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Lesson 11. Presenting Your Visuals > Consider Handing Out Hard Copies - Pg. 48

Presenting Your Visuals 48 Caution: Pointers and Laser Lights Speakers regularly use pointers and laser lights to focus the attention of their listeners on specific aspects of a visual aid. Unfortunately, these devices are often far more trouble than they're worth. Many speakers begin twirling their pointers like batons, when they aren't using them, which can be distracting to their listeners. It also prevents the speaker from using gestures effectively to add energy to a presentation. While laser lights can be useful, they're a dead giveaway for any speaker suffering from nervous- ness: The laser beam will shake when the speaker points it toward the visual aid. The attention of the audience is now drawn away from the visual to the speaker's case of nerves. Consider Handing Out Hard Copies Presenters often ask whether they should distribute hard copies of their visuals at the start of a presentation. In some cases, the audience may be expecting hard copies, so you have little choice but to meet their expectations. Where you do have a choice, however, don't hand out copies of your visual aids before you begin speaking. There are good reasons for avoiding this practice: · Listeners will invariably start reading your handouts instead of paying attention to you. This undermines your effectiveness as a speaker. · Listeners often look ahead and begin reading the hard copy of a visual aid before you reach it in your presentation. They may interrupt and ask questions about the visual before you're ready to deal with it.