Workplace Communicator Blog

Why Using Visuals in your Communication is so Important

Posted by Marie-Claire Ross on Mon, Aug 1, 2011

describe the imageWe've all heard the term "Death by PowerPoint" and the majority of us have been scarred by poor presentations and classroom learning techniques, at some point in our life.

But what can you do to engage people in your training, workplace communications and your business presentations?

The answer - use more pictures.

According to Dr John Medina, the author of Brain Rules, reading is inefficient as we have to identify certain features in the letters to be able to read them.  Your brain interprets every letter as a picture.  This takes take time to read.  It also means that lots of words shown on say, a PowerPoint slide, chokes your brain.

Researchers have found that ideas that are best remembered are displayed as pictures or paired with words rather than just a single word.

Called the Picture Superiority Effect (PSE), people will only remember 10% of what you say 72 hours later.  However, if you add a picture it goes up to 35% and if you add both a picture and word together it increases to a very high 65%.

There are two rules that he talks about that are worth highlighting.

Rule #4 We don't pay attention to boring things

If we are given too much information,without enough time devoted to understanding it, it leads to boredom (and confusion).  So reading lots of text off a PowerPoint slide, without the time to digest it, actually inhibits learning.

Rule #10 Vision trumps all other senses.

We are more likely to recall visual information and we are amazing at remembering pictures.  This is possibly because in the olden days it was important to know whether we could eat something or whether we needed to look around to see if something wanted to eat us.

Recognition soars with pictures.  In fact, recognition doubles for a picture compared to text.

 

 

Visually rich presentations keep the eyes busy and therefore, the brain more active and alert to learn information. The right brain prefers visuals and can process pictures hundreds of times faster than the verbal brain can process words.

So forget about about the left brain way of writing lots of bullet points and text.  Start using more visuals in all your communications.

Include video, photos, diagrams and colour.

Need help making your communications more visually appealing?  Talk to Digicast on 03 9696 4400 to find out how we can help or email Marie-Claire Ross on mc@digicast.com.au

Topics: improving safety training, visual communication, workplace safety communication, improving workplace communication, workplace training, improving staff presentations, how to communicate workplace safety messages, training materials