What Is Visual Storytelling Illustration?
It can be difficult to compellingly communicate a problem, solution, or idea. And while many of us have become accustomed to written communication, we often find this method of communication isn’t enough to do the job.
That’s why visual storytelling and illustration will always be a part of the way we communicate with one another. For your organisation and business, that means it’s worth considering why, when, and how you can leverage illustrations for visual storytelling.
Tell More Compelling Stories Through Visuals
Human beings are inherently visual animals, which is why we often say a picture is worth a thousand words. The fact that readers and learners respond better to visuals is a long-established fact in psychology and education.
Visual storytelling is the first method of recorded communication we know of, with Australia’s oldest Aboriginal rock art dating back over 17,000 years. To this day, we’re still heavily reliant on visuals to inform and guide us in many areas of life, whether it’s charts, flat-pack instructions, maps, and even road signs. Visual narratives will always be an enduring part of how we communicate with one another.
So how can you make better use of visual storytelling? That depends entirely on your industry and target audience, but in general, it’s always worth looking to see if you can complement or replace your more complex and less obvious written messages with visual equivalents. When you find such a case, it’s time to consider how to employ an illustration to make your point.
How Illustrations Can Make Powerful Presentations
In an age of PowerPoint and projectors, presentations have exploded as a means to share information within and across teams. Whether it be a pitch, lecture, or anything in-between, presentations are now ubiquitous.
Unfortunately, many presentations fall short in effectively sharing information. Despite presentations being a visual medium, you’ve probably found yourself sitting through slides that are over-reliant on long blocks of text, which can be difficult to comprehend and remember.
That’s why visual storytelling and illustration should be considered essential to make your presentations truly effective and memorable. Illustrations can provide visual representations of stories, people, data, or theories to help express your ideas concisely and also delight, excite, and better inform your audience.
Here are a few situations in which illustrations can make a presentation truly effective through visual storytelling:
- If you want to introduce your team in a presentation, you might use the tried-and-tested route of a headshot and a short biography. But if you want to effectively and quickly tell your team’s story, show off your team member’s personalities, interests, and expertise by depicting them visually. Illustrations can make a tremendous impact.
- If you want to persuade an audience to consider a plan or proposal, illustrations can show off the timeline and what the execution looks like. Visual storytelling helps your audience envision what the division of labour will be, who will be involved, and what the outcomes of a plan will look like. All this helps generate enthusiasm while providing information by stirring your audience’s imaginations.
- And last but not least, if you work in a larger organisation, team-building and internal communications are often a major concern. If you want to promote your company’s values, goals, and products/services, you need effective methods of conveying your vision to employees and stakeholders. Compellingly communicating the story and context of your organisation can be hard, especially when it comes to engaging and motivating your team. Through visual storytelling and illustration, however, you can intuitively connect with your team — and reach them on an emotional level — while also educating them about the organisation.
All of these are just a few cases. Illustrations and visual storytelling can help your presentations in just about every circumstance and context.
In many cases, people respond far better to illustrations than text. We’ve been communicating with pictures since the earliest days of civilisation, and visual storytelling is clearly an effective way to share information with people and help them remember it. When it comes to presentations and communicating complex concepts to colleagues, customers, or friends, almost every circumstance in which we’d typically lean on text would be improved with illustrations that tell an intuitive visual story that can help excite and inform.
So, how can you take advantage of visual storytelling illustrations to improve your communications and presentations? That’s where The Visual Storytellers Group can help. As an experienced group of thinkers and creatives, we help you turn your ideas and words into compelling visual stories for your team.