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Visual Aids Basics

How should I deliver my speech?

In delivering any style of speech, you want to practice effective, intentional use of voice, nonverbal communication, and visual aids.

Pay careful attention to the visual aids you use to support your speech.


  • Types of Visual Aids
      • Slide presentations
      • Physical/interactive objects
      • Handouts


Basic Principles

  • Visual aids should never dictate or replace any part of your speech.
    They are a supplement, not the star of the show. YOU are the one showing expertise and adding humanity to the speech subject, therefore the audience needs to engage with YOU. You cannot have a conversation with a PowerPoint slide.
  • Visual aids are meant to increase clarity.
    Keep them simple enough that they won’t add too much noise to the speech.
    Use them to make complex subjects understandable and abstract subjects more concrete.
  • Visual aids are meant to draw your audience’s interest.
    Use color, photos, and other art to emphasize and clarify concepts in the speech. Remember to be modest about this, though (for the sake of clarity).
  • Visual aids are meant to increase retention of the material.
    They highlight the parts of the speech that you want your audience to remember. They are likely to internalize anything that activates emotion or creates a unique experience for them.


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