Presentation Skills 1: Use Visual Aids

One of the most powerful things that you can do to your presentation is to add in visual aids.

Research shows that if you use visual aids you are twice as likely to achieve your objectives.

Ditch the bullet points – use pictures instead.

Use visual aids in your next presentation.

Why should you use visual aids?

1. How we take in information during a presentation


Professor Albert Mehrabian did a lot of research into how we take in information during a presentation. He concluded that 55% of the information we take in is visual and only 7% is text.

There are some important conclusions that we can take in from this information

  1. Use visuals (pictures, graphs, tables, props) whenever you can
  2. In a speech you are only using 38% of the communication medium
  3. Ditch the bullet points

2. Making the presentation memorable


In a Study at the Wharton Research Centre they showed that using visual slides had a dramatic effect on message retention. The effect of using visuals is truly staggering!

The old adage that “a picture is worth a thousand words” is as true today as it has always been.

3. Achieving your objectives

If I said that I could double your chances of achieving your objectives in a presentation with just one piece of advice you would probably be very skeptical. And yet if you use visual images that is just what happens.


This study by Decker Communications showed that by using visuals in your presentation you could expect roughly to double the chance of achieving your objectives. And if you are trying to make a sales presentation or a job interview presentation, this piece of advice could have a major impact on your bank balance.

The conclusion: Use visual aids

So hopefully by now you have got the message loud and clear. Use visual aids in your next presentation.


Published On: 20th Apr 2009

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