Good visuals in a business presentation can range from complex videos to a simple poster. For those presenters who are not skilled in the video arts, there are several ways to present information with visuals that will help your audience remember key points long after your presentation has ended. Three effective methods include PowerPoint presentations, flip charts and posters.
PowerPoint offers hundreds of font, audio and image options for its users. The first thing presenters should understand is that just because there are 350 font options does not mean you should use them. Always use either light font over a dark background or dark font over a light background. Avoid red font and green backgrounds or fonts and backgrounds that are close on the color wheel as they will be difficult to read. Follow the rule of 8. The rule of 8 states that you should be able to read your presentation while standing 8 feet away from the standard computer screen. If the font is too small to read from this distance, it will be too small to read in your presentation. Include a maximum of five points per page.
Effective Flip Charts
Flip Charts are not only inexpensive but they can also be used for ideas and brainstorming within the context of the meeting. Use dark markers to write on a flip chart and make sure you have plenty of paper on the flip chart pad. Some flip charts now have adhesive on the back of each page so the presenter when finished, can stick the page to a corresponding wall that the audience can see. This feature prevents having to flip back and forth from page to page wasting valuable time and allows for writing a free flow of ideas with ease.
Posters are prepared much in advance of a presentation. The simplest posters can be made from poster board with graphics and text added with glue or tape. More advanced posters can be made using PowerPoint and then printed and laminated for a more professional look. Change the size of your PowerPoint slide to a good poster size, such as 2-by-3 feet , and decrease the view percentage on your computer screen to around 25 percent, or the smallest view that still allows you to see each element clearly. PowerPoint hints also apply to poster design. Avoid designing posters that are too busy or have too much text. A poster should have an eye-catching visual that tells the story without viewers having to read paragraphs of accompanying text.
Simplicity is key in conveying information visually. The more complex the visual, the more likely you are to lose the message you are trying to convey. Visuals can help your audience retain information up to six times longer. Beware, however, of staying on one visual for too long. According to The Eggleston Group, studies show that audience members become bored with a visual after 7 to 10 seconds. Always rehearse with your visuals. Don’t forget to inspect the room where you will be presenting to make sure the elements required for your presentation, such as projectors, screens and outlets, are available.