Visual Communication Skills: 2023 Complete Guide

Visual Communication Skills
Visual Communication Skills

Possessing visual communication skills is not only important for graphic or visual designers, but for everybody. Everybody must possess visual communication skills to communicate effectively.

When most people think about effective communication, written and verbal communication comes to their minds. However, there are several other methods of communication.

Visual communication is another method of communication that can be used in different settings. Examples of where visual communication can be used include presentations, website content, advertisements, blog posts, social media posts, teaching and learning, online learning, and many more.

In this article, you will learn the definition of verbal communication, examples of verbal communication, benefits and limitations of verbal communication, and ways to improve your verbal communication skills.

What are Visual Communication Skills?

Visual communication is the act of using visual elements such as videos, pictures, graphs and charts, maps, motion graphics e.t.c. to convey information, emotion, or an idea.

Visual communication skills are the ability to use visual elements such as images, graphs and charts, diagrams e.t.c to convey a message. It is also the ability to translate the meaning of the messages received by the eyes.

Examples of Visual Communication Skills

Below are the common examples of visual communication:

  • Infographics

Infographics can be used to provide a quick overview of a topic. It can also be used to tell stories virtually.

Teachers can use infographics to make a topic more memorable for students.

  • Graphs and Charts 

Graphs and charts can be used to present complex information or data in a simple format.

There are several types of graphs, which are: line graphs, bar graphs and histograms, pie charts, and cartesian graphs.

  • Data visualization

Data visualization is the graphical representation of data using visual elements like charts, graphs, diagrams, and maps. It is an effective and faster way of sharing large amounts of information.

  • Slide deck

A slide deck is a group of slides used as a visual aid during a presentation. Slides can be used to display information in a detailed way.

  • Process diagrams

A process diagram, also known as a flow diagram is a visual representation of the steps required to achieve a goal.

  • Maps 

Maps visually present information about the world. It can be used to display the location of places, sizes, and shapes of countries, the distance between places e.t.c.

  • Images

The saying “pictures are worth a thousand words” remains true. Images can be used to convey information more effectively.

  • GIFs

GIFs (Graphics Interchange Format) are motion images that can be useful for communicating ideas, jokes, and emotions.

Other common examples of visual communication include videos, stickers, emojis, screenshots e.t.c.

How to Use Visual Communication in Schools

Both teachers and students can benefit from visual communication. Visual communication can be used in the following ways:

1. In your instructional materials

Instructional materials are any collection of materials that teachers can use in teaching. Examples of instructional materials are ebooks, textbooks, workbooks, handouts e.t.c.

Instructional materials usually contain texts but adding visuals like graphs and charts, images, diagrams e.t.c can make the content easier to understand.

2. In your presentation

Visuals like graphs and charts, memes, maps, images e.t.c can be added to your presentation to help you make easy-to-understand points.

Adding visuals to your presentation will also help you gather your audience’s attention and make the content of your presentation more engaging.

3. In your teaching

According to research, 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual. So you can use visuals to help your students learn faster.

Whether online teaching or traditional method of teaching, visuals like infographics and posters can be used to convey information to your students in a more effective way.

4. In your studies

Research has it that 65% of the population are visual learners. There is a high possibility that you are a visual learner.

In case, you find it hard to read long texts, you can use visual aids to study. You can create a visual summary of what you have learned.

Importance of Visual Communication

Below are some of the importance of visual communication:

1. Helps in retaining information

Unlike written communication, people can easily remember information conveyed through visual elements like images, graphs, charts e.t.c. In fact, 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual.

Also, according to research, approximately 65% of the population are visual learners. Visual learners are people who prefer to learn with graphs, images, charts e.t.c than words, either written or spoken.

2. It is more engaging

Visual communication can be combined with written or verbal communication to engage your audience.

The use of visual aids in verbal communication can help retain your audience’s attention. Your audience can easily get bored with spoken or written words.

In addition to making information more engaging, visual communication can help boost the understanding of the information conveyed through spoken or written words.

3. Consumes less time to deliver information or messages

Visual communication saves time by conveying messages faster. It can be used to convey a large amount of information in a short period of time.

People process visuals faster than words, either spoken or written. In fact, according to research, visuals are processed 60,000 times faster in the brain than text.

4. Can overcome language barriers

Language barriers occur when people are unable to speak a particular language. For example, an American visited Germany for the first time. He does not understand German, and most people in Germany do not understand English.

That poses a language barrier between these two parties.

Visual communication is a powerful tool that can be used to overcome language and communication barriers. To overcome language barriers, visuals like images, diagrams, symbolic colors e.t.c can be used to convey messages instead of text.

In addition to overcoming language barriers, people who are illiterates or have hearing disabilities can communicate with visual elements.

5. Simplify complex information

Visual communication is the most effective method of communication when it comes to simplifying and communicating complex information.

Visuals like videos, diagrams, flow charts, graphs e.t.c are useful for conveying complex information. By using visual elements, you can help your audience understand complex ideas without having to read a long article.

For example, it will be easier to learn how to fix a car better if you watch an instructional video rather than reading a manual.

Limitations of Visual Communication Skills

Even though visual communication has a lot of benefits, there are still several disadvantages that we cannot overlook.

Below are some of the limitations (disadvantages) of visual communication:

  • Expensive

Visual communication is the most expensive method of communication. You may need to pay for some tools like canva to create visual designs. Also, you may have to pay professionals like graphic designers to create visual designs.

  • Time-consuming

Creating visuals such as posters, infographics, flow charts, maps e.t.c can consume a lot of time. It isn’t as easy as taking a pen and paper to write.

  • Incomplete method 

Most forms of visual communication cannot be used without combining them with written or spoken words.

For example, the policies and rules of an organization can not be produced with visual elements alone. You will need to add a significant amount of texts.

Ways to Improve your Visual Communication Skills

Here are a few tips to help improve your visual communication skills:

  • Understand the basics concepts of visual design

You will need to study and understand the elements and principles of visual design. The major elements of visual design are color, shape, and line.

  • Keep your audience in mind

You must consider the needs of your target audience before you create any visual content.

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • What am I trying to communicate to my audience?
  • Is this image or visual element appropriate for my audience?
  • What is the main purpose of your presentation?
  • Use simple visuals

When creating visual content, keep your design simple and use visuals that your audience will understand.

  • Add texts

Visual communication without texts is incomplete and will be difficult to understand. So, try to combine texts with visual elements. Make sure to use legible fonts and avoid crowded designs.

  • Be concise

Make sure your visuals are relevant and related to your message. Including irrelevant visuals can confuse your audience and make you lose their attention.

  • Practice

You must practice to learn or develop any skill, including communication skills. Make sure you practice regularly and watch videos from experts.

You can show your visuals to your friends and family, get feedback from them and ask them about areas that need improvement.

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Visual communication skills are as important as written and verbal communication skills. As a student, visual communication skills are one of the important skills to possess.

Students who want to become managers, or pursue careers like game developer, graphic designer, visual designer, art director, illustrator e.t.c must possess visual communication skills.

We have now come to the end of this article. Did you find this article helpful? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section.