Using Visual Aids and Props for Giving More Powerful Presentations

Visual aids and props can go a long way in lending interest and depth to your presentation. Many people are highly visual in nature. “Did you see that!” Audiences tend to remember visually presented information more clearly and in more detail. If you’re still a bit nervous, a small “prop” will help you to keep your hands “busy”, so you can avoid a number of unconscious “nervous habits”. Some props and visual aids I’ve found useful during my presentations include these items.

Small stuffed animals

I’ve used “Winnie the Pooh”, “Tigger” and “Piglet” on more occasions than I can count. I also have successfully used “generic” stuffed rabbits, frogs, puppies and mice. Be creative and imaginative in coming up with ways to use them to help make your point and your audiences will eat it up.

Hand outs

Hand outs are still an effective means of keeping your audience in tow. Use them to reinforce your main points, as an outline for your audience to follow your presentation and as additional information they can take away. If you have additional services or a product to offer, be sure to include a flyer as part of your handout package. I’ve actually had seminar attendees almost literally fight over handouts, climbing over one another in their quest to get the handout package.


Photographs make great visual aids – When I recently gave presentations to group of fellow teachers, I included slides which not only quoted some of them but used a photo of them as well. In another presentation, I used a collage of photos to illustrate the upcoming themes and topics of my presentation. One of my most memorable “Thank You for attending” slides featured a collage of photos I’d taken previously of persons who were in the audience. Needless to say, it went over quite well.

Charts and graphs

Charts and graphs put verbal information into a visual form that is much more easily digested and remembered by audiences. They can also add a more colorful dimension to your presentation statistics and key facts.


By all means don’t miss an opportunity to include a short demonstration in your presentation. Use volunteers from the audience, mini-competitions, etc. to deeply involve attendees of your presentation. It’ll be all the more memorable not only for them, but for their fellow attendees as well. Have them give a brief comment, relate an experience or offer up a relevant anecdote during your presentation. Ask for volunteers, “Has anyone had an experience with …” or “Has this ever happened to anyone here?” I always get at least a couple of eager volunteers. They sure can liven things up.


Video is a marvelous tool that is being included more and more into all kinds of presentations. Digital video clips needn’t be lengthy or excessively large and can be inserted into a Power Point slide. These include full color, motion and sound to introduce, illustrate or deepen a key point. Their use should be controlled if not limited as they can cause “technical problems” if the equipment you’re using isn’t yours. A differently configured computer can wreak havoc on your carefully crafted presentation.

Don’t leave out sound

Don’t leave out sound in your presentations either. Some ideas include using a bell, whistle, rattle, Kazoo, slide whistle, flute, rhythm sticks or some other little noise maker. Leave the Klaxon horns and foghorns for New Year’s Eve. Sound can be used as prompts for attention-getting, cueing slides or activities or audience participation – “Now at the sound of the bell, everybody say …

Use more audio visual aids and props in your presentations. You too will then have more attendees approaching after your presentation to shake your hand and say, “Thanks, I really enjoyed your presentation.”

Creating Effective Presentations – Planning Is THE Key Ingredient

Creating effective presentations that hit the mark is a little like putting together a puzzle. The majority of professionals in the business world rely on presentations at some point during negotiations. Yet, the results are sometimes inconsistent. Some presentations clearly demonstrate the intended idea, while others leave people confused or, worse, disinterested.

How DO you make this tool work for you? One simple answer to creating effective presentations: planning.

Creating effective presentations means planning, planning and more planning. This often requires meticulous research. For business presentations, the plan should include answers to the following:

  • What point you want to make?
  • What benefits you are offering?
  • What makes you unique from your competitors?
  • What deal you are offering?
  • Why are YOU the only choice?

Good planning helps ensure that enough of your presentation sticks in the mind of your audience to support what you’re proposing at the end of your presentation. Hence, your slides should be used as props, not as running commentary. Crowded data-filled slides often result in confused minds. They pull the audience’s attention away from you and what you’re saying.

Slides should have a maximum of four lines of text or one image that represents one main idea. Always use the slide as a prop while YOU present your message.

When creating effective presentations, one important ingredient is your own conviction. If you are not sold on the idea you’re talking about, the presentation is going to fall flat on its face. The enthusiasm of someone who believes in what he or she is saying is infectious and essential when selling an idea.

Keep slides and your communication simple and clear. Whenever possible, eliminate lists and data tables. Instead, put the gist or result on the slide. The key to creating effective presentations is clarity in your communication. If you have a lot of data to share, put the details in a handout and distribute it before or after your presentation.

While we are on the subject of planning in creating effective presentations, let’s not forget about the hardware. Many presentations fall flat because the logistics around hardware was not given enough attention. Always check that Internet connectivity, computer battery, your projector, outlets and anything else you need are available and in working order. If possible, run through your presentation once to make sure there are no hidden glitches.

Follow these steps, and you’ll be well on your way to creating effective presentations.

Sales Presentations

When it comes to sales presentations, a company will want to make an excellent impression. Corporate hospitality is of the utmost importance when it comes to sales presentations. In fact, excellent corporate hospitality is vital for all kinds of hosted events, whether the events are sales presentations or the company is hosting annual general meetings, awards ceremonies, conferences, conventions, exhibitions, meetings, PR events, product launches, seminars, team building events, and training courses for employees.

The image a corporation has and the impression the corporation makes are directly reflected in how an event is presented. An event and its rate of successfulness are determined by the selection of venue, the entertainment provided (if any), the menu selection, and the schedule of events. When it comes to corporate hospitality and sales presentations, there is much to consider: a corporation depends on sales presentations to run smoothly in order to secure future sales, as well as to secure the attendance at future sales presentations. To secure the latter mentioned issues, the corporation must arrange and execute a well-planned event.

A corporation wants to convey that they are a caring organisation and that they are a insightful organisation: such an image is defined by corporate hospitality and it will cause those in attendance at a sales presentation to have more confidence in whatever product or service is being presented. In order to present a caring and insightful, professional image, the corporation will have to be prepared to address every possibility during the process of planning the sales presentation – if a single detail is overlooked it can cause the sales presentation to fail in terms of success. Rather than worry whether or not every aspect of the sales presentation is covered, a corporation often wisely chooses to take on a qualified professional to plan, arrange, and execute sales presentations.

Many corporations decide to leave their sales presentation planning to a qualified, capable event organiser and planner: one that understands the importance of corporate hospitality. Every hosted event must be managed to the very last detail and rather than being burdened with the chore of planning an event, corporations allow an knowledgable organiser to prepare annual general meetings, awards ceremonies, conferences, conventions, exhibitions, meetings, PR events, product launches, sales presentations, seminars, team building events, and training courses because the event organiser will always keep the corporate image in mind.

Event planners and organisers understand that the selection of the appropriate venue for sales presentations must be absolutely flawless. Not only does the location of the venue have to be convenient for all that attend the event, but also, the general services offered by the venue must be superlative. The venue of choice leaves an enduring and lasting impression on those that attend the sales presentation and are a direct reflection of the corporation’s hospitality. Those that attend sales presentations will remember the atmosphere of the chosen venue, the services offered at the location, and will immediately associate their memories with the sales presentations and the products/services under assessment.

Since the selection of venue is so critical to a successful event, corporations often depend on an event organiser: event organisers are familiar with various venues, services and fees and can help a corporation secure the best location for any event. An organiser and event planner will assist in choosing a venue where the reception staff is friendly and amiable, where there is plenty of parking for those hosting the event and those that attend, and will ensure that the venue chosen offers the most comfortable atmosphere for a sales presentation.

A single overlooked detail can destroy the success of sales presentations – an event organiser can prevent disaster from happening by managing every detail of sales presentations from beginning to end. Event organisers will take into consideration the types of menus offered at a venue, the accessibility of the venue, the security of the venue, and will also ensure that no problems arise during the sales presentation. Event organisers also investigate the technical aspects of a venue to make sure that there are no issues with equipment set up and use during a sales presentation – a review of technical data sheets allows for the event organiser to examine how many electrical outlets are available and whether or not moving equipment in and out of the location will be difficult.

Event organisers make sales presentations successful by providing invited guests with detailed maps that give the individuals clear, concise directions to the venue. Event organisers also take into consideration different forms of transportation and provide guests with information pertaining to public transportation. In addition, professional event organisers will carefully review the menu offered at a venue: the planner will make certain that the portions of a meal are reasonable and special menus are available for those with particular dietary needs. No detail is left untended to by a professional event organiser.