Last Updated on: 22nd November 2023, 05:34 am
You cannot underestimate the power of good presentation visuals. A talented presentation designer knows that visuals are not simply decorative—they boost the overall impact of your presentation by communicating information clearly to engage the audience and ensure your message stays in their mind long after it ends. One study found that three hours after a presentation, 85% of the audience can remember visual content compared to 70% who can retain spoken content. Clearly, visuals wield considerable power. In this article, we explore how incorporating visuals into presentations boosts their impact.
Time is precious, especially in the business world, where it can feel like time moves faster. Instead of spending many hours transcribing notes onto a PowerPoint (which your audience won’t find interesting or engaging, anyway), why not use visuals that clearly communicate your message and save you hours of presentation time? It’s a win-win.
Humans like visuals—it’s in our DNA. Around 90% of the information processed by the brain is visual, and it only takes 13 milliseconds for our brains to process images. You know that statistic mentioned earlier? You might find yourself wondering what happens three days rather than three hours after the presentation ends.
Well, studies have shown that when people hear information, they’re likely to remember only 10% of the information three days later. However, if the information is conveyed with a visual aid, people retain around 65% of the information three days later. Visual content improves information understanding and retention, meaning our presentations have more impact.
Certain topics aren’t easy to explain verbally or with paragraphs of text—this certainly applies to topics such as science, finance and technology, where big bodies and text are particularly intimidating. In most cases, it’s better to use visual aids to break down complex concepts into digestible pieces. For example, infographics make the key points and important data outlined in lengthy reports more approachable and digestible. By turning abstract ideas into tangible visuals, presenters can help their audience understand complicated concepts.
No one likes sitting through a text-heavy presentation. A presentation that relies too heavily on text will likely lead to the audience becoming disengaged. They may nod along and appear to be listening, but they’ve probably checked out. On the other hand, visuals such as images, videos and infographics keep your audience engaged, drawing them into your narrative with ease. Think of visual elements as a bridge between you, the presenter, and your audience. Not only do they break the monotony of continuous speech and walls of text, but they also provide vital visual cues to improve understanding, ensuring the audience stays engaged for the entire presentation.
Think of your presentation as an extension of your brand. Branding isn’t only about a nice logo, it’s about creating a positive image in the consumer’s mind that they associate with you. Presentations, particularly ones filled with compelling visuals, are an important tool in a brand’s marketing arsenal.
Consistency in presentation branding is essential, as the slides and the visuals on them are a reflection of the brand. The choice of images, graphics and other engaging visual elements should align with the brand’s narrative. For example, a brand keen to focus on its sustainability initiatives in its presentation may opt for visuals, whether videos or images, of green landscapes as well as clean graphics that showcase its commitment to the environment.
Did you know that presentations with visual aids are more persuasive? Researchers found that when two groups of participants were given presentations, one with visuals and one entirely spoken, the group with access to visuals would spend more time and money than the other group. To make the most impact, ensure words are supported by visuals.
Visuals can evoke powerful emotions in us. Part of the reason television adverts work so well is their ability to combine visuals with audio to make us feel something, whether it’s happiness, sadness, fear, anger or humour.
The same goes for presentations. If you want to evoke certain emotions in your audience, you must tailor your visuals to inspire that feeling, which is something of an art. It’s easy to include images that may not be emotive enough or come on too strong. Additionally, emotions also play a role in memory retention. If audience members feel an emotion strongly during your presentation, they won’t soon forget your message.
Another major benefit of including visuals in your presentation is to improve accessibility. Incorporating clear and accessible visuals, such as images, videos and infographics, into your presentation is a step in the right direction, as it helps individuals who are deaf or may have low vision. For example, simple graphics can enhance comprehension and captioning for videos ensures those with hearing impairments can understand your message.
It’s also important to remember that some members of the audience may be colour-blind, so it’s vital to select colour combinations for charts and infographics that are distinguishable for those with colour blindness. By prioritising accessibility in presentation visuals, you can ensure your content is accessible to everyone.
If this article has taught you anything, it’s that a picture really is worth a thousand words, especially when it comes to presentations. Integrating relevant and high-quality visuals isn’t just about visual appeal but also comprehension, retention, persuasion, evoking emotions and improving accessibility. Visual elements, such as images, videos and infographics, ensure your message not only reaches your audience but stays in their minds long after your presentation ends.
If you’re in the process of creating a presentation, but you’re unsure of the best visuals to include, why not hire a presentation designer to craft a presentation that educates, inspires and persuades your audience to invest in your business, purchase your product or simply consider your point of view?