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When your learners are struggling to pay attention, it’s not their fault. It’s just the way our brains are wired.
According to Robert Sylwester, author of How to Explain a Brain, “It seems our brain was designed to pay attention to sudden, dramatic changes and to ignore or monitor subtle differences, steady states, or gradual changes.”
What does grab our attention—especially during a presentation—is when we can see the material being taught. We have a better idea of remembering ideas, words, and concepts when they’re associated with pictures. This is because, according to Psychology Today, the part of the brain used to process words is relatively small when compared to the part of the brain that processes visual images. This is why we can remember life experiences without even trying, but often can’t remember—in the long-term—those tests we crammed for. Our visual cortex can’t reconstruct the memory based on simple characteristics of words.
The use of infographics is a perfect example of visual processing in action. When it comes to presenting data, this powerful tool is not only an effective method for the visual learners out there (65 percent of the population), but for everyone.
Infographics help people see how thoughts are connected, understand relationships for “Ohhh, I get it now” moments, and recall details. Not just any data can be visualized, though. It has to be the right kind of data. The theme has to make sense within the brand’s personality and the information can’t be overcomplicated. If possible, it’s a good idea to streamline the topic to simplify the big picture, break up the content, focus on the flow, and make the infographics interactive. The effective use of infographics can be a great way to grab the attention of your audience, communicate your story, and connect with the people you’re training all while improving their comprehension and retention.
If you’d like to learn more about how infographics will improve your training, check out Scott Enebo’s session, "Intelligent Infographics Make Training Stick" at The Bob Pike Group’s 25th Annual Creative Training Techniques® Conference September 26-28, 2018 at The Hilton Minneapolis/St. Paul Airport Mall of America Hotel in Bloomington. Register by calling 844-BOB-PIKE (844-262-7453).