Section 6.3

How to Use Visual Aids

If you decide to incorporate visual aids into your talk, be sure to limit your use of text. In addition, keep any text you do use simple and easy to read. Graphical images are particularly well suited to visual aids because they can communicate a lot of information very quickly. The audience can glance at an image, grasp the concept it illustrates, and immediately turn their attention back to you.

Take care not to upstage yourself with visual aids. If you are projecting PowerPoint slides, for example, place a notebook computer or other monitor in front of you so that you will know what is on the projection screen without having to turn around constantly to look at it. Proper placement of your equipment will help you maintain your connection with the audience, even as you display your slides.

Keeping your primary focus on the listeners will help them keep their primary focus on you. Don’t let a visual aid break your connection to the audience. It is this connection — not an image on a screen — that is most compelling and that will most contribute to the successful delivery of your message.