Effective Speaking: Communicating in Speech

By Christopher Turk | Go to book overview

11

Visual aids

What is the use of visual aids?

Most experienced speakers use visual aids. Why? The short answer is that they make the talk more interesting for the audience, and they do this for a number of reasons. Let me suggest seven reasons, before giving practical advice about the common types of aid, their virtues and vices, and the pitfalls for the inexperienced. Because there are many different aids which speakers use, and because each of these aids has its own technique, with many small details of management, this chapter will be rather different from the rest of the book. It would be tedious to read through all the details at one go. Indeed, if you are reading this book from front to back, I recommend you to read only the first few pages of this chapter, before moving on to Chapter Twelve. Skim through the detailed advice on individual aids, but please don't try to read it all. It is not meant for light reading. I suggest that you come back to the advice about a specific visual aid, only when you have to give a talk, and will be using that particular aid. In this way you will have the motivation to read and absorb the detailed points of technique; you will also have them fresh in your mind when giving the talk.

What are the seven reasons why visual aids improve presentations? The first is that visual aids get attention. People are naturally more interested in things and pictures than in abstract words. Even adults look through books for pictures. So visual aids have a greater impact than words alone. If you are an observant listener at other people's presentations, you will notice that there is always a stir of interest in the audience when a visual aid is shown. When there is something to look at, people wake up.

The second reason follows from the first. I have already said that the best way to keep an audience awake and attentive is to provide

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Effective Speaking: Communicating in Speech
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Acknowledgements ix
  • 1 - Communicating in Speech 1
  • Notes to Chapter One 11
  • 2 - The Audience 13
  • 3 - Selecting, Planning and Arranging the Material 43
  • Notes to Chapter Three 69
  • 4 - Starting, Carrying On, and Ending 72
  • 5 - Making Notes 85
  • 6 - Coping with Nerves: the Credibility Problem 100
  • 7 - Timing and Bad Timing 117
  • 8 - Intonation and Variety 129
  • Notes to Chapter Eight 143
  • 9 - Non-Verbal Communication 145
  • Notes to Chapter Nine 164
  • 10 - Arranging the Physical Environment for a Talk 167
  • Notes to Chapter Ten 179
  • 11 - Visual Aids 181
  • 12 - Persuasive Advocacy 210
  • Notes to Chapter Twelve 233
  • 13 - Question Time: Leading a Group Discussion and Answering Questions 236
  • Further Reading 252
  • 14 - Conclusion 254
  • A Specialist Bibliography 256
  • Index 271
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