Getting to grips with visual communication

I took part in a fantastic training course on Friday, which I think could change the way I communicate in terms of the many presentations and workshops I am asked to do. I’ve always had a visual approach to communication, preferring to find an image to illustrate a point, rather than resorting to the sort of PowerPoints that are useless, because you can’t read them, and at the same time render you useless because they give your audience all the information. But quite often I am frustrated because I have a clear idea of the image I want, but can’t find it. So when I saw CreativityWorks offered a course on Cartooning for Communicators, and that it was in Brighton on 19 April when I had already arranged to be there the following day, it seemed to have my name all over it. So I booked it, and went along.

It was an absolutely fantastic course. Yes, it was drawing and we spent some time rediscovering our inate ability to draw. But in the afternoon it was more about the value of visual information. The act of trying to find a visual representation of an idea makes you think more simply about what it is you are trying to say. And it also engages your audience in a different way.

So when I’m talking about communicating clearly I can use something like this:

Avoid jargon









And rather than saying ‘think about your audience and the language they use’, I can show this:









It means I can react to events in a different way:

Government wants harder-working toddlers










I’ve got a long way to go, I know, but it feels transformational in terms of how I think about communicating. Even if I don’t use an image, the search for one will help me think about what exactly it is I am trying to say, and that can only be a good thing.




At the end of the course we were asked to do a cartoon to show what we had learnt. Don’t take this literally!









They have another course in Manchester in June and I would recommend it if you are in the sort of job where you regularly have to get up in front of people. You won’t regret it!




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