Chapter 5: Click Here for Technology

Advances in computer technology and the Internet have changed the way America works, learns, and communicates. The Internet has become an integral part of America's economic, political, and social life.
~Bill Clinton

For your next public speaking gig, you may be looking for technological solutions to support your presentation. It's no wonder. Audiences are more sophisticated today than they have been in the past. They've raised the bar for the presenter and you need to walk a fine line between content and entertainment. If your talk is bogged down with too much information, you could bore them. At the same time, too many bells and whistles may confuse them. As you incorporate technology into your speech, make sure those tools don't outshine or overshadow the information you were charged to deliver.

As you think about what types of technological toys to add to your talk, consider the audience. Ask yourself a few questions: What does your audience want? How should you give the information to them? What do you want them to experience?

Your choices are endless. Technological toys range from the dinosaur-type ones like overhead projectors, slides, and flip charts to more modern day tools that facilitate conference calls, webinars, video productions, and online chats. Fortunately, you can go online to find the most suitable media for any speaking occasion and you don't have to break the bank to get it.

This chapter offers tips for incorporating technology into your next speech and suggests a few tools you can use.

Why You Need Technology for Your Next Speech

If you want to revolutionize your next talk, consider adding any of the multimedia choices that are available to you, including video, digitized sound, images, charts, and other computer solutions. When used effectively, studies show that these tools help audiences retain information, learn faster, and master content quickly. Studies also show that interactive multimedia presentations provide audiences with a better understanding of the material and this is particularly useful in training settings.

Computer technology has a wide range of uses and applications. As you explore your options, think of ways that technology can complement your presentation. You can use it to reinforce, review, highlight, or add material to your speech. Also, consider various types of media, including graphs, words, sounds, and visuals. As long as you use these options in moderation, this strategy may help keep your audience interested and aid in their comprehension. Sometimes people in your audience have a different way of absorbing information and a varied approach could ensure you connect with as many people as possible.

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