Toastmaster Project 8: Get Comfortable with Visual Aids
Visual aids help an audience understand and remember what they hear; they are a valuable tool for speakers. The most popular visual aids are computer-based visuals, overhead transparencies, flip charts, whiteboards and props.
The type of visual aid you choose depends on several factors, including the information you wish to display and the size of the audience. Visuals must be appropriate for your message and the audience, and be displayed correctly with ease and confidence.
- Select visual aids that are appropriate for your message and the audience.
- Use visual aids correctly with ease and confidence.
Time: Five to Seven minutes.
Why is it important
Human two most important senses are hearing and view. We have a natural tendency to start visualising the ideas the moment we hear them in order to remember. Any visual aid helps us in that stimulating the sense of hearing. This is the main reason why even from Project 2 – 7 toastmasters mention visual aids as one type of support material for a speech. Visual aids are one of the most powerful tools for a speaker.
Easier understanding: Try to explain a “book” to your friend just by words and then just show him the book and describe. He will much easily understand the information passed across because you have trapped both of his senses.
Lasting Memory: Human has a tendency to associate a memory or understanding to a picture. Try to remember anything which doesn’t have a picture associated; you won’t find it the picture may be vague but there will be something. Hence if you want your message to be remembered, help the audience to put pictures or visuals to it. And the easiest way to do it is visual aid.
Visual aid is only a tool
Visual aids can be anything that you can see in real life. The most common visual aids are computer-based aids, overhead transparencies, flip charts, whiteboards and props.
Remember to use the visual aid as a tool; don’t let it be the most important. A toastmaster in his presentation “how to ride a horse” brought a big cut-out of a horse. As soon as he started the presentation, the audience was looking at the horse and wondering how it will be used. The visual aid was good but it overshadowed the presentation.
Don’t cramp your presentation with too much of visuals. Try to have one visual for an idea or argument you are presenting. Giving the audience more choices you will only give them chance to get distract. Even in the manual there is a guideline for using 2 or 3 visuals for the speech. Keep the visual simple.
The audience will always try to look into the visuals the moment it is displayed. At that moment you may be talking of some other idea, they will be confused. So try to make extra effort to hide the visuals from the audience till the right time. As soon you display the visual make sure to pause and give the audience enough time to comprehend. Make sure not to block the visual.
MY TOASTMaster Speech 8
Having seen quite a time computer visuals not working projectors malfunctioning I took the safer options of using the day to day items as my props.
The speech was about how wisdom is available in day to day life and activities, it was about how even a small thing like pen, pencil can teach us important lessons of life.
The visuals used were
- Paper of the size of $50
- $50 note
- Pencil and eraser
- Toastmaster Lantern
All the props mentioned above was readily available and could be easily hidden
In the next blog post we will be discussing the speech named “WISDOM”