Leading Accessible Presentations
Why should I make my presentations accessible?
You don't necessarily know who all will be attending all of the presentations you are giving, and you definitely don't know if any of those people have a disability that you can accommodate for. Because of this, it's best practiced to make sure that all of the presentations you give are as accessible as possible. Plenty of accessible presentation techniques are also just excellent presentation techniques.
Accessible presentation practices make it easier for all participants to better understand you and your message.
What steps do I need to take when making my presentation accessible?
There are several steps you can take while preparing a presentation, presenting your information, and following up that make presentations more accessible for all participants.
Before your presentation:
- Build your presentation materials (like PowerPoints) with accessibility in mind. Check out our training resources on how to make an accessible PowerPoint.
- Provide your audience with your presentation materials ahead of time. This could be a lifeline for attendants who need additional time to review the material.
- Make sure that any videos you are including have been properly captioned. Check out our training resources on captioning videos.
During your presentation:
- Speak clearly and use a microphone if one is available.
- Make sure both you are visible and well lit.
- Use plain language. Plain language is easier for people, especially those who are unfamiliar with your topic, to understand. Check out our training resources on plain language.
- Cover all of the information you present in any of your visual materials (like a PowerPoint). This does not mean you have to read the slide word-for-word, just make sure you cover all of the content.
- Describe any important or relative visual information. This might include describing graphs or charts on your slides, or how many hands raise when you ask a question.
After your presentation:
- If you have recorded your presentation, make sure you edit the closed captions and transcripts before you present the recording to the public. Check out our training resources on making transcripts.
Still need help?
Let us know! We are happy to help make your presentations more accessible.
Madison Ellis, Accessibility Specialist
Amy Cole, Digital Media Manager