Ch 13  Using Visual Aids

  1. Keeps audience's interest.  Think Gallagher.  (Though he's not all props, as he shows in this tutorial for would-be comics.)
  2. Credibility -- A visual aid shows you didn't dream up your speech while you were sitting there being announced.
  3. Comprehension and Retention -- A visual aid carves a mental space.  Your audience will attach your points not simply to your voice, body, and the occasion, but also to the tangible artifact in front of them.

  1. Charts
    1. statistical chart
    2. sequence of steps
    3. series of similar charts
    4. flowchart
    5. visual list -- perhaps related to your main [verbalized] points
    6. columnar chart  -- maps ideas to one another in related columns
  2. Graphs
    1. line graph
    2. bar graph
    3. pie graph
  3. Representations
    1. textual graphic
    2. diagram
    3. maps
    4. photos
    5. iconic photos -- photos that have come to have a shared cultural meaning, like the Iwo Jima picture that's now a momument.
    6. film and video
  4. Objects and Models
  5. People -- particularly in costume/dress

"Traditional" Visual Aid Materials

Note that 1-5 are not visual aids that should be used in your speeches to fulfill a visual aid requirement unless you clear them with your instructor first.
  1. Flip Chart
  2. Chalkboard
  3. Posterboard
  4. Handouts
  5. Transparencies
  6. Slides
  7. Videotape

Preparing visual aids
  1. Storyboarding
    1. ONE IDEA PER VISUAL AID (as a general rule)
  2. Designing
    1. Easily seen
    2. Easy for you to handle
    3. Aesthetically pleasing without distracting -- this means that your conversion style visual aids (eg, pictures of animal cruelty) should generally not be used.  See your instructor and gain their approval before using a visual aid that does not fit into this category.
  3. Preparing on the computer
    1. If you are using Powerpoint or something similar, use a theme!
    2. Select fonts carefully
    3. Choose an appropriate type size -- And make sure you don't have too much info per slide.  3, maybe 4, points per slide!
    4. Use color strategically
  4. Mutlimedia presentations
  5. iPods and PDAs
  6. Cautions -- Don't let the ease with which one can make computerized visual aids make it so that you overdo things.

Using visual aids in a speech
    1. Do not obstruct the visual aid
    2. Speak to the audience, not your visual aid