Need help figuring out which visual aids to use in your virtual and online presentations. Knowing which visual aids best support and the impact that they can have will significantly enrich your presentation and overall engagement.

Visual aids in virtual presentations include powerpoint presentations gathered the following definitions, information, and tips on several visual aids that add value to your virtual and in-person presentations.

Why Use Visual Aids in Presentations

Visual aids engage your audience by appealing to their seeing and reading abilities, boosting their comprehension of your content, causing an emotional response, and helping you convey important messaging. Visual aids are essential tools and should never replace your meticulous presentation preparation. Consider the following visual aids when developing your presentation:


Microsoft PowerPoint is among the most commonly used form of visual aid. PowerPoint is a program that allows you to create and show or project slides to support your presentation content. You can easily combine text, graphics, and multimedia content to create professional and concise presentations.

Powerpoint slides can be projected on a screen during an in-person presentation or be displayed full-screen during a virtual one.

White or Blackboard

Visual aids in virtual presentations include using a white board

White or blackboards help explain a sequence of ideas or routines. Use them to clarify your title or to note your key points as you introduce your presentation. This gives you a “fixed list” to help you recap as you go through your presentation.

A white or blackboard should be located off-center from the speaker (depending on which hand the presenter writes with), and in virtual presentations, it should only be “in-focus” when being used or referred to.

Tip: If you write ‘live,’ verify that your audience can read your writing.

Flip Chart

A flip chart is a large pad of paper on a stand. It is handy and flexible for recording information during your presentation. You can use pre-prepared sheets for key points. Record crucial information as you go along, keeping one principal idea on each sheet. Flip back through the chart to help recap your main points and ideas. Use page turning to show the progression from topic to topic.


Visual aids in virtual presentations include using strategic handouts

Use a handout if your information is too extensive to fit on a slide or if you want your audience to have a complete record of your material (use printed sheets for in-person presentations or email the handout pre-presentation). Consider the value of passing around your handouts at the presentation’s beginning, middle, and end. For example:

  • Given too early and your audience may be distracted
  • Given too late and your audience may have taken excessive and unnecessary notes
  • Given out in the middle and your audience will end up reading rather than listening

Tip: An effective way of avoiding these situations is to distribute incomplete handouts at key stages during your presentation, highlighting missing details vocally and encouraging your audience to fill in the gaps.


Video allows an opportunity to present stimulating visual information. Use video to add movement, pictures, ambiance, and sound to your presentation. Always ensure the footage is relevant to your content.

Tips for Using Visual Aids

Visual aids in virtual presentations include tips on positioning practicing and content

Simplicity is a good design principle for your visual aids. Avoid overloading visuals with unnecessary or excessive information, sound, color, font changes, or off-topic images. Consider the following tips:

Stand or Sit to the Side – Do not obscure your visual aid if possible. Typically, speakers have a visual aid on their left.

Maintain Eye Contact – A visual aid will be a tempting focus for many speakers. However, the audience should remain their primary focus. When a speaker or presenter loses eye contact, they typically end up with their back to the audience.


Give an Introduction – Introduce your visual aid before talking about or displaying it. Giving relevant background information on where its content was obtained provides your audience with more understanding.

Practice with Your Visual Aids – A visual aid adds an additional focus for the audience, and the speaker should effectively interact with the aid to minimize distractions.

Supporting Content – Ensure the visual aid supports the message. Consistency between what is being said and what is being seen is essential to a speaker’s credibility.

Use Appropriate Visual Aids – Ensure the logistics of your setting support the visual aid. Verify that everyone can see it, that any electronic equipment for the visual aid is functioning, and that the visual aid is set up before the presentation.

Direct the Content – Point out key or relevant elements in the visual aid. Pictures, charts, graphs, and objects may be so complex that your audience may require direction to the area the speaker is referencing.

Presentations and Visual Aids

In this article, you discovered why visual aids are used in presentations, how they keep your audience dialed in, and which are most commonly included in virtual and in-person presentations.

Understanding how visual aids help keep your audience’s attention focused will help you select appropriate visual aids for your presentation.

Failing to use appropriate visual aids in your online or in-person presentation can leave your audience unfocused and uninterested in the message you are attempting to convey.