Unit 6 Presentations: Equipment

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Unit 6 Presentations: Equipment


Presentation Equipment

"A good workman never blames his tools."

Exercise 1. Match the pictures (1-6), the names of corresponding pieces of equipment (a-f) and the definitions (A-F), (e.g. 1-c-F).

a handouts A small (usually 35mm) photographic transparency which you project onto a screen so that you can see the picture
2 b duster B device (wooden, plastic or metal rod or electric/laser torch etc) for indicating things on a map, screen etc
3 c laptop C is an opto-mechanical device to view photographic slides
4 d projector D printed information provided free of charge, esp. to accompany a lecture, presentation etc.
5 e pointer E electrical instrument that one speaks into for amplification of the voice etc
  f slide F a small portable computer. It is often used in conjunction with a projector, which actually projects the image from the computer screen onto the wall screen. (Power Point Presentations)


  7 g whiteboard (more rarely blackboard or greenboard) G a large vertical writing area which can be written upon using special markers and subsequently erased
8 h overhead projector (OHP) H an apparatus with a system of lenses for projecting images and sound from computers or other video sources
9 i screen I a device that projects an enlarged image of an acetate or other transparency (OHTs or OHPTs) placed on it on to a wall or screen by means of an overhead mirror
10 j markers J are used for displaying a projected image (in case of presentations it is folding and can be packed up and transported)
11 k slide projector K consists of several leaves of paper that you turn over
l flipchart L is used for cleaning the whiteboard
13 m microphone M are used for writing on the whiteboard (delible – you can remove the ink) or flipchart (indelible – you cannot remove the ink). They are usually available in blue, red, black and green


Work with a partner. 1) Discuss how these pieces of equipment can be used in different kinds of presentations. 2) Report your findings to the group.



Exercise 3. Comment on how visual information is being presented in these pictures, then produce five key recommendations for how to use visual supports in a presentation.




Exercise 4.Read the tips for using some of the pieces of equipment described in Exercise 1 during presentations.

Can you suggest any additional ideas?


Learn these basic techniques for using flipcharts and boards:

  • Be brief. Write down only key words and phrases. Do not attempt to write a full transcript of a discussion as it is occurring.
  • Be legible. It won't help the audience if your writing cannot be read easily; therefore, print in block letters.
  • Be aware of the sense of the discussion. Don't mark down trivial asides or tangents, or only those ideas that interest you.


The whiteboard(more rarely blackboard or greenboard) is a useful device for spontaneous writing - as in brainstorming, for example. For prepared material, the OHP might be more suitable.

The duster is used for cleaning the whiteboard. It is essential that the duster be clean to start with. You may consider carrying your own duster just in case.

Markers are used for writing on the whiteboard or flipchart. Again, it's a good idea to carry a spare set of markers in case you are given some used ones which do not write well.


Some people prefer the flipchartto the whiteboard as you may return to the previously written information, but its use is limited to smaller presentations.

Digital Overheads

Software exists that permits you to create digital "overheads" that may be displayed using a small computer and a specially designed device atop an ordinary overhead projector. All of the guidelines that are presented for acetate overheads apply to digital overheads. However, digital overheads can be much more elaborate in design than the commonplace acetate overhead. As with any tool, however, you should be familiar with their limitations. Follow these simple rules for constructing digital overheads:

  • Avoid excessive typographical displays that may distract the audience from your content.
  • Limit the palette of colors you use. Some combination of colors will obscure your content.
  • Print dark words on a light background for ease of viewing.
  • Use animation sparingly and only to demonstrate those concepts that naturally require this method of display.


The Slide projector - which must be used in a darkened room - adds a certain drama. Some slide projectors can be synchronised with audio for audio-visual (AV) presentations. These projectors are typically used for larger presentations. The majority take 35mm slides or transparencies (as seen here), but projectors for 6x6cm slides are also available.

The OHP has several advantages over the 35mm slide projector:

  • it can be used in daylight
  • the user can face the audience
  • the user can write or draw directly on the transparency while in use.


The notebook computer is increasingly being used to display graphics during presentations. It is often used in conjunction with an (overhead) projector, which actually projects the image from the computer screen onto the wall screen.


Handouts are any documents or samples that you 'hand out' or distribute to your audience. Note that it is not usually a good idea to distribute handouts before your presentation. The audience will read the handouts instead of listening to you.




Your most important piece of equipment is...YOU! Make sure you're in full working order, and check your personal presentation carefully – if you don't, your audience will!


Visual aids

80% of what we learn is learned visually (what we see) and only 20% is learned aurally (what we hear). This means that:

- visual aids are an extremely effective means of communication

- non-native English speakers do not need to worry so much about spoken English since they can rely more heavily on visual aids


It is important not to overload your audience's brains. Keep the information on each visual aid to a minimum – and give your audience time to look at and absorb this information. Remember, your audience have never seen these visual aids before. They need time to study and to understand them. Without understanding there is no communication.



Unit 7 Using Power Point

Read the following article about giving a Power Point presentation and make its summary.


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