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There’re times when many of us find it difficult to concentrate while watching a presentation. What makes the whole presentation dull is lack of or boring visual aids. Unquestionably, the objective of any presentation is to get heard and convey the message just the way it’s needed to. Well-designed slides and flip charts rich in visual aids not only help the audience to memorize the statements but lead to a successful presentation too. Here’s rounding up eight insider tips to create attention-grabbing visual aids.

1. A picture is worth a thousand words

Think of awe-inspiring, high-quality images that can engage the audience and get your message across. Forget those small, low-resolution images to fit the layout as it will only degrade the presentation. Take some time out to search online for a wealth of free sources to get those perfect images.

2. Limit use of words

Use words as minimum as possible and place images and diagrams before words. Whenever you use words, try to keep them short. It’s wise to use only key phrases, nouns and verbs on the slides.

3. Replace words with graphics

Process diagrams, flowcharts, org charts etc are more effective ways to get substantial information across faster and in an easy to digest format. Whenever possible, replace the words with graphics. Remember to ensure that they aren’t cluttered, too heavy on details, or difficult to read, to avoid the audience deciphering the slides, rather than listening to you.

4. Use interesting colors

Colors can highlight notable points, add interest to your presentation, and above all, enhance the professional quality of your visuals. Inappropriate use of colors can simply diminish the effectiveness of your presentation. Things you should keep in mind include using the same color across the presentation for texts, titles and backgrounds, and choosing well-contrasting color combinations. Stay away from mixing colors within a sentence as it’ll deteriorate the quality.

5. Limit use of animations and transitions

Judiciously use animations and slide transitions. Animations like bullet points shouldn’t be animated on each and every slide. Focus on using only the professional and most suitable ones. When it comes to transitions between slides, stick to two-three different types and don’t place the effects between all slides.

6. One slide – one message

Regardless of the number of messages, try to ensure that each slide conveys just one message. Write it out in the chart title and get it clearly backed by words in the chart body. Avoid having a fewer number of complex slides. Instead, focus on having more slides with less screen time.

7. Limit use of bullet points

Lots of bullet points in the slides will hardly benefit the audience. The slides are there to support your narration, not to make you superfluous. It’s wise to use a minimum number of bullet points where they’re absolutely necessary.

8. Use appropriate charts

In #3, we talked about replacing words with charts but that has to stay within limits and should be appropriate. Presenters are often guilty of including lots of data within similar types of on-screen charts, which doesn’t work well for the audience.

There’re many ways through which data can be presented in the graphic form. For instance, use vertical bar charts to demonstrate changes in quality over time, horizontal bar charts to compare quantities, and line charts to demonstrate trends, among others.

Final Note

It’s important that your visual aids don’t become a victim of the most common mistakes: becoming enamored with PowerPoint and losing sight of the main objective. The purpose of each visual should be to effectively communicate what you want the audience to take away, so that they become influenced and take the requisite action that you want them to.