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Using Visual Aids as Notes
By Lenny Laskowski   Printer Friendly Version

Simple visual aids can serve as your notes when speaking. Carefully select your titles. These titles alone can serve as "triggers" to what you want to say next. If you know your subject well and have rehearsed your presentation, your visual aids should be all you need to "jog" your memory. If you forget something that's okay; the audience would never know.

Using visual aids has 4 important advantages:

  1. You don't have to worry about what you're going to say next - Your next visual aid has your next major idea on it. Use effective titles, which properly capture the main message of the visual aid.
  2. Visual aids allow you to move around the room - inexperienced speakers don't want to move around. Movement helps you to relax and adds energy to your presentations. Movement also allows the listeners to follow you and pay closer attention to you.
  3. You can have good eye contact with your audience - You can look at your audience all the time, except when you look briefly at your visual aid. That's okay since the audience will also look at your visuals aid. This will help them see your message as well as hear your message.
  4. Your Audience feels comfortable knowing you're on your planned track - Well-designed visual aids show that you have a plan and have properly prepared and you are following your plan.

Your visual aids don't have to be only word charts; they can include diagrams, pictures and graphs.

NOTE: When you use visual aids, always introduce your visual aid before you actual show the visual aid. Rehearse your presentation with your actual visual aids. It is very important that you are very familiar with your visual aids. Make sure your message and visual aids match. There is nothing worse than showing a visual aid that does not go along with what you are saying.

Practice using different transition phrases. For example: "Now that we have seen the ... let's look at..."

My next point deals with...

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