Monday, March 25, 2013

Presentation Software: Presentations or Visual Aids?

Thinking that presentation software makes a presentation is a big mistake. Visual aids are called visual aids for a reason—make that four reasons.

 A picture is worth a thousand words.  Good visual aids can drive your point home and make it memorable.  Visual aids can also be a disaster and distract from your presentation if you make the visual aid software your presentation.

Visual aids are extra powerful with an International audience.  Sometimes understanding gets lost in language or articulation; however, visual aids can instantly clear up these misunderstandings.  Using visual aids properly are vital to any presentation.

Have you ever been to a meeting and the presenter filled up Power Point slides with words and read them out loud, or worse yet, talked about something else that didn't match the words on the screen?  Have you ever seen a complex chart put up, and just when you find a spot that matches what is being said, they take it down?  It gets frustrating, doesn't it?

This happens often in business and organizational world.  Visual aids are misused in a high percentage of presentations.  Often, presenters are clumsy and distracted with the visual aids.

Don't be that guy or girl.

The following are some tips on the highly effective use of visual aids.  First up are four reasons to be more effective using visual aids.

We need to have a reason to use a visual aid.  Don't use them simply to show the audience your technical savvy, or to show the audience the newest bell or whistle on Power Point.  Remember, the presentation is you, not the Power Point.  Visual aids are for support only.  According to Ron Adler, Communication author, we use visual aids only for the following four reasons:

  1. To make your point interesting
  2. To make your point memorable
  3. To make your point clear
  4. To prove your point
Next up, the five rules for the visual aids to be effective (not to be confused with the so called "rules of Power Point").

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