Visual Aid

Should students still practice making physical presentations? Physical visual aids? Here is how the creation of a physical product helps students.

Should students still make a physical visual aid?

Teaching speech, a necessity is for students to know how to create a visual aid. Many schools do have access to electronic programs for students, and/or display methods during speeches. Sometimes, not. I have taught in both types of schools and when necessary, I do think that making a visual aid old school has benefits.

Think about it: how many job positions will put a student in an emergency situation, a situation where he or she must produce, even with no advanced warning or supplies? Even if it is not crunch time on the job, students may work for startup businesses or organizations which do not have fancy tools. Sometimes, students may need to know how to neatly assemble a poster.

What type of visual aids should secondary students make in their public speaking course? Guidelines for physical and digital formats.

Students learn from creating a physical visual aid. Here are benefits:

Provides practice

As I mentioned above, students might need to produce a physical product. Hopefully my students are world-changers,  and they may present in an area with limited funds. An attractive and well-planned poster may be their main tool.

Limits information

A poster board has a limited size! Students must choose what they will put on the physical board.

Later, they can apply this idea when they create digital presentations with unlimited space.

When students make an electronic visual aid, they often include too much information – like, everything they are going to say. A poster board limits them, and they need that practice.

Time management

Students will find making a physical visual aid differs from making an electronic one. That means planning and time management must be calculated differently.


visual aid
Very simple, made at a school with very little resources.

A few requirements that I ask students to consider when creating a physical visual aid:

  • Use colors purposefully.
  • Type the words in an appropriate font.
  • Do not include too much information.
  • Plan the arrangement BEFORE gluing.

Can these tools and lessons be carried over to making electronic presentations? Yes! Will students primarily create electronic presentations? Most likely.

These rules and lessons work for electronic presentations as well. Sometimes students grumble about their limitations, but making a poster can teach useful practices.

Would you add any guidelines for your students when creating a physical visual aid? If so, what?

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