Chapter 8. Developing and Using Graphic and Visual Aids. Case Study 8.
Developing and Using Graphic and Visual Aids
Alex Mason, acting as spokesperson for his work team, has just finished giving a ten minute progress report to the company’s top managers at their regular monthly meeting. As he leaves the meeting, Alex recalls the day, more than three months earlier, when he volunteered to give the very first progress report on his work teams project. Alex’s intention had been to take his turn first and then not have to give the progress report for any of the remaining months of the project.
Before he knew what hit him, however, Alex had an unwritten job responsibility added to his job description: official team spokesperson. After that first meeting no one ever raised the issue of who would present the report at the monthly meeting. In fact, whenever the discussion shifted to what should be included in the progress report, everyone matter of factly referred to Alex's presenting the information.
Alex believes he is doing a good job at including the key project update information the managers need to know. He is not quite so sure, however, that he is doing a good of presenting the information. The handout he prepares for his presentation each month is full of important numbers and statistics. The oral presentation he gives pretty much follows his handout.
Having worked with the numbers throughout the month, Alex is very familiar with them by the time he presents them in the meeting, He's troubled, though, by the EGO look he has observed in many audience members during the part of his report where he rattles off the numbers.
Alex decides that between now and next month’s meeting, he will need to find a more effective way to present the numbers and statistics portion of his progress report in both the handout and the oral presentation.
2.What graphic aids might Alex consider using in presenting the numbers portion of his next monthly report?
Who’s line is it anyway
3. How might Alex apply the ancient Chinese proverb, “ One showing is worth a hundred sayings.”
Because using visual aids would help Alex clarify his message, add interest to it, and help the audience remember what he says, he should use visual aids during next months progress report. When choosing which visual aids would best suit his purpose, he should consider which options are available. He should consider which option would work best based on the size of his audience and the size of the room. He also should consider the level of detail he needs to show, how much time he can give to preparing his visual aids, and whether using more than one type of visual aid would be appropriate.
In preparing the visual aids, he should remember to keep them simple and brief, as well as large enough. His visual aids should use color and include appropriate titles. He should plan on preparing approximately one visual aid for every two minutes of his presentation. He should decide whether the data would be appropriate to preset in a table format, pie chart, line graph or bar graph.
Alex should practice using the visual aids prior to the meetings. He should face the audience at all times, display the visual aids at the right time, and reveal only the points or information he is talking about. His practice session should include making sure the equipment he is using is working properly. He should make sure that his situated in the best position so that all of his visual aids can be seen easily by those in the back of the room.
By following these steps, Alex will be able to communicate the information at each monthly meeting in an effective and professional manner.