Tip: How to use Visual Aids to create an impact

A few weeks ago, you will remember we gave you some guidelines as to how to create some good visual material. Having great visuals is one thing, using them well is another matter. One very common error people fall into is putting the slide up and then talking about it. This causes a number of problems:

  •   Saturation
  •  Competition
  •  Loss of credibility

The audience cannot read, listen and process the ideas simultaneously. If you do this you reduce the audience’s ability to read and listen to about 30%. Not really the way to make an impact! You set up a competition in the mind of the audience “do we look at the pretty picture or do we listen to the speaker?” Guess what? The picture always wins! Once the picture has won the speaker is now subservient to the picture and so is diminished in terms of credibility. The natural personality is also severely compromised. A better way we would recommend is

  • Explain the point without the slide
  • Link the visual with “Let me show you what I mean….”
  • Put up visual aid, speaker keeps quiet (5 seconds)
  • Add value to the slide (give a bit more detail not covered previously)
  • Remove slide

Final thought: Consider a presentation with one slide compared with one with 30 slides. Which will have the greatest impact and be remembered? Remember, less is more.