Visual aids are an important element of a good oral presentation. Using visuals can add interest to your presentation and help you communicate your ideas.
You can use PowerPoint software to produce overheads or to make a computer-based presentation. If you use it well, PowerPoint allows you to present colourful, interesting visuals and manage and combine a range of multimedia information.
Before you even think about making visuals for your presentation, you must know what you are going to say (see The Learning Centre's Oral Presentations in Tutorials & Seminars brochure for more information).
After you’ve written your talk, then start planning your slideshow.
Once you know what you’re going to say, you can plan visuals to support your presentation. Planning helps you gather and organise your ideas before you start designing slides on computer. Planning will not only save time, but ensure that your visuals are effective.
Make a storyboard
Draw up a 'storyboard'—a visual layout of the different 'scenes' in your presentation in rough sketch form. Storyboarding your slides before you create them helps you visualise how the content of your presentation will flow and how the slides relate to each other. Your storyboard should be a type of map, outlining the main points of your presentation.
Draw in pencil and have an eraser handy. You can rule up some frames on A3 paper or use a set of index cards or large post-it notes (cards/ post-its can be rearranged to try out different presentation sequences).
Evaluating and redrafting your storyboard enables you to make adjustments early while revisions are easy to do. Read your written script while looking at the storyboard and ask yourself:
Make sure you complete your storyboard before you move to the computer.