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Category Archives: The Power of Visual Aids

Types of Speeches: The Demonstration

Belly Dance Snake ArmsIf 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.
     
    Example:

    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.

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The Power of Visual Aids

rap starPicture 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.
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The 7 Deep Craters PowerPoint Users Often Fall Into and How to Avoid Them

Arvee RobinsonBy Featured Speaker Arvee Robinson

1. Don’t put your entire speech on your slides.
Not only is this boring, but your audience will be able to see what you’re going to say. Instead, “bullet” or outline your high points. Remember, mystery creates interest.

2. Don’t read your slides word for word.
Your audience can read faster than you can speak. Paraphrasing instead will free you to connect to your audience.

3. Don’t use too much text.
Use no more that six bullets per slide and no more than six words per bullet. Use phrases, not sentences; otherwise, your audience will be reading and not listening to you.

4. Don’t be small.
Make it BIG! Your text cannot be too large! A good rule of thumb is to stand about 5 feet from your computer monitor. If you can’t read your presentation easily from there, your point size is too small. The quickest way to lose an audience is to make them strain to see a presentation. A good starting point is 35 points or larger for titles and 25 points or larger for text.
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Presentation Skills – Don’t Rely on Technology and PowerPoint!

Avish ParasharBy Featured Speaker Avish Parashar

In speaking, PowerPoint and visual aids have their place. They can engage an audience, make them laugh, or reinforce your points. However, most people use visual aids very poorly.

These days, I choose to not use PowerPoint in my presentations. I did once for one of my very first engagements, simply because before agreeing to use me the client said, “send us your PowerPoint.” Not knowing any better, I went out and created one for the client.

I have to say that as a speaker I can see the appeal. The presentation was so easy because my PowerPoint basically served as my notes! I didn’t have to think about what to do or say next, because I would just click “next” and boom! There on the screen was what I was supposed to talk about.
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