Let the Picture do all the Talking

It’s the Same Old Song

Presentation skills are a completely important skill set to have. Whether in undergraduate or employment, effective communication has been stressed as important foundations for career success. Those basics of body language have been done over countless times. Communication skills can only impress the audience so far. An effective presentation needs to invigorate rather than trying to make “boring” information less “boring” in a few steps.

Welcome to the 21st Century

Today, there have been such great presentations by Steve Jobs and TED Talks that have completely captivated the world. They do more than follow a basic 7 step outline. These presentations were engaging, passionate, and exciting. Each of these awe-inspiring presentations have visual aid to convey their powerful message. Researchers have noted effective presentation skills based off what people like Steve Jobs have done. Steve Jobs didn’t convey the iPod to be less boring as others put it, he visualized a story for his audience.

“A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words” is recognized as “seeing is believing” according to the Picture superiority effect which confirms: humans more easily learn and recall information that is presented as pictures than when the same information is presented in words. Bulletpoints aren’t effective tools anymore to explain “how things work”, according to Marta Kagan. Kagan provides seven ‘lessons’ on how the human brain learns better through visual aid and emotion in the form of a story.

Brainstorm ideas, visuals, and concepts that break down complex data into a simple narration that supports a message to the audience. As stated by Kagan, let the message be clear and concise such that the audience retains what is said. Information is not provided but a message is conveyed, according to Kagan.


Visualization is an extremely effective tool for presenting on “how things work”. Today, visual presentations aren’t “what is”, they tell a story of what could be and how we get there as concluded by Kagan. Exploring the road map to “what could be” is all in the process of how we learn.

Watch when Steve Jobs first introduced the iPhone in which he delivers a presentation using visuals as key points to reinforce his message.


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