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Visual Aids in Selling

Out of curiosity how many members use/suggest using visual aids during presentations?

I realize there are probably many situations where these might be inappropriate but in general what are your thoughts on using visual aids?

Also, any visual aid does or don'ts? - by WobblyBox
Wobbly (Can I call you Wobbly?) ;)


I think it depends on the kind of a presentation. If it's a standup presentation to a group, I think visual aids (like on a screen) are very important. You are then communicating verbally as well as visually, and I think it helps to keep a group focused.

I like using a desktop presentation if I'm making a relatively long presentation where concepts can most easily be explained visually. If it's a very informal presentation, or if the meeting is focused on information-gathering, then I prefer just to have a handout or two that I can show to the person when a specific topic comes up. Putting a lot of structure into a fact-finding meeting can shut off a lot of discussion.

In terms of dos and don'ts, a few things come to mind:
  • Don't read from a visual aid. The visual should be set up to hit the high points and you fill in the rest verbally.
  • Don't use a visual aid unless it looks professional. No copies of copies.
  • Unless your audience will be taking lots of notes, don't hand out a hard copy of your presentation before you give it. Lots of people will just be flipping through all the pages and not paying attention.
  • If you do distribute a handout, don't be thrown by people flipping through the pages and not paying attention. Speak to those who are actually listening.
  • If you're using an overhead projector, remember that if you can read the overhead when you place it on the glass, it's on there right.
  • If you're using slides, make sure they're in the right order. Personally. Before the presentation.
  • If you're using a PC, make sure the battery is fully charged. Personally. Before the presentation. Or make sure you can set it up near an outlet. If you're projecting on a screen, make sure the first page of the presentation is on the screen before you start. And, don't use any goofy screensavers.
  • Practice with any visual aid you use before using it the first time. If its a desktop presentation binder, make sure you can get it to stand up while you turn the pages, etc. Don't let the visual aid overshadow the message.
Hope this helps.

Kathleen - by KSA-Mktg
Wobbly (Can I call you Wobbly?) ;)
You can call me anything but late for dinner. :D

Thanks for the input Kathleen. Good stuff. :) - by WobblyBox
Wobbly (Can I call you Wobbly?) ;)


I think it depends on the kind of a presentation. If it's a standup presentation to a group, I think visual aids (like on a screen) are very important. You are then communicating verbally as well as visually, and I think it helps to keep a group focused.

I like using a desktop presentation if I'm making a relatively long presentation where concepts can most easily be explained visually. If it's a very informal presentation, or if the meeting is focused on information-gathering, then I prefer just to have a handout or two that I can show to the person when a specific topic comes up. Putting a lot of structure into a fact-finding meeting can shut off a lot of discussion.

In terms of dos and don'ts, a few things come to mind:

  • Don't read from a visual aid. The visual should be set up to hit the high points and you fill in the rest verbally.
  • Don't use a visual aid unless it looks professional. No copies of copies.
  • Unless your audience will be taking lots of notes, don't hand out a hard copy of your presentation before you give it. Lots of people will just be flipping through all the pages and not paying attention.
  • If you do distribute a handout, don't be thrown by people flipping through the pages and not paying attention. Speak to those who are actually listening.
  • If you're using an overhead projector, remember that if you can read the overhead when you place it on the glass, it's on there right.
  • If you're using slides, make sure they're in the right order. Personally. Before the presentation.
  • If you're using a PC, make sure the battery is fully charged. Personally. Before the presentation. Or make sure you can set it up near an outlet. If you're projecting on a screen, make sure the first page of the presentation is on the screen before you start. And, don't use any goofy screensavers.
  • Practice with any visual aid you use before using it the first time. If its a desktop presentation binder, make sure you can get it to stand up while you turn the pages, etc. Don't let the visual aid overshadow the message.
Hope this helps.

Kathleen

This is Great Info thx for posting this. Did you copy it from some where or you know this from experience? - by Sanddollar
I give one on one presenations and I would be lost without my presentation book. For what I do, it's a definite YES. (BTW, I wouldn't call you late for dinner if you showed up with a pizza in hand). - by RainMaker
I give one on one presenations and I would be lost without my presentation book. For what I do, it's a definite YES. (BTW, I wouldn't call you late for dinner if you showed up with a pizza in hand).
Ahh pizz-a pie. :D - by WobblyBox
Did you copy it from some where or you know this from experience?
Sanddollar,

Got the list from the school of hard knocks. ;)

Kathleen - by KSA-Mktg
Nice post, Kathleen. :) In general, a sales prospect would benefit much from visual aids. Talking isn't enough. A buyer would like to see what he is buying as well as a schematic of the payment, earning (when applicable), and stuff. - by clarise
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