Donald has worked as a telephone councilor for a crises hotline and has spent 2 years ‘in the trenches’ helping people cope through stressful times.
I also have 25 years experience of as a Draftsman with a Diploma in Mechanical Engineering. Through this I’ve had lots of time explaining ideas graphically through engineering drawings. When I combine this with my counseling experience, I can use graphics to explain complex issues.
Words with pictures are much more effective than words alone.
A picture is worth a thousand words. Not only can I get the message across faster by using my infographics, it becomes much clearer. People learn better from words and pictures than words alone. People tend to stop and look at compelling visuals rather than sit down to read. How many appliances are visible in your kitchen? If you’re like most people, you visualized a mental walk through your kitchen. “Looking for appliances…. next to the refrigerator on the right there’s the toaster…. and then the…….”
Many things are easier to explain by using pictures
Imagine trying to explain what a triangle is. Doing it without a picture would be confusing. Try to do it with words only.
We’re visual creatures. Even words are stored into memory visually. Words are made up by assembling letters (symbols) together and stored into memory as visuals. For example the word ‘Ball’ is stored as the symbols B, A, and two L’s. The sound for each symbol is then recalled. A picture of a boat is associated with the symbol ‘B’. The pictures boat, apple, and ladder are then translated into the word ‘ball’.
When the reader has to keep switching between the graphics and it’s description, he must work harder. All of this conversion takes time. Although it’s extremely small, it’s competing against other things that want your attention as well. Haven’t you ever found yourself daydreaming of something else while you’re trying to read?
Changing format back and forth from letters to pictures takes time and energy
Another example would be that of a computer. The simple task of multiplying 75 x 61 must be translated into computer language. The number 75 is stored as 010101010 whereas 61 is stored as 0111101. These binary numbers are multiplied to produce 0100011101111. This is then converted into 4575 and projected onto the computer screen. All this happens lightning fast (unless you’re running Windows)
If I give a list of months and how many days are in each one, you may or may not be able to recall that list one hour later. However, you might still remember a picture decades later! (I remembered this from 2nd grade)
An image can really burn something into memory. This is especially true if it can bring up emotions as well. Imagine if you were to give a lecture on the dangers of smoking. You can explain it with text. However people will remember your lecture much easier if you were to add a picture of rotten teeth!
People can recall pictures much better than they remember text