Three-dimensional objects that represent an idea can be useful as a visual aid for a speech. They offer the audience a direct, concrete way to understand what you are saying. I often have my students do an introductory speech where they bring in three objects that represent their past, present, and future. Students have brought in a drawer from a chest that they were small enough to sleep in as a baby, a package of Ramen noodles to represent their life as a college student, and a stethoscope or other object to represent their career goals, among other things. Models also fall into this category, as they are scaled versions of objects that may be too big (the International Space Station) or too small (a molecule) to actually show to your audience.
Tips for Using Objects Effectively
- Make sure your objects are large enough for the audience to see.
- Do not pass objects around, as it will be distracting.
- Hold your objects up long enough for the audience to see them.
- Do not talk to your object, wiggle or wave it around, tap on it, or obstruct the audience’s view of your face with it.
- Practice with your objects so your delivery will be fluent and there won’t be any surprises.