Wednesday, January 13, 2010

What Makes a Visual Aid Work?

Diversity, pure and simple.

The adult learner is easily bored. Do the same old thing every time you come before your audience, group or class and you're in for trouble.

Sameness is a killer when it comes to impacting your audiences. It's the number one reason a 30 slide, bullet-point riddled PowerPoint presentation puts so many people to sleep each and every day.

I recommend that you think beyond PPT.

Add a prop. Pull a common object out of your purses or pocket.

Use it to tell a story that makes your point.

Do a demonstration.

Make a profound statement--then step to a flipchart of whiteboard and write the word, "why?" Then have a hearty discussion.

Use a sign or symbol.

Metaphor and analogy are incredible "visual aids."

Break out a poster. Or, a map. Or, a book.

An ainmated body language. Well thought hand signals.

Huge tip; Learn to "draw what people are thinking." (And saying.)

Ask a member of your audience to draw what the group is thinking and saying.

Use a flipchart. This time-tested medium will work forever.

Same thing with the forgotten overhead projector.

Master the use of the whiteboard. (It is my medium of choice.)

As a user of PPT, there's one thing I know for sure; being "electronic" does not insure that your audience will remember what you say.

Diversity does! Here's a real simple model that express it all. More Modality, More Learning.


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