By: Ellen Egan
Are you a mind reader? Do you know what people are actually thinking when they are talking with you? Have you ever been surprised after having a conversation with someone that the “pictures” in their mind about the topic were completely different from the words that you were hearing?
An important thing to remember when you are preparing your presentation is that your audience cannot read your mind. They may hear the words that you are speaking very clearly, but they may not get your message completely. If you want to help ensure that your audience gets your message, give them some images to link with your words.
Studies have shown that when we get information through several sensory avenues, we are more likely to retain the information. So, If someone describes the yearly sales figures for us AND shows us a graph of the figures, we are more likely to understand and retain the information. Now, if we take this a step further, and actually attach meaning to the words and images, we have a huge increase in the chance that our audience will retain the information. By attaching meaning, I mean that we appeal to the audiences interests, concerns, dreams, etc through our words and images. When images are attached to information, it can actually tap into our emotions.
There is an excellent video from a TED University talk by Tom Wujec about how the brain attached meaning to images. He actually shows you how the brain processes images and makes them meaningful by
1. Making ideas clear by visualixing them
2. Making them interactive
3. Making them persistent
TED University – Tom Wujec
It is clear that we will be much more successful in getting our message across if we use both words and images. And, if we then attach meaning to the words and images, our message will come across even more powerfully.
Public speaking is at its heart all about communication. We can be much more effective communicators if we include images along with our words.
How will you incorporate images into your next presentation?
To your success,