Use images to delight your audience and they might just learn something…

Everything I have to say is VERY interesting and important and it’s probably the same with you. So why risk presenting your pearls of wisdom and rubies of wit to people in a way that will cause them to flee the room in fits of bored tears? It is well known that human brains tend to switch off after a certain amount of one particular stimulus and that most people learn better visually than they do through words alone.  So how can you expect people to remain focused on 465,000 slides of text delivered in a warm room on a Friday afternoon? Open the windows, give everyone a fortifying biscuit and COMMISSION ILLUSTRATIONS for your presentation. slide_235.jpg

Not just any old illustrations of course. Ramming a load of stock images of smiling people running on a beach at sunset or shaking hands next to a lightbulb is really not going to do the trick. Images like this might be slightly less boring than text on it’s own, but they also smack of laziness and do nothing to delight your viewer. And in the communications business, DELIGHT is King. nemeses.jpg

Delight, like Mary Poppin’s spoonful of sugar, often helps the ‘medicine’ go down. Delight is the added sweetness that makes your message more inviting, engaging and memorable. Stock images are not delightful. They’re like they dreary, never-ending stories your grandma tells every time she’s been at the sherry – predictable, dull and meaningless.

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Commissioned images on the other hand are like rip-roaring tales told by a skilful raconteur that you can’t peal yourself away from and that keep echoing in your mind long after they’re finished. They are relevant, witty, beautiful and intelligent. They make your client feel cared for, and they are dripping with DELIGHT.

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But don’t take my word for it. Using images to get your point across is also scientifically proven to be more effective. Pictures like this may seem daft, but processing images uses a different part of the brain to processing text, so including both in a presentation deck allows the viewer to use multiple parts of the brain at once. It gives the brain some variety of stimulus and allows thrilling new neural pathways to open up. This multi-channel approach actually increases the likelihood of the viewer understanding the information and committing it to memory.

So… FEEL THE RAW POWER OF DELIGHT and strongly consider harnessing the forces of art for your next presentation.slide_167.jpg

Illustrations made on Photoshop

 

Complex Visual Problem Solving

A client recently took a look at my blog, made a confused face and said he couldn’t work out what the key theme of all my work was. Not great. I spend so much time trying to communicate on the part of others, I had obviously neglected to communicate my own message.  So I decided to make it really clear by summing it up in one sentence:

I CREATE IMAGES AND TEXT THAT HELP PEOPLE ENGAGE WITH COMPLEX CONCEPTS.

That could mean posters, fliers, live graphic recording at events, pitches etc, infographics, social media posts, blog material. I work in various sectors, primarily business, education and charity, helping my clients spread their messages.

Essentially, you give me your problem concerning communication of your idea and I give you a visual solution to that problem. I can draw but more importantly I CAN THINK. That’s really what you’re paying me for. I listen to you, ask questions about your organisation, your clients, your project and then I provide you with something that will really help you break through all the noise out there. It’s not just a lovely drawing, its something witty as well as pretty and it will make people look again at what you have to say.

And why is that important? These days we are all constantly bombarded with bla bla bla, every second of the day from every angle. I aim to make work that is not bla in any way. Instead of being easy to consume, it has a little edge, asks a little bit from the viewer. I try to compel the viewer to look again, to get the joke, to connect the dots. I believe it’s good to make people work a bit and flex their ‘little grey cells’ – they feel respected, and they appreciate the challenge.

So I hope that explains clearly what the whole point of me is. If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to ask!

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Graphic Recording Practice & why it’s important

martin Reeves scribe small.jpgThere are 2 reasons to do Graphic Recording practice between paid jobs. 1: to get better (duh) and 2: because the vast majority of client work in this field is Data Protected. Usually you’re working with the top echelons of the company, documenting their strategy and plans for the future, so the content can be a bit top secret. That means absolutely no sharing it on your website on pain of death. As a result, many Graphic Recorders and Facilitators can work solidly for months without anything tangible to show for it (apart from a happy bank manager). So doing the odd ‘practice’ recording is good to keep your hand in, but also useful to show people what you can do. This recording took about 1.5 hours and was then photographed and cleaned up in photoshop to show how it would be delivered to the client. Here’s the original video.

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made with pens and paper and then cleaned in photoshop