Slidegenius, Inc.

Are Visuals in Business Presentations Actually Helpful?

Visual aids upgrade your speech, as the combination of content and design add flare to your presentation. These make your pitch more understandable and allow your audience to follow the discussion with their eyes.

SlideGenius Blog Module One

Get hundreds of PowerPoint slides for free.

Sign up for your free account today.

Sign Up now

Before making a customized PowerPoint presentation, your goals must be clear—you should be sure of the message you want to convey. When you have a plan, you’ll know what you have to work on to achieve your objectives.

So what exactly is so important about visual aids that it’s imperative that you prepare one for your business presentation?

It conveys the message loud and clear.

Visuals help you catch your audience’s attention and engage them throughout your presentation. With these, you can communicate complex ideas in an understandable way. Rather than “telling,” you’re “showing” the audience exactly what you want to say, allowing them to make connections on their own—given that the graphics you use are relevant to your discussion.

Approximately three-quarters of adults in America own a smartphone, making it one of the most quickly adopted consumer technologies to date. Apart from this, they spend almost five hours on their phones. Why is this number important?

As a presenter, you’d want to keep your audience’s eyes on you. So, to keep their attention off their phones, you have to make your visual aids appealing. Add graphics, images, and animations relevant to the topic at hand and you’re good to go.

It elicits emotions.

Images are highly subjective. That said, there are certain categories that are more likely to elicit strong emotional responses compared to others. Images can help establish a long-term connection with the hearts and minds of your audience.

Rather than using bullet points, images that resonate with the audience inspire them to act. Plus, this makes it easier for them to retain information for a longer period.

It saves processing time.

A picture paints a thousand words and it holds true to this day. Using visuals relevant to your presentation is less time-consuming compared to writing a few hundred words. Apart from that, you’d only need to make sure that what you say revolves around that.

In addition, because your audience’s brain works overtime to process all the information fed to them, visuals prove to be the most efficient way to make your discussion easier to understand.

Your visual aids shouldn’t distract your audience, but rather help them reach the core of your presentation. These can either make or break their first impression of what you are pitching and you as a presenter. Simplicity is key when it comes to customized PowerPoint presentations—the best way to keep your audience’s attention is by removing clutter.

Nothing else maximizes efficiency and effectiveness quite like professionally designed visual aids, but take note: you may have the best PowerPoint design, but its purpose is only to add interest and enhance the way you convey your message. You’re still the star of the show, which is why you still have to do well with your speech.

SlideGenius Blog Module One

Download free PowerPoint templates now.

Get professionally designed PowerPoint slides weekly.

Sign Up Now

References:

Miltner, Olivia. “You’re Not Addicted to Your Smartphone – You Just Really Like People.” OZY. April 1, 2018. www.ozy.com/acumen/youre-not-addicted-to-your-smartphone-you-just-really-like-people/85737

Tierney, Leah. “6 Types of Images That Elicit an Emotional Response.” Shutterstock. May 5, 2017. www.shutterstock.com/blog/6-types-of-images-that-elicit-an-emotional-response

“Using Visual Aids.” University of Pittsburgh. www.speaking.pitt.edu/student/public-speaking/visualaids.html

Get On the Public Speaking Treadmill: Shaping Up Your Speech

So you’ve polished your content to near-perfection. Now comes the tricky part – how do you sell your pitch? Delivery often serves as the presenter’s Achilles heel. Even the most experienced public speakers need practice every now and then.

Fortunately, public speaking skills can improve over time through proper training and determination. Speech training is available for professionals who want to develop their speaking skills.

But if you’re on a budget, here are three ways you can practice at home:

1. Explain Yourself

Put aside your big ideas for a second and focus on improving your thought process. Renowned speaker and professional public speaking coach Brian Tracy provides tips on how to reduce public speaking anxiety focusing on organizing your thoughts away from fear of rejection to positivity and achieving your goal.

Among the positive ways Tracy cited on his personal blog to overcoming the fear of facing a live audience is performing your speech in front of another person. It can be anything from the mechanics of your favorite game to the instructions for assembling a chair. Let yourself be comfortable talking about random things to other people. After all, you have to expound on your points in front of an audience eventually.

Start with someone you’re comfortable with, like a friend or a family member. This prepares you for those Q and A portions after your actual presentation. The important thing is that you’re successful in relating an idea to a person learning about it for the first time.

2. Practice Conversing

Before you get to the level of inspirational speaker, you have to get to know your audience first. One of the most intimate forms of speech communication is the art of conversation. In fact, sounding conversational during a presentation is highly encouraged. This tone eases any lingering tension between speaker and listener, and establishes a stronger connection between them.

It convinces people that while presenters are set on getting their message across, they are also interested in knowing the audience’s thoughts. In order to apply conversation in a large group, you have to master talking with others face to face.

You can start with small talk before moving to more abstract topics. Just make sure that you keep your companion engaged. Otherwise, you’ll end up boring them.

3. Record Your Speech

This is a technique often applied in professional speech training. Aside from getting feedback from others, getting feedback from yourself is important as well. Recording yourself, or watching recordings of your speeches is one way to observe any bad speech habits you may not notice when you’re talking.

Whenever you start feeling self-conscious in front of a camera, you can also watch yourself in the mirror. You can gauge how your facial expressions, body language, and movement appear to someone looking at you.

Once you’re aware of your behavior, you can work on correcting them. Of course, deeply ingrained habits aren’t things you can easily correct overnight, so practice is necessary.

Conclusion

Most public speaking techniques are based on fundamental human rules of interaction.  Connecting with other human beings is essential for your improvement as a presenter. Simple activities like explaining things and conversing with others can develop your skills further.

If you need any insight on your performance, you can record yourself or ask other people to watch you speak. This makes you aware of how you look as a speaker as well. A good speaker is one who constantly strives to be better. Practice consistently, mind your audience, and track your progress to grow into a respectable presenter.

Need a professional PowerPoint to accompany your presentation? Contact our SlideGenius experts today for a free quote!

 

References

“27 Useful Tips to Overcome Your Fear of Public Speaking | Brian Tracy.” Brian Tracys Blog. March 4, 2015. Accessed October 8, 2015. www.briantracy.com/blog/public-speaking/27-useful-tips-to-overcome-your-fear-of-public-speaking
“Better Public Speaking: Becoming a Confident, Compelling Speaker.” Mind Tools. Accessed January 5, 2016. https://www.mindtools.com/CommSkll/PublicSpeaking.htm

 

Featured Image: “Microphone” by Paul Hudson on flickr.com