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 The visual in audio-visual

Training graphics are also called speaker support. 

:Is it necessary for the style to be the same throughout?

It depends very much on the formality of the occasion. But – I’ve seen consistent, beautiful, stylized graphics during a slide show at an informal 30-minute evening talk for web designers. 
What is important is that the training graphics are dynamic, and liven up the text for the viewer.


Pitfalls in training graphics

  • Inadvertent sexism is still something to keep in mind, but most graphic designers would know better than to angle the entire talk at men only, in this day and age.
  • In South Africa, the diversity issue is something to consider as well when composing speaker support but most material has this well in hand by now.
  • Clutter is a major mistake and a very easy one to make. Imagine the eyes of the viewer(s) at half-mast after a hard day and a long life. When they arrive to absorb what you are offering, don’t give them a screen full of stuff. Let there be space in the togetherness, to misquote Khalil Gibran. White space is a Good Thing. Try not to have more than five points.
  • Use decent graphics. They don’t have to be lots of expensive stock photos or complex illustrations. You can reuse one photo many times in different ways. Or use really simple elegant line drawings/symbols. Cheap looks cheap and your standards will be judged. Worse, the audience will feel despised, which would be sad.
  • The more intense and difficult the training material is, the more graphics can do, to lighten things up and provide a rest for the eyes. Lots of white space around text and graphics also helps to let people relax.


The viewer could be one amongst thousands in a vast auditorium. Or there could be just one lone mind sitting in front of a screen, absorbing it all late at night, and trying to better their income. To be part of this is a great honour and one needs to treat it with respect.

It’s a pleasure to pay tribute to my clients who’ve taught me so much about training graphics:

AdvTech; Communication and Training ConsultantsEskomWesbankUnisysMr Price; Centrepeace; OneWorld and RCCPUnilever; and Swala Aerospace.