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See what I mean?

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in Office Communication,Workplace Communication

When you deliver a presentation, your words can only carry you so far. You also need to give people something stimulating to see that reinforces your message.

The people you're addressing aren't just listeners; they're also viewers. They may digest information better by seeing an image that provides a graphic representation of your point.

That doesn't mean you must spend hours designing flashy PowerPoint slides. Too much glitz won't necessarily translate into increased clarity and comprehension.

But you should look for opportunities to integrate visual aides that illustrate what you want to say. Examples can range from slides to props that you pass around the room.

If you're presenting complex data, ask yourself how your audience might better wrap their minds around the information. Just as good books combine text with photos or graphs, you can use visuals to reinforce your remarks.

Consider a study reported in the journal Cognition in which researchers analyzed how individuals assign value to information when reading articles about the human brain. The researchers showed subjects a series of different articles and asked them to rate the scientific validity of what they read.

The study participants responded more favorably to an article that included colorful visual images of the brain. They preferred the scientific content in those articles, as opposed to text that lacked compelling visuals. The researchers concluded that "people are very seduced by those sorts of images."

In preparing your next speech, take steps to integrate any graphs, photos or other representations of your subject matter.


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