Take a good, long, introspective look in the mirror. Actually see yourself with all your flaws, and all your strengths. What makes you unique? Which features stand out more than you would like? Which features would you like to showcase more? Looking at yourself, ask yourself the question Am I enough? Now, I’m not talking about whether you’re good enough for your work/home/relationship life or how good of a person you feel that you are. I’m not talking about what kind of car you drive or how big or small your home is. (Alright already – what are you talking about then??)
What I’m talking about is: is it enough to give a presentation with you and you alone as the visual aid? Can you stand in front of an audience with a microphone in hand (if the venue requires it) and still make an impact? Can you keep an audience’s attention without flashy photos, videos, slides, and props? Are there times when visual aids are absolutely necessary, and times when can you go without? Here are a few scenarios when you can totally go au natural (with your visual aids, that is):
A Personal Speech (wedding, funeral, acceptance / appreciation speech, etc.): Though you can use a photo slideshow to display memories of a person or persons whom you are celebrating, you certainly don’t have to. With the right words, your own gestures and your facial expressions, you can paint a glorious picture without any actual pictures.
An Encouraging Speech: If you’re getting a team of people pumped up for something or just giving a little inspiration to your peers, you don’t need visual aids. In this case you are the visual aid and your posture, gestures, and physical stance are going to be what the audience pulls energy from. Don’t take the focus off of you as that driving force (and if you’re nervous about being in the spotlight, call me).
An Impromptu Speech: If you’re called upon in front of everyone to speak on a topic, having a visual aid seems kind of tacky. It’s akin to the stereotypical acceptance speech that begins “I never thought I’d win! But here’s my pre-planned, fully-written, 4-page long speech.” If you’re put on the spot your audience will be even more forgiving than usual, so don’t worry about being fully prepared.
I certainly don’t recommend giving a report involving lots of data without a way to show that data to the audience visually (through graphs, charts, etc.), nor do I recommend teaching a group something new without somehow engaging their visual sense. But in the right situation and event, little ol’ you can be enough!
For help preparing a speech, contact me – find me on social media, send me an email or give me a call, I’d love to help your best self shine! And always remember: a presentation is simply a large conversation.