How to get started with presentations

Using visual aids

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Visual aids are an important and increasingly expected part of a presentation. Visual aids can be useful for highlighting important messages in your presentation, explaining difficult concepts and adding a new dimension to your presentation. Slides produced by a computer programme similar to Powerpoint are the most common type of visual aid used for presentations, but you could also use an overhead projector, a white or black board, a video or a physical demonstration. In fact you could use almost anything you like as a visual aid, providing it enhances your presentation!

Activity: visual aids - 10 minutes

1. Think about a presentation you have seen where the visual aids enhanced the presentation. How did the visual aids enhance the presentation? What type of visual aid was used? Did the visual aids help explain any key points?

2. Think about a presentation where the visual aids did not enhance the presentation. Why was this? How could the visual aids have been improved in this presentation?

3. Make a note of your thoughts in your work book and refer back to these notes when you start to prepare visual aids for your next presentation.

Recommended Further Reading

So far you have had a chance to think about the content or 'story' of your presentation and how visual aids can be used to illustrate this story effectively. The following sections will concentrate on the actual presenting part - how you will tell your story.

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