Create visuals for your workshop presentation

In an era when YouTube and television dominate, including visuals in your workshop presentations is vital. Text on a large screen, photographs, and charts all can help the audience better follow your points and keep their attention.

Fortunately, putting together visuals for presentations doesn’t require hiring expensive marketing companies or designers. You actually can do it yourself, all for free.

You’ll first need software to create the visuals. PowerPoint and Keynote are among the most popular and often come with your PC or Mac, but other programs and apps exist as well. All are fairly easy to use, though until you become comfortable with them, you’ll need at least a couple of hours to put together the visuals.

Regardless of which software you use, begin by writing each of your presentation’s major points on individual slides. Make sure they are large enough to be seen from a distance, so going with bold, thicker fonts and a large font size usually work best. Go with a dark font on a light background; black on white works best, but if want to add color, keep the background a light hue of yellow.

Next, create slides of bulleted lists that support your major points. Limit yourself to 2-5 points per list. More than five points usually will be difficult for your audience to remember.

Include relevant illustrations or pictures on some of the slides – for example, if the slide is a list of photography tips, include a camera. Don’t let these graphics overwhelm your text, however. The goal of the graphic element is to draw attention to the slide and the text on it. Most software for creating visuals come with pictures for you to select, or you can download free stock images from websites.

Tables and charts also make for great graphic elements and can be included on separate slides. Make sure the information provided on the chart actually makes a powerful point, however, and don’t post more than two or three separate slides of tables of charts, or it will be info overload for your audience.

Lastly, always practice your presentation while using the visuals. You may discover early on that you need to add a slide or that one you’ve already included is unnecessary. Also look for spelling and typos errors, as letting one slip through will be embarrassing and a major distraction during your presentation.