Visual Ways

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Home > Articles > Visual Ways

 Visual Ways

Geoffrey Moss | General
July 20, 2018
Showing is more effective than telling.

Why Use Visuals? 
IF you want your audience to remember your message when you make your next presentation, use good visuals aids. Showing is more effective than telling. A picture is worth a thousand words and visual impressions linger longer than the spoken word. An audience remembers about 20 per cent of what they hear and about 80 per cent of what they see. That is why you should use good quality visuals.

Check the Venue out First
Check the blackout facilities and equipment to make sure it is compatible with your machine. Ensure you have the right plugs, cords, and power points.

Keep your Message Simple
If you are using images, don't use too many. Show only the best and leave out the rest. 

Each visual should have a single message. Make it bold with no distractions. Don't use complicated charts that are hard to read. 

Explain the visual when you first project it and remove it as soon as you have finish discussing it.

A good projected photo can do the explaining for you, especially if you are setting a scene.

Complex messages such as detailed graphs and large lists of figures should be given out as handouts and not projected. 

Every Audience Member Must Be Able to See your Visuals 
Many presentations are ruined by people not being able to see the visual aids or read the slides clearly. 

Check the seating arrangements and the size, height, and the location of the screen. The screen needs to be high enough for all to see. Seats may need to be staggered for clearer viewing as they are often arranged one behind the other.

When preparing visual aids for projecting, pay special attention to the amount, size, and colour combinations of your text.  

Use primary bold contrasting colours so that your message can be seen easily (about eight per cent of men are colour-blind so be aware of problems with the colours red/green). Use combinations such as black or dark blue lettering on a white or yellow background. Don't use light or pastel colours.

Don't clutter the visuals and keep your message bold with no distractions. Avoid using fancy, distracting visuals with messages that fly in and out. 

Keep your message simple to reinforce your spoken message. 

Allow sufficient time for the audience to study each visual.

Talk to your Audience; Not to your Visuals
Try not to lose eye contact with the audience. Don't talk to a screen. A shaking laser pointer tends to distract attention.
Have a 'Dry Run' 
If possible, check the equipment for compatibility and that your images are clearly visible before your presentation. There is nothing worse than setting up during your presentation time and finding you have an equipment failure. 

Prepare a backup plan in case you have a problem. It often happens. The data bulb could have failed or your system may not be compatible.

Distribute hand-outs when you have finished your presentation. They should include your contact details, recommendations, and copies of your visuals.

Never forget you are the main visual aid. Dress well, smile, and chat with your audience. Your presentation should include a few quality visual aids since people are reluctant listeners and eager lookers.

Mr Geoffrey Moss has conducted 31 workshops at SIM and in a dozen Asian and Pacific countries attended by over 2,500 people. He is the author of Secrets for New Managers first published by Moss Associates Ltd., New Zealand and Cengage Learning Asia, Singapore. The book contains many articles published by SIM in Today's Manager and is also available as an E-book from and from the VitalSource Bookshelf.

Copyright © 2018 Singapore Institute of Management

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