Carl Storz

Oral Presentation Skills

Visuals

What are visuals?

What media are used?

It is often a good idea to give out any paper copy, like handouts of your outline or a glossary of key words or sources and any other visuals you plan to use so people can take them away, not waste time in taking notes on key concepts which you have put on the transparency and to avoid the problem of some people not being able to see the screen.

What is the vocabulary of the equipment used?

    Blackboard,
    Whiteboard,
    Paperboard,
    Flipchart
    Chalk
    Marker
    Felt tip pen
    Eraser
    Board wiper
    Lectern
    Podium
    Microphone,
    Mike,
    Throat mike
    Sound system
    Loudspeakers Overhead,
    Overhead projector, OHP,
    Opaque projector

Common vocabulary associated with graphs/charts

For more illustration see here.

Why use visuals?

to focus audience's attention
to illustrate points that are difficult
to verbalize to reinforce ideas
to change focus from aural/oral
to visual to involve and motivate audience
to involve all senses:
learning to serve as logical proof
to save time and avoid putting information on a board
to avoid turning your back to the audience when writing on a board
to help the speaker

What quantity of information should be included?

It is usual to put your name, the name of the conference or occasion, the date and the title of the presentation
together with any corporate or institutional logos.
Full sentences should not be used, unless a quote is given, try to keep text to a minimum.

Size, layout, font (typeface) and size, colors.

Size - A4 Layout should be pleasant and easy to read. Landscape works better than portrait orientation as we are more used to reading information from screens.


Helvetica
Times New Roman
Futura
Arial
Univers
Palatino
New Century
Schoolbook and
Courier

are fine for text but may look weak for titles. Experiment a little to see for yourself.

Font size - maybe 20 or more depending on the size of the room you will be speaking in.

Use CAPITAL LETTERS, bold face, italics, underlining, reverse (white on black) or shading to highlight whenever necessary but only to give more clarity, not more variety. If possible it is usually a good idea to use color transparencies (unless you are just showing text).

How many slides should you prepare?

One every two minutes is sufficient.

General and miscellaneous tips for overhead projectors.

Have the slides / transparencies ready and in order. Numbering slides is useful if you have a lot

Check to see if the OHP is plugged in and in working order

Test the visual to see if the back of the room can see it

Stand to the side of the OHP

Mask to reveal only what you want the audience to see

Use a pointer or a pen to draw attention to a specific point

Don't display too much information, too many colours or typefaces

Have the slides / transparencies ready and in order. Numbering slides is useful if you have a lot!

Check to see if the OHP is plugged in and in working order

Test the visual to see if the back of the room can see it

Stand to the side of the OHP

Mask to reveal only what you want the audience to see

Use a pointer or a pen to draw attention to a specific point

Don't display too much information, too many colours or typefaces


Visuals should be adjusted to the audience. Visual should supplement the spoken message. Large enough for everyone to see. (Good idea to give out a paper copy, not at the same time though as the audience may not be looking at you)

Ask yourself questions
Does the layout work?
Are there any spelling mistakes or grammatical errors? Remember they are going to be in plain view all the time of your visual so have them proof-read always.

How should you present a visual in a presentation?

It is not sufficient just to put up a transparency on the screen and expect the audience to move its attention to it, to understand it and make the link with what you are saying. (See Giving Presentations Unit. 4) I would suggest the following strategy:

1. Introduce subject. What does the visual show?
2. Transition. Let's turn to the visual.
3. Explain the visual in terms of the axes, key, and source.
4. Describe the visual (e.g. if it is a graph, describe the movement).
5. Comment and analyze.
6. Do not read everything. Do not explain every detail.
7. Use round figures and emphasise trends.

Finally it is important to prepare your audience for what they are going to see.This keeps the audience on their toes and gives you the opportunity to position your visual correctly.

Remember to draw the attention of the audience to the points that you wish to highlight but avoid redundancy by describing everything that is in the visual! A pause is very useful here!

You can also try to rephrase your point to give it emphasis, giving the audience time to absorb the information.

page updated 02/10/2013