How should you balance your use of text and images in a presentation?
The saying “A picture is worth a thousand words” explains exactly why you should give priority to images rather than to words when you prepare your slides.
For example, if you’re explaining how you met the President of the United States, wouldn’t a photo of the two of you together add greater impact? Good evening, Mr. President …
You can deliver your talk more effectively if you associate the right images with the points you want to illustrate. By images I mean photographs, drawings, graphs and videos. People might not remember exactly what you said, but they will remember a meaningful image.
What’s more, visuals make the speaker and the talk more credible because the oral message is reinforced and supported by evidence in the form of text and images.
And what about incorporating physical objects or models into your talk? They allow you to show more effectively how something works and they can stimulate the audience’s interest.
If you are talking about bridge design why not make a model and stress-test it as part of your talk? But make sure this “realia” can be easily seen by everybody in the room and that it is not too distracting.
There are three basic things to bear in mind when choosing visual aids for your talk.
First, they must explain your ideas more clearly.
Second, they must make it easier for the audience to understand your ideas and to follow your talk.
And last but not least, they must help you to remember your talk and keep you on the right track.