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Incorporating Visuals Into Your Communication Efforts

David Johnson

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Incorporating Visuals Into Your Communication Efforts

Image by janjf93 from Pixabay

When you are communicating an idea, it often helps to incorporate visuals.

That’s because it has been found that pairing complex ideas with images or visuals, helps others connect with and remember the concept long after they’ve read about it or listened to someone else discuss it. In fact, according to an article in the Harvard Business Review, visual communication is now a must-have skill for all managers.

There are several ways you can create visualizations. What is important, however, when embarking on communicating via visuals is that it must be understood quickly and be understood on its own.

If you are just getting started with visual communications, there are some simple approaches that you test out, including:

Graphs and charts: Pie charts, area charts, line charts, and bar charts can provide an easy means of summarizing and presenting even the most complex data in a way that most people comprehend quickly.

Hub diagram: A hub diagram — also called a hub and spoke diagram — gets its name from its design, which looks like spokes on a wheel. Hub and spoke diagrams are typically used to display smaller components that make up a larger idea or finding. These visuals can be effective for helping your audience explore cause and effect, understand the features of a product or service or visualize the connections between smaller parts of a larger concept.

Flowcharts: A flowchart is a pictorial or graphical representation of a process. These charts are often used to depict how a complicated process is performed from start to finish, to evaluate the amount of time a task or process will take, and identify where bugs are occurring in a process.

Scatter charts: These charts can help you visualize the values and relationships of two different variables as points on a chart. A scatter chart can be useful for seeing patterns in data.

Maps: When discussing distance or location, an easy visual when is to bring a map into the discussion. Make sure the map is clear and doesn’t get mired down in too much detail.

Pivot table: These worksheets allow you to easily recap, drill-down, and re-sort data. They allow you to easily highlight the most critical data for your audience.

Box plot: A box plot is a way of graphically depicting groups of numerical data through their quartiles. These visuals can help to summarize variations in large datasets visually, show outliers, and compare multiple distributions.

Are you ready to start using visuals in your communication efforts? If you decide to use a visual when communicating, it is important to remember some rules of the road. First, only employ one visual per concept. Too many concepts will overcomplicate the information you are trying to communicate.

Second, use the same visual to communicate the same process or concept over and over again. This will help reiterate the process or concept. And finally, avoid creating multiple versions, so the wrong one doesn’t accidentally get used in your office and completely derail the connection you were building.

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