Using Visual Aids During Your Speech: Guidelines & Tips

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  • 0:01 Visual Aids
  • 1:00 Before the Speech
  • 2:40 During the Speech
  • 4:55 Lesson Summary
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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 your speech or presentation be even more successful. There are some important considerations when planning to use visuals. Watch this lesson to find out what to do before and during your speech to make your visuals effective.

Visual Aids

Jasmine is preparing a speech about germs and staying healthy during flu season. She'll be giving the speech at her local library, and there will likely be a lot of people there. Jasmine wants to use visual aids, or supplements to a speech that offer visual information, such as images or props. Using visual aids can help audience members understand and remember information better, so Jasmine thinks it's important that she use them.

There are many types of visual aids, and Jasmine has plans to use several different ones. She's putting together a PowerPoint presentation that can be projected onto a screen while she's talking, and she's going to bring some dumbbells for when she talks about the importance of exercise in boosting the immune system. But Jasmine isn't sure how to use her visual aids during the speech. She's worried that, on the day of the speech, she'll mess something up with visual aids. Let's explore some of the tips and tricks that Jasmine can use before and during her speech to make sure that everything goes smoothly.

Before the Speech

Jasmine is preparing for her speech. She knows that she wants to use a couple of different types of visual aids, but she's not sure what she should do to make sure that they are ready to be used and everything goes smoothly. Before her speech, there are several things that Jasmine can do to prepare. They include:

1. Practice with visual aids: In the days before she is presenting, Jasmine will want to practice several times giving the speech with the visual aids. She will want to practice exactly as she'll do it on the day. For example, she'll want to use the same dumbbell weights that she'll be using in her speech and use them the same way that she will when she's actually presenting. This will help her get used to using her visual aids and make her more confident and polished on the day of the presentation.

2. Try out technology before and have a backup plan: Remember that Jasmine is planning on using PowerPoint during her speech. She'll want to get to the library early so that she can try out their system and make sure that everything is working fine. In addition, she'll also want to have a backup plan in case the technology doesn't work. For example, she could have the PowerPoint slides printed out on handouts so that people can look at them on the handouts if the projector or computer isn't working.

3. Put visual aids where everyone can see them: Jasmine will also want to make sure that whatever visual aids she uses are in a place where everyone can see them. For example, it wouldn't make sense for her to put the weights on a chair in the middle of the room - a lot of people wouldn't see them. But, if she places them on a table up front, the entire audience will be able to see them.

During the Speech

Okay, Jasmine is getting some ideas about what to do to prepare to use visual aids during her speech, but she's still a little worried. What should she do during the speech to make sure that her visuals are effective?

1. Avoid turning away from the audience: Jasmine won't want to turn her back on the audience; then, they might not be able to hear her. So Jasmine should try to avoid writing on the board during her speech or talking to her visual aids instead of her audience. If she wants to write something on the board, she should do it beforehand, so she doesn't have to turn away from the audience.

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