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Multi-media support means the support outside of the speaker’s words and nonverbals. When I first started teaching, we used the term “Audio-Visual Support,” which back then meant posters and overhead projector slides. Ah, the days before PowerPoint!

PowerPoint (with Google Slides, Prezi, Keynote, among others) so dominates the public speaking landscape that I just teach other types of support in passing. Still, the fact that “a picture says a thousand words” is just as true today as it was decades ago.

Whatever the speaker uses to visually (and audibly) support his or speech, there are some basic rules:

The Multi-media Support should:

  • Be easy to see and understand
  • Be used to clarify the information at hand
  • NEVER distract us from the speech
  • Be as professional as possible (spell check, people!)

Now, as for PowerPoint and its online cousins, after many years of teaching and with the help of Cheryl Dyer Vargas (at Brookhaven College, Dallas, Texas) and Quentin Wright (now at Lone Star College), I have come up with an extensive checklist that I use both for instruction and evaluation. I have found that this rubric also can be used for web-based support and other emerging mutli-media support such as eMaze.

Click here for the checklist/rubric.