We’ve all been there, sitting in the audience of a mind-numbing presentation with poor visuals. Visuals can either retain or repeal an audience’s attention, support or sabotage a message, and make or break a presentation.
So how do you craft powerful visuals and use them in a way that gets your message across? It all comes down to the objective of your presentation, the design of your visuals, and the delivery of your message.
Having a Clear Objective. Every presentation should have an objective, what will be different at the end of the communication. Clarity of your communication objective will help you design visuals that support and align the audience. Remember that your visuals should not be your message, they should be supporting your message. Every visual needs to drive home your key message.
Design of your Visuals. Once you’ve decided on your communication objective, start to analyze the audience to determine the content you need to present. We encourage our clients to create the content first then design visuals that will support the key message. When trying to determine your visuals consider the following, what is the most relevant information that supports your message, what is the most complex idea, what data/information do I need to present.
Keep your visuals brief. They should enhance your message but also allow your audience to focus on the words you’re saying. One final thought on the design of your visuals, be sure to label the point of the visual, not the topic. Many times, our visuals may be shared with others in our organizations. Labeling the point helps to ensure that others understand the information in our visual without having been present for the communication.
Effective Delivery. Now it’s time for you to present, and there are certain steps you should take to effectively utilize the visuals you created. Give yourself time for out loud rehearsal using your visuals. Open and close your presentation with no visuals. You should set the stage of your communication in the opening and close with clear next steps.
Remember that when you share a visual with your audience, they will read what is in front of them and can not listen to you at the same time. Get comfortable with pauses, and use pauses when transitioning to a new visual. Give your audience time to read the visual and when their attention comes back to you, then you can share more information and add value to your audience.
Remember, you are your own best visual. Communicate with impact and your visuals should enhance your message.
Still not confident on delivering a powerful presentation? Let us help! Our Speak Up & Be Effective™ -Momentum program will help focus your message and present with confidence and authenticity. Learn more here.