Boosting Virtual Engagement With Visuals

By Jennifer Britton, Author of Effective Virtual Conversations


Visuals are a powerful element in creating a virtual conversation that will not only engage, but be memorable too. It has been commonly asserted that visuals are easier to process by the brain than text. What type of visuals are you incorporating into your work?



In his book VisuaLeadership, Todd Cherches notes that visuals help with ATTENTION, COMPREHENSION and also RETENTION.


As a practitioner and facilitator, most of us likely have dozens of stories of how visuals:

· Anchored a topic and became the thing people remembered from your presentation

· Helped explain and complicated idea

· Created a connection across a group

· Furthered thinking and insights around a complex problem


This article is an invitation for you to think more intentionally about how you incorporate more visuals into your work.


Eight Key Questions To Consider When Working With Visuals


1. What are the stories which visuals will capture, or tell?


Whether we are selecting our own visuals to share a complex idea OR getting others to select a visual which represents their insights, it is valuable to think about the JOURNEY you want to take your learners and groups on. Where do you want to begin and where do you want to wind up? What are the visuals which represent each step along the way? Storyboard it out.


2. What metaphors can capture your ideas?


Metaphors take many forms in the virtual space. From pictures to icons to stories. If you are working with a team, what are the metaphors which have emerged across the team? How might a selection of photos provide a group with a selection of metaphors to choose from?


3. How can you create learning, insights and meaning with your group using annotation?


As an alternative to polls or whiteboard, consider how you can use annotation to co-create meaning and create connection during your next call.


4. How will you build out your images?


From photos, to illustrations to video, there are many different types of visuals you can incorporate into your work. Where would you like to build out your library?


5. Can you create infographics to illustrate complex ideas?


Have a lot of content or research to share? Consider how an infographic can distill the content down into more manageable chunks, presenting it in a way which is easier to consume.


6. Should you bring in a visual facilitator?


You may consider bringing in a colleague or partner to work alongside you to capture the flow of your conversation, or to spark new ideas by taking you through a facilitated process.


7. How can you convert content to visuals and video?


There are many programs available: from Lumen 5's quick work of converting content to video, Doodly’s ability to create explainer videos, to Biteable’s pre-made videos, visual content creation has never been easier. Not in your wheelhouse? Head to Fiverr or Upwork to bring a professional on board to help you out.


8. Are you reflecting your branding?


Consider the look and feel of the different calls or programs you are hosting. What are the colors which represent the tone and mood you want to create? What images and icons? Is there a movement you want to infer in your visuals? What about the taglines?


Conclusion


There is a whole layer of intentionality we can create with visuals in the virtual space. What do you want to do to amplify your visuals in your next call?


Interested in learning more about how to maximize your participants' engagement during online workshops? Check out the other articles in our Guide to Online Engagement.


About the author: A seasoned virtual facilitator and remote leader, Jennifer Britton is the author of several business books, including Effective Virtual Conversations (2017) and the PlanDoTrack Workbook and Planner for Virtual and Remote Professionals (2019). She is the CEO and Founder of Potentials Realized which provides team and group coaching support, along with virtual facilitation and consulting services for organizations, teams and businesses. One of her current projects is hosting the 21 for 21 Virtual Co-working Sprints, kicking off again on February 1st.


About Seshboard: Seshboard is an all-in-online online workshop platform that makes virtual workshops as engaging and productive as in-person ones. Book a demo with us today to learn everything you need to know to run game-changing online workshops on Seshboard.