Whether you’re delivering a quarterly report or teaching a class, success depends on the ability to hold the audience’s attention. You want listeners to remain focused on what you’re saying so they’re more likely to retain the information. Attentive listening may also make the audience more receptive to your arguments and inclined to assent to what you’re proposing. Although a well-written, expertly delivered speech should be at the core of any presentation, what audience members see can be just as influential as what they hear. That’s why keeping everyone engaged — whether in person or remotely — often requires the use of visual aids.
What Is a Visual Aid?
Essentially, this is anything that brings a visual element to a presentation. Visual aids range from still images to charts to video clips, as long as they help convey or emphasize information. What are the different types of presentation aids? Here are a few examples and what they deliver to audiences.
- Slideshows: Created through PowerPoint or other software platforms, these typically serve as a concurrent outline of what you’re presenting. Slideshows are multimedia presentations by nature, allowing you to combine animation, videos, and photography depending on the circumstances.
- Charts: Whether projected onto a screen or displayed on a printout, charts are effective ways to illustrate facts and figures. Spectators can easily compare data, enabling them to draw a conclusion quickly.
- Video clips: As long as they are relevant to the content, videos can be an impactful way to deliver a message. Consider sharing a talking head interview, a short remote report, or a demonstration of a product.
- Artifacts: If you’re discussing a specific product or item, displaying it on stage can be very useful. Identify certain features, demonstrate how the product works, or simply provide the crowd with a reference point to help them understand.
Why Are Visual Aids Important in a Presentation?
As much as you might like to believe in the sufficiency of your oratorical skills, the truth is that audiences today crave variety when receiving information. People have become so adept at self-distraction that it’s easy for the mind to wander even during a speech on an interesting topic. This is especially true for remote presentations and distance learning, where participants are more likely to lose focus.
Adding a visual element grabs listeners’ attention by giving them a new form of sensory input. This effectively forces the brain to switch gears and concentrate on something different. A mental change of pace is how visual aids help in a good presentation, as they keep audience members on their toes and prevent them from drifting into unrelated thoughts.
Visual aids also make certain types of information, such as statistics or detailed descriptions, easier to comprehend. When people can see a representation of your subject matter, it’s often simpler for them to digest compared to a lengthy explanation.
Integrated Technology for a Visual Splash
McCann Systems develops custom-built audiovisual solutions that facilitate teleconferencing as well as multimedia experiences. With our expertise, it becomes easy to incorporate visual elements into any presentation. We can create video walls, touchscreen overlays, and other technology that brings a higher degree of flair and interactivity to a boardroom or conference center. We also supply ideas for classroom spaces such as interactive whiteboards that can help students engage seamlessly with the curriculum.
In addition to our advanced technological edge, we offer exceptional customer service and the peace of mind that comes from a single-source provider. To learn more about us or to request a consultation, contact us today.