Visual takes over

Do you know them? Those presentations that seem to last for ever? Where you’re concentrated as long as a goldfish? A presentation without impetus? Speakers with a monotone voice and those horrible, endless texts on the presentation screen?

Well, you’re not the only one. But do you know what? Those persons often don’t know that it could be different. Or they’re just stubborn. You can’t blame them. It’s their way of presenting and they assume their story is so interesting they don’t need to be enthusiastic or to be creative.

But, how is it possible that we actually dó watch Mythbusters and we actually are interested by the most complicated physical matters? And we even understand those matters? That’s the art of presenting visual, translating a thought to a picture. Association and visualization, that’s something why your audience will remember your story and maybe even tell it to other people.

Let’s go back in time for a minute. In the last century, professor Roger Sperry did research on the brains. He discovered that our two hemispheres don’t function the same. Actually, the’re almost the opposite of each other. Our left hemisphere mostly focuses at lists, logic and linearity. While our right hemisphere is specialized in images, symbols and fantasy. We use them both to learn and remember, but still there are a lot of people who mainly focus at the left hemisphere: lists and bullets. Of course there’s nothing wrong with that, but our right hemisphere is at least as important! Because precise this part of our brain works on a base of associations. This means you connect between new information and something that you already know. And what does that need? Right! Images, words, numbers, symbols, colors, smells. And that’s why we have it, that right hemisphere!

Dan Roam is a visual thinker with a few books on his name. He is a proponent of presenting visually and uses his right hemisphere more than many others. In his book The Back of the Napkin, he tells what to keep in mind to make sure your presentation will be visual and to make sure that the information sticks at your audience. His tip? Draw! By the help of his 6 step plan (see image). By creating images with the information, the audience will automatically make associations because the brain saves the information better.

But what if you don’t dare to grab those pencils? Or if you have an audience too big, so the drawings won’t be visible on a flip over? Than there’s another tool. A tool we’re in love with: Prezi! In Prezi it’s possible to add pretty nice symbols and shapes that can finish your presentation. No endless texts, frustrated looks, yawing audience or messing with pencils. Just click “Insert Symbols & Shapes” and you can get to work. Do you miss the symbols? You can easily add them yourself by using the Insert function.

This way makes sure you stimulate the right hemisphere of your audience, just like they do that at Mythbusters. Involve your audience and make them think, visualize and associate.

Want to bet it’ll work?


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