I’m reading Dan Roam‘s great new book Back of the Napkin. It’s led me to explore all the resources on the web for visual thinking. What I’m seeing is that there’s a whole movement out there for visual thinking, infographics etc. But yet most presenters, presentation trainers and consultants still think in terms of the verbal narrative of a presentation being the most important – and the visual side is just a visual aid.
Here’s another way of looking at it. Our audience can take things in, in two major ways: words and pictures. They correspond to the verbal channel and the visual channel of our brains (see Richard Mayer in Multimedia Learning). So in our presentations we should use both – without one being more important than the other.