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Tips for Using Visual Aids

Looking for some help when using visual aids in a business presentation?

So, why do we use visuals at all?

  • A picture is worth a thousand words
  • They can portray vividly and instantly things that are impossible to convey verbally
  • They create interest
  • They bring variety
  • They add impact
  • They remain in the memory long after the words have left it

Using a Flip Chart


  • Sketch in very light pencil – only you can see before the presentation, then inking over whilst you are carrying out the presentation – especially good for creating good straight lines or circles.
  • Make sure the letters are large enough 6cm for headings, 3cm for everything else
  • 3 colours max – use strong colours that will stand out
  • Tab corner with one word title so you can see which flip you want
  • Decide where to position so that everyone can see


  • Don’t talk and write at the same time
  • Introduce, pause, display, pause, talk/invite comment
  • If you are right-handed, the flip chart should be on your left as you face the audience, so you obscure much less of it when drawing.
  • When pointing at the flip chart, stay on the same side and point with your left hand, so that you stay facing the audience.
  • Turn to blank page at end



  • Check picture fills 75% of screen
  • Everyone can see
  • Screen is switched off


  • Pause when placing OHP, with the machine off
  • Switch on machine
  • Pause - give people time to read
  • Face audience, not screen
  • Explain your points
  • Use pointer on OHP, not screen.


Powerpoint / Slide Projection


  • Keep it simple
  • Use visual images as much as possible
  • Use clear pictures and charts
  • Never put more words on one slide than you would on a T Shirt
  • Make sure any words are big enough to be read at the back of the room
  • Have a maximum of five bullet points
  • Make your titles headlines
  • Never import whole documents or spreadsheets
  • Write words like you’d say them


  • Don’t talk too fast through each slide
  • Use no more than one slide per minute
  • Use powerpoint to support rather than communicate what you are saying
  • Cut out the unnecessary slide
  • Produce a slide for you most important point to create a lasting impact on your audience

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