Noting Effectiveness of Textual Aids

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Visual aids should be visual and they should be aids to the audience and not crutches to the presenter. Today there is a wealth of visual aids and visual aid media that can be used. The trick is to use that which is just necessary and no more. Too often we see presenters hiding behind the technology of their visual aids, which effectively excludes the best visual aid that they have, which is themselves.

Also too often to we see visual aids which are nothing more than speaker’s notes up on the screen masquerading as visual aids. They serve only to help them lurch from one subject to the next.Inevitably visual aids will be often textual in nature. Here we need to follow a number of rules in order to make our textual visual aids effective. The first is to remember that you are seeking to aid and support what it is you are saying rather than offer the audience huge tracts of text which can only serve to divert them from listening to what you are saying.

You will usually have to opt for some way of presenting your visual aids. Which you chose may often be driven by what is available and, if you are making an external presentation, the equipment available at the venue. Size of audience is an important factor too. Some visual aid media have been with us for some time. Others, such as computer graphics, are still to become universal in their use.

By Khalid Aziz, LVO DL FRSA, Chairman, Aziz Corporation


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