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Maximizing Engagement: Interacting with Visual Aids in Your Presentation

Visuals 1.0 Photo by Christina Morillo on

As a presenter, visual aids can be invaluable for conveying your message and engaging your audience. However, simply displaying the visuals is not enough; you must also interact with them to maximize their impact. In this blog post, we will explore various techniques to interact with your visual aids.


The Touch-Turn-Talk method is an effective and engaging way for presenters to interact with visual aids during their presentations. By touching (or gesturing to) the visual aid, turning to face the audience, and then talking about it, a presenter can ensure that they remain connected to the audience while discussing the visual.

This connection is created by maintaining eye contact with their audience while still utilizing the visual to illustrate their point. This ensures that the audience remains engaged instead of simply looking at the visuals without listening to what is being said. Furthermore, the Touch-Turn-Talk method helps to allow the presenter to have a more natural and conversational style when discussing the visual aid.

This method can also help to keep the presenter focused on their presentation. By touching the visual aid, turning to face the audience, and then talking about it, the presenter can ensure that they are talking about the visuals and not just talking to or reading from the visuals.

“Load Aim Fire”

The “Load, Aim, Fire” concept is a powerful tool used to effectively communicate information to an audience.

It is a process that can be used with any type of reference material, such as a book or article, to help ensure that the information is delivered effectively and accurately.

The process is simple, yet highly effective and can be used in any setting, such as the classroom, boardroom, or even in a public speaking setting.

The first step in the “Load, Aim, Fire” process is to “load” the information into your brain from the reference material. You do this by looking at the material and refreshing your memory. This should be a glance as you should be familiar with the information.

Once you have loaded the information into your brain, the next step is to “aim” your focus on one person in the audience using your eye contact.

Finally, the third and final step is to “fire” or deliver the information to that person. This may be for 2 or 3 seconds before you move onto the next person. When you have completed that thought you look back down and repeat the process.

Moving from One Side of the Screen to the Other

When using visual aids, it’s useful to move from one side of the screen to the other to direct the audience’s attention to specific areas of the visual. When doing this we do it in silence so we don’t lose connection with the audience.

Vocalizing Where You Are on the Slide

Another useful technique is vocalizing where you are on the slide to bring the audience’s attention to a specific point. For example, you can say, “on the top right of the screen, you will see,” and then talk about the point you want to emphasize. This technique helps the audience follow along with the presentation and ensures that they stay on track.

Using the B Key in PowerPoint

The B key in PowerPoint is a useful tool to send the screen to black when the presenter wants to draw the audience’s attention away from the visuals and back to them. This technique can be an opportunity to summarise what has just become before, to signal a transition, or regain the audience’s attention after a brief diversion. This works by pressing the the letter B key when you are slide show mode.

 It’s understandable that some of these techniques might feel a bit robotic at first, but with practice, they will become more natural. Just remember the sole purpose of these techniques is to prevent you from talking to the screen and losing your connection with the audience.

8 Factors to Consider for Choosing the Perfect Words in Your Presentation

2.7 Words Photo by mali maeder on

As a presenter, the words you choose can make or break your presentation. It’s essential to choose the right words to effectively communicate your message and engage your audience, no matter if you are trying to inform, educate, persuade, or entertain them. Here are eight key things to consider when selecting the right words for your presentation:


Understanding your audience is critical when selecting the right words. It is important to consider the background, expertise, and preferences of your audience when choosing the language, tone, and level of detail that you use. For example, if you are presenting to a group of school teachers, you should use language that is understandable and appealing to them, rather than technical jargon that may be more suitable for a technical audience.


When selecting words for your presentation, it is important to consider the purpose of the presentation. Depending on the objective, different words will be more effective. For instance, if you are attempting to persuade your audience, it can be beneficial to use words that evoke emotions or have associations that back up your argument. For example, if delivering a sales pitch for a new product, language emphasizing its benefits and distinctiveness, like ‘cutting-edge’, ‘groundbreaking’, and ‘transformative’ could be employed.


Clarity is an essential element of effective communication. When crafting your message, use clear, concise, and easy-to-understand language. Avoid technical jargon or overly complex language that may confuse your audience. Instead, opt for simple, straightforward words that are easy to follow and will ensure that everyone in the audience fully understands the procedures and protocols. For example, in a safety training session, use clear and concise language to ensure that everyone understands the instructions.

Be concise

Choose concise words and avoid long-winded sentences for maximum impact. Utilize succinct, vibrant expressions when speaking in a motivational manner, e.g. ‘persevere’, ‘brimming with excitement’, and ‘energetically pursuing, to captivate your listeners.


Words can evoke powerful emotions in your audience. Choose words that will bring out the emotions you wish to evoke in your listeners. If you want to move your audience to action, use encouraging and optimistic words. In a tribute speech, for instance, use words that may bring about feelings of sorrow, like ‘commemorate’, ‘treasured’, and ‘legacy’.

Power words

Some words have more impact than others. For example, words like ‘proven’, ‘successful’, ‘best’, and ‘expert’ carry a lot of weight. Use power words that are appropriate for your message and audience. For example, you may want to use power words that emphasize your expertise and credibility, such as ‘innovative solution’, ‘proven methodology’, and ‘track record of success’


Repetition can be an effective way to ensure your message is remembered. Consider repeating key words or phrases throughout your presentation to emphasize your point. For example, if you are launching a new brand, repeating the brand name and tagline throughout the presentation can help your audience remember it more easily. This repetition can be used to create a lasting impression and help your message stay in their minds.


Imagery: Words have the power to create vivid, captivating visuals in the minds of your audience. By using descriptive language that paints a vivid picture of your message, you can help your audience better comprehend and recall your message. For instance, when discussing a new product launch, instead of just saying “the product is innovative,” you could portray it as “a ground-breaking, cutting-edge device that’s poised to revolutionize the industry.” Descriptive words such as “ground-breaking” and “cutting-edge” help to build a captivating mental image of the product and its potential influence, making it more memorable for your audience.

 Let’s take a real-life example to illustrate the importance of selecting the right words. Imagine you’re giving a presentation on a new eco-friendly car to an audience of environmentally conscious consumers. Your purpose is to convince them to consider purchasing the car. To captivate your audience, you might use persuasive words like “proven fuel efficiency,” “zero emissions,” and “sustainable transportation.” You could also choose descriptive words that create positive feelings like “luxurious ride,” “sleek design,” and “silent operation.” By choosing words that are meaningful to your audience and perfectly align with your purpose, your presentation will have a greater likelihood of being effective and making an impact.

In conclusion, selecting the right words for your presentation is essential to effectively communicate your message and engage your audience. To do this, consider factors such as your audience’s background and preferences, the purpose of your presentation, clarity, conciseness, evoking emotions, using power words, repetition, and incorporating imagery. By taking these factors into account, you will be able to craft a powerful and impactful presentation that will leave a lasting impression on your audience.

Donald Trump has a lot of Charisma. What!

Whether you love him or abhor him Trump has charisma, otherwise, why would anyone follow him?

The first one is emotional expressiveness

These are all things we can work on.  Depending on your personal circumstance we can all vary either our voice, facial expressions and gestures or all three. For example, we can modulate our voice, we can smile and tilt our head quizzically as a gesture.

The second one is empathic concern

Donald describes empathic concern as “the ability to read others’ emotions, feelings, and attitudes, and the ability to demonstrate that you are sympathetic.”

Third Savoir-fare

This is a bit trickier, as some people would rather die a thousand cuts than work a room. I don’t mind working a room, but unfortunately, I don’t get any further than the first person I meet, much to their displeasure. What you might like to do here is to pick your battle.  Pick the event that you are going to make an all-out assault on, take a buddy and go for it.  Make it a game and see how many people you can meet.  Make it fun, not a nightmare.

Lastly verbal elements

Here charismatic people “speak in “picturesque” language, make good use of metaphors, use vivid storytelling to convey images and meaning”

We can do this as well.  If we know there is an event coming up, do some homework and prepare a

  • short anecdote about something that happened to you recently and practice it so it comes out  the way you want.
  • Find a metaphor. Humorously refer to your partner as a couch potato” or quote an artist like Bob Dylan describing your life by saying “Chaos is a friend of mine”
  • Memorise a vivid short story.  You’ll need a new one each time though.

Thanks to Donald Riggio we have four tactics to make us more charismatic and some ideas from me.

Video for business communication 5 keys to success

For 13 weeks each year starting in March, I teach at Swinburne University in The Media and Communications Department. Covid and teaching in lock down has meant that lectures needed to be recorded and tutorials done online in 2020 and face to face in 2021. So, what did I learn? Lots of things, but one of the most powerful tools was the use of video.

Five things to know about video

  1. Show your face.  This doesn’t mean all the time but at the beginning or end is important
  2. Make sure each video doesn’t go for any longer than 10 minutes.
  3. Be prepared to do a lot of editing the first few times through.  You’ll pick up a lot of delivery and content issues you didn’t know you had!
  4. Production quality is important.  Put time and effort into working with your camera, lighting, and sound quality – your audience will appreciate it.
  5. Write a script – if only for an opening few minutes.  If it’s important – script the whole thing.

In a corporate context, think about how any applications there may be.  Here’s  list by Shahan Zafar from Vidizmo: 10 Ways to Use Video for Your Company’s Internal Communications

  1. Conduct live CEO broadcasts and announcements
  2. Modernize and streamline corporate governance strategies
  3. Announce regulatory updates and policy changes
  4. Administer safety, health and organizational training sessions
  5. Broadcast organizational events live
  6. Take charge of corporate transition communication & change management
  7. Record and share team meetings and presentations
  8. Promote social learning, collaboration and knowledge transfer
  9. Reform your recruitment and induction strategies
  10. Manage departmental communication and realignment

But why video?

  1. Accessible – you can listen, read (subtitles) and watch anywhere at any time.
  2. Engaging.
  3. Adds life to the subject matter.
  4. Cost effective.
  5. Easy to do.
  6. Gives you clarity on the subject.

If you haven’t already – give it a go, you might surprise yourself as to its effectiveness.