Effective communication is one of the most vital life skills we need to succeed. Conveying your ideas, thoughts, feelings, facts and information clearly and concisely has always been important — but it’s never been as important as it is now.
Media is consumed at all hours of the day and through many different mediums, and the average American spends half their day looking at a screen. Communication is becoming less and less in-person and much more online. And if you’ve noticed the popularity of platforms like YouTube and Instagram, you’ll also notice that communication is becoming much more visual.
This makes mastering visual communication, rather than basic communication, absolutely essential. Here’s why:
You want people to remember what you’ve said long after you’ve said it. Visual communication does this better than other types of communication because of how our human brains work. Images are remembered by the part of the brain responsible for long-term memory, as opposed to the written word alone, which is stored in the brain’s short-term memory. Coupling any communication with a visual that bolsters what you are trying to say creates a stronger connection (something that is important in today’s information-riddled world).
How long did it take you to read the first part of this article? Probably a minute or two. Communicating with visuals decreases the time spent communicating. Rather than spending the time to read information, a clear visual with thoughtful care in mind for the information it needs to relay is a huge time saver.
Everyone loves gifs and memes. Why? Because images can cross cultural and even language barriers. You don’t have to use words to try to explain something when you can share an infographic, picture of short video that gets straight to the point. Think about how you learn in a foreign language class — images almost always accompany the written definitions of the words. Visuals catch people’s attention at work or at school because it creates common ground.
If you want to deliver a message effectively, you must be consistent. In order for everyone to take away the same message, visual communication must have a reliable theme – and you must share valuable information. Especially if you’re an entrepreneur, small business or nonprofit creating visual communication, your fonts, images, graphics, icons and colors must be similar enough to seem like they were created by the same person or company. (For more on this, we wrote an article just for you: Authentic Branding for Your Infographics).
Most of all, visual communication is a marketable skill
In today’s online and visual world, any job or trade you train in will rely on visual communication.
From safety handbooks in the warehouse to infographic reports in the boardroom, being able to communicate effectively with visuals is something every professional relies heavily upon.
That’s why, whether you’re an experienced professional or a student, learning how to create visuals – and communicate with them – is absolutely necessary.
Get started with our free Crash Course in Infographics via Udemy.