The right visual aid can provide impact and clarity.
A visual aid...
What is the right medium?
Make sure your visual aid has the impact you intend.
Rehearse with your visual aids so you feel at ease with them and ensure that your timing is accurate.
Timing -- Coordinate the display of the visual aid to coincide with your presentation of the information contained in them
Have it ready to go but not in full view until needed
Remove the visual aid if it is not needed for the next point
Placement: Plan where will it go and where you will stand
Display the visual where it can be seen by all
Be sure you are not blocking the view of audience members
Stay out of the light of the projector
Block out lines of text if necessary and reveal as needed
Explanation/Interpretation: Tell your audience the point you are trying to make
Specify the subject (“this is a diagram of the human eye” “this is a graph of the growth of the US population from 1980-2007”)
Orient the audience to the general layout
For graphs -- what do the horizontal and vertical axis represent and what conclusion is being drawn
For tables and charts -- what are the headings for the columns and what conclusion is being drawn
For objects, models, pictures -- describe in more detail
Eye Contact: Look at your audience, not the visual
Refer to the computer display rather than the projection screen
Face the audience; don’t turn your head or back to them
Direct the audience's eyes to specific components as they are described
Don’t leave audience searching
No matter what you choose, follow these pieces of advice when using a visual aid.