Preparing Sensory Enhancements



The Do’s of Using Sensory Enhancements

Using sensory enhancements correctly will make your presentation come to life.

Learning Objectives

Discuss the best practices of using text, video, sound, graphics and animation in presentations

Key Takeaways

Key Points

  • During your presentation, your audience will see you and your visual aids.
  • It is important to pay attention to the quality of the text as well as what is actually said.
  • Learners are attracted to colors and may find programs without color to be boring.
  • Video is a great attention grabber but may distract the audience from more important information.

Key Terms

  • color-blind: Of a person or animal, unable to distinguish between two or more primary colors (usually red and green).
  • animation: The technique of making inanimate objects or drawings appear to move in motion pictures or computer graphics.

Introduction

When you give a presentation, you are truly alive, as being on stage activates all of your senses. You see your audience waiting to receive your wisdom. You hear the noise they make as they shift in their places. You smell the scent of success that accompanies a job well done. You taste the nervousness bubbling in your gut. You feel your heart beating faster, your legs shaking.

Shouldn’t your presentation make your audience come alive, too?

Sight

During your presentation, your audience will see you and any visual aids you may include.

You

The audience is going to have to look at you throughout the the entire presentation. You want to keep them engaged by:

  • Dressing in a way that suits your personality (Could you imagine Steve Jobs giving a presentation wearing a suit and tie? )
  • Wearing colors that suit the setting and appeal to the audience
  • Showing confidence through your body movements (Even when Steve Jobs was speaking about iPhone 4 “defects,” you knew that he was in control)
  • Using gestures that go with your message

Text

Some useful suggestions for using text as a video presentation are:

  • Text should be read from left to right, top to bottom
  • Use consistent indentation and spacing
  • End sentences or paragraphs on the same display screen

Text Quality

According to Alessi and Trollip (2001), the five important factors that should be used in determining the quality of text are:

  • Leanness: Say the bare minimum
  • Transitions: Should be used when moving from one topic to another to facilitate the flow of ideas
  • Clarity: Use language that is comprehensible by your target audience as well as consistent words for defining terms
  • Reading level: Ensure that the reading level is suitable to the learners intended to use it
  • Mechanics: Always remember to correct grammar, spelling and punctuation

Color

Color should draw attention to the important terms or concepts in your presentation. Color should be consistently used throughout the design of the presentation. Learners are more attracted to colors and may find programs without color to be boring.

Colored pencils arranged in a circle.

Power of Color: Using color in a presentation catches the audience’s attention and highlights important facts.

One of the disadvantages of using color is that color-blind individuals may miss out on some information in certain colors.

Useful suggestions for using color:

  • Be consistent with use of colors
  • Use color to indicate a difference or change
  • Try to keep color use to a minimum
  • Make sure that there is a good contrast between the background and the color of the text to allow the audience to read it easily

Video

Video is a great attention grabber, but may distract the audience from more important information.

Here are some useful suggestions for using video:

  • Use video to emphasize important information
  • Pay careful attention to where video is placed in the presentation
  • Make sure the length of the video is appropriate
  • Ensure that you have control over the video as far as pausing, ending and repeating

Sound

Your voice can serve as a sensory enhancement. To make it effective:

  • Add variety to your tone
  • Speak loudly and clearly
  • Use proper enunciation and pronunciation

If you use sound other than your own voice:

  • Use sound as an attention grabber if it makes sense to do so
  • Use high quality sound

Graphics and Animation

Graphics and animation should enhance the presentation.

Useful suggestions for using graphics and animation:

  • Use graphics that are consistent throughout presentation
  • Sometimes less is better
  • Decide if a realistic picture is necessary or not
  • Some graphics may need to be broken into smaller pictures
  • When using text and graphics, present both simultaneously

An effective presentation or speech will touch your audience; an alive audience is likely to take action.

The Don’ts of Using Sensory Enhancements

Using visuals in presentations is a good way to make sure people remember them, but it is important to do so in the proper manner.

Learning Objectives

Identify the common missteps presenters make when using sensory enhancements in presentations

Key Takeaways

Key Points

  • According to research carried out at UCLA, a visual presentation is five times more likely to be remembered after three days than a presentation using bullet points.
  • When using objects in a presentation, set aside time for the audience to examine the object so it doesn’t detract from the speech.
  • If using audio to enhance a speech, make sure it is loud enough to be heard without distracting the audience.
  • Be careful with scents in a presentation, so as not to offend or distract the audience.
  • A presentation with sensory enhancements should be practiced, so you can make sure that any problems are rectified ahead of time.

Key Terms

  • clip art: A set of images, distributed as files with other software, that may be copied and pasted into documents or other files.
  • acoustics: The physical quality of a space for performing music.

Don’ts of Using Sensory Enhancements

If sensory enhancements aren’t used properly, they can detract or distract from a presentation.

A drawing of a man's head that shows all of the senses - sight, hearing, smell, and taste.

Awakening the Senses: Sensory enhancements are good in presentations, but they can be a distraction if they aren’t used correctly.

Visual Missteps

The famous psychologist Albert Mehrabian showed that the way people take in information during a presentation is 55% visual, compared to 38% vocal and only 7% through text. Yet simply adding a few visuals into a presentation may not be the solution. There are a number of traps that people fall into.

  1. Using Bullet Points: According to research carried out at UCLA, a visual presentation is five times more likely to be remembered after three days than a presentation using bullet points.
  2. Corny Images: These often have actors showing emotions such as surprise or happiness. The difficulty is that they can look very corny. Additionally, if the photos are a few years old, the fashions can look very dated.
  3. Using Clip Art: An idea behind its time. Clip Art used to be a great way of making a presentation visual—particularly when computers were less powerful and every presentation had be small enough to fit onto a floppy disk. The problem now is that clip art looks very dated compared to a color photograph.
  4. Grainy Pictures: Generally these images are taken from a web page and increased in size. The problem is that, since they were saved as small files to make them load quickly, they do not enlarge well.
  5. Copyright Theft: It’s easy and tempting to just lift an image off the web, but you must obtain the permission of the copyright owner before you can use any image.
  6. Images Purely for Decoration: A picture is worth a thousand words. So why would you slap down any old image just to fill up a bit of space? Instead of an image showing how their products could suit a wide range of businesses, their graphic design agency had added a picture of a horse! Relevance is everything.
  7. Long Video Clips: It can be helpful to add a video clip into a visual presentation, but be aware that an audience’s attention will dwindle if the clip is too long.

Audio Missteps

If you are going to use sound in a presentation, make sure that it is appropriate to the setting and subject matter. Don’t have the audio so loud that people can’t hear the speech properly or that it distracts the audience from your speech. You should also make sure that it isn’t so soft that it can’t be heard properly by everyone in the room.

Touch Missteps

If you bring objects for the audience to touch and examine during the presentation, you will want to bring more than one item so that you can have the objects pass around the venue quickly. You’ll also want to schedule a period of time during your speech for the examination, otherwise people will be paying more attention to the object and miss important elements of the speech.

Sense Missteps

Some people are sensitive to smells, so if you are including this aspect into your presentation, make sure the scent isn’t too strong or cloying. You want to be able to enhance your speech without distracting or offending your audience.

The Important of Preparation

Preparation is the most important part of sensory enhancements. Make sure that you practice your presentation in the same room in which it will be delivered. Check acoustics, visibility, and the ability to deliver objects and scents in the room without distraction. Have people listen and experience your presentation beforehand, so you can adjust any mistakes before the final presentation and ensure that your speech goes as smoothly as possible.

Design Tips

Designing an effective and engaging presentation in PowerPoint or other presentation program requires simple graphics, fonts, and structure.

Learning Objectives

State the design best practices that should be incorporated into PowerPoint presentations

Key Takeaways

Key Points

  • Do not write your entire presentation on your PowerPoint. Rather, use bullets and sub-bullets to break up the text into manageable, easy-to-read chunks.
  • Be consistent with your color themes.
  • Use at least 18-point font for main points and smaller font sizes for sub-points.
  • Use a font color that is readable and stands out against the background.
  • Use graphics.

Key Terms

  • design: To plan and carry out (a picture, work of art, construction etc. ).
  • PowerPoint: (noun) an electronic slide presentation created and presented using the program (verb) to communicate to (an audience) by electronic slides

Introduction

Let’s face it. Love it or hate it, PowerPoint, or PowerPoint type slides, are the most common form of visual aid seen during a presentation. We all know that we have encountered boring power points presentations with an overload of information and lack of creativity. Developed by Microsoft, PowerPoint is a presentation software that enables users to communicate text, graphics, video, and other content via electronic slides.

The following design tips can help users develop effective PowerPoint presentations, while keeping in mind PowerPoint etiquette.

image

PowerPoint Presentation: Using software, like PowerPoint, allows the speaker to create an engaging presentation.

PowerPoint Tips

  • Do not write the entire presentation on your PowerPoint. Instead, create bullet points and headings no longer than three to five words that give the main points.
  • Present no more than five to seven lines per slide.
  • Use two slides rather than cramming too much information into one.
  • Be consistent with your “theme” throughout the presentation (i.e., do not use a different theme for each slide).
  • Do not overuse transitions. They are meant to enhance, not overwhelm your presentation.
  • Be careful with your color scheme. Again, this is meant to enhance your presentation. Make sure the audience can read the text.
  • Make an outline of what you will be talking about so listeners can know what to expect from the presentation.
  • Use at least an 18-point font for main points and a smaller sized font for sub-points. Avoid using complicated and unreadable font.
  • Use a font color that stands out against the background.

Easy-to-Read Text and Graphics

Use graphics! People identify items more quickly with images rather than just text alone. When creating your visual aids, however, make sure your text and graphics are readable.

Labeling

  • Use headlines and sub-headlines in a larger font.
  • Bold, italicize, or CAPITALIZE important information.
  • Use bullet points or create lists to organize material. Make sure this is “nice” to look at (i.e., easy-to-read).

Charts and graphs

  • Make sure the information is clear and supports your presentation. Color coordinate charts/graphs if necessary.
  • Use text to support/explain your charts and graphs (be brief but cover the high points).
  • Avoid charts and graphs that can be misleading to your readers.

Wording and Lettering

  • Use large, easy-to-read fonts.
  • Be concise, using as little text as possible. Also use simple language to avoid confusion.
  • Limit your text to one or two fonts.
  • Think of the demographic (e.g., age) of your audience when setting font size and type.
  • Minimize the number of lines to no more than six lines per slide with six words per line.

→Overcrowding slides is common and can be easily avoided by limiting the amount of text.

Color

  • Use color for clarity and emphasis, not for decoration.
  • Use color schemes.
  • Keep a similar color scheme throughout the entire presentation.
  • Use contracting colors to highlight main points.

The Role of Color

When properly used color should draw attention to the important terms or concepts in your presentation.

Learning Objectives

Describe how color can be used to enhance presentations

Key Takeaways

Key Points

  • One of the disadvantages of using color is that individuals who are colorblind may miss out on some information in certain colors.
  • Do not “waste” information by using unnecessary colors.
  • It may also be useful to apply some color psychology when choosing which colors to use.

Key Terms

  • color-blind: Of a person or animal, unable to distinguish between two or more primary colors (usually red and green).

Introduction

When properly used color should draw attention to the important terms or concepts in your presentation. They can also create emotion. Color should be consistently used throughout the design of the visuals to achieve these goals.

Learners and audiences are more attracted to colors and may find presentations without color to be boring. Some presenters change up their color schemes regularly to prevent their presentations from becoming too monotonous. You can also change the shades of your colors.

The sun shines through stained glass windows at the Nasir ol Molk Mosque located in Shiraz, Iran.

Using Color Effectively: Color can be used in a presentation to get the audience’s attention.

One disadvantage of using color is that individuals who are color-blind may miss out on some information in certain colors. Using certain shades, and using them consistently, can eliminate this problem.

Useful Suggestions for Using Color

  • Be consistent with the use of colors.
  • Use color to highlight a difference or change.
  • Try to keep color use to a minimum; each color should communicate necessary information.
  • Make sure that there is a good contrast between the background and the color of the text to allow the learner to read the text easily.
  • Use color for clarity and emphasis, not for decoration.

The Psychology of Colors

It may also be useful to apply some color psychology when choosing which colors to use. Basic internet research uncovers a whole host of analysis on the meanings of different colors.

Something else to consider is that on flip charts, blue, black, and green inks have the best visibility. People say that blue is the most pleasing color to view. Red comes in second, even though it is not the most visible. But too much red can be too strong. Avoid using purple, yellow, pink, and brown, which can be more difficult to see.

When creating graphs, bright colors will bring focus to a small graph while subtle colors will keep a large graph from overwhelming the audience.