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Public Speaking Tip #33: Save Visual Aids and Handouts for the End

Visual aids (such as the one described in Public Speaking Tip #32) and handout sheets can be a great enhancement to a speech or a business presentation. But they also can be a giant distraction if they aren’t handled correctly.

Once a visual aid or handout starts going around the room during a presentation, the audience’s attention is diverted to the object or handout. Much of what a speaker is saying will be lost while visual aids and handouts are being passed around.If you do distribute a visual aid, it is usually best to do s0 at the end of your presentation. That way, you won’t distract your audience during your presentation. Once an item is being passed around, all eyes are focused on it and not on the presenter. This is true for handout sheets as well.

It is usually better to distribute visual aids or handouts at the end of your presentation. In the case of a visual aid, you might want to show it to your audience and let them know that it will be available to them after the presentation is over. Here is an example a presenter showing what acupuncture needles look like in the midst of her informative speech. In the case of handout sheets, you might want to announce that they will be available at the end of your talk and briefly describe what’s in them.

However you use them, make sure your visual aids and handout sheets are enhancements to your speech or presentation and not a distraction. By making them available at the end, you will have a better chance of keeping your audience’s attention and delivering a more memorable presentation.

 

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