Visual aids are great, until they’re not. Use them correctly, and your message is impactful and easy to understand; use them incorrectly, and no one will remember what you said.
Here are three things to keep in mind as you prepare for your TED Talk:
#1 — Visual aids are meant to be…visual.
The biggest mistake people make is to include too much text. Just remember that it’s a careful balance, and the text you include should emphasize your message, not compete with it. Instead, think images, videos, and sound effects.
#2 — Be strategic.
Visual aids can both enhance your presentation AND act as an outline for you, the presenter. What do we mean? Include images, videos, sound effects, and text that remind you of your next point. The confidence monitors at your feet allow you to see the current screen and the upcoming screen, so rely on your visual aids instead of a separate outline to keep your presentation on topic.
#3 — Use spell check.
About a year ago, Sen. Maria Cantwell (now referred to as “Sen. Cantspell”) failed to use spell check in her argument against the Republican health care bill. This mistake cost her the message. Though tedious, make sure every word you use is spelled correctly. The extra effort is worth it.