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Visual Aids 


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Tips and ideas to improve your facilitation skills:   

1. Facilitator Guide: Handbook of facilitation skills

2. Brainstorming: Tap the best thinking of a group

3. Discussion Tips: Strategies to conduct  lively discussion

4. Evaluation Form: A three-aspect evaluation form

5. Visual Aids: Common sense tips for effective visual aid use 

Tips for Effective Use of Visual Aids

ďTo PowerPoint or not to PowerPoint,Ē this is a question that all presenters must ask.  Visual aids (PowerPoint, overheads, flip charts, DVDs, etc.) can add power and depth to a presentation, often boosting attention, clarity, and interest.  But beware, used ineffectively visual aids can weaken a presentation or, in the worst case scenario, alienate the participants.

Below are some common sense tips to help you incorporate visual aids effectively:

  • Be sure your visual aids can be seen and understood by everyone.

  • If you are using technology, be certain that you can use it proficiently.  Fumbling with the equipment will break the flow of any presentation.

  • Donít overuse visual aids; use them only when they support your content directly

  • Donít overload any visual aid with too many words or graphics

  • Remember that your visual aids support your presentation, they are not the presentation itself

  • Ask yourself if any particular visual aid will increase learning.  If it doesnít do this directly, donít use it.

  • Always ask yourself the question:  ďWhy am I using this visual aid and does it work to increase the impact of my presentation?Ē

  • Always have a backup plan if a visual aid fails (like a bulb burning out)

  • Be sure to avoid using copyrighted material without permission

  • Make certain that the roomís lighting supports your visual aid.  Watch for things like glare, a washed out screen, dark spots, etc.

  • Donít allow visual aids to take your attention away from the participants. 

  • Be very aware of your timing.  Donít. for example,  rush through your slides so people canít keep up or, on the flip side, donít break your delivery rhythm by lingering too long on one visual.

  • Remember that your audience is literate so you donít have to read everything on your visuals to them, assuming of course that they can see your visuals clearly.

  • Overuse of one kind of visual is usually the kiss of death for presenters.  For example, taking the time to write every little thing on a flip chart sheet will try the patience of even the most forgiving participant.

  • If you are writing on a transparency or flipchart, be sure your handwriting is legible and large enough to be seen by everyone.

  • On your presentation evaluation ask participants to give you feedback about your visual aids.  Weed out those visuals that arenít working.