Visual Information in Presentations

Offline communication and presentation give a range of possibilities to deliver your ideas in the most efficient way. On the one hand you can’t rely on your personal intonation or appearance, but you can make visitors like your web-site, using some specific techniques.

By visual channels we don’t talk about means for delivering video or a sequence of frames, but the channel of perception. It is the way you get the information. There are 5 main channels that deliver you the data about the world around: visual, tactile, olfaction, audition and taste. There are only 2 of them that can be affected through the web.

The essential fact about the web is that the key role is played by the visual information. As we know, the information theory of visual communication encompasses the following aspects:

1. Image gathering – the capture of the radiance field.

2. Signal coding – encoding of the acquired signal for the further transmission and/or storage.

3. Image restoration – transforming digital representation of the scene into a continuous.

4. Human vision – image systems assessment (information rate that the eye of the observer conveys from the displayed image to the higher levels of the brain).

In the real world more than 75% of the information is received through the visual channel. You can also implement audio effects, nut there are plenty of shortcuts of using sounds online. Actually, it is not recommended.

For example, when making a presentation, we’d rather use slides and video, than just keynotes without any slides. A set of slides is an effective part of a talk, that represents a visual channel complementing the audio channel (spoken words).

Be sure, that visual elements you choose match your words. Visual channel needs to make the same point, but in a different way. The same thing is also relevant for photos – they should tenuously go with the talk. Images not only make your presentation more vivid, but also serve as a source of important information.

Use simple diagrams and info graphics that help to illustrate, and thus better explain, your word through their visual positioning.

As for motion, it’s not uncommon to use animations on slides, but do not overestimate the capabilities of the presentation software. You can practically always use fancy 3D cube rotation animation and flash animation for semantically rich visual channel.

So, use visual effects that are not only eye-candy, but also help communicate the point you are making. Use your voice as the main audio source when making a presentation, but avoid sound on your web-site.