Moving To A New School Distract Stay At Old School Public Speaking – Creative Visuals the Old-School Way

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Public Speaking – Creative Visuals the Old-School Way

Before speakers used PowerPoint, there were overhead projectors, flip charts, handouts and whiteboards. Before that, there were slide projectors and film projectors. Sometimes people used props.

Before that, there were signs and before that, there were only speakers! And believe it or not, the speakers were quite effective, even without visuals.

There is no doubt that visuals provide additional benefits to a presentation. According to “Public Speaking: An Audience-Centered Approach” by Steven A. Beebe and Susan J. Beebe, presentation aids

“enhance comprehension”, “enhance memory”, “help listeners organize ideas”, “help gain and maintain attention” and “help illustrate a sequence of events or procedures”.

Read on for tips on effective and creative visual aids the low-tech, old-fashioned way.

1. Before the presentation

Flip charts

Write your flip charts in advance (unless you will be writing comments or questions from the audience). Leave a blank page or two between your prepared pages, in case you want to add something during the presentation. This also prevents your following pages from being displayed.

Make sure your text is large enough for everyone in the room to see – letters should be 2-3″ tall, depending on the size of the room. Text should be in dark colors so your audience doesn’t strain to see

that. Using a pad with mesh and holes ensures neat writing and tearing. And double check your spelling before you whip out your flip chart!

I like to use sticky chart paper; it’s like a giant Post-it® note that I can peel off and stick on the wall. The page can be repositioned as needed and the chart can stand alone on a table. No.

need tape or an easel.

See Garr Reynolds’ resource list of flip chart tips: http://www.presentationzen.com/presentationzen/2007/04/presentations_e.html

Handout, part 1

Prepare only what is necessary to summarize your main points or to provide additional resources such as a copy of a journal article or a list of websites or books to use for further research on your topic.

You may want to include a simple marketing document, such as a brochure, but don’t overdo it with marketing materials – including your name and contact information at the bottom of your flyers should be enough. And keep your documents simple and easy to read; don’t overwhelm your audience with too much reading material.

Print flyers on colored papers to differentiate each one for your audience and eliminate the monotony of all-white flyers.

Signs, posters or large images

You may want to give your audience something to look at as they enter the room and take their seats. A poster-sized photograph or other impressive image related to your topic is a great visual to get

everyone on the same page. Just make sure you cover it or remove it before you start speaking so the audience isn’t distracted by it.

2. During the presentation

Props

Prepositions can add interest and humor to your presentation and help illustrate your points, as long as you don’t use them and practice before your presentation.

Props can be items placed around the room for audience members to use or enjoy before or during the presentation, such as candy, food, puzzles, or toys. These work best in interactive workshop settings,

where you expect your audience to be active.

Cues can help you remember certain parts of your presentation without using notes, such as an article you take to demonstrate a particular point. Props, as a visual cue, also help your audience remember

what did you talk about For example, a speaker whose topic was compulsive shopping handed out her flyers to the audience in small shopping bags.

Instead of a pie chart, how about an actual pie? Or place several caps to signify different sections of your presentation. Props don’t have to be complicated. Any prop used well can add a special touch

in your presentation. Make sure the prop can be seen by everyone in the room and don’t take it out until you’re ready to use it.

Demonstration

Is there something related to your topic that you can demonstrate as part of your presentation? Can you make an origami crane, or do a short craft project, or demonstrate how to reconstruct a plant?

Demonstration is an excellent teaching tool if you are clear, concise and provide well-organized instructions.

Handout, part 2

Save handouts for last or, if you need your audience to follow a document, distribute only what they need at the time they need it. Handouts are distracting and take the focus away from the speaker, so plan carefully when you hand them out.

3. After the presentation

Ideally, you have a table in the back of the room where you can display additional handouts, books, brochures, business cards and other resources for your audience. Make a vertical screen table for this

signage that includes photos, maps, graphics, charts, text and other visuals to capture your audience as they enter and as they leave the room. This is a good way to display complex information that was not

it is convenient to cover in detail during the presentation.

Using a variety of visual techniques helps you capture and hold your audience’s attention and helps them retain what they learn. Try something new: Visuals don’t have to be high-tech to have high impact.

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