Props in presentations

Presentation skills
Probs

Props in presentations

 

So, I’ll see how much I want to hold back, because props are one of my favorites in speeches and presentations. When used thoughtfully, they work wonders on the audience.

You have something to say? Let's make sure it gets the chance it deserves.

Attention during speeches and presentations

 

If you want to be convincing in a speech or presentation, you need the attention of your audience. But it is becoming increasingly difficult to get people to listen in the first place. One way to captivate them is with props.

 

 

 

Props in presentations

 

When many people think of props, the first thing they think of is a magician pulling a rabbit out of a hat. However, that’s not what I would usually think of. Although, …

Props, especially in a corporate presentation, need to be chosen wisely. They should encourage audience understanding and participation. Anything too distracting is detrimental!

 

 

 

Props can support your presentation

 

Visual impressions can be more powerful than words because they are unusual, concrete and visual at this point. They should reinforce and underpin verbal statements. They can attract attention in an appropriate way, especially if you show something unexpected.

You can often add humor. Props are a great way to add levity and surprise to your presentation, but be careful not to come across as over the top. Know your audience and know what they think is appropriate so that you maintain your credibility.

 

 

 

How to use props

 

If used incorrectly or clumsily, props can derail your presentation rather than enhance it. So follow these tried and tested principles:

 

 

 

1. safety and. Ensure function

 

If the props you use have moving parts, make sure everything works as it should. You don’t want a prop to break in the middle of your presentation or have unpleasant effects. Keep your props clean and replace anything that shows wear and tear.

 

 

 

2. Timing

 

Keep your props hidden until you use them to increase the element of surprise and ensure you get the most impact from them.

 

 

 

3. Comprehensibility and visibility

 

Props should always be large enough for the audience to see them, even in the back row. If you are presenting to a large audience, you may need to make some adjustments so that your props have the desired effect.

 

 

 

4. Pay attention to your story line

 

Under no circumstances should you pass the prop around, because then no one will listen to you. This can quickly overturn your planned dramaturgy.

 

 

 

5. Authenticity

 

Check whether you feel comfortable with a particular prop. If you feel unprofessional or silly with the prop, you probably won’t look your best.

 

 

 

6. Familiarize yourself with the prop

 

As with other aspects of a presentation, you should practice the timing and handling of your prop beforehand so that you can use it smoothly and seamlessly. This includes rehearsing how you will present it and how you will hold it.

 

 

 

Examples

 

Props can be used to great effect in speeches and presentations to increase the audience’s attention, make complex information understandable, or create an emotional response. Here are some examples of props that can be useful in such situations:

 

 

 

1. Models and prototypes

 

Especially in technical or scientific presentations, models or prototypes can be used to make a new product or technology tangible.

 

 

 

2. Diagrams and graphics

 

Large-format visual aids that show statistics or data points can help to present complex information in a clear and easy-to-understand way.

 

 

 

3. Images and photos

 

Visuals projected on screens or shown in handouts can be used to illustrate points or emphasize a message.

 

 

 

4. Objects with symbolic meaning

 

A simple object that represents a deeper meaning or story can engage the audience emotionally and reinforce the message of the speech.

 

 

 

 

5. Multimedia elements

 

Videos or sound recordings can serve as props to make a presentation more dynamic and appeal to different senses.

 

 

 

6. Interactive elements

 

Voting devices or other interactive tools allow the audience to participate directly in the presentation, which increases engagement.

 

 

 

7. Personal objects

The use of personal objects or anecdotes can help to create a connection with the audience and strengthen the speaker’s credibility.

 

 

 

More examples

If you want to see more examples, then enjoy my YouTube channels, like @karstennoack

 

 

 

Conclusion

 

The targeted use of props can enrich a presentation and help the audience to remember the content better. However, it is important that the props fit the topic well and support the message of the presentation without distracting.

Props can greatly enhance a presentation and make it more entertaining, impressive, understandable and memorable for the audience. However, props cannot hide a weak presentation. After all, you want the audience to remember the value of your message, not that you pulled a rabbit out of a hat.

 

Preparation of important speeches and presentations

 

Those who do not speak are not heard, and even those who speak up are not always successful. There are a few more steps that need to be mastered.

Do you want to convince with your message and also as a personality? Then I will help you to prepare your speeches and presentations. You determine the scope. At least, I recommend a test run with professional feedback for you and your message. Then you will know how you and your content are perceived, what you should do, and what you should leave out, where there is potential. Why do you want to get such helpful feedback so late after your real performance? Then it is too late for adjustments. Benefit from the advantage. My definition of luck: Preparation meets opportunity.

You can best estimate for yourself where the effort is worthwhile concerning the expected benefit. Here you will find the fees for my support (communication, psychology, language, structure, voice, body language, storytelling, rhetorical means, media such as PowerPoint and Co., etc.)

You are not in Berlin right now? Then choose meetings with me via telephone or video support. Whereby, there are quite good reasons for a trip to Berlin.

By the way, many people suffer from such intense stage fright in front of an audience, and therefore their performance lags behind their possibilities. Too bad, because with my help performance in a good condition is possible. Just in case...

A good start: Professional feedback with suggestions for improvement​

 

How persuasive are you and your messages in speeches and presentations? How good are you at the 111+ most important presentation skills? I have been analyzing speeches since 1998. After evaluating 14,375 speeches and presentations, and numerous mistakes of my own, most of which I only discovered after a delay, I can tell you exactly what works with which audience. Let me give you the feedback that will help you get ahead. You will receive essential feedback and recommendations, as well as the impulses you need to persuade your audience in concrete situations.

Are you interested? If so, here is how to get helpful feedback with recommendations for improving your speeches and presentations.

Just ask me personally

 

Please post any questions that may be of interest to other readers in the comments. Looking for professional help?

If you are interested in coaching, training or consulting, if you have organizational questions, or if you want to make an appointment, you can reach me best via this contact form (you can choose whether you want to enter your personal data) or via e-mail (mail@karstennoack.com). You can also reach me by phone at +49(0)30 864 213 68 or by cell phone at +49(0)1577 704 53 56 from Monday to Thursday from 9:00 to 18:00. Most of the time I am in meetings, so please leave a message with your phone number in Germany. Please remember to be very specific about the reason for your call. I will get back to you as soon as possible. The privacy policy can be found here.

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What do you think is the best way to captivate your audience? Do you use probs?

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Articles

Present the benefits in the beginning of your pitch

There are many strategies to consider in opening your pitch. Think about it twice, because those first minutes can make or break you.

This article is a short excerpt from the more comprehensive course materials my clients receive in a group or individual training or coaching.

Published: June 21, 2001
Author: Karsten Noack
Revision: August 20th, 2023
Translation: ./.
German version:
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