“A picture is worth a thousand words” we hear frequently, and most of us would agree that’s a valid statement — that’s not taking away the power of poetry, but just emphasise the power of visual and the high content of information we get from just one image.
Our brain is better equipped to work with images than words and most of the people would say that they better remember (with some accuracy) an image than the words (especially if there are many words); for example, a child looks and recognises things before it can speak. “Seeing is believing” also attests the strong impact of an image.
A study, published in 2008 by researchers at the University of California-San Diego, under Roger Bon and James Short, believes that people are every day inundated with the equivalent amount of 34 GB (gigabytes) of information.
Most of that information comes visually, especially now when we are surrounded by intelligent devices, TVs, billboards. That puts a lot of pressure on us, and one instinctive way of dealing with the abundance of information is to try to decide faster, spend less time absorbing and “chewing” the data.
And yet, a lot of the presentation materials used in various meetings are dull slides full of (small) text and numbers testing the focus ability of the audience and making the message less intuitive or powerful.
There are simple ways to improve – associate words with images, use less words, be creative, look for some storytelling with data tips, eventually practice your drawing skills. It doesn’t have to be your hand drawing, but looking for tools (or professionals) that would help transform your message into a more impactful one could save your time, presentation, project.
One of the key elements for delivering a good presentation/pitch is “know your audience”, but usually you can’t go wrong with improving the visual aspect of your content – (re)learn how to draw, or at least think more visually.
It doesn’t have to be a very advanced data analysis toolkit, some fancy chart library (although it may help) or a powerful graphics tablet, just think of the hints you want to send to your audience – pick the more relevant images, attach your message to some visual clue.
Daily practice of drawing, no matter your skills level, can even help manage your stress and calm down.
Happy drawing and enjoy your journey!
PS: too much text ?! It’s time for me to convert it in a visual story 🙂