Props can differentiate you as a speaker, making you and your concepts more memorable, giving you that competitive advantage. But maybe you don’t want to travel with a ladder!
Prop possibilities abound. Just about anything can be a prop—even people and animals.
Here are a few ideas. http://www.businessballs.com/visualaids.htm
Some considerations for prop use:
- Relevancy—Is it just a gimmick?
- Visibility—Is it large enough?
- Simplicity—Is it easy to use?
- Suitability—Will it disturb the audience?
- Replaceability-Is it irreplaceable, or difficult to replace?
- Cost—is the cost justified?
- Transportability—Will you regret that large prop?
- Timing—Do you show the prop at the appropriate time (not before, not after)?
- Practice—Did you practice, practice, practice?
One of my favorite props is a balloon. Balloons are cheap, highly replaceable and easy to pack. You can use them alone, or you can provide balloons to audience members for audience involvement (careful here, as some audience members, especially in healthcare, may have latex allergies).
In one speech I do on leadership, I use a balloon to represent integrity (the integrity balloon). I inflate the balloon and have the audience imagine that it is filled with my integrity. I then give a few examples of lacking integrity, deflating the balloon a little each time. When I only have a little air left in the balloon, I let it go and it zips about erratically before falling to the ground. “Who can follow a leader like that?”
Consider the properties of balloons for the points you make in your next presentation. Balloons can represent:
- Gain or loss (weight, money, integrity, business growth, etc.)
- Sudden change (popping the balloon, “bursting the bubble”)
- Flexibility (changing to meet the demands)
- Lightness (especially if helium-filled)
How could you use a balloon in your topic area?