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Chapter 25. A Thousand Words: Visual Aids > Show and Tell Time - Pg. 212

A Thousand Words: Visual Aids 212 Class Act Maintain personal control over all visual aids. For instance, if you're showing a video, press the on/off switch yourself. If you're showing slides, be the one to press the con-trol button. Flip the pages of the flip chart; pass around the object you're displaying. This keeps you in control of the timing and sequence of events. 4. 5. 6. Visibility.Your visual aids must be large enough to be seen by the person in the back row. If not everyone can see your visual aid, then the aid becomes a frustration rather than a help. If you need to preface your visual aid with "I know you can't read this, but...," then why include it at all? Your audience cannot be expected to pay full attention to what is being said while straining to read a visual. Variation.In most instances, it's a good idea to use several different visual aids. This helps keep your listeners interested in what you have to say. Number.Your speech should include enough visual aids to make your ideas clear and com- pelling. Keep these simple do's and don'ts in mind to help you plan and use visuals. Do... 1. Follow the "8H rule." If you can read an image from a distance of eight times its height, odds are your audience will be able to read it when projected. For example, let's say you have a flip chart that is 2 feet high. If you can read the chart from 16 feet away, that chart will probably be legible when converted to a slide or overhead transparency. For instance, 35-millimeter slides are about an inch in height. If you can read the slide from 8 inches away, the slide will be legible under most presentation conditions. Speech of the Devil The visual aid can't be so engaging that it distracts the audience from what you are saying. If the audi- ence spends more time admiring your handiwork than listening to your speech, the visual aid will un- dercut your purpose. Your audience shouldn't be marveling--they should be listening. 2. Use a color printer. Traditionally, speakers prepared visual aids with conventional art tools, such as colored pencils and markers. While these are still useful tools, computers have added a new dimension to the preparation of posters, charts, graphs, and other visual aids. Today, it's relatively simple to use computer software to create polished diagrams and charts. Color printers make it a snap to print these documents in brilliant hues. Chapter 26, "Preparing and Using Visual Aids," examines the relationship between computers and visual aids more closely.