How to Present Effective Presentations With Visual Aids


Research has found people are more likely to remember something if they experience the learning with more than one sense. If you're giving a speech, adding a visual aid can help your audience increase its recall of your information by as much as 30%. Visual aids are an important part of an effective presentation, so you should carefully consider what kind of visuals to include, what information to include, and when to share it with your audience.

Things You'll Need

  • Presentation outline
  • Materials to create visual aid (vary depending on the type)
  • Choose what information in your presentation would be enhanced by a visual aid. Look for information that's complex or information that lends itself to visual enhancement. For example, a presentation about a complicated process would benefit from a flow chart. A presentation related to an historical time period would benefit from photographs from the era. Science presentations are often enhanced by 3-D models.

  • Decide what type of visual aid best suits your creative abilities. Are you good at creating computer presentations? Are you able to build 3-D models? Can you make an eye-catching poster display? Select what the form of visual aid you'll be most successful at creating.

  • Find out what type of equipment will be available where you'll give the presentation. If you'd like to incorporate technology, you need to find out if you'll have access to the type of electronics you'll need (most often, data or overhead projectors). Also, if you're using a computer to present your visual aid, make sure it's compatible with the available technology.

  • Create your visual aid. Make sure it includes eye-catching graphics as well as necessary information; the visual aid should enhance your speech, not just look nice. Next, make sure the visual aid is not too complicated. You want your information to be clear and concise so the audience can quickly grasp the point. Finally, check your spelling and grammar. Any errors will distract from your speech.

  • Practice giving your speech while using the visual aid. You want to become comfortable handling the technology, poster board or model; otherwise, you're likely to fidget with the visual aid or have trouble displaying it, which will distract your audience.

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  • Photo Credit business presentation #7 image by Adam Borkowski from business report image by Christopher Hall from pie chart 166 image by chrisharvey from projector ready for presentation image by Dmitry Goygel-Sokol from information image by dead_account from
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