Presentation Aids Online

Learning Objectives

Understand presentation aids in an online setting.

Previously we have discussed strategies for using presentation aids during speeches. Those same strategies apply to the use of presentation aids in online speeches.

Slide from a webinar that says Wikipedia in Higher Education

When using presentation aids online, the slide show will usually fill the whole screen. When presenting online, try to have your face visible as much as possible, and use slides for emphasis or clarification. It’s hard for your audience to connect with a slide!

One key difference between speaking in person compared to speaking online is that if you are using a digital presentation tool such as a video or presentation slides, you generally have the option online to make your digital presentation aids the only thing that appears onscreen for your audience.

Most commonly, we see this option when speakers use presentation slides like PowerPoint, Keynote, or Prezi. A speaker may start by talking to their camera so their audience can see them before switching to showing their slides in full screen mode as they narrate or talk over their slides. Webinars often use this format because they are often heavily focused on providing information to the audience.

There are pros and cons to using digital presentation aids in this manner. Whatever is on screen will be what the audience focuses on. Would you prefer your audience to focus on you and your message or on your presentation aids?

We would generally recommend that for speeches you give online in a public speaking class, you try to have your face on camera as much as possible and use your slides to supplement, add emphasis, and clarify what you are saying rather than allowing them to become the main focus of the presentation. This method will help you stay more engaged with your audience.

You will want to make sure you get plenty of practice using your presentations aids before you give your speech. Be particularly attentive to practicing how to transition between the view of yourself on your webcam and your slides and vice versa.

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