Audio-Visual aids are methods of
communicating with people. There are a variety
of audio-visual aids which can be used - it is
Important to select aids which are appropriate to
the method. The word "aids" is vital to a correct
understanding of their use. Once they take the
nature of "gimmicks" they have ceased to be
"aids". They are not ends in themselves.
Audioaids communicate ideas through the ears
to the mind. They may take the form of music or
tape recordings, television, records, sound films,
It is possible to produce very complex sounds on
tape, particularly by mixing music, sound effects
and dialogue. However, the best effects are
gained by keeping the material simple and
Music used on its own can be very effective as ascene setter and can help create atmosphere.
Equipment is available to synchronise sound with
vision. Although expensive and time consuming
in preparation, it does lend an air of
professionalism - if done well. Rehearsal of
session material before the event is helpful,
particularly if someone is available to comment.
on performance. Practice done with a friend or
colleague will help improveperformance.
Many rooms are not designed to be acoustically
pleasing. It is useful to test beforehand how the
room will react to your voice or the sound of your
equipment. A simple check is to clap your hands
in the empty room. If the clap creates an echo or
ringing sound the room is not good for sound. It
is worth remembering that an audience will tend
to decrease the ringing effect aschairs and
clothing soak up the sound. This also means
that a greater volume of sound will be required
when the audience is present.
Visual aids communicate facts and ideas through
the eyes to the mind and emotions. Visual aids
include films, slides, videos, overhead projection,
books, photographs, models and charts.
Ensure that the aids do not replace training by
doing. With someactivities, e.g. operating a
machine, canoeing or a sport, their use is limited.
This Factsheet explains a variety of audio-visual
aids which are available for you to use.
There are two methods of showing a video. The
first is to use a normal television set, the second
and more expensive way is to use a video
projector. When showing a video, make sure the
picture will bebig enough for the whole audience
to see. The maximum screen that you are likely
to get with a television is about 75cm (30
inches), while a video projector gives a picture
size of 2½ metres (8 foot) square or over.
Generally, commercially produced videos should
not be copied for your own use. Some video
companies prosecute people who do copy their
videos and high fines result.
A video canbe used to make a session or part of
a session. Be prepared to show only part
of a video if that is all you need. Sometimes it is
a good idea to let people watch the remainder in
their own time.
Filming your own video
The price of video cameras has been coming
down for some time, and it is possible to hire
them at reasonable rates from high street stores.
Unless you have access to highquality cameras
and editing facilities it is not easy to make your
own films. If participants are told they are going
to see a video, they expect something of high
quality and this is not usually possible using a
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domestic video camera. Instead, film practical
sessions and presentations where the
participants will gain from being able to see
When making a video, the camera does not
have to be on the move the whole time.
Constant panning round and zooming...