Yes we already spoke about the role visuals play in audience recall. Visuals are helpful but using a mix of them guarantees audience recall. So sprinkle each presentation with elements of visual design containing healthy mix of cartoons, graphs, videos, maps, animations, attractively presented text blocks, etc. and your audience will never be bored.
Why should you mix up the visuals?
The same kind of graph or chart can bore your audience. A large number of people are visual or spatial learners – they tend to think in pictures and color; shapes and textures play an important role in how they assimilate information. When you mix up visuals, their brains are forced out of complacency. They start thinking, as their brains are keeping up with processing different kinds of visuals. And, you gain because a thinking audience is just great for you – they will remember your presentation.
What if you are limited to using just one kind of visual element?
If you think graphs and charts are the only types of visuals you can incorporate because your presentation is ‘serious’, then think again. A serious presentation is all the more reason why you should get the audience to loosen up enough to understand you better. Surely you can add a sketch – it will take the monotony off the charts and graphs. How about a cartoon on a related subject? It won’t be out of place at all. Some people carry props to give the audience ‘a break’ from looking at the screen. Coming back to your graphs and charts, make sure they are attractively designed, and don’t look identical to each other. Make sure the labels are big enough to be read by even the people in the back of the room, because not being able to read what’s on a slide can be quite off-putting. Don’t stuff text in – you should never take it for granted that your audience likes to read a lot.
Choose your visuals carefully. Tacky visuals, complicated diagrams and irrelevant flow charts will certainly confuse the audience, as well as make you come across as unprofessional. We will leave you with a link to Sunni Brown’s extremely visual presentation she created for Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh. Click on the picture to view the slides minus animation