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Presentation Skills – The importance of visuals

There are three learning categories: Visual, Auditory and Kinesthetic. So, it is important to remember that your presentations should include something for all types of learners.

Visual learners retain information such as photos, graphics and simple (but colourful) charts. When used correctly, visual images can make a far stronger impact on some people than words alone.

Auditory learners benefit the most from powerful words and stories. These could be personal stories, analogies and metaphors, tangible examples such as facts and figures, and also changes in pitch, volume and speed.

The Kinesthetic group of people learn by doing, moving and touching. They are “hands-on”, and write down ideas, take notes, ask questions, give feedback and enjoy demonstrations.

Four principles of good visual aids

1. Number

  • Don’t use too many!
  •  They should not distract your audience attention away from what you have to say

2. Design

  • Don’t repeat what you can say with words
  • Avoid too much information
  • Use keywords
  • Think about what type of visual is good for you
  • Use colour – but not too much

3. Relevance

  • Make sure the audience understands the visual
  • Your visuals should help you communicate your message

4. Use

  • Face the audience as much as possible
  • Use a pointer and/or masking techniques where appropriate
  • Don’t read from your slides


Include something for ALL types of learners. During a presentation, your audience should hear stories, see visuals and/or watch video and engage in discussion based on your questions. Good luck!

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