Lost in translation
November 20, 2019



Picture this

When people think of communication, they’re usually thinking about words – emails, texts, reports, letters, memos. There’s also verbal communications – phone calls, meetings, face-to-face chats, even gossip.

However, moving into the 21st Century, words are being replaced – by pictures. The infiltration of emojis onto our smartphones has opened the door for visual communication to be an accepted form of corporate and office communication, and although it may sound a little too casual for the business world, talking in pictures can actually help get a message across by catering to employees, customers and clients who are visual learners.

According to researcher, A M Busan, in an article published in the Current Health Sciences Journal in 2014: ‘Learning Styles of Medical Students - Implications in Education’, the predominant learning style is visual (33 per cent), followed by auditory (26 per cent) so it makes sense that visual communication shouldn’t be frowned upon.

Using visuals is not a new phenomenon. Pictures are perhaps the most ancient way in which we have communicated from cave paintings, to hieroglyphics, graphs and charts, even movies. Using visual communication is not something that immediately jumps to mind when you’re talking about corporate or business communication, but perhaps it should be.
Shoot down the bullet point
Summarising using bullet points is dead in the water. Death by PowerPoint is not an exaggeration. Today’s up-and-coming executives and corporate communication professionals come from a generation raised on Youtube, interactive gaming and Instagram. Less text is still a catchcry but along with choosing words wisely, today’s audiences demand dynamic angles and visual interest to grab their attention. Moving pictures, gifs, filters - dynamic and provocative visuals engage the younger generation. So if you want to connect with Gen Y, choose to speak in their language – visuals.

Picture this
Data can tell a story, but not in a very exciting way. The modern world is drowning in data and the most successful corporations are able to harness all the information available at just the click of a few keys and create a relevant and engaging story for their clients. Many organisations struggle with how to share their data in a way the average person can understand. Business has to move beyond the traditional pie chart to disseminate what their analytics are saying and develop the ability to tell the story that data yields. One way to do this is via infographics and, with myriad software solutions now available, it is easier than ever to put your figures in a fun and factual way.

Making a statement about your mission
Identifying a corporate or business personality and its guiding principles is a basic tool to ensure everyone in the sphere of influence is on the same page. But rather than just writing them down, the new trend is to ask employees what each value ‘looks like’. By generating a list of behaviours that can be pictured, those written communications become much more accessible and real. If you can imagine what a mission statement looks like walking around, staff have a better shot at walking the talk.

Video ventures
Nearly everyone has the ability now to capture the moment via video on their smartphones. Instagram is a digital medium with the tagline ‘Capture and Share the World's Moments’, and since we spend a third of our life in the workplace, it’s fair to say it makes up some big moments in anyone’s world.


If you need more information, call Mike Holland on 0414 394 440 or email me: mike@wordwallah.com
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