Erin Dorney

Blogging life & librarianship

How to improve your visual aids for presentations

with 2 comments

public speaking project

One of the things I love about my job is making connections. Sometimes it’s a connection between individuals and the information they need. Sometimes it’s a connection between two people who can help each other. Sometimes it’s a connection between a person and a unique opportunity. Recently, I was able to connect a two colleagues: a librarian from Mansfield University and a professor at Millersville University. The result was a chapter on visual aids for Public Speaking: The Virtual Text, a free online public speaking textbook.

I love this project—Creative Commons-licensed, well-written by authoritative speech professionals, an alternative for FAR too expensive communications textbooks. Really, what’s not to like?!

Anyone with an upcoming presentation who is considering using visual aids (Midwinter, ALA, and ACRL librarians, I’m looking at you) should take a moment to check out Chapter 13: Visual Aids. Sheila has great advice on:

  1. Identifying when and how visual aids will enhance a presentation
  2. Identifying the different types of visual aids
  3. Identifying effective and ineffective use of visual aids
  4. Applying basic design principles to slide design
  5. Identifying best practices to incorporating visual aids in a presentation

I’ll be keeping these tips in mind when I work on my upcoming presentations—no more crappy slide decks! Seriously, give it a read. You can download each chapter as a PDF in color or grayscale. Share this resource with anyone interested in public speaking!


Written by Erin Dorney

January 21, 2013 at 12:19 PM

2 Responses

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  1. Thanks for sharing this, Erin! Over the past year I’ve started presenting at library conferences. Recently I made it one of my goals to be more intentional with my visuals–my slide decks have been pretty bland in the past. Now I’m gearing up for an April filled with presentations, so this book will be quite helpful!

    Brianna Marshall

    January 21, 2013 at 12:28 PM

  2. So happy that you pointed this out. Creating more engaging visuals is something I think about all of the time, whether it’s for the classroom or for promoting library services. Awesome stuff, as always!


    January 21, 2013 at 4:59 PM

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