Since people learn in different ways, the more senses incorporated into your presentation, the better the meaning of your speech will be conveyed and information retained.
However, no prop, sound or scent will ever come close to what your “brain” can see, hear or smell.
I once heard the late Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert, the film critics, discussing several mediums of communication; radio, TV, and the big movie screen.
Their conclusion, with no option close, was that radio is the superior medium.
Because the “mind draws its own pictures” based on previous experiences and associations, it does the best job of “seeing”. The message is better received and personalized.
When I heard this, the old CBS Mystery Theater, immediately came to mind.
When we “hear” pictures painted, we go into the hard drives of our brain and pull out files that associate with what we are hearing, personalizing the message.
If we show a physical prop, that is the image the receiver records in their mind.
For some speeches, where a specific is being conveyed, this may be appropriate.
Where the prop is better personalized – leave the prop at home!
About the Author:
Fred E. Miller coaches, speaks and writes about Public Speaking and Presentation Skills.