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Presentation Aids

Presentation refers to anything your audience can listen to or look at to help them understand your ideas. They are a great way to emphasize ideas, provide clarity, and add visual appeal to your speech. As long as they aid the speaker, rather than replace the speaker, presentation aids can be invaluable. This article discusses three types of presentation aids: whiteboards, objects, and presentation slides. 


Whiteboards are a great way to keep your audience engage as you have, essentially, a blank canvas and the ability to write or draw anything. It’s great for developing diagrams and even writing out simple headings to catch the audience’s attention (Hutt, 2017). However, there are some disadvantages to using a whiteboard as a presentation aid. Having your back to the audience is not the best thing to do as you want to be facing your audience so that your voice may project well and good body language is communicated. However, using the whiteboard to write down key ideas or concepts that are hard to spell or remember helps provide clarity and allows your message to stick. Drawing on a whiteboard is fun to do and may even add humor to your presentation. The drawings should be used to emphasize an idea, not just a random doodle. 


Presentation aids, such as objects, add interest to a speech because they are real. Remember in grade school when we had “show and tell”? Students would bring their favorite toy, talk about it, and pass it around in class for everyone to see. Objects can have a positive impact to a speech. It gives your audience something tangible that can be memorable and get the message across. Being able to touch, see, feel, hear, and in some instances, smell an object that relates to one’s presentation may create a lasting impression that allows the message of your speech to be remembered. However, one disadvantage that could make a presenter think twice about passing out objects, is that sometimes objects can distract your audience by focusing on the object rather than your message (Hutt, 2017). One solution to remedy this problem is to wait until the speech is over, and then allow the audience to observe the object. 

Presentation Slides

Presentation slides allow you to display text, graphs, and charts, clip art, photographs, maps, or drawings to enhance your speech. You can even incorporate video and audio clips. However, do not use presentation slides to simply project your entire speech or notes on a slide. Instead, the content of your slides should have media that help your audience connect with the message by appealing to things like emotion or logic (Mehl, 2017). For instance, instead of having the word “Poverty” up on a slide, display a photo of actual people living in poverty. This will appeal to your audiences’ emotions and make your speech more engaging and memorable. 


Presentation aids can enhance or negatively impact a presentation.  Remember, that presentation aids act as aids, tools to help you deliver your message. When using whiteboards, try not to remain in a position where your back is to the audience. When using objects, do not pass it around, rather have the audience play with it after the presentation is over. Lastly, presentation slides, use them to enhance your message and your ability to deliver it. Do not let presentation slides to be the message or the messenger.  


Hutt, M. (2017, August 10). 6 major types of visual presentation. Retrieved from https://www.eztalks.com/presentation/types-of-visual-presentation.html

Mehl, M. (2017). Principles of communication: Public speaking. Pearson Learning Solutions.

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