Using Effective Visuals for Student Presentation Success

Using Effective Visuals for Student Presentation Success

Author: L D

To move student presentations from the high school to college level, it is imperative that they learn how to effectively incorporate visuals.  The effective use of visuals can add sophistication and impact to a student’s presentation in any class.  In addition, strong presentation skills are needed for job preparation.

Students should leave the class session understanding, 1) that visuals have communicative power, 2) how to identify the type of appeal primarily used to communicate the message within a visual, 3) that visuals mean different things to different target audiences, and 4) how to use the visual in a context that is persuasive and ethically sound.

After working through a lecture primarily based on examples of visuals using emotional, logical, and credibility appeals, students will view three visuals and be asked to complete a detailed assessment of each.  The three visuals will represent one of each of the appeal types covered during the lecture.  Then, students will complete an assessment of the visuals. An example visual and assessment will be presented prior to student’s completion of the activity.

Students will be asked to complete the assessment by answering the following questions about each of the three visuals:

 1) If the image is primarily an appeal to emotion, character, or is based on facts/evidence

2) What about the image makes it heaviest in that appeal type?

3) What do you think is the intended effect on the audience?

4) What specific design elements/aspects/details about the visual make it work in the intended way?

5) In 2-4 paragraphs, describe a hypothetical persuasive message in which you could use the visual.  Identify the audience, overall goal of the persuasive attempt, and other pieces of supporting evidence for your claim that could coincide with the visual.  Then, explain why that visual would work for that audience in that context.  What would be the overall impact of the visual, and how would that further your persuasive goal?

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