Thursday, September 12, 2013

Effective Use of Visual Aids in Oral Presentation

An effective use of visual aids in oral presentation can considerably enhance a presentation and relax the audience. It has been estimated that 11 percent of what we learn is through hearing, 83 percent through sightseeing and the rest through the other three senses. So, if you want to induce and sustain the interest of your audience, you must know some techniques of judicious use of visual aids in your oral presentation. Effective use of them can make your oral presentation not only more effective but also livelier. The audience usually feels stimulated and takes more interest in what is being presented when visual aids are used effectively.

Visual aids also help the listeners to follow your presentation with rapt attention and help you to present the information that might be difficult for you to present only through speech. Your explanation with the help of visual aids can become more vivid and easily understandable. Some of the aids which can serve you well are maps, pictures, motion pictures, film clips, graphs, charts, diagrams, slideshows, overhead projectors, and whiteboards. Your choice will depend upon your topic, audience and the availability of the aid. But remember that too much use of aids may cripple the effect.

To get best results you should keep a few basic facts in mind during oral presentation.

(i) Make sure that the integration of the aids with your oral presentation is correct and decent. You should use them only when you reach the relevant points of your presentation.

(ii) If possible, keep the chart, picture or map hidden or at an inconspicuous place until you need to refer to it.

(iii) When in use, the visual aid should be displayed where everyone in the audience can see it. If necessary, examine the room beforehand and decide on the arrangement.

(iv) Interpret it to the listeners and carefully draw their attention to what you want them to note. Do not use more than 10 slides or overheads for an 8-10 minute presentation.

(v) Stand on one side and use a pointer, if necessary, while interpreting it.

(vi) Make sure that the aid you are using is sharp enough; emphasize only those aspects which you consider significant. Do not clutter it with too much information. Rather, keep it simple.

(vii) If there is a whiteboard behind you, make sure that it is clean. Write on it rapidly and legibly and use fonts large enough so that they can be seen from the last corner of the room.

(viii) Keep speaking while you write, if the entry is long. After you have finished writing, face the audience as you review or discuss the material.

(ix) Erase entries which are no longer required and use colored chalk pencils to give emphasis (if necessary), but make sure that you are using them in moderation.

(x) Distribute your printed handouts among the audience at the end of your presentation. If you distribute them during the presentation, they can distract the attention of the audience from your speech.

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