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Throughout our workdays, we encounter enormous amounts of communication from tons of different sources. The unread emails sitting in your inbox or the quick “meeting” that your boss had with you on the way to the breakroom, these are all examples of communication. While verbal communication is seen as the end-all-be-all of communication in most instances, visual communication is growing in popularity – we’ve even spotlighted why you should use it.
Visual communication is exactly what it sounds like – communicating through visuals. Think back to the last time someone gave you directions. Did that person explain it verbally? If they were complex directions, you might have been wondering if you should take the next left at Albuquerque. If the person took time to draw out a map, you now both had a frame of reference with which to work from, and even without referencing the map again directly you were probably able to find your way easier. Many presentations use visual communication in their slide decks to help convey messages, and to get the audience on the same page.
Okay that explanation of visual communication is fine – but why is it important to use? Below we’ve outlined a few benefits to visual communication that make it a key part of any communication strategy.
Visual communication can take complex concepts and relay them in a way that makes things easy for anyone to understand, no matter their geographic location, language or office environment. For example, sales statistics, having someone read them to you can be yawn inducing. But broadcasting that same data on a leaderboard suddenly changes it from something that people have to analyze to understand, to something that is immediately understandable.
This may seem like an odd benefit to add to this list – beauty isn’t something that is quantifiable. However, it’s something that has been recognizable by humans since before recorded history. Even our earliest ancestors crafted symmetrical hand axes. With little practical benefit to the symmetry, it can only be deduced that people like things that are beautiful. Visual communication that is created with care can not only help communicate, but can help make people happier through adding beautiful detail. This is part of the reason why we recommend adding a few TVs to your sales department.
The Creatly blog references this directly, “People only tend to remember 10% of what they hear and 20% of what they read. However, they actually tend to remember 80% of what they see.” Utilizing visual aids when communicating to co-workers, managers or other departments can help those people retain the information. Not only that, because you all have a single shared base image to work from, it increases the impact on those teams. This helps everyone engage with the project and even bring up new innovative ideas to the table. So next time you are looking for a way to ensure that everyone is on the same page for a new project, try visual communication. It can help keep everyone aligned and moving toward the same goals.
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