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The power of visual thinking in persuasion

By April 2, 2012Uncategorized

Every speaker or persuader (e.g. lawyers) should learn to harness the power of visual communication. It’s not hard to learn, but most people aren’t even aware of how to learn, or that it might be extremely useful to learn, the “rules” of visual communication. I put rules in quotes because there are no “rules.” It’s more a question of learning to attune your sensibility to how visual imagery is used to compliment and bolster words or text.

I highly recommend reading the book Brain Rules if you need to be convinced of the power of visual imagery (Rule 10). Once you’re convinced it’s important you need to learn how to tap into it. This is the hard part. It’s a language, and you understand it when it’s “spoken” but you don’t know how to speak it.

There are lots of books, but you can’t learn to speak it by reading. You have to learn to become attuned to the choices one makes in displaying visuals. Here’s a good intro video about the power of empty space. Yes, empty space is often a good idea, and in certain cases (like the video just mentioned) it’s part of the message.

How can visuals support your message? That’s always the question. And, of course, you should have a clear message. Dan Roam persuasively demonstrates that, often, drawing simple diagrams and pictures will help you clarify the message.

Works for me. Will almost certainly work for other people if they’re willing to try it.


P.S. If you appreciate these kinds of observations, you might want to read this as well.

One Comment

  • Rich Cassidy says:

    Ernie,
    Great post.
    I'm a reader, writer and talker, and the visual side does not come naturally to me. But in trying cases, I've learned the hard way how important it is.
    The piece you link to about the power of empty space makes the point very well indeed.
    I bought "Brain Rules," and can't wait to dig into it.
    By the way, as a fellow blogger, I've been thinking about whether, or perhaps when, my blog should become a video blog.
    Are you thinking about that for yours?
    Rich

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