Demonstprice how to use visual aids efficiently in your presentation.

You are watching: When communicating with multilingual audiences, what effect do visual aids create in a document?

Almany all presentations can be enhanced by the reliable usage of visual aids. These have the right to include handouts, overhead transparencies, illustrations on the whiteboard, PowerPoint slides, and also many other kinds of props. Visual aids are a critical nonverbal facet of your speech that you can manage. Once you have favored a topic, you have to take into consideration how you are going to show your audience what you are talking around.

Have you ever asked for driving directions and not taken someone’s response? Did the perchild say, “Turn ideal at Sam’s Grocery Store, the new one” or “I think you will certainly revolve at the second light, however it might be the 3rd one”? Chances are that unmuch less you understand the town well or have a map handy, the visual cue of a grocery save or a website traffic light can be inadequate to let you understand wbelow to revolve. Your audience experiences the exact same frustration, or feeling of success, as soon as they acquire shed or uncover their way throughout your speech. Consider how you can express yourself visually, giving widespread references, illustrations, and also imeras that lead the audience to understand also your point or worry.

Visual aids attain a number of goals:

Make your speech more interestingEnhance your credibility as a speakerServe as guides to transitions, helping the audience stay on trackCommunicate complicated or intriguing information in a short duration of timeReinforce your verbal messageHelp the audience use and also retain the information

Purpose, Emphasis, Support, and Clarity

When you look at your very own presentation from an audience member’s perspective, you might consider exactly how to identify the primary points from the rest of the indevelopment. You might likewise think about the relationships being presented between concepts or principles, or just how other aspects of the presentation deserve to complement the dental message.

Your audience normally will certainly desire to understand why you are presenting the visual help. The purpose for each visual assist must be clear, and nearly speak for itself. If you can’t easily master the objective of a visual aid in a speech, you have to honestly consider whether it should be supplied in the initially place. Visual aids deserve to significantly construct the message of a speech, yet they have to be used for a certain objective the audience deserve to easily recognize.

Perhaps you want to highlight a trend between two related problems, such as socioeconomic status and also educational attainment. A line graph could present properly exactly how, as socioeconomic status rises, educational attainment likewise rises. This usage of a visual aid can administer focus, efficiently highlighting key words, ideas, or relationships for the audience.

Visual aids have the right to also carry out necessary assistance for your place. Audience members might question your assertion of the partnership between socioeconomic standing and also educational attainment. To assistance your discussion, you could include on the slide, “According to the U.S. Department of Education Study no. 12345,” or also usage a picture of the Department of Education Internet page projected on a huge screen. You could think about showing comparable studies in graphic create, showing similarities across a large range of research.

Clarity is vital in the use of visual aids. One means to enhance clarity is to limit the number of words on a PowerPoint slide. No even more than ten words per slide, via a font huge sufficient to be read at the back of the room or auditorium, is a great ascendancy of thumb. Key imperiods that have actually a clear connection to the verbal message can additionally boost clarity. You may also pick to show the exact same information successively in 2 distinctive formats, probably a line graph adhered to by two pie graphs. Your main goal is to ensure your visual help is clear.

Methods and also Materials


If you have actually been asked to offer a presentation on a brand-new product idea that a team within your company is considering, how could you technique the challenge? You may consider a chronological company pattern, beginning via background, existing sector, and also a trfinish evaluation of what is to come—fair enough, but exactly how will certainly you make it vivid for your audience? How to recurrent indevelopment visually is a far-ranging obstacle, and also you have actually a number of alternatives.

You might choose to use a chart or diagram to display a timeline of occasions to day, from the initially meeting about the proposed product to the results from the latest focus team. This timeline may work for you, but let’s say you would certainly like to gain right into the actual decision-making process that encouraged your team to architecture the product via specific attributes in the initially place. You may decide to use decision trees (or tree diagrams) mirroring the variables and assets in area at the start of your discussions, and also how each decision caused the next, bringing you to the decision-making point wbelow you are this particular day.


To complement this comprehensive overview and also aid make a shift to present content areas of questions, you may usage a bar or pie graph to show the portion of competing commodities in the market. If you have accessibility to the Internet and a projector, you may use a topographical map mirroring a three-dimensional rendering of the regional areas many most likely to uncover your product attractive. If actual hills and valleys have nothing to carry out via your project, you deserve to still recurrent the information you have actually gathered in three dimensions. Then you may present a equivalent graph portraying the circulation of commodities and their relative degree of market penetration.

Finally, you may move to the worry of results, and also current the audience with a version of your product and also one from a contender, asking which they prefer. The object may be just the visual help you must make your suggest and reinpressure the residual message. When we deserve to see, feel, touch, or be in cshed proximity to an object it frequently has a greater impact. In a people of digital imperiods and also distinct results, objects presented in genuine time have the right to still make a positive effect on the audience.


Additional visual aids you may pick include—yet are not restricted to—sound and also music, video, and also even yourself. If your speech is about how to usage the product, your demonstration may just be the best visual help.

You will desire to give some thought to how to portray your chart, graph, or object when it’s time to usage your visual aids. The chalk or white board is prevalent way of presenting visual aids, however it have the right to obtain messy. Your instructor might compose vital words or diagrams on the boards while stating a textbook chapter, however deserve to you review his or her writing? The very same lesson holds true for you. If you are going to usage a white board and also have a collection of words on it, create them out plainly prior to you start your presentation.

Flip charts on a pedestal can also serve to present a series of procedures or break a chart down right into its standard components. A poster board is one more widespread method of organizing your visual aids prior to a speech, however provided its regularly one-time use, it is losing out to the computer display. It is, yet, portable and permits you a huge “blank page” via which to expush your concepts.

Handouts might likewise serve to interact facility or detailed indevelopment to the audience, but be cautious never before to break handout dominance number one: never before provide handouts to the audience at the start of your speech. Wbelow carry out you want the audience to look—at you or at the handout? Many novice speakers could be tempted to say the handout, yet you will no doubt acknowledge just how that diverts and divides the audience’s attention. People will listen to the words from the handout in their minds and also tune you out. They will certainly read at their own pace and have concerns. They may also be impolite enough to usage them as fans or paper airplanes. Handouts can be your worst opponent. If you must usage one, state at the start of the speech that you will be offering one at the conclusion of your presentation. This will certainly minimize the audience’s issue about capturing all your content by taking notes, and store their attention concentrated on you while you soptimal.

Transparencies and also slides have actually been replaced by computer-generated slide show programs prefer PowerPoint by Microsoft, which we will discuss in higher detail later on in this area. These programs deserve to be incredibly advantageous in presenting visual indevelopment, yet bereason computers and also projectors occasionally break down and fail to work as planned, you need a setup B. You might need a poster board, or to write on the whiteboard or to have actually a handout in reserve, yet a Plan B is always a great idea once it concerns presentations that integrate innovation. You may arrive at your destination and discover the tools is no much longer easily accessible, is incompatible with your media storage gadget, or is ssuggest not functioning, yet the show must go on.

Video clips, such as those you might uncover on YouTube, can additionally be effective visual aids. However, as via handouts, tbelow is one concern: You don’t desire the audience to desire to watch the video more than they desire to tune into your presentation. How do you proccasion this? Keep the clip short and make sure it reinpressures the main message of your presentation. Almeans sheight speaking prior to the audience stops listening, and the same holds true for the mesmerizing pressure of moving imeras on a screen. People are naturally attracted to them and also will obtain “sucked into” your video instance fairly conveniently. Be an excellent editor, introduce the clip and state what will certainly happen out loud, suggest out a key element of it to the audience while it plays (overlap), and also then make a clear transitional statement as you revolve it off. Transitions are regularly the hardest part of any speech as the audience deserve to obtain off track, and also video clips are among the most difficult visual aids you can choose bereason of their power to tempt attention. Use that power wisely.

Preparing Visual Aids

Get began beforehand so that you have time to develop or research study visual aids that will truly support your presentation, not simply administer “fluff.” Make certain you use a font or image huge sufficient to be legible for those in the earlier of the room, and also that you actually test your visual aids prior to the day of your presentation. Ask a frifinish to stand also at the back of the room and also review or interpret your visual aid. If you are using computer-created slides, try them out in a practice setting, not simply on your computer system display. The slides will certainly look various as soon as projected. Allow time for revision based on what you learn.

Your visual aids should satisfy the adhering to criteria:

Big. They need to be legible for everyone, and also should be “ago row certified.”Clear. Your audience should “get it” the initially time they see it.Simple. They have to serve to simplify the principles they highlight.Consistent. They need to reinpressure continuity by utilizing the very same visual style.

Using Visual Aids

Here are three basic guidelines to follow once utilizing visual aids.McLean, S. (2003). The basics of speech communication. Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon. Here are some dos and also don’ts:

Do make a clear link between your words and also the visual aid for the audience.Do not distract the audience via your visual aid, blocking their watch of you or adjusting the visual aid continuously while trying to stop.Do soptimal to your audience—not to the whiteboard, the video, or various other visual aids.

The timing of your presentation, and of your visual aids, can also have actually good or negative results. According to a renowned joke, a good way to get your boss to provide just about anything is to schedule a meeting after lunch, rotate the lights dvery own, and also current some boring PowerPoint slides. While the principle of a drowsy boss signing off on a harebrained project is ammaking use of, in fact you will want to usage visual aids not as a resting potion yet as a strategy to keep your presentation lively and interesting.

Becoming proficient at utilizing visual aids takes time and exercise, and also the more you practice prior to your speech, the more comfortable you will be via your visual aids and also the role they serve in showing your points. Planning ahead before speaking will certainly assist, however once it comes time to actually give your speech, make certain they work-related for the audience as they must. Speaking to a visual help (or analysis it through your earlier to the audience) is not an efficient strategy. You should understand your product well sufficient that you refer to a visual assist, not depend on it.

Using PowerPoint as a Visual Aid

PowerPoint and equivalent visual depiction programs deserve to be an efficient tool to aid audiences remember your message, yet they deserve to likewise be an annoying distraction to your speech. How you prepare your slides and use the tool will certainly determine your efficiency.

PowerPoint is a slideware regimen that you have no doubt seen provided in course, presentation at occupational, or perhaps used yourself to assistance a presentation. PowerPoint and also equivalent slideware programs administer templates for developing digital slides to current visual indevelopment to the audience, reinforcing the verbal message. You’ll have the ability to import, or reduced and paste, words from message files, images, or video clips to create slides to recurrent your concepts. You can also incorpoprice Internet links. When using any kind of software regimen, it’s always a great principle to experiment through it lengthy prior to you intfinish to use it, check out its many options and features, and also check out just how it have the right to be an efficient tool for you.

Video Clip

Intercultural Communication

(click to view video)

PowerPoint slides have the right to affix words with imeras.

At initially, you can be overwhelmed by the possibilities, and also you might be tempted to usage all the bells, whistles, and sound impacts, not to mention the tumbling, flying, and also animated graphics. If used wisely, a disdeal with or crucial shift have the right to be choose a well-executed scene from a major activity picture film and also lead your audience to the next point. But if provided indiscriminately, it can annoy the audience to the allude wbelow they cringe in anticipation of the sound impact at the begin of each slide. This hazard is inherent in the tool, yet you are in charge of it and also have the right to make wise selections that improve the expertise and retention of your information.

The first suggest to take into consideration is what is the most crucial visual aid? The answer is you, the speaker. You will certainly facilitate the discussion, provide life to the information, and also help the audience correlate the content to your goal or purpose. You don’t want to be in a position wbelow the PowerPoint presentation is the major emphasis and you are on the side of the stage, ssuggest helping the audience follow along. It must support you in your presentation, quite than the various other method about. Just as tright here is a number one preeminence for handouts, tbelow is additionally one for PowerPoints: do not usage PowerPoints as a read-aloud script for your speech. The PowerPoints have to amplify and illustrate your primary points, not reproduce everything you are going to say.

Your pictures are the second area of focus you’ll want to consider. The tool will enable you to display graphs, charts and highlight relationships that words might just technique in terms of interaction, however your verbal assistance of the visual imperiods will certainly make all the difference. Dense photos or complex graphics will certainly confusage more than clarify. Choose clear images that have actually an immediate connection to both your content and the audience, tailored to their particular demands. After images, take into consideration only crucial words that deserve to be easily review to acagency your images. The fewer words the better: attempt to save each slide to a total word count of much less than ten words. Do not usage full sentences. Using vital words provides support for your verbal discussion, guiding you as well as your audience. The key words can serve as signwrite-ups or signal words concerned essential principles.

A natural question at this suggest is, “How carry out I interact complicated indevelopment simply?” The answer comes through numerous choices. The visual representation on the display screen is for support and also illustration. Should you have to communicate even more technical, complex, or comprehensive information in a visual method, take into consideration preparing a handout to distribute at the conclusion of your speech. You may additionally think about utilizing a printout of your slide show via a “notes” section, however if you distribute it at the start of your speech, you run the threat of turning your presentation into a guided analysis exercise and probably distracting or shedding members of the audience. Everyone reads at a different pace and takes notes in their own means. You don’t want to be in the position of going earlier and also forth in between slides to aid world follow along.

Another allude to think about is how you want to use the tool to assistance your speech and how your audience will interpret its presentation. Many audiences wouldn’t want to check out a page of text—as you can view in this book—on the significant display. They’ll be far even more likely to glance at the display and also assess the information you present in relation to your discussion. Because of this, it is vital to think about one major idea, partnership, or point per slide. The use of the tool have to be guided through the idea that its presentation is for the audience’s advantage, not yours. People frequently understand pictures and also imperiods more easily and also quickly than text, and you deserve to use this to your advantage, using the expertise that a photo is worth a thousand also words.

Use of Color

People love color, and also understandably your audience will certainly appreciate the visual stimulation of a colorful presentation. If you have ever viewed a automobile painted a practice shade that simply didn’t lure you, or watched colors put together in ways that made you wonder what people were reasoning once they did that, you will recognize that color can also distract and revolve off an audience.

Color is a powerful means to present indevelopment, and also the power have to be supplied wisely. You will certainly be choosing which color you want to use for headers or crucial words, and also how they relate the colors in the visual imeras. With Each Other, your imeras, crucial words, and also the usage of color in fonts, backgrounds, table, and also graphs can have actually a far-ranging influence on your audience. You will must give some thought and also consideration to what kind of affect you desire to make, how it will contribute or perhaps distract, and what will certainly job-related well for you to develop an effective and superior presentation.

Tbelow are inherent relationships in between colors, and also while you may have covered some of this indevelopment in art classes you have actually taken, it is practical to testimonial here. According to the standard shade wheel, colors are grouped into major, second, and also tertiary categories. Key colors are the colors from which other colors are made through assorted combinations. Secondary colors recurrent a combination of 2 major colors, while tertiary colors are made from combicountries of primary and also secondary colors.


Main colors. Red, blue and also yellowSecondary colors. Eco-friendly, violet, and orangeTertiary colors. Red-ovariety, red-violet, blue-violet, blue-green, yellow-oarray, and yellow-green

Colors have relationships depending on their location on the wheel. Colors that are opposite each various other are dubbed complementary and they comparison, creating a dynamic impact. Analogous colors are located beside each other and promote harmony, continuity, and sense of unity.

Your audience comes first: as soon as considering your choice of colors to usage, legibility have to be your priority. Contrast deserve to aid the audience check out your key terms even more quickly. Also, focus on the background color and its relation to the images you setup to incorporate to incertain they match each other. Consider repetition of color, from your graphics to your message, to help unify each slide. To alleviate visual noise, attempt not to use more than two or 3 added colors. Use colors sparingly to make a better affect, and also take into consideration the use of texture and also reverse shade fonts (the exact same as a background or white) as an choice.

Be mindful that many kind of world are blue-green colorblind, and that red-green colorblindness is likewise sensibly common. With this in mind, choose colors that the majority of audience members will certainly be able to differentiate. If you are utilizing a pie chart, for instance, avoid putting a blue segment beside a green one. Use labeling so that even if someone is entirely colorblind they will certainly be able to tell the loved one sizes of the pie segments and what they signify.

Color is also a matter of society. Some colors might be viewed as formal or informal, or masculine or feminine. Recognize that red is generally associated through danger, while green signals “go.” Make certain the color associated with the word is reflected in your alternative. If you have actually a vital word about nature, but the shade is metallic, the comparison may not add to the rhetorical case and confuse the audience.

Seeking a balance between professionalism and also attractiveness may seem to be an obstacle, however experiment and test your drafts via friends to check out what functions for you. Also think about examining various other examples, typically available on the Net, however retain the viewsuggest that not every little thing virtual is effective nor have to it be imitated. Tright here are prefigured out color schemes already incorporated right into PowerPoint that you have the right to rely on for your presentation.

We’ve given consideration to shade in relation to fonts and also the representation of essential words, yet we likewise need to think about font size and selection. PowerPoint will certainly have actually default settings for headlines and also message, but you will need to consider what is most proper for your rhetorical case. Always think around the perchild sitting in the back of the room. The title dimension must be at least forty points, and the body text (supplied sparingly) should be at leastern thirty-two points.

Figure 11.8

In Designing Visual Language: Strategies for Professional Communicators,Kostelnick, C., & Roberts, D. (1998). Designing visual language: Strategies for skilled communicators. Needham Heights, MA: Allyn & Bacon. Charles Kostelnick and also David Roberts carry out a beneficial conversation of fonts, font layouts, and what to select to make an influence depending upon your rhetorical instance. One good principle they highlight is that sans serif fonts such as Arial work-related better than serif fonts choose Times New Romale for images projected onto a display screen. The thin lines and also extra aspects to serif the font might not portray themselves well on a large display or add to clarity. To you this might mean that you pick Arial or a similar font to enhance clarity and also ease of analysis. Kostelnick and also Roberts likewise comment on the usage of grouping strategies to enhance the communication of indevelopment.Kostelnick, C., & Roberts, D. (1998). Designing visual language: Strategies for professional communicators. Needham Heights, MA: Allyn & Bacon. Bullets, the use of room, similarity, and proximity all pertain to the procedure of perception, which differs from one perkid to one more.

Helpful Hints for Visual Aids

As we’ve discussed, visual aids deserve to be an effective tool once provided efficiently, yet have the right to additionally run the hazard of dominating your presentation. As a speaker, you will need to consider your audience and also how the portrayal of imeras, text, graphic, animated sequences, or sound papers will certainly contribute or detract from your presentation. Here is a brief list of ideas to store in mind as you prepare your presentation.

Keep visual aids simple.Use one key concept per slide.Avoid clutter, noise, and also overwhelming slides.Use huge, bold fonts that the audience can read from at least twenty feet from the screen.Use contrasting colors to develop a dynamic effect.Use analogous colors to unify your presentation.Use clip art through permission and sparingly.Edit and also proofreview each slide with care and also caution.Use copies of your visuals available as handouts after your presentation.Check the presentation room beforehand.With a PowerPoint presentation, or any presentation entailing innovation, have actually a backup arrangement, such as your visuals published on transparencies, must unintended equipment or interchallenge compatibility difficulties arise

Becoming proficient at making use of visual aids takes time and exercise. The more you practice prior to your speech, the even more comfortable you will certainly be via your visual aids and also the function they serve in illustrating your message. Giving thshould wbelow to area visual aids before speaking helps, however as soon as the moment pertains to actually give your speech, make sure you reassess your plans and ensure that they occupational for the audience as they have to. Speaking to a visual aid (or analysis it to the audience) is not an reliable strategy. Know your product well enough that you refer to your visual aids, not rely on them.

Strategically chosen visual aids will certainly serve to illustrate, complement, and reinforce your verbal message.

See more: American Eagle Launches Don T Ask Why Clothing, Don'T Ask Why


Look at the photo of the blankets above. Write copy for the left component of the slide and also decide what colors would certainly ideal enhance the message. Share your results with the course.Create your own presentation of three to five slides through no much less than three imeras and three words per slide. Share the results via the course.Explore PowerPoint or a similar slideware regimen and also find your favorite feature. Write a series of steps on exactly how to access and also use it. Share your outcomes through the course.Create a slide presentation that specifies and also defines your favorite attribute in the program and also encompass at least one point on its benefit for the audience. Share the results via the course.