying important information for the entire duration of the presentation, such as, key definitions, because the audience can just glance at the whiteboard for a reminder.
- Ensure that enough time has passed for the audience to take notes before rubbing something off of the whiteboard.
- Write concisely to avoid facing away from the audience for too long.
- Handwriting must be large and legible.
- Practice beforehand as you may feel nervous about writing in front of an audience at the time.
Handouts are papers that contain key information from your presentation or they may provide further information. They prevent you from overwhelming the audience as there will be less information on the slides and therefore less information they need to write down.
You must consider when you want to give the audience the handouts:
- If given at the beginning and middle of your presentation the audience may be reading rather than listening to you or they might not pay attention to what you're saying as they already have the information.
- If given at the end of your presentation the audience may be trying to take lots of notes which may reduce the amount of information they are actually understanding.
To manage this, provide the audience with partially completed handouts so they will have to listen to what you're saying to be able to fill in the gaps. Providing the audience with graphs and charts beforehand is also beneficial because the audience will find them easier to read than, for example, from a slide.
- Tips on creating handouts for your presentation
Using videos are a great wait to engage the audience and increase their interest. Use video to bring motion, images and audio into your presentation.
- Ensure that any videos used are relevant to the presentation's content.
- Only show as much of the video as necessary.
- Never show a really long clip.
- Videos can be difficult to fit into the structure of a presentation so ensure that you tell that audience why you're showing them a clip and tell them what to look for.
- Inform the audience how long the video will last.
Flip charts offer a low cost and low tech solution to record and convey information as you speak. They're more beneficial for smaller audiences and they are favoured for brainstorming sessions as you can gather ideas easily. Flip charts are also widely used for summarising information and, like with a whiteboard, you can use them to show permanent background information.
- Before your presentation, place the flip chart in a location that you can easily access.
- Prepare any sheets you can in advance, even if you can only write down the headings.
- Flip charts can be moved so you can avoid facing away from the audience - stand next to it and continue to face the audience.
- Have only one main idea per sheet.
- Write legibly, largely and in block capitals so it's more visible.
- Check with the audience that they can read the text - do not use a flipchart if there is a large audience.
- Only write in black and blue ink. Red ink is good for circling or underlining.
- Using a pencil write notes to yourself beforehand so you remember what to include - the audience will not see this writing. Also drawing lines in pencil beforehand can keep your handwriting straight.
- Flip back through the sheets to consolidate points.
- Practice writing on the flip chart advance as you may feel nervous at the time of presenting.
Poster boards can be created using a variety of visual devices, such as graphs and images. They're generally quite portable and you can make them as elaborate as you want. However, they can be expensive to produce if the poster is quite complex.
- One poster per message or theme
- Use block capitals
- Avoid using posters when presenting to large audiences as they will not be able to see the content
Product, objects or artefacts
Objects can be useful tools for making an impact or even for making a dull topic more interesting. Sometimes they'll be needed for technical and practical reasons, such as, showing a model or conducting an experiment.
- If you are presenting to a small audience consider passing the object around but provide enough time so they won't have to divide their attention between the object and what you're saying.
- If the audience is large ensure that you move the object around so everyone sees it.
- The audience will be more distracted from what you're saying when they're looking at the object so keep it hidden until the right time and provide the background information before revealing it.
- Explain why you're using the object.
- If you are conducting an experiment or demonstration, move slowly with exaggerated movements so the audience can follow. Also explain precisely what's going on.
Two examples of live product demos:
Key points for using visual aids
Try to find out what the presentation room is like beforehand, such as, the layout of the room, the equipment etc, so you can see if your visual aids are appropriate and whether they will work there but always have a contingency plan regardless. Also remember that the audience should be able to understand an image almost immediately.
Before your presentation, ensure that you practice with your visual aids so you know how to operate the equipment. If something goes wrong you'll have a better chance of solving the problem.
Research suggests that using colour increases people's motivation to read and their enthusiasm for a presentation. Software like PowerPoint is great for producing colour visuals.
Using the colour wheel can help when choosing your presentation's colours:
- Colours opposite each other in the wheel are complementary and they create contrast. Using complementary colours makes your text more readable.
- Colours next to each other are analogous and they are harmonious. Using analogous colours makes your presentation more unified.
The Adobe colour wheel , which helps you pick complementary colours for your presentation design.
Avoid using too many colours in your presentation as this can look cluttered and unprofessional and keep your colour themes continuous, for example, if you highlight all the key words on one slide in blue, continue to do this throughout the presentation. Also be careful with colour associations, for example, in many cultures red is linked to danger. Try to represent your words and topics with colours that make sense and are appropriate.
Many people are blue-green or red-green colour-blind so avoid putting these colours next to each other’s in, for example, a graph. If you cannot avoid placing these colours next to each other then use text to clearly label items.
Research suggests that information displayed visually is well remembered: "retention of information three days after a meeting or other event is six times greater when information is presented by visual and oral means than when the information is presented by the spoken word alone." ( U.S. Department of Labor OSHA Office of Training and Education, 1996 )
There is also significant evidence suggesting that most learning occurs visually - some researchers suggest that 83% of human learning happens visually. The psychologist Bruner conducted multiple studies which suggest that people remember 80% of what they see and do, 20% of what they read and only 10% of what they hear.
Visual aids are worth including in your presentations because they can help you explain information more coherently which makes presenting easier for you and learning easier for the audience. They also help add variety to your presentation thus making it more interesting for the audience. If the audience understand what you're saying and they are more engaged, they're more likely to be persuaded by you.
Visual Aids In Presentations: The Complete Guide
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Published Date : August 21, 2020
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A picture, they say, is worth a thousand words. Using visual aids in presentations helps you pass a lot of information in a relatively shorter time. With the right visual aids, you can create the desired impact that you want your presentation to make on your audience. Learning how to use visual aids effectively will boost the quality of your presentations. We discuss some of the top visual aids in our recent YouTube video :
Visual Aid Definition
What are visual aids? Well, simply put, visual aids are things that your listening can look at while you give your speech or presentation. Visual aid mainly appeals to the audience’s vision more than any other sensory organ.
Why use visuals for presentations?
There is no such thing as a perfect speech . However, there are ways to make a presentation that is closer to perfection. What are they? Simple: Visual aids. Visual aids can bring life back into a tedious speech , and they take less time to come up with than long notes. In this article, we discuss how you can use visual aids effectively and conquer an audience. Before that, we discuss how visuals can help you achieve a better presentation.
They help you structure your work
Using the right types of visual aids can help you create a perfect picture of what you want your audience to see in your presentations. Instead of struggling to condense a lot of information into a long text, you can present your information in one straightforward image or video and save yourself the stress.
It is easier to engage the audience.
An excellent visual setup can help you elicit audience interest and sometimes their input in the presentation. When the audience is engaged, they tend to be more interested in the presenter’s work. Also, an interactive audience can boost your morale and give you some encouragement.
You save time on your presentation.
When presenting, time is of the essence. So, you can effectively reduce your presentation time if you have useful visual aids, and use them properly. Would you prefer to go on and on for minutes about a topic when you can cut your speech down by inserting a few images or videos?
What are visual aids?
A visual aid is any material that gives shape and form to words or thoughts. Types of visual aids include physical samples, models, handouts, pictures, videos, infographics, etc. Visual aids have come a long way to now include digital tools such as overhead projectors, PowerPoint presentations, and interactive boards.
Different Types Of Creative Visual Aid Ideas To Awe Your Audience
Have you ever been tasked with making a speech or a presentation but don’t know how to make it truly remarkable? Well, visual aid is your answer.
Giving a presentation or speech is hard. You have to strike a balance between persuading or informing your audience while also maintaining their attention. The fear of your audience slipping away is very real. And a visual aid can help.
We sent out a survey to the Orai community to vote for their preferred visual aid. Here are the top ten creative visual aid ideas that you could use in your next presentation:
Videos emerged as the clear winner in all our surveys. We ran these surveys on all our social handles and reached out to successful speakers. 27.14% of all respondents prefer visual aids because they are easy to understand, can be paused during a presentation, and can trigger all sorts of emotions. That being said, it is also very tough to create good videos. However, there are more and more tools available to help you create amazing videos without professional help.
Hans Rosling’s TED talk, titled ‘the best stats you have ever seen,’ is one of the best speeches we have seen. He uses video pretty much for the speech ’s entirety while not diverting the audience’s attention away from him. He does all this while also bringing out some optimism for the future of the world. We highly recommend this TED talk to learn how to use videos effectively as a visual aid and inject some positivity into your lives during these trying times.
Demonstrations, also known as demos, are undoubtedly among the most effective visual aids available to you for communication. You can use demonstrations in two ways. One as a hook to captivate your audience. Prof. Walter Lewin was famous for using demonstrations as a hook during lectures. In his most famous lecture, he puts his life in danger by releasing a heavy pendulum to show that a pendulum’s period remains constant despite the mass.
Demonstrations also can be used to show how some things are done or how some things work. We use demonstrations to showcase how Orai works and how you can use them to improve your speaking skills.
18.57% voted for demonstrations because they are unique, interactive, up close, and have a personal touch.
Jokes aside, why do you think comedy shows are memorable? You guessed it right. Roleplays! Role – play is any speaking activity when you either put yourself into somebody else’s shoes or when you stay in your shoes but put yourself into an imaginary situation!
Nothing is more boring than a comedian delivering lines straight out of a joke book. Legendary comedians like George Carlin, Kevin Hart, Chris Rock, and Bill Burr use roleplays effectively and makes a mundane joke genuinely memorable.
Jokes aside, you can use roleplays in business presentations as well as speeches. Use real-life stories or examples in your role plays to make them authentic.
15.71% of the survey respondents voted for Roleplays because it is very close to real life and does not take the audience’s attention away from the speaker.
With 12.86% of the votes, Props is number 4 on the list. A prop is any concrete object used in the delivery of a speech or presentation. Props add another dimension to our speech and help the listeners visualize abstract concepts like vision, milestones, targets, and expectations. It ties verbal to visual. That being said, introducing a prop into your speech or presentation should not seem forced. Use them sparingly to highlight the most critical points or stories in your address.
People voted for props because they feel that 3D visualization is much more useful than 2D visualizations. Props will make your presentations stand out because very few people use them today.
When we sent out the survey to the Orai community and some highly successful speakers, we were sure that slides/presentations come out on top. However, we were surprised by the results. With 12.86% votes, slides are number five on our list.
Presentations are effortless to create and, therefore, the most commonly used visual aid in business communications. Today, there are dozens of software programs available to help you make beautiful presentations. Microsoft PowerPoint is the pioneer in the space and continues to hold a significant market share.
Whatever is your preferred software, you need to keep your audience at the center while making presentations.
People described the ease of creation and the ability to incorporate other visual aids when asked why they chose presentations as their top visual aid.
The inclusion of Audio to this list can appear controversial. But it got a significant vote share in our survey and cannot be ignored. Audio can add a new dimension to your presentations where the audience is hearing your voice and other sound cues that can trigger various emotional responses. Especially when coupled with other visual aids, audio can be a powerful tool for making impactful presentations.
Audio aid is number six on our list, with 4.29% of the votes.
What is a handout.
A handout is a structured view of your presentation or speech that you can distribute amongst the audience.
What are the benefits of a handout?
Like how this blog gives more information than our YouTube video on the different visual aids, handouts can be used to furnish more information than your discourse itself. They give your audience something to take away after your presentation, making you and your presentation more memorable.
Are you going to be speaking about something overly technical? Then handouts are your friends. Handouts are also an opportunity to facilitate follow-ups if you specify your contact details.
Handouts are tied with whiteboards and got 2.86% of the votes in our survey.
8. Physical & Online Whiteboards
What is a whiteboard.
Traditionally, whiteboards are white, shiny, and smooth boards on which texts and diagrams are made using non-permanent markers. It is widely used in professional presentations, brainstorming sessions, and group discussions. Post-COVID, more and more companies are moving to online whiteboards. Online whiteboards are software that provides a space where individuals across the globe can collaborate online. Many companies have already moved beyond the whiteboard and started using online whiteboards for their meetings and discussions.
What are the benefits of a whiteboard?
A whiteboard helps listeners better visualize thoughts, concepts, and ideas. It is also a better alternative to the blackboard for a smaller audience as it is tidier and easier to use. Online whiteboards can be used instead of traditional whiteboards without being limited by space constraints. Online whiteboards will transform virtual meetings into a collaborative experience.
With 2.86% of the votes, whiteboards stand at number 8 on our list.
What is a blackboard.
Blackboard (aka chalkboard) is a surface on which texts or diagrams are made using chalk, made out of calcium sulfate or calcium carbonate. Blackboards are typically used in classrooms for large groups of students.
What are the benefits of blackboards?
Blackboard is one of the foremost and most popular teaching aid. Blackboard is useful for teaching as it helps instructors move from easy to complex topics in an organized manner. Diagrams, symbols, charts, and drawings can be introduced between a discourse to bring life to rather dull topics. Blackboards are highly interactive, where both the teacher and students can participate during a speech .
With 1.43% of the vote share, blackboard stands at the bottom along with flipcharts.
What is a flipchart.
Flipcharts consist of a pad of large sheets of paper bound together. It is typically fixed to the upper edge of a whiteboard or canvas. Flipcharts are easy to create and inexpensive fit for small groups of people.
What are the benefits of presenting using a flipchart?
Nowadays, everybody seems to be only interested in making presentations that are powered by computer-generated slide decks. However, the flip chart has its charm. Since most presentations consist of less than ten people, flip charts can be a refreshing change to the standard slide deck. Moreover, flipchart does not require electricity. No electricity and no software means less of those last-minute hick-ups.
Flipchart got 1.43% of the vote and shared the bottom position with its counterpart, which we will discuss in the next section.
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How to make an informative speech with visual aids in presentations
If you have a presentation coming up soon, you can follow the instructions below to learn how you can take advantage of visual aids:
Determine your overall objective
The aim of your presentations depends on you, what information is being presented, and your audience. The motivational speaker and the classroom teacher may approach the same types of visual aids differently due to differences in overall objectives. For instance, if you aim to inspire and remind your audience of salient points, a poster template should serve well, infographics work well when you are trying to show relationships between complex information. A chart will be quite effective if you seek to explain a given set of data.
Choose appropriate visual aids in presentations
After identifying the overall aim of your presentation, you have to match it with the right visual aids example. Will a graph, picture, or video suffice?
If you are using the PowerPoint Presenter, ensure you focus mainly on the media that best conveys your message. Make sure that the notes you add a bold and brief. Try to keep your sentence in one line of text.
You will spend some time preparing your visual aids before the day of your presentation. It is good to allow yourself enough time to prepare so you can perfect your work accordingly. Take note of when, where, and how you are going to use your visual aids. If you discover some inconsistencies, you can compensate for them by adjusting your choice or use of visual aids in presentations.
After you have a final draft of your visual aids, run a series of sessions with them. Let your friends or colleagues be your audience and ask for their honest feedback. Make appropriate adjustments where necessary.
First, you need to be comfortable and confident. A neat and appropriate dressing should boost your confidence . Follow the tips below during presentations.
- Keep your face on your audience. It may help to look a little above their heads while presenting.
- Only point to or take the visual aid when needed. When you do, explain what you mean immediately.
- Do not read texts on your visual aids verbatim.
- Once a visual aid has served its purpose, you should keep it away from your audience’s view.
If you need more help with boosting your confidence , we have written a detailed piece on how to conquer your fear of speaking in front of people.
What is the importance of using visuals in giving a presentation?
Visual aids in presentations are invaluable to both you and the audience you hope to enlighten. They make the job way easier for you, and the audience leaves feeling like they learned something. Apart from their time-saving abilities, here are some reasons why you need to incorporate visual aids in your presentations:
- Visual aids can help your audience retain the information long-term.
- The human brain processes images faster than text, so visuals make us understand things faster
- Using visual aids makes your presentations more enjoyable, interactive, and memorable
- Visual aids help your audience connect and relate with you better
- Presentations with visual aids are less likely to be misunderstood or misrepresented. They are usually easier to understand and leave little room for confusion
- Visual aids are great for people with learning disabilities
- Visual aids act as key cards and pointers for the presenter and help you keep track of what you’re saying
What are the ideas for speech topics using visual aids?
- Use a picture or image that closely represents the topic. A one-hundred-dollar note can suggest topics revolving around money and finances
- Use a chart showing trends or statistics that your audience finds appealing. You can use popular sayings or quotes to generate topics your audience can relate to.
- Newspaper headlines on related issues can be good starters for opinion-based topics.
The visual aid definition is very clear on how much impact using visual aids in public speaking has on an audience. With a great selection of visual aids, you can transform your presentations into a pleasant experience that you and your audience will always look forward to.
Become a confident speaker. Practice with Orai and get feedback on your tone, tempo, conciseness , and confidence .
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Master Public Speaking
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We process information in a number of ways, most notably visually and audibly. If your visual aids do not properly match your speech of if they are used in an ineffective manner, this could be a detriment to your speech. Anything that distracts an audience from your message will result in your inability to deliver your message.
Visual aids comprise a wide variety of items, handouts, slides, moving pictures, posters, models, objects, and many others. All of these visual aids are meant to reinforce your main message. Moreover, they become vital when it is necessary to present information that can only be described in a visual format. To use an obvious example, if you are giving a speech to a company's board of directors on the plans for a new building, it would be essential to have a picture or some sort of visual aid to accompany your speech. Yes, it would be possible to give an audible only speech about the new building's plans, but it would be extremely ineffective to do so. There are occasions when a visual aid is a necessary component of your message.
When you are giving a speech, you ideally want the audience to pay complete attention to your voice and message. A visual aid is an invitation for them to pay attention to something else, if even for a moment. Therefore, this visual aid must reinforce your message. The following guidelines will help you decide when visual aids are helpful.
- Relevancy. Ensure that the visual aids you use are relevant to your speech. This sounds obvious, but many speakers make the mistake of providing "additional information" handouts during a speech. This is one of the worst mistakes a speaker can make. Such handouts would be great to give out after a speech, but certainly not during it.
- Appropriateness. Likewise, your visual aids should be appropriate to the occasion. You would not typically, for example, use charts and graphs to give an entertaining speech. If the aids are not appropriate, they will distract an audience.
- Attractiveness. If you are not skilled at using the popular software products typically used to create charts and graphs, and other visual aids, it is best to hire someone who is. An unattractive visual aid will "speak" poorly of you and it will lessen the impact of your message delivery.
- Visibility. Not everyone in the audience will have 20/20 vision, and not everyone in the back of the room will be able to see small text regardless of their visual ability. Your visual aids must be appropriately sized and legible.
- Variation. If you are going to use a great many visual aids (and this is only recommended if you feel that it is vital to your message), you should try to incorporate different types of visual aids. Do not use graphs exclusively, for example. This will bore the audience, and it will surely distract them.
Some Rules to Follow when Using Visual Aids
The following are some practices to use and some to avoid when using visual aids.
- Do use color. Black and whites slides will look boring. Use color even if it is just for a heading for the slide.
- Make sure the visual aid you are using is visible from at least 8 feet away. If it is legible from approximately that distance, it will be legible to an entire room when it is projected using visual equipment.
- Consider using clip art. Virtually all computers have some free clip art available. Consider using some on your visual aids, especially if you pick a theme for the art and use a different image on each presentation.
- Do not keep an image displayed for more than 10 minutes. All visual aids distract some attention from the speaker but this is acceptable since your aids help communicate your message. However, after 10 minutes, the audience will be bored looking at a stale image.
- Do not use cartoons or other "cute" additions to your presentation unless it is appropriate for your audience. Want to learn more? Take an online course in Motivational and Public Speaking .
- Do not experiment with different fonts throughout your presentation. Use a single font, but you may use it in different sizes to set off information that is more important . In addition, the use of bold lettering is effective.
- Do not overuse colors, and make sure that the color is relevant to your message. You would not use a bright blue color, for example, for a slide that is delivering bad news to a company. Similarly, you should not use a wide variety of colors, as this will be distracting to an audience.
If you are presenting a speech in a foreign city, the last thing you want to do is transport your own audiovisual equipment. You naturally want the host to provide this equipment for you, and this is considered standard practice. Do not feel it is inappropriate to ask them to do this. When you do ask them, however, the request should be in writing. You want to ensure that you have proof that you have requested this equipment, and be sure to follow up with the host after you have made the request.
Since charts are the most popular type of visual aids used in most speeches, here are some guidelines for their effective use:
- Do not use all capital letters, ever . Even when you want to emphasize a particular statistic or fact, use color or boldness to accomplish this goal.
- Is the chart properly labeled? Do not assume that the audience will know little details that you take for granted.
- Avoid emphasizing certain material with anything other than text; do not use any flashing elements in your aid, boxes, arrows, or any other distracting element.
Nearly all of us have heard a recording of our own voice at some point in our lives, and we are most often discouraged by what we hear. We think we sound differently, but, in fact, we are hearing our voices as others hear it. Just as practicing the delivery of a speech repeatedly will increase your ability to deliver an excellent speech; you can also practice voice techniques that will improve the overall quality of your voice. However, you should be cautioned that practicing in the wrong way could do more harm than good.
We will discuss pitch and rate in more detail later. Both of these characteristics comprise the overall quality of your voice, and they can both be altered with the proper training and practice.
How well you articulate words will determine the clarity of your speech. During the rehearsal portion of the speech process, it is a good idea to record your speech and play it back at least once so that you can hear how it will sound to an audience. Some things to notice regarding clarity and articulation are the following:
- Contractions. Some people tend to slur contractions. Take note whether you are clearly pronouncing each element of the contraction. If, for example, you were slurring the contraction "wouldn't," use the two words instead, would not.
- Reversed words. Some people mispronounce common words that sound alike by reversing the order of some letters. For example, pre scription versus per scription. Only the first spelling, and thus, the first pronunciation, is correct.
- Omitted letters. Good articulation means pronouncing all letters in a word clearly. Do not omit letters. For example, pronounce the "t" in "mists" rather than speaking a word than sounds more like "miss."
Rate of Speech
Your rate of speech is a vital component of the overall quality of your voice. People who are nervous tend to speak more quickly than they normally would, so it is especially important to monitor your rate. When you listen to your rehearsal tape, count the number of words you speak in one minute. You should be speaking at the rate of approximately 150 words per minute. This is not a universal speed. There are times when a speaker may alter this rate slightly, depending on the circumstances. However, a rate of 150 words per minute is a comfortable speed for most informational and motivational speaking.
If you were to use the same pitch and inflection throughout an entire speech, you audience would fall asleep within 10 minutes. Nothing makes a speech more boring than a speaker who uses a monotone pitch and inflection. Pitch describes the level of deepness of your voice, regardless of your gender. A person might have a very high pitch if they are speaking excitedly or a low pitch if they are reading a dramatic reading slowly. Inflection is the varying degree of emphasis that you place on words during speech. For example, if a parent is giving a firm instruction to his or her child, they might say, "You will eat your vegetables." Here, the word will (in italics) will have a different inflection than the rest of the sentence. It is imperative that your speech uses the proper inflection when you wish to emphasize your main point. Let the audience know something is important by using the proper inflection.
Just as it is important to alter the inflection of your voice when you wish to emphasize a thought, it is also important to pause appropriately between thoughts. You should never speak two sentences together back-to-back without a pause if the two sentences each convey an important point or thought. The pace and rhythm of your speech is determined by how fast you are moving from one thought to the next. You want to maintain a comfortable pace, which means always using pauses when appropriate.
Naturally, the volume of your voice is important, and it differs from its pitch. While pitch is used to describe how deep or high your voice is, volume describes how loud your voice is. Volume can easily be controlled and it is one of the most important elements of your voice that you need to control during a speech. If you wish to emphasize something, always remember to use a higher inflection rather than a higher volume. A high volume speaker will be interpreted as screaming to an audience, and that should be avoided whenever possible.
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