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0204 Using Visuals in a Presentation

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Complete Transcript
Welcome to English as a Second Language Podcast number 204, “Using Visuals in a Presentation.”

This is English as a Second Language Podcast episode 204. I’m your host, Dr. Jeff McQuillan, coming to you from the Center for Educational Development in the beautiful City of Los Angeles, California.

Remember to visit our website at eslpod.com. There you can fine a complete Learning Guide to this podcast. It’s a 10-page guide that includes all of the vocabulary, the definitions, additional vocabulary and definitions that we don’t discuss on the podcast, as well as a complete transcript of this episode.

Today’s podcast is called “Using Visuals in a Presentation.” Let’s get started.

[Start of story]

Rosa: Thanks a lot for offering to give me some pointers on how to use visuals for my presentation. I’ve never given a presentation like this before.

Milo: I’m glad I can help. What do you plan to use?

Rosa: Well, I plan to show these slides for the first part of the talk. First, I have this pie chart that shows the types of services our company provides. Then, I have this bar graph to show how the company has grown in the past 20 years. But, I’m not really sure how to talk about them.

Milo: Okay, first, when you’re using a chart, make sure you explain what each part represents. For example, on this pie chart, I would explain that each slice of the pie represents a percentage of the business. Then, for this bar chart, I’d make sure to tell the audience what the X-axis and Y-axis stand for, and what each increment represents. That way, the trend that the company is following is clear. Are you planning on using this line chart, too?

Rosa: No, I changed my mind about that. I think it’s a little confusing, but your tips on the other charts are really helpful. I have this flip chart, too, that I’m supposed to use but I’m not sure how. I don’t want turn my back on the audience during the presentation.

Milo: The second half of the presentation includes some audience participation, right? Then, I think it’s fine to use it during that part of the talk. Any other questions?

Rosa: I don’t think so. You’ve been so helpful. I hope you’ll let me take you to lunch as a token of thanks.

Milo: You don’t need to treat, but I’d be happy to have lunch together. Let’s go.

[End of story]

This podcast is called, “Using Visuals in a Presentation.” A visual, “visual,” is something you can see. A visual in a presentation would be things like pictures or graphs or charts or a PowerPoint presentation – all of these would be visuals.

Well, our dialogue begins with Rosa telling Milo that she is thankful that he is offering to give her some pointers on how to use visuals in her presentation. A pointer, “pointer,” means a tip or some advice on how to do something. Usually, we use this term, pointers, when someone understands how to do something in a general way, but needs perhaps some additional help or some tips on improving what they are doing.

Rosa said that she’s never given a presentation similar to this one before. Milo says he’s glad he can help; he asks Rosa what she plans on using in her presentation. Rosa says, “Well, I plan,” or I intend, “to show these slides for the first part of the talk. A slide, “slide,” is one frame, usually nowadays in a PowerPoint presentation. So, if you have used Microsoft PowerPoint or other similar software, you know that each page is something that you can show people on a computer or you can put it up on a screen – a blank area that everyone can see it – that individual page is called a slide when it’s part of a PowerPoint presentation.

In the old days, back before we had computers, one of the more popular ways to show things was to have a slide projector. If you needed to show pictures to a big group, you would have these little photographs that we called slides, and then you put them in a wheel and the wheel moved around and the projector, which showed the picture up on the screen, that would be used to look at each one of these slides. Now we use the term mostly to refer to pages in a PowerPoint or similar presentation.

Rosa says that she has a couple of different kinds of graphics that she’s going to use. A graphic, “graphic,” is similar to a visual, but it usually refers to a chart or a graph or a table. Rosa says that she has a pie, “pie” chart that shows different types of services that her company provides. A pie chart is what it sounds like; it’s a round circle – looks like a pie that you would eat. The pie is cut into sections; the sections, or the pieces of the pie represent a certain percentage, usually. A bar graph, “bar graph,” two words, is when you have a set of lines, usually they’re vertical, but they could be horizontal – they could go up and down or side to side – and the tall lines represent more of something and the short lines represent less of something. Usually they’re lines that are maybe a quarter or a half inch thick – a couple of centimeters thick – and they show sometimes different colors on the bar graph to represent different products or different concepts that you are trying to show. So, a bar graph helps show how much you have of something.

Milo explains to Rosa how you would use these different kinds of charts and graphs. Milo says it’s important if “you’re using a chart to explain what each part of the chart represents.” When we say it represents something, we mean that it stands for, or it is supposed to show you how much of something there is. So, you may have a chart that has the color red for product A and the color blue for product B, and if it’s a pie chart, you may show what percentage of people buy product A versus product B. So, each part represents, or stands for something in a graph or chart.

Milo explains that on a pie chart “each slice of the pie represents a percentage of the business.” A slice, “slice,” of the pie is a...same as a piece of a pie. It’s a section, or a part of the pie. We use that word, slice, when we are talking about things that are round that you eat. So for example, you can have a slice of pizza – pizza is usually round – and a slice would be something that looks like a triangle with a round base – a round end, and we use that word for pies as well. Well, this is a pie chart, so we’re going to talk about a slice of the pie chart. We don’t eat the pie chart, unless you’re really hungry! You can also use that word, slice, when you’re talking about a piece of cake, for example, even if the cake is not round. Any kind of food that you can cut up into smaller pieces could be referred to as a slice.

A bar chart is something that tells you how much you have of a certain thing, and it has two different lines that indicate how much you have of something. One line is called the X-axis, and the X-axis is the horizontal line – it’s the line that goes from side to side. The Y-axis – and axis is “axis,” usually it’s hyphenated, x-axis, y-axis – the Y-axis is the one that is vertical – that goes up and down. And, on a bar chart, the Y-axis will usually have some numbers that tell you how much of something there is – what that bar represents – the quantity. For example, it could be percentage, and you would have on the Y-axis 25, 50, 75, 100, and then you would look at how tall the bar was and you would see what percentage it was based on the marks, or the signs or indications on the Y-axis.

The difference between each of the marks is called an increment, “increment.” An increment is the distance or amount or difference between each mark on the Y-axis. So, in our example, the increment was 25 percent because you have 25, 50, 75, 100. Each mark is 25 percent higher or more than the one below it. Milo says that it’s important to have these indications on the X and Y-axis so people can understand the trend that the company is following. Trend, “trend,” is the same as direction. So, is the trend going up, or is the trend going down? Is the company getting better, or is the company getting worse?

Milo also asks Rosa if she plans on using a line chart. A line, “line,” chart is a chart that has lines that indicate, usually, how something is changing over time. And, you may have, for example, how much money the company made in the last five years. And, on the X-axis – the one that is horizontal – you would have the years, and on the Y-axis – the one that goes up and down, the vertical line – you would show how much money the company made each year. In a line chart you could follow and see if it goes up or down. Hopefully, it will go up!

Rosa says that she’s not going to use a line chart; she said she changed her mind. To change you mind means to change your opinion, to decide to do something different. Rosa said that she changed her mind. She thinks the line chart is too confusing, but she thanks Milo for his other pointers, his other tips. Rosa also says that she has a flip chart. A flip, “flip,” chart is not the same as a pie chart or a line chart. A flip chart is a big piece of paper, sort of like a big notebook. Usually it’s blank paper and it is, maybe, three feet high and two feet wide, and it’s what you can use to write on. So, if you are talking to a big group, you can write on the flip chart, on the paper. Usually it’s sitting on a stand, “stand,” – a tripod stand – you can write on it, so that people can see it, with a marker or pen. You can write notes and information for the people who are listening to you so they can see it.

She says, however, that she doesn’t want to turn her back on the audience in her presentation. To turn your back on someone means that you turn around so that you’re not looking at them, that they can only see your back. That’s to turn your back on the audience. Milo says that the second part of the presentation is supposed to have some “audience participation.” Audience participation means that the people who are listening to the presentation can ask questions or make comments. He suggests to Rosa that she can use the flip chart during the second half of her talk. Her talk, of course, is just another word for her presentation.

Rosa thanks Milo and offers to take him “to lunch as a token,” “token,” “of thanks.” A token is a sign of thanks. It’s a way of expressing thanks. Someone may say, “Take this as a token of my appreciation.” It’s usually a gift, or something you give someone to thank them for doing something for you. Milo says that Rosa doesn’t “need to treat,” but he would be happy to go to lunch with her. When we say that someone is going to treat, “treat,” you to lunch, we mean they’re going to pay, and Milo is saying you don’t have to pay for my lunch, but I will be happy to have lunch with you.

Now let’s listen to the dialogue, this time at a native rate of speech.

[Start of story]

Rosa: Thanks a lot for offering to give me some pointers on how to use visuals for my presentation. I’ve never given a presentation like this before.

Milo: I’m glad I can help. What do you plan to use?

Rosa: Well, I plan to show these slides for the first part of the talk. First, I have this pie chart that shows the types of services our company provides. Then, I have this bar graph to show how the company has grown in the past 20 years. But, I’m not really sure how to talk about them.

Milo: Okay, first, when you’re using a chart, make sure you explain what each part represents. For example, on this pie chart, I would explain that each slice of the pie represents a percentage of the business. Then, for this bar chart, I’d make sure to tell the audience what the X-axis and Y-axis stand for, and what each increment represents. That way, the trend that the company is following is clear. Are you planning on using this line chart, too?

Rosa: No, I changed my mind about that. I think it’s a little confusing, but your tips on the other charts are really helpful. I have this flip chart, too, that I’m supposed to use but I’m not sure how. I don’t want turn my back on the audience during the presentation.

Milo: The second half of the presentation includes some audience participation, right? Then, I think it’s fine to use it during that part of the talk. Any other questions?

Rosa: I don’t think so. You’ve been so helpful. I hope you’ll let me take you to lunch as a token of thanks.

Milo: You don’t need to treat, but I’d be happy to have lunch together. Let’s go.

[End of story]

The script for today’s podcast was written by Dr. Lucy Tse. That’s all we have time for today. From Los Angeles, California, I’m Jeff McQuillan, thanks for listening. We’ll see you next time on ESL Podcast.

English as a Second Language Podcast is written and produced by Dr. Lucy Tse, hosted by Dr. Jeff McQuillan. This podcast is copyright 2006.

Glossary
pointers – advice; suggestions

* After Clara gave me some pointers on driving, I passed the road test without any problems.

visuals – anything that people can see, such as a picture or display, usually used to make something else clearer or interesting

* Our manager liked the new report, but he suggested that we add more visuals.

slide – a small picture that is usually put into a projector or that is projected so that it can be made bigger for others to see

* In this next slide, you’ll see a painting by Pablo Picasso.

pie chart – a type of visual with a circle that is divided into parts, each part having a different meaning

* Do you think you can create a pie chart showing how much money each company has given to help build the new hospital?

bar chart/graph – a type of visual with thick lines (bars) that shows how much there is of each thing

* By looking at this bar graph, you can see that we had 300 new customers in 2000 and 500 new customers in 2005.

to represent – to substitute for something else; to take the place of something

* Can you tell me what this line represents on the map?

slice – a small piece cut from a larger piece, such as a slice of pie, cake, or bread

* That cake smells so good. Can I have a slice?

X-axis/Y-axis – in a graph, the range from left to right (X-axis) or from bottom to top (Y-axis)

* On this graph, the X-axis represents the months of this year and the Y-axis represents how many products we’ve sold.

increment – a regular increase or addition

* In her contract, her salary will go up in 10 percent increments every year.

trend – a general direction in which something is changing or developing

* The trend in American television is toward more and more reality shows.

line chart – a type of visual with lines going left to right, showing whether something has gone up or down, usually over time

* If you follow the blue line on this line chart, you’ll see that the number people who drive on this road has increased a lot over the past 10 years.

to change (one’s) mind – to make a different decision than you made before; to change the decision you made before

* I wish I could change your mind about climbing that dangerous mountain by yourself.

flip chart – a large pad of paper that is held together at the top so that each page can be turned over at the top

* Let me write your suggestions on this flip chart so everyone can see them.

to turn (one’s) back on – to turn so that your back is facing someone else; to ignore or to refuse to help someone who is expecting your help

* The photographer told the model to turn her back to the camera and to look over her shoulder.

audience participation – when the audience is invited by the presenter or performer to do something that becomes part of the presentation or performance

* We’ll need some audience participation during this three-hour presentation or everyone will fall asleep.

token – a thing that is given or done for someone to show one’s feelings

* As a token of my love for her, I plan to give her these roses.

to treat – to pay for someone else, usually for their food and drink

* Did you hear? Dr. Jeff McQuillan has invited all of his listeners to dinner and he’s treating!

Comprehension Questions
1. Rosa plans to use these visuals for her presentation:
a) Pie chart, bar graph, and flip chart
b) Pie chart, line graph, and flip chart
c) Pie chart, video, and flip chart

2. When does Rosa plan to use the flip chart?
a) During the first part of the presentation
b) While she is introducing herself to the audience
c) During the second part of the presentation

Answers at bottom.

What Else Does It Mean?
slide

The word “slide,” in this podcast, is a noun meaning a small picture put into a projector to make it bigger to show others, or a page in a PowerPoint-type presentation: “I went over to their house and they showed us all 300 slides from their summer vacation!” As a noun, slide can also mean the thing that children play with at the park, where they climb up a ladder and come down very quickly on a smooth, usually metal surface: “When Yolanda was only 3-years-old, she was too scared to come down on the slide by herself.” This word can also be a verb used to mean to move along a smooth surface: “When Jim got to the restaurant, he told me to slide down on the seat so he could sit down next to me.”

to treat

In this podcast, the verb “to treat” means to pay for someone else, usually when you are doing something together with them: “If you let me treat you to dinner, you can treat me to a movie.” A very common phrase you’ll hear is, “it’s my treat,” meaning I will pay for you. It can also be used to mean how you behave toward someone else: “Why do you treat me like a child when I’m already 25 years old?” Or, “When we stayed with friends after the fire, they treated us with kindness and patience.” This verb can also be used to mean to give medical care: “There was a nurse at the scene of the big accident and she treated some people who were badly hurt before the ambulance arrived.”

Culture Note
In U.S. business presentations, especially training presentations where employees are being given information or being taught something new, presenters usually use some type of audience participation. A presenter may ask the audience to do an activity as an “ice breaker” as a way to introduce themselves and to make those in the audience feel comfortable with each other. An example of an ice breaker activity is when there are people from different companies attending one presentation, and the presenter asks each person to introduce themselves to the rest of the group. Another ice breaker activity would be for people to “pair up,” or to have two people work together, to ask each other a list of interesting questions. This way, people from different companies, organizations, or departments can “network,” or make useful business connections with other people.

Audience participation can also be used to “enliven,” or make more interesting, a long presentation. Presentations that are highly technical or that present a lot of information may use audience participation to give the audience a chance to talk about the new information they’ve heard or to ask questions.

Some companies and organizations use audience participation for “team building.” Team building is usually a set of activities that a company does to improve communication and to have better working relationships among its employees. Many companies in the U.S. think that team building is very important in order to “retain,” or keep employees from leaving the company, and to get them to do their best work.

Comprehension Answers
1 - a

2 - c