Weekday Wisdom Episode 78
Do you know how to properly use visual aids? I’ve come up with a fun way to remember when to use them and when to lose them. Watch or listen to hear me sing it!
This morning I was working on the chapter about visual aids for my upcoming book Public Speaking Super Powers. And just for fun, I came up with this little ditty to the tune of “The Gambler,” written by Don Schlitz and popularized by Kenny Rogers. And it gives you really good advice about using visual aids.
- You got to know when to use them, know when to lose them.
Know when to demonstrate or use a prop.
You never read your slides when standin’ on the stage.
And always be prepared for when technology fails.
You see, the key to visual aids is that they are aids that happen to be visual. The main message is coming out of your mouth and being supported by your body language. So you really do need to know when it is the right time to use a visual aid, and when not to.
You need to know when to demonstrate something. For example, Cindy Ashton, a friend of mine who is also a Featured Speaker in the book, will sometimes talk about body posture. When she talks about it on stage, she literally uses her body to demonstrate what she’s talking about. She shows you the four types of bad posture and then what good posture looks like.
You need to know when and how to use a prop. For example, I’m talking about widgets, and I show you a widget.
And then of course when you were using PowerPoint (or other forms of) slides, you don’t read them. You have simple bullet points on them that help the audience further understand what you’re saying. They may help you know what you want to say next, as well. But really, they need to be bulleted and simple.
And of course, you always need to be ready when technology fails. Because, at some point, it will. You need to be able to give your speech without the visual aids. I know under some circumstances that’s hard. For example, if you’re demonstrating software, it’s really hard to describe what to do if you can’t literally demonstrate the software. So maybe you’ll have to reschedule. But if your slides go down, you should be able to give your presentation anyway.
So, just keep that little diddy in mind and you’ll never go wrong with visual aids.
Don’t box yourself in.
Spread your wings and fly.
Because you — yes you — are capable of more than you know.
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