Quick Tip: Repeat Visuals in the Summary

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Just a few quick thoughts about I problem that I was just struggling with while preparing the slides for a presentation:

As explained elsewhere, using visuals will help your audience remember the content of your presentation. Another thing that will help them remember is repetition. So you should repeat your main point or points at the end of the presentation. Consequentially, this summary of your presentation should also repeat the visuals.

But sometimes, the visuals that you used earlier in the presentation don't quite work when repeated in the summary. What can you do?

In the presentation that I was just working on, I had 3 points that I wanted to repeat. For one of them, I could simply re-use the same picture again. For another point, I ended up combining the visuals from two separate slides from the section of the presentation that I was summarising.

For the third point, however, I was really tempted to use a completely new and different picture; but that didn't feel right.

The problem with introducing new visuals at this late point in the presentation is that it would distract the audience from the actual message. It may work when you only have one point to repeat and if it's a strong visual that really emphasises the point; in which case you should ask yourself why you didn't use it earlier in your presentation.

In my case, I decided that I didn't want to risk confusing the audience by introducing new visuals in the summary. The section I had to summarise dealt with legal aspects and didn't have that many visuals to start with, so I opted for a picture that I used in that section and gave it a slightly different meaning (by adding text) than it had in its earlier place. Not a perfect solution, but I'm betting on the positive (combined) effect of repetition here. We'll see how the audience takes it.

(Image Credits: Roundabout by Colin Brough, from freeimages.com)

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Creative Commons Licence "Quick Tip: Repeat Visuals in the Summary" by Dirk Haun is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International Licence.