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How to improve your presentation skills -

Part 8 - Working with visual aids

Visual aids should not be a substitute for a presentation. Rather, they should enhance what you are trying to say. Visuals help an audience maintain interest in your topic and remember key points. They can clarify information and function as an outline for the speaker.

On the downside, can be distracting, especially if there is too much information. They should not be used to fill time or compensate for stage fright. As a general rule, keep all visual aids simple and easy to understand. Do not put too much information on a page and avoid too much color and varying fonts. Donít go overboard with charts and numbers. Check for spelling errors.

One big mistake people make is talking to the visuals instead of the audience. They end up with their backs facing front or just reading what is on the slide. That is a sure way to lose the audiencesí interest. Remember, you should be the focus, not some visual aid.

Practice with visual aids ahead of time to make sure the equipment works and that you are comfortable using them. But remember, technology is not always reliable and can break down when you least expect it. That is a big reason why a speaker should not rely too heavily on the visuals to sustain a presentation.

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