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Lesson 11. Presenting Your Visuals > Overheads and Slides - Pg. 46

Presenting Your Visuals 46 Flip Charts Like props, flip charts also work very effectively with smaller groups. A colleague of mine who teaches technical writing uses a flip chart extensively to put down key points in his presentation. He also uses it to write down feedback from his listeners as they critique writing samples in the class. Flip charts have several key advantages: · They can help a speaker to interact with an audience. As you ask open-ended questions and receive important information, you can write it on the flip charts. · They add spontaneity to a presentation. They're created on the fly in front of your listeners. · They're flexible. The information on the chart can easily be changed and updated. · They're colorful. If you use bold, dark colors--red, green, blue--the charts will be visually ap- pealing. · They can be displayed easily. Pages from the charts can be torn off and taped on the walls of a room so the audience can refer to them throughout a presentation. Caution Use only the top two-thirds of a flip chart. When you tear off a page and paste it on the wall, the information will be much easier for an audience to see, no matter where they're sitting. Of course, flip charts created during a presentation may not look as professional as slides and overheads prepared in advance. But you don't need any special equipment for charts--equipment that can sometimes break down and disrupt your talk. Overheads and Slides Although the technology is now decades old, overhead projectors continue to be the most widely used audiovisual equipment in the business world. In addition to projecting overheads, a projector together with a liquid crystal display (LCD) can also display slides from your laptop computer. Other projection devices are also available for showing computer-generated slides. There are many benefits to using slides and overheads: · They are easy for large audiences to see. · They give your presentation a professional look, which show-cases your knowledge and exper- tise to their best advantage. · They present information in clear type and crisp colors instead of relying on the speaker's hand- writing. · Slides enable you to build in easy transitions so you can move smoothly from one visual to the next with the click of a button. · Overheads can be flexible; if your handwriting is legible, you can create effective overheads during your talk. Of course, overheads and slides are not without their disadvantages. These can be summed up in a single word: equipment. A bulb may burn out in an overhead projector, bringing your entire pre- sentation to a complete standstill while someone searches for a replacement. Your computer may also decide, on the day of the presentation, to develop glitches, which can stop any show dead in its tracks. Then you have to be ready to continue without the visual aids. You should know how to deliver a powerful presentation without visuals, if necessary.