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Presentation Props Are Worth a 1000 Words

Presentation Props Are Worth a 1000 Words

While seldom seen during such speeches, Benjamin Netanyahu used a prop during his recent speech at the UN to illustrate the main point of his presentation. This radical, yet effective move is something you should emulate.

In many other things you do, you would use a graphic to illustrate your point or message, so why not during a formal speech? Expand that thinking to your next PowerPoint presentation and do something different - have a physical chart, object or prop to give relevance and impact to what you're saying.

If you want to see the illustration and how he uses it, watch this youtube video. Fast forward to the 25 minute mark.

Few managers take this bold step, thinking that their speech or presentation should stand on its own, or that it isn't in good form. They often rely on old, tired presentation slide formats that don’t really add impact to their presentation, but that’s another subject. (which I’ll be covering in an upcoming book in my Quick Guides For Managers series – link here)

The real issue is impact and objectives. If you want to get your point across, props can help, whether it’s a diagram or a physical object.

In the case of the UN speech, it was a large white card with a cartoonish, black & white bomb on it, something you'd see in a roadrunner cartoon. Netanyahu also used a red marker to mark a line on the bomb, the only colour on the diagram. Seems amateurish, yet the simplicity was it's brilliance.

He used it to illustrate Iran's progress towards completion of a bomb. Hence the bomb itself, the % levels, and the red line Netanyahu added to illustrate and reinforce a theme he had previously been discussing, the red line.

This shows that even the most simple of diagrams can illustrate your point. In fact, if he had used a more complicated diagram, or a bar or line graph instead of the bomb, it wouldn't have been as effective.

In my some of my seminars, I use a big red button that says ‘That Was Easy’ when you press it. (the button comes from Staples, who actually use it as part of their marketing). I bring it out when I want to reinforce how easy something is, particularly when that what I’m talking about is less complicated than it seems.

So, the next time you want to make an important point, don't be afraid to use a prop or diagram for impact, memorability and clarity.

Here are the key attributes your prop should have:

  • Visual Relevance – it must clearly relate to your topic or objective
  • Simplicity – it must be easy to understand the point
  • Memorable – it must be something that will stick in your audience’s mind
  • Appropriate – it must be appropriate to the audience

The next time you give a speech or presentation, remember to add something to it that has an impact and helps you influence your audience – do things differently.

About Michel Theriault

Michel is the founder of Success Fuel for Managers. He is an author, speaker and consultant focusing on topics relevant to Managers and aspiring Managers in businesses of all sizes who want to get results, get attention, and get ahead. He is also a contributor to Forbes and AllBusiness Experts . Michel is available for speaking engagements, training and consulting. Connect with him or send an email.

Posted in: Communication

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