The very fact that speaking in public is an auditory-based medium of communication demonstrates the value of including some visual features. As 70% of humans primarily communicate visually (with the eyes), a purely auditory (with the ears) type of communication (as with speaking) is insufficient. Most humans need to “see” a point before they can really understand it. Hence the importance of using some form of visual communication to augment what you are saying. Studies of the use of various visual supports within business meetings clearly show the benefits. Effective use of visuals can not only reduce the time of a meeting but can improve the persuasiveness of the message. There are two benefits here: The efficiency of the communication; and the effectiveness of the communication. Both are greatly advantaged by the introduction of a visual element to the presentation. While having great advantage, there are typical pitfalls that a speaker may trip into while trying to make use of visuals. The dangers of using visual aids Many speakers fall into the danger of hiding behind their visuals. They structure their speech so as to be impossible to deliver it without them. Their visuals make all of their important points, and as such become the star of their speeches. This is a common mistake. Remember what visual aids really are: aids and nothing more. You should use them to reinforce your points, not to actually make them. Trying to make your visual aids the primary feature of your speech will result in disaster. There can be just one star of your speech, and that is you. You are in charge and so you must do all in your power to establish your own credentials before your audience. Pushing the use of visuals too much to the fore will make you seem unsure of yourself and unqualified to those in attendance. Learn to be effective as a speaker without the use of visual aids. Develop the art of being interesting and concise without them. When visual aids enhance rather than dominate your presentation you will have the most impact. Do not underestimate the power they carry in a supportive role, however. Which ones will you decide to use? Excerpt From: Mark Porter. “The Way With Words.” iBooks. This discussion is continued in detail in “The Way With Words”, by Mark Porter.