Demonstration/Visual Aid Speech Tips

Warning Will Robinson!  Demonstrations and Visual Aid Presentations require more rehearsal than a typical speech!!!! If you want to learn more, read below, it may just change your life!

Pick a topic you are interested in and you will enjoy talking about, then tailor it to your audience. I enjoy hiking, biking, running, snowboarding, skiing, etc.  So I pick topics related to that.  I like healthy living, so I could talk about healthy things to do and eat. Unique topics are the best.

Past demo topics:  How to quit smoking; How to start smoking - just kidding; How to end a relationship; How to start one; How to make (insert food); How to break boards with karate; How to kick in judo; How to dance; how to paint; how to draw; how to make anything; how anything works - like a bike, a car, a tattoo machine, etc.  The Art of Chinese Tea was a topic chosen by a former student.  The thing she did great was she picked a topic that close to her heart.  She loved tea.  Then, she brought a tea set to class and also created a nice, simple, artistic visual depicting the steps in making Chinese tea.

Make sure it is big enough for the audience to see!

Watch the Weather Channel's hurricane coverage.  It is one big visual aid.  Pictures can be powerful messages.  But what about those reporters reporting from the beach, as the eye of the storm comes in?  Come on guys, you can't stand up in 145 mph winds?  Weaklings!  "Oh!, watch out for that flying Buick"  Bright colors, action words, lots of variation = good visual presentation. 

Don't use a book as a visual aid since the pictures in it will be too small for audience to see.

Passing out handouts can be troublesome, only do it if you can do it quickly and your handout is necessary. Handout before the speech.  Make sure the handout is effective so the audience can comprehend why you passed it out and how to use it.

If using Power Point slides, do not simply show the slide and then read it. You need to deliver with energy and not just read the visual.  Make eye contact with the audience too. A crisp and efficient Power Point presentation can be very effective.  Put it to music to make it even more impacting.

Use the visual aid, don't just put it up and never refer to it. 

Practice with your visual/demo. Demo's require rehearsal and practice.  Have you ever seen someone struggling with an overhead projector?  "I just can't quite get these on there right, is that right?"  Meanwhile, it is flipped upside down - ha ha!  Or can't get the computer running?  Come on, computers are reliable right?  Not!  Under pressure, you can't rely all the time on Mr. Gates' technology.  Windows crashes at strange times.  Bring a memory stick or disc of your presentation and load it up before class.  I will be there with the technology early for you to do this.  If possible, practice with it before your speech day.  Will your Power Point slide show up well on the white screen if not all the windows are closed from light?  You need to check that, otherwise, your visual can't be seen.

One common mistake with PowerPoint is people spend hours making their presentation perfect, then bring it in but can't get it to run on the SMC computers.  OR they forget that lighting in the room and where you place the projector is just as important.  If the audience can't see your presentation, all the fancy techno tricks you did at home on your laptop are lost (and so are points on your speech).

Some computers at SMC do not have USB ports.  Bring a disk and your memory stick.  Cover yourself.

Follow all other speaking concepts we've covered so far in course:

1. Clear Specific Purpose
2. Clear Thesis
3. Good introduction attention getter and short conclusion
4. Eye contact to audience
5. Appropriate Volume
6. Watch Time Limit
7. Energy and Enthusiasm in your delivery
8. Reward self when done
9. Pick a topic you have knowledge of and enjoy talking about


Food speeches: Do not simply read a list of ingredients. Also watch your set-up time.  Food speeches that require you to bring too much stuff and take too long to set-up aren't very good.  Bring some copies of the recipe to hand out after the speech (part of grade). Students always ask for recipe copies and speakers rarely have them.  Bring napkins for any cleanup.

Prepare visuals in advance versus using whiteboard or chalkboard in class. Whiteboard cuts off audience from viewing you.

Good Demos/Visual Aid speeches
can be made on almost any topic, it is just up to the originality of the speaker.

Demo/Visual Aid speeches are fun to do, have fun with it!  The audience will appreciate your efforts (they like food too)!


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