Every year, SlideShare shares the “zeitgeist” of the uploaded presentations for the previous year. Most of the information is just interesting, but there are sometimes gems that can help you create better slides for your presentations. This is what I’m taking away from the 2011 Zeitgeist presentation. You want to […]
Category Archives: The Power of Visual Aids
Sometimes you’re not going to be the center of attention. Sometimes your speaking opportunity is to facilitate others in giving their presentations or in experiencing an event. You could facilitate a panel discussion, a meeting or a support group. Being a facilitator is a like being a guide or sherpa. Everyone else is really doing the work, you’re just showing them the path. What follows are some tips for facilitating that will help you do a more effective job.
Before the Event
Get clear on the purpose of the meeting so that you can organize the best flow to accomplish that goal. To do this, you’ll need to know the answers to these questions:
- How much time do you have?
- What outcome should attendees expect by the end of the meeting?
- What options are available to create those outcomes?
- What resources and facilities will you have access to?
Now you can determine which activities can be done given the time and resources, as well as in what order to schedule them.
If you decide to become a professional speaker or use speaking as an integral part of your marketing strategy, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the various types of speeches you might be asked to give. In this series of posts, I’ll give you the basics on a variety of types of presentations you can prepare. At the end of this post, I’ve listed previous articles in this series.
What is a demonstration speech?
A demonstration speech is an educational or promotional presentation that explains a process, activity or product. It walks the audience through the keys points so that, after the presentation, they can repeat the process or activity or know how to use the product.
How do you demonstrate something?
Regardless of what your demonstrating, you need to break it down into easy to understand steps. A simple outline for a demonstration presentation might look like this:
- The demonstration is broken down into simple steps either chronologically or functionally.
To perform “snake arms” in a belly dance routine, first you need to bring your arms out straight from your sides. Now, leading with your elbows, raise one side up, while the other side goes down.
Picture this. The next speaker is announced and rap music begins to play. The speaker struts onto the stage wearing a faux fur coat, a broad-rimmed hat and dark sunglasses. Once he arrives at center stage, the music dies away and he begins to share with you the evolution of rap music, eventually removing the coat, hat and glasses.
I’ve seen this speech. It broke all the rules of the competition at the time, but it illustrates a very good point about visual aids.
Visual aids are there to support your speech. They are there to add information, ambiance and to set the tone. This speaker helped his audience get an idea for early rap culture by dressing the part. He added a visual to his words that was powerful, effective and memorable. (I saw this speech in 1984 and still remember it.)
In today’s technology drenched world, you have a myriad choices for visual aids. Select them strategically and carefully. And always be prepared for the occasional technical difficulty.