How To Use Visual Aid Effectively In Public Speaking

How To Use Visual Aid Effectively In Public Speaking

Delivering a speech to a large audience is almost always a tough task. Holding the attention of a huge gathering or an audience can prove to be difficult, but don’t fret, it’s not impossible. There are a ton of ways to keep your audience engaged, one of the simplest ways to get your point across, is to use a visual aid. 

Visual aid can help bring a story to life and bring out the ‘wow’ factor in your examples. It can help characterize and can draw attention to what’s extremely important. It acts as an add-on to the speech/ lecture you’re giving and this could be a brilliant opportunity to help the listener learn more. Visual aid can also provide comic relief if it is used smartly. 

Our brains process visual information 60,000 times faster than any other kind of data.

Here are some ideas and a list of things you should look into before you do it!

You can choose from a large range of visual aids. While picking a suitable visual aid, you have to remember the space you will be provided with and the different aspects you will have to work with.


Powerpoint presentations/ presentations


While making a presentation you are surely going to be drawn to the different types of layouts and the various features that it has to offer. Steer clear of all this! The most effective presentations are the ones that are clutter-free, color-coordinated, and to the point. You do not want the audience to pay attention to the various aspects of the presentation and not notice the keyword or factor you were trying to highlight, do you?




This type of visual aid works very well if you are someone who can work through a speech as if it was a routine. This visual aid doesn’t take too much attention away from you, the speaker. However, it also adds a great deal of dimension. Flashcards can contain single words/titles and single images. This way the audience will be able to make the correlation easily.


Flip charts


When you are trying to put across multiple points, with examples that may require visual/illustrated aid and keywords, etc, flip charts are the most effective. Every time you flip a page, the audience is informed that there is progression and colors etc can be used as well.


Whiteboards/ Chalkboards


Every one of us has watched someone use a chalkboard or a whiteboard. There are 2 effective ways of using these visual aids. You can either pre-write keywords and information on it or fill in information during the pauses of your speech. While using this type of visual aid can be productive, it can very easily be a cause for distraction, not just for the audience but for you, the speaker. It is important to regulate its use through the course of the speech/ lecture/ story. 




An addition of a video or a running video in the background could be a good idea if you have your speech well planned and rehearsed. However, this might require the listener to divide their attention between the background video and you, causing a little bit of a hassle. Playing videos during a speech is not uncommon, it adds perspective and helps keep the listener entertained as well.




When the audience is not too huge and the means are available, handouts can help the audience highlight and remember much more. They can consist of keywords, images, or a mindmap. This can be engaging because the listener will need to correlate what you are saying to the handout. However, this can be a disaster if the speech and the handout aren’t coordinated well. 

Using visual aids can be challenging, here are some tips to help you pull it off!




Keeping it simple is going to take you a long way, spare yourself the trouble, focus on design, keep it simple!




Check the equipment you are going to be using if you are using electronics to make sure there is a proper power supply or a standby battery. Check if your visual aid is visible from all parts of the room. Visibility is an important factor.


Use an appropriate amount of aid


Using too much visual aid can end in disaster, using too little will make no impact at all, it’s all about the balance.


Shifting focus


Turn off or putting away visual aids might be a good idea because they might prove as a distraction after you use them to illustrate a certain aspect. Highlighting yourself and making yourself the center of focus can help your speech have better reach.


Plan, Practice!


To succeed at anything you need to plan and rehearse and practice! That’s exactly what you’ll have to do here as well. Plan what you have to say! Practice it over and over until you have complete confidence in yourself. This will give you an edge and a boost of confidence as well. 


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