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Chapter 10 Using Visual Aids. Introduction Presentation can be made up not only of words but also of visual aids. Visual aids can include Pictures Photographs Drawings And so on Actual objects Written text of the important ideas of your presentation And so on.

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Chapter 10

Using Visual Aids


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  • Introduction

    • Presentation can be made up not only of words but also of visual aids


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  • Visual aids can include

    • Pictures

      • Photographs

      • Drawings

      • And so on

    • Actual objects

    • Written text of the important ideas of your presentation

    • And so on


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  • Using Visual Aids in Presentations

    • If you only use words to make your presentation, may be difficult to understand

    • By using visuals, can make your presentation

      • Clearer

      • Easier to understand

      • More interesting


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  • Can use visual aids to give the audience direct sensory contact with the topic of your presentation

    • Pictures or other visual representations can make stronger impact than words alone

    • If well chosen, can impress your points on the audience in a way that they will remember longer

    • Can also increase your source credibility


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  • However, visual aids have to contact with the topic of your presentation

    • Be relevant to what you want to say

    • Support the important points of your speech

  • Do not use them

    • just to make your presentation showy

    • Because you can or like to use them

  • If you misuse them, may

    • Distract your audience

    • Confuse your audience

  • If overused, will not be effective

  • Visual aids effective only when used well


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  • Not the main content of your presentation intended to make your presentation

    • Supplement the presentation rather than act as the center of the presentation

    • Use them wisely and they can add power to your presentation


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  • What are visual aids? intended to make your presentation

    • Can be almost anything except your spoken words

    • They include

      • Illustrations

      • Maps

      • Graphs

      • Charts

      • Photographs and drawings


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  • Texts intended to make your presentation

    • On the blackboard

    • On handouts

    • On PowerPoint slides

  • Posters

  • Objects

  • Transparencies projected on overhead projector (OHP)

  • Slides

  • Web pages from the Internet

  • Videos

  • And so on


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  • Key words or short sentences stating main points on blackboards, flip charts, or PowerPoint slides can be very effective as visual aids.

  • Handouts which can have text, photos or other illustrations, tables, graphs, etc., are different from the above visual aids in that the audience can take them home and see or read them later.

  • Can add more detailed information or explanations


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  • However, handouts have disadvantages blackboards, flip charts, or PowerPoint slides can be very effective as visual aids.

    • Require audience members to look down rather than at you

    • Cannot control whether audience members read ahead in the handout.

    • Might give out handouts at the end of your presentation rather than at the beginning.

      • However, if there is something that the audience needs to see during the presentation, that may not be practical


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  • Good Visual Aids blackboards, flip charts, or PowerPoint slides can be very effective as visual aids.

    • Help the audience understand the important points in the presentation

    • Have to be easy to understand

      • Otherwise, the audience pays too much attention to understanding them and not enough to listening to the speaker

      • Have to be

        • Simple

        • Clear

        • Concise

        • Easy to see

        • Easy to understand


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  • Visibility blackboards, flip charts, or PowerPoint slides can be very effective as visual aids.

    • Visual aids have to be big and very easy to see

    • Every member of the audience needs to be able to see them

    • The size of font has to be much bigger than most people think. The following are suggestions for font sizes.

      • Flip charts

        • Title 3 inches (7 centimeters) high

        • Subtitles 2 inches (5 centimeters) inches high

        • Texts 1.5 inches (4 centimeters) high


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  • Computer standard size (points) blackboards, flip charts, or PowerPoint slides can be very effective as visual aids.

    • Transparencies/Slides/Handouts

    • Title 36 point/24 point/18 point

    • Subtitles 24 point/18 point/14 point

    • Text 18 point/14 point/12 point


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  • Simplicity blackboards, flip charts, or PowerPoint slides can be very effective as visual aids.

    • Keep your visual aids simple

    • Should emphasize important points with visual aids

      • If you include too much detailed information, it is harder for the audience to understand important points


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  • Do not write long sentences on OHP transparencies, flip charts, or PowerPoint slides

    • Just phrases or short sentences that express the important points

    • As a general rule, should use no more than six lines, seven words per line, on one slide

    • If necessary to give the audience more information than they can easily understand on a PowerPoint slide or OHP transparency, put it on a handout to give the audience at the end of your presentation


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  • Color charts, or PowerPoint slides

    • With advances in technology, often easy to use color in visual aids.

    • Color of visual aids important and has to be used well.

    • Clear contrast between the text and the background is very important for visibility.

      • For text only, white or yellow on blue is pleasant to look at and easy to read

      • If you use white texts, you need dark background colors


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  • When you use colors, be consistent charts, or PowerPoint slides

    • Can use colors to

      • Classify ideas

      • Add meaning such as emphasis on your texts with color, etc.

        • If you use more than three colors at once, the point of the colors is not easy to understand at glance.


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  • How to Use Visual Aids Effectively charts, or PowerPoint slides

    • Starts during the preparation of the presentation

      • Pick out the important points and consider what visual aids are effective

      • Consider what you are talking about that your audience might find difficult to visualize, such as

        • Statistics

        • An object that would be unfamiliar to your audience


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  • In some cases, can bring actual objects rather than showing pictures of them

    • In small group, this might be effective

    • If speaking in an auditorium, it wouldn’t be

  • Need to keep a balance between the verbal part of the presentation and the visual aids

    • If visual aids are overused, they will not be effective

    • Verbal part of your presentation, which should be the main part of it, will be buried

      • There is the danger that the audience will miss your main point


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  • Advice about Preparing to Use Visual Aids pictures of them

    • Very important to practice using visual aids in advance, along with the spoken parts of the speech

    • Should double check the placement of your visual aids before the speech

    • Think about the place you are giving the presentation in terms of visual aids

    • As far before the presentation as possible, should make sure that the audience will be able to see the visual aids


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  • Make sure you know how to properly operate the electronic equipment.

  • Consider the room lighting

    • Too much light near the screen will make it difficult to see what is on the screen

    • A completely darkened room may put the audience to sleep and make it difficult to take notes

    • If planning to switch lights on and off, know where the light switches are and how to use them

  • On the day of the presentation, should check in advance to be sure that your electronic equipment is running and that your software, if any, is working properly


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  • Advice about Using Visual Aids equipment.

    • During presentation, do not display a visual until you are ready to use it

    • When finished with it, remove or cover it, otherwise the audience might pay attention to it while you are talking something else

    • However, do not take the slide away or go on to the next one too quickly.

      • Takes the audience time to absorb what is on the slide


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  • Be aware of your position in relation to your audience and your visual aids

    • Do not block the audience’s view

      • Stand to the side and face the audience as much as possible

      • Maintain eye contact to establish rapport with audience members

    • When referring to a visual aid, or to something specific about it, point out the exact spot to your audience

      • If using an OHP, point at the screen instead of at the transparency itself

      • More important to prepare simple visual aids which the audience can see immediately without the speaker’s help


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  • Conclusion your visual aids

    • It can be helpful to use visual aids just help your audience understand and thus help you fulfill your purpose

    • However, remember that they are not the center of the presentation.


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