Preparing Visual Aids for a Speech: Guidelines & Tips Video

An error occurred trying to load this video.

Try refreshing the page, or contact customer support.

Coming up next: Using Visual Aids During Your Speech: Guidelines & Tips

You're on a roll. Keep up the good work!

Take Quiz Watch Next Lesson
Your next lesson will play in 10 seconds
  • 0:01 Visual Aids
  • 0:47 Design
  • 2:58 Structure
  • 4:44 Lesson Summary
Save Save Save

Want to watch this again later?

Log in or sign up to add this lesson to a Custom Course.

Log in or Sign up

Speed Speed

Recommended Lessons and Courses for You

Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Natalie Boyd

Natalie is a teacher and holds an MA in English Education and is in progress on her PhD in psychology.

Visual aids can help make your speech engaging and memorable. But, how do you prepare your visual aids for maximum impact? Watch this lesson to find out how to design and structure effective visual aids for your presentation.

Visual Aids

Flo has to give a speech at her church. She's going to talk to people about the importance of exercise, and how they can make sure that they are moving enough every day to be healthy. She knows what she wants to say, but she's wondering if she needs something beyond just her voice. Should she prepare a poster or something to help them visualize what she's talking about?

Visual aids, or supplemental materials for public speaking that incorporate visuals, like posters, charts, or graphs, are an important part of every speech. They help audience members remember, understand, and engage in what the speaker is saying. But, if Flo wants to incorporate visual aids into her speech, how should she do it? How should she prepare them, and what should she include on them? Let's look closer at the design and structure of visual aids.


Flo knows that she wants to incorporate some visual aids into her speech about exercise. She thinks that perhaps she'll make some posters or maybe a PowerPoint presentation, which is kind of like a series of posters on a computer. But she's not sure how her posters or presentation should look. What design elements make a good visual aid? There are four major elements that will make Flo's visuals as eye-catching and effective as they can be. They are:

  1. Simplicity: Flo should keep her visuals simple. If there is too much going on, people will get distracted or confused. Instead, she should focus on making visuals with only a few key points or one image. This simplicity will help the audience members focus on what she wants them to focus on and keep them from being overwhelmed by her visual aids.
  2. High-contrast: If Flo uses an image or text on a poster that is similar to the background color, it will be hard to see. Instead, she should use high-contrast visuals, or visuals that have colors that are very different from each other. For example, if she wants to put some words up on a white poster, she'll want to use black ink because black is very different from white.
  3. Easy to see: Flo will be talking to a whole room of people. If she just has one tiny little piece of paper, the people in the back of the room won't be able to see it. So, she should make sure that the size of her visual aids is large enough for everyone in the room to see it. Not only that, she should make sure that the visuals are placed in a location where everyone can see it, not way off to one side or something crazy like that.
  4. Effective use of color: If Flo is going to put text on a poster or slide for her presentation, she'll want to use color selectively. Otherwise, if she makes everything bright and colorful, it might be distracting and the color will lose its punch. But, if she makes most of the text black and then highlights just one or two important words with colorful text, then she is effectively using color to draw attention to what is important.


Okay, Flo understands the basic design principles that will help her craft her visual aids. But she's not sure about the content. Should she put down everything that she's going to say? Should she just throw some images up on a poster and call it a day?

To unlock this lesson you must be a Member.
Create your account

Register to view this lesson

Are you a student or a teacher?

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use

Become a member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back
What teachers are saying about
Try it risk-free for 30 days

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Create an account to start this course today
Try it risk-free for 30 days!
Create an account