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The Myths

First, let’s start by dispelling some commonly accepted myths about the use of visual aids. Here are five myths you’re likely to encounter:

  • Myth 1: The more visual aids I use the better. Not so. The use of visual aids should support your presentation and not be your presentation. Beginners (and some experienced presenters, too) get into trouble by overdoing visual aids to the point that the message gets lost in the visual. In addition, the presenter can end up spending valuable time reading the visuals and not facilitating learning. Here’s a rule of thumb: The best presentations tend to have a mix of delivery methods that use both verbal and nonverbal techniques, as well as the appropriate visual aids to support the presenter’s message.

  • Myth 2: Any visual aid is better than none. Not true. A visual aid that is too complex to understand or poorly produced is often such a turnoff to an audience that it probably would be better to use no visual aid at all. Visual aids should reinforce learning while being easy to understand and of high quality.

  • Myth 3: The more high-tech the visual aid used in your presentation, the better. Untrue. Sure, the use of the latest computer-generated gizmo can dazzle your audience and be a great support to your presentation, but when all is said and done, an effective presentation is still about the message. If the message gets lost in the razzle-dazzle, then the dazzle is not worth very much. Use the most effective visual aids to support the learning

  • Myth 4: More things can go wrong when using a visual aid in your presentation, so it’s better to just rely on yourself. False. This may sound like the complete opposite of myth 1, but the point is that most problems are usually due to a lack of preparation. Sure, things can happen that all the preparation in the world can’t prevent. The important thing is to check and double-check your equipment and the visuals themselves. In addition, your presenter’s toolkit can save the day if technology fails you. Just make sure you can access a fresh pad of flipchart paper, an easel, and some colorful markers. If you are prepared and have done all you can do to expect the unexpected, then your presentation will go just fine. Your professionalism and the support of your audience will save the day!

  • Myth 5: Visual aids cost too much. Not necessarily so. It’s true that some technologically based aids, especially those that are computer generated, can be costly. By using templates, basic programs, and a good cost-effective printing company, you can produce high-quality visuals while being cost effective. The important thing to remember is that the quality of visual aids reflects the quality of the program.


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