Module 5: Visual Media Why It Matters: Visual Media Our prehistoric ancestors struggled, rock in hand, to carve just the right picture into the wall

Module 5: Visual Media

Why It Matters: Visual Media

Our prehistoric ancestors struggled, rock in hand, to carve just the right picture into the wall of the cave, hoping that someone would come along and understand the story being told. They may have drawn stick figures with spears, or a woolly mammoth in the distance about to become dinner. In the next series of drawings, the mammoth has been struck, the stick figure looming over him. In a third series, a gathering of stick figures at a fire, presented with a feast.

There is beauty and clarity in the simplicity of the prehistoric man’s drawings. You understand his hunting victory even though he’s used no words. Prehistoric man was on to something with this approach.

Fast forward to today where studies have been done on the impact of visual aids:

Only 70 percent of people reading labels on medicine containers understand the instructions when they are written in text form, but that understanding increases to 95 percent when the text is accompanied by images.[1]

People follow written directions 323 percent better when the images accompany the instructions.[2]

From this, we know that visual media can make your communication easier to understand. But does it help you make a point or sell an idea? When listening to an oral presentation, 50 percent of an audience will be persuaded by the speech alone, but that number increases to 67 percent when the speech features visual aids.[3]

Because of this, we know that visual media can make your communication more convincing. In an age in which we humans are asked to process more information than we have ever processed before, let’s look at today’s trends:

People are 80 percent more likely to engage with content when it features color visuals.[4]

Facebook audiences are 651 percent more likely to engage with a post if it includes an image, compared with posts that don’t.[5]

This shows us that visuals attract attention and draw our audiences in. Visuals make our communication noticeable.

Communications are more memorable, persuasive and easily understood when visual media is involved. Like prehistoric man, we can use visual media to more effectively deliver a message. In this module, we’re going to talk about the uses of various visual media—charts, graphs, images, and even video—and how communicators can leverage them to connect with their colleagues and other professionals.

Module 6: Reports

Why It Matters: Reports

Why learn to write business reports?

decorative imageYou’ve just come home from your day at work as a produce manager at a local grocery store. As you sort through your mail (bills to pay, items to read later, and junk to recycle now), you come across postcards from two different meal kit services, where they send a box of ingredients with recipes to homes. The home cooks then follow a recipe for a unique meal with a few special ingredients that the company ships to their residence. The home cook doesn’t have to go to the store for anything.

When you go to work the next day, you plan to ask the grocery store owner about these services. How hard would it be to create something similar at your store?

The owner of the store thinks your idea has some merit, but isn’t sure how many customers might try it, what they would be willing to pay, or how much it might cost for a small town grocery store. He asks you to put together information that summarizes these answers. He wants to review it with a couple of business friends in his network where they share new ideas and brainstorm business strategies.

This is your first time creating a business report in a real-life business circumstance, and you’re excited because it’s not just a school assignment. You start with what you were trained to do by thinking about this report as an internal proposal. The first step is to set up the exact item or problem statement to research. With that focus in mind, you can do the research needed to answer the questions and determine how to share your results in an orderly fashion.

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