Multi-sensory presentations reinforce your ability to remember. Some visual aids like Props, particularly ones you can see, hear, touch or even smell, help you emphasize a point.
From simple everyday items to striking objects, you can transform anything into a metaphor for the chosen theme.
The audience reaction may vary with the type of prop used. From laughter to fear, you can make them experience the right emotion.
But, how do ensure the prop does its job?
#1 fits your topic
Props like other visual media are meant to enhance your presentation, not distract your audience. Before you use a prop find out whether it is linked to your theme or not. Don’t use one simply because it’s a groovy thing to do.
#2 Not Offensive for YOUR audience
Pay close attention to your audience persona before you finalize a prop.
- Will the material offend them?
- Should they see it?
- Is it culturally appropriate?
Some material, whether it’s a shocking poster or scary device, may not gel with your audiences’ values or beliefs. Unless your aim is to shock them, reconsider using these props.
#3 suitable for venue
Before you select a prop, pay attention to two things: venue dimensions and audience size
- Is the prop big enough for a large audience?
- Can viewers in the last row of a large room clearly see it?
- Is the prop taking up too much space on a small stage?
- Can the prop be passed around (if this is necessary)?
#4 adds value to speech
Does your prop make your idea pop up? Use props when they add value, simplify or highlight a point, or explain an abstract idea. A demo or miniature version can help listeners visualize the actual product or idea.
If the prop does nothing of this sort, don’t bring it along.
#5 intriguing and Stands Out
Does your prop have the potential to impress your audience? Props have been successfully used to add drama, create anticipation, make a statement, or arouse curiosity.
Even simple objects can help emphasize your point. Like the TED presentation by brain researcher Jill Bolte Taylor. She used a human brain as a prop during her speech about her stroke and her insight into brain functions during that fateful event.
Have you used props in your presentations? How did the audience react? Let us know in the comments below.