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Using Computer Based Visual Aids to Enhance Your Presentations

30 July 2010, not commented yet

Effective public speaking is an important part of your business success. When you perform your company profile presentation to attract investors or introduce your product portfolio to the prospects; you are involved in communication. When you give a report during annual shareholders’ meeting or make a statement for community, you are communicating. When you present a paper during professional association summit or deliver speeches and lectures at a local university as a guest expert again you do communications.

Speaking simply, the aim of any communication is to deliver your thoughts and ideas to your audience in the most effective way. The efficiency is determined here in a general sense by how easy and fast your audience gets your point. To maximize your presentation impact invest in improving audience perception. It has been statistically and scientifically proven that people learn more readily and retain more information, when perception is reinforced by visualization. From this point of view visual aids can be of great help. When used properly, visuals can significantly improve effectiveness of presentations.

Visual aids add another sensory channel (vision) to the oral communication process. Two channels make a “stereo” effect, which creates a better “whole picture”, so the understanding of the topic is dramatically enhanced, the group consensus is improved and together they result in highly significant improvements in audience action. Audience makes decision faster and you spend less time to reach the same impact. Moreover, the audience trends to perceive the presenters that use visual support as much more prepared, persuasive, professional, credible and interesting.

Visuals bring variety. There are many types of visuals e.g. sketches, maps, graphs, charts, photographs, pictures etc , so you can always find a combination of the most appropriate types to get the optimal solution in each case. It’s really great that modern software packages (like Microsoft PowerPoint) allow to create and coordinate almost all types of visuals with one user friendly program. The advantages of Power Point based presentations are obvious:

  • Universality - you can either print out the visual information as paper handouts or use the same file as displays that can be projected onto a screen, PC or TV monitor;
  • Portability – to take your presentation file with you, you can easily copy your whole presentation to a CD, you can also email it to your prospects or publish on your website;
  • Flexibility - you can apply any changes to the complex visual in almost no time and at any time;
  • Control - you can control your presentation by a mouse or a remote control.

Unfortunately PowerPoint and similar packages are too often misused. There are certain recurring presentation pitfalls that many experience with alarming frequency The tools and opportunities offered by PowerPoint and similar software packages seduce people to use many theatrical effects and overload the presentations with vain images, texts, sounds and leave too much freedom of using colors that isn’t always reasonable. That’s really dangerous, since incorrectly made and used visuals do nothing but irritate the audience and prevent people from effective perception.

Moreover, all software packages have the number of standard templates, which many people use. That makes all presentations look exactly the same and leave no memorable impression. That is why it is recommended to consult professional visual designers who can advise on colors, shapes, fonts, content arrangement to make your visual presentation look unique, stylish, easily perceivable and non-amateurish.

Tags:  Visual Aids , visuals
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