Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Presentation Software: Presentations or Visual Aids (part 2)

Knowing when to use visual aids isn't good enough.  We must meet the criteria of the following five rules for the visual aids to be effective (not to be confused with the so called "rules of Power Point"):

  1. Make the visual aid an appropriate size for the room.  Be sure that people don't need to bring binoculars to see it.
  2. Make visual aids simple.  Follow the principle that "less is more."  For a good example, look at billboards on the way home tonight.  The creators of such ads know that you will be driving by at 55 miles per hour (some of you at 85) and they must get their message across very quickly.
  3. Make sure your visual aids are professional looking.  We have computers now where we can generate top quality visual aids.
  4. Make sure your visual aid supports your point you are trying to get the audience to understand.  Once your point is made, take it down.  Don't leave a visual aid up that made one point when you are talking about another point.
  5. Be prepared; make sure you know how to handle the technology and practice with your visual aids.  Practicing with your visual aids will be very clumsy at first.  However, you don't want to be clumsy in front of the audience.  High technology fails often.  Remote controls fail, microphones fail- especially remote microphones, projector lights burn out, extension cords won't reach outlets, computers crash.  Always have a back up.

To have outstanding presentations and avoid embarrassing moments, make sure you follow the four reasons and the five rules of visual aids.  And, don't forget the most important (absolute) rule of visual aids-be prepared, practice, and have a backup plan.

Rod Mattson
Copyright March 17, 2013 Mattson Communication Training

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