Visual communication skills refer to one’s ability to communicate through the signals received by eyes. Any nonverbal communication utilizing the sense of sight is, therefore, known as visual communication.

Visual communication skills require the use of visual aids which are read or viewed for ideas and information to be communicated. For instance, graphs, charts, maps, books, posters, packaging design, screen-based media etc. are all types of visual aids. The body gestures, facial expressions, and eye contact of an individual can also help in visual communication by conveying a message.

Therefore, whether intentional or not, visual communication is becoming an important part of our personal lives as well as professional.

Why are visual communication skills important

With the ever increasing need for collaborations at workplace, the significance of effective communication is also growing. Following are some of the reasons why visual communication is important for overall communication effectiveness:

  • Complements verbal communication. For making verbal communication more effective and meaningful, it is always helpful to use visual tools and techniques e.g. a graph or picture. Short films and television advertisements are perfect examples of this combination.
  • Helps in maintaining interest and retaining information. The larger the audience, the lesser the opportunity to interact one-on-one. The use of visual aids is what can save the day by helping you grab the attention of everyone amongst the audience, ensure that they remain engaged, and make them retain the delivered information. As compared to the 10% retained from information delivered through verbal communication alone, the U.S. Department of Labor suggests that people retain 65% of the delivered information if a combination of visual and verbal communication is used.

How to improve visual communication skills

Following are some helpful tips to improve your visual communication skills:

  • Seek inspiration. Coming up with designs for visual communication does not necessarily require you to have the knowledge and experience of a designer. The only thing you need to do like a designer is to seek inspiration everywhere, in everything you see or do. This is important because it makes you more curious, observant, open-minded, and imaginative, helping the achievement of creativity as a state of mind.
  • Make it succinct. As with any other form of communication, make visual communication as comprehensive as possible. Ensure that your creativity and the message to be conveyed intersect in a manner that the information is conveyed as clearly as possible. Always remember that the basic purpose of visualization is to communicate complexity with simplicity.
  • Make it a treat for the eyes. This part is the most difficult because it requires maintaining a balance. Good typography as well as the use of a visually appealing color palette can always help in making the readability of your message better, provoking the emotional response you wish to obtain. However, overdoing any of these can cause confusion or distraction. Learning the psychology of colors is a great way to start!
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