What Are You Showing Your Audience? The 3 Visuals You Need to Know More about

Using visual aids in your presentation can be tricky. Maybe you have too many or maybe not enough. Or maybe the few you include are just . . . bleh.

To avoid using the wrong picture or video, here are a few lists to help you use cartoons, images, and videos better.

Cartoons

We all know pictures are worth a thousand words. And that’s part of the reason why we love them in presentations.

But are those words the right one thousand words?

Figuring out the answer to that question requires understanding the role of the picture. In their article “Speaking Visually: Eight Roles Pictures Play in Presentation,” Robert Lane and Andre Vicek break down the uses of images in presentations. Keep in mind: these uses are not created equal; some are better than others.

Drawing your own cartoon allows you to tailor the message to perfectly fit your presentation.

Cartoons are funny, and people usually like them. But they’re not in the audience to see Dilbert.

Get to the point and get to it quick.

You don’t need an icebreaker. You are the icebreaker. So break that ice with confidence.

Like anything in your presentation, humor needs to be drafted and reviewed. Make sure it fits.

Cartoons are great; they’re especially great when they’re relevant (think Calvin & Hobbes in a child psychology class), quickly understood, and not first.

Images

We all know pictures are worth a thousand words. And that’s part of the reason why we love them in presentations.

But are those words the right one thousand words?

Figuring out the answer to that question requires understanding the role of the picture. In their article “Speaking Visually: Eight Roles Pictures Play in Presentation,” Robert Lane and Andre Vicek break down the uses of images in presentations. Keep in mind: these uses are not created equal; some are better than others.

You can tell if a picture is decorative if the message doesn’t change when the picture is removed. “Decorative pictures essentially are visual fluff.”

Images that offer background or that ground an abstract idea are images that provide context.

A little twist on the common adage: show while you tell.

When your audience sees (not reads) your content, they learn it quicker.

There isn’t a quicker way to show similarities and differences than two images side by side.

Using pictures for analogies helps “clarify something unknown” with something known.

Use pictures to tell a story or simplify a process.

Know your pictures and know what kind of work they’re doing—the perfect image meaningfully adds to your presentation. And if they aren’t doing their part, cut ‘em loose.

Videos

I can’t talk about cartoons and pictures without talking about moving pictures. (That’s what the young people call them these days, right?)

If pictures are worth a thousand words, videos are worth a billion.

Lisa B. Marshall from Quick and Dirty Tips walks us through 6 tips to maximize the effectiveness of video in your presentations
(“How to Use Video in a Presentation“).

Remember who is presenting. You are. Not the video. And the “video should never deliver your primary message.”

Get the customer on the screen. Videos of customer testimonials lend a lot of credibility to your claims.

Show; don’t tell. When you need to explain a behavior, rather than describing it, show it through a video.Video simplifies complex processes. Like showing and not telling, videos of complex processes are easier to understand than a presenter rambling about how space and time are part of the same continuum.

Video simplifies complex processes. Like showing and not telling, videos of complex processes are easier to understand than a presenter rambling about how space and time are part of the same continuum.

Experts are a must. In addition to customer testimonials, videos of experts also increase your credibility.

Keep it short. Relative to your presentation, videos need to be short. Remember, you’re the one on stage presenting, not the video.

Video is a nice way to convey a message. Consider using it next time in your presentation. But make sure to go through the checklist to make sure the video is doing all you need it to.

Using cartoons, pictures, and videos to boost your presentation is a great idea and a very effective means of demonstrating a point or conveying a message to your audience.

Just remember to do it right.

Want more awesomeness like this? Try 9 Reasons Why Delivery is King over Content or subscribe to Drop the Mic, our communication newsletter.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Previous

Next