Visual aids can make a big impact in your speech if they are used the right way. Here are some further examples of how to use them for the most impact:
A young businessman started a speech by blowing a blast on a referee’s whistle and asking, “How would you like to hear that early in the morning when you are dreaming of bright blue eyes and Tennessee moonlight? Or would you rather hear this?”
Then he played You’re in the Army Now on a toy bugle. While the audience was still smiling he told how he had used that bugle in the army to promote good human relations between himself, as charge of quarters, and soldiers in the barracks.
He had seen the soldiers wake up frowning and cursing under their breath when they heard the shrill, irritating whistle. But the toy bugle actually caused them to smile as they awoke. And on the drill field sometimes a Tennessean would grin as he pointed him out and said, “There’s that feller with the funny whistle.” His point was that good human relations are effective even in a tough place like the army.
Visual aids not only get attention, but they may also be used to help make a difficult subject clear and easily understood. A high school boy illustrated this truth when he used a toy balloon to explain jet propulsion. He blew up the balloon, turned it loose, and said, “Jet propulsion acts like that.” And quickly he chalked a rough likeness of the balloon on the blackboard. He also drew a lopsided rectangle to represent a jet motor. As he scribbled with the chalk he piped, “Grandma Moses taught me
to draw in ten easy lessons.”
Then by referring to the drawing, and in simple language, he explained jet propulsion so that nearly everyone in the au¬dience could understand it.
Maybe the Chinese who said, “One demonstration is worth a thousand words,” wasn’t talking through his queue. Demon¬strate!
Although a speaker is not expected to be a magician, listeners welcome visual aids any time during a speech because things furnish interesting variety from so many words. Such variety rests minds and makes ideas more vivid. Besides people will more likely remember what they see than what they hear. Using a tan¬gible object in connection with an idea will surely make that idea more memorable. - . ‘ ‘
Using common, aids such as a pencil, handkerchief, book, news¬paper and so on, can be helpful. A simple aid such as an old-fashioned bird’s-eye match will help an audience “see” as well as hear a speaker say, “He started the fire with a big match like grandpa used.”
Several objects can be used throughout a speech. A speaker can hardly use too many if they make good sense and are in line with the points he is making.
In my net post on using visual aids in persuasive speaking I’ll talk about the big mistake to avoid when using visual aids in your speech.