Public Speaking


Presentation Aids

Enhance the Speech; Don't Replace It

Presentation aids are an excellent way to enhance a speech. They can assist in keeping the audience engaged, explaining complex ideas, and adding some variety to the speech. Presentation can also help you stay organized while you are delivering your speech. But remember: don't let the aid replace the speech. The most effective presentations keep the audience focused on the presenter, not the slides or the diagrams. If you really want to communicate with your audience, you need to do the talking, not the presentation aid.

Don't Read From the Aid

Enhance Your Presentation With:
  • Slides
  • Overhead transparencies
  • Charts/Graphs
  • Photographs
  • Movies/Music
  • Objects/Artifacts

If you have a presentation aid with your speech, it's critical that you don't let your attention stay on the aid. Your attention needs to be on the audience. One common pitfall that people make is staring at their presentation aids. For example, when using a Powerpoint Presentation, avoid turning your back to the audience and reading from the presentation. It suggests that you are unfamiliar with the content, and it also can break your connection to the audience.

Remember to Bring Backup

If your presentation aid is an important part of your presentation, always remember to bring backup. If you have a Powerpoint Presentation, you may want to print out copies for the audience. If you have overhead transparencies, come prepared with handouts. You may also find that the handouts are a good way for the audience to take notes throughout the presentation.

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