Educate Your Audience
An important consideration in creating overheads is educating your audience. What you include will depend on who your audience is.
Questions to Access Your Audience
Ask yourself the following questions to analyze your audience:
Does your audience know the jargon and/or technical terms of your topic?
This will help you decide how intricate your visuals can be. A figure versus a picture can make a big difference in audience comprehension.
What does your audience know about your topic?
You may have to provide some background information about your topic, or perhaps you can assume a certain knowledge level.
What are your audience's attitudes toward your topic?
You may need to "captivate" them into your topic with simple visuals to make your presentation appealing, or perhaps you need to use more technical visuals for credibility.
How will the information from your presentation be used?
Your information may be used to make a decision, or the audience may be tested on the material.
Various audiences have particular needs; however, here are some important considerations:
- Audiences generally have a recall of seven. This means you should never introduce more than seven concepts per visual.
- Audiences learn what symbols represent. If you use a symbol repeatedly, you don't have to label it every time.
- Icons have more impact on audiences than a simple list. If you need to make a list, also create an accompanying icon.