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When to Use Different Kinds of Effects

You've heard it said "a picture is worth a thousand words." It isn't always true, of course, because words are very important. But pictures or other audio-visual aids can add real emphasis, focus and strength to your oral presentations. Using an overhead projector, for example, can take the focus off you and act like a cue card to help you stay "on message." But audio-visual aids can get in the way, too.

Be sure that whatever graphics you use are relevant to your presentation. A picture of a puppy can make your audience go "aaaaahhhhh." But if your talk is about Shaquille O'Neal, it's irrelevant – unless, of course, you're showing a picture of Shaq' s puppy. As we said in a previous Instruction, preparation and rehearsal are the keys to a good presentation. Whenever you do use audio or visual aids, rehearse and rehearse with them until you are sure that everything will go smoothly.