Visual communication includes infographics, diagrams, flow charts, roadmaps, charts, graphs, visual reports, mind maps and more. And they’re great for ensure that you’re communicating well with your audience.
Robert Bresson was an acclaimed French filmmaker and director known for his aesthetic approach, his use of non-professional actors and his unusual way of creating cinematic films. He actually trained as a painter before moving into films as a screenwriter and a film director. When you look at his films you’ll see that he takes the time to almost paint each one, so they are, individually, a piece of art as well.
In Robert’s approach to film making, he would often take unusual angles and highlight distinct moments in films where most other film directors would not. He used a series of techniques where the shot would pull in really close and use atypical musical underscores, and he created peculiar effects by paying really deep attention to certain aspects of the visuals, especially the use of characters hands in scenes. It made him a unique film director and, today, he’s still revered as one of the most iconic film directors of our time. In fact, Martin Scorsese, another widely-admired film director, said, ‘We are still coming to terms with Robert Bresson and the particular peculiar power and beauty of his films’. He went on to describe the French filmmaker as one of cinema’s greatest artists.
Before Robert Bresson died he said that he took this approach because he always wanted to, ‘make visible what without you, might perhaps never have been seen’.
Watch this beautiful compilation of some of his films…
How to Use Visual Communication Elements to Reduce Over Communicating
We aren’t all enigmatic film makers, but we all have the ability or power, to create visual effects that can complement and enhance our communications. Robert told his stories with impact because of his visual elements. And we can do the same.
Why Visual Communication is Vital
Whether you’re a leader in an organisation or you’re running your own business, we are all in the world of influencing. We’re in the situation of having to translate our ideas efficiently for our audience. And having to motivate, engage and persuade people to do something.
Because of this we often find ourselves over-communicating while trying to get our message across or in an attempt to make ourselves understood. But the more we overcommunicate, the less effective our communication becomes and the less our audience can take in. Instead, when we overexplain or use too many words or concepts for our audiences, we’ll find they are overwhelmed and will eventually shut down.
However, when you can simplify through the use of visual communication elements you can bring your message and what you’re saying to life. After all, a ‘picture’ (or a graph or model) tells 1,000 words. And they allow you to be succinct and brief and get your key messages out.
Visual Communication Elements Work
Research shows that visual communications work. In one study, research was done with a group of readers who had been looking at information that came in the form of visual communication and words. The researchers found that three days later the readers retained about 10 to 20% of the written word, but 65% of the information given to them via visual communications. At the end of the day, if you want your audience to retain your message, your visual elements are key.
What Visual Elements Should You Implement
There are many, many ways you can introduce key concepts, data and information into your communications via visual elements. Some of these could include Venn diagrams or quadrant models. You might consider flow charts or roadmaps, or even graphs and mind maps. Or, if you are using a story, you could provide an image that represents that story, or an image from history. Images and models can provide a metaphorical connection to the content that you’re talking about making your message more memorable.
Most importantly, your visual communications help you from having to overexplain. They visually describe what you are trying to say. So, the next time you have a complex message to convey, think about the visual elements you can use instead of sticking only to verbal or written communications.
I’d love to hear your thoughts…