The Power of Visual Content

Consider this: the government has required black and white presentations and placed constraints on presented graphics in the past to prevent evaluators from being unfairly persuaded by the quality of visuals presented. This speaks volumes as a testament of the power of visual content.

The reality is that no audience wants to listen to someone drone on about how great their service is –what’s even worse? When a boring, text-heavy black and white PowerPoint accompanies the presentation.

Not only do dull templates and copious amounts of text make the speaker un-enjoyable, the value of a product or service is not communicated as effectively as when incorporating both vocal and visual content. 

Humans are genetically wired to interpret and respond to visual stimuli differently than we do to text. We can decipher images simultaneously at a pace 60,000 times faster than we can translate text. This is because the brain interprets multiple images at one time, whereas language is decoded in a linear, sequential manner. Additionally, 40 percent of people respond better to visual information than text –which of the following you interpret more easily?

Infographic Power of Visuals


Not only do we decode visuals quicker, images affect humans both cognitively and emotionally. By forcing us to use our imagination and engage in creative thinking, images can stick in our mind for long periods of time and greatly influence decision-making. Our brain interprets visual data our eyes collect and sends that information out to the nervous system, which then processes visuals in a way that triggers emotion. For example, research shows that exposure to the color red can heighten our breathing rate and pulse. Although the difference may seem small, utilizing colors and images can have an astounding impact on our decisions.  

According to this study, the power of visuals were noted within brand recognition:

93% of people surveyed responded to visual appearance when choosing a new product. 

88% of brand recognition relates to the primary color used to identify the brand.

85% of consumers place color as a primary reason for why they buy a particular product.

Color has the unique ability to attract specific types of shoppers. For example, shoppers on a budget are more drawn to navy blue and teal. Do these brands evoke the feelings they were designed to?

Brand recognition is dependent on primary brand colors 88% of the time.

Psychologist Jerome Bruner of New York University described other facts that encompass the power of visuals. Studies that show that people only remember 10% of what they hear, 20% of what the read, but about 80% of what they see and do. Additionally, it has been found that 83% of learning occurs visually, and that combining oral and visual information can triple retention rates.

In this age of mass media, we are suffering from an overflow of data – we are overwhelmed with the amount of information we are exposed to and its causing people to read and comprehend much less of what they see.Infographics – graphic visual representations of information or data – is an organized way to display information and enhance the audiences’ ability to identify trends. Infographics make data more engaging, less intimidating and easier to understand.

People feel a stronger connection to shapes and graphics they know, and the rate of retention dramatically increases when both text and pictures are incorporated, as they are with infographics. Creative ways of incorporating infographics into a presentation can make information easier to digest, more engaging and more interesting. Be it a color, infographic, picture, or logo – visual content can have a huge impact on a presentation.

Read about the psychology of colors in branding and marketing here.

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