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To Give Better Briefings, Use More Images
May 11, 2022

Table of Contents

Introduction

Images are powerful! Images capture out attention like few things can. Images can make or break successful briefings or pitches! In this blog post I describe how and why to include more images in your briefings and presentations.

Check out these other blog posts on writing:

The Kindergarten Teacher

Remember back to when you were a young child and your teacher would read a story. How did the children act when the words were being read?

Distracted.

Not very interested.

But the children would spring to life when the teacher would turn the book around to show the book’s art work!

Teachers know the power of images in briefings!
Teachers know the power of images in briefings!

The desire to look at images is still inside all of us. Use this to your advantage!

Images are Better than Text

Would you rather look at an image or read the text description? Which is more interesting?

Bruce McCandless II during EVA in 1984. Image from NASA

A NASA astronaut floats above the baby blue earth. The astronaut’s white space suit is contrasted by the deep black of space. His identity is hidden by his formless space suit and metalic, mirrored helmet.

Which do you prefer?

Which does your audience prefer?

Were you drawn to the image first, or the text description first?

Images for Engineers

Images which help tell your story are powerful, especially when they show action. Be sure to include images which show your system being built or being used. Show images of people testing the system or using the GUI.

An action image is much better than an equation.

Action image: An engineer testing equipment
Action image: An engineer testing equipment
Boring: Pages of math
Boring: Pages of math

There is a time and place for long, detailed explanations of mathematics and engineering details. College lectures immediately come to mind.

However, minimize math and maximize images when giving briefings for a mixed audience. Consider that your audience may be made of engineers in your field, outside your field, non-engineers, program managers and users of your system. Much of the audience may not need to know or even care about the underlying details of the system.

So help them stay interested with images.

Takeaway

Images can take a presentation from good to great! Action images showing your system being built, tested and used are incredible for keeping your audience interesting and communicating your value. Be sure to go light on the math when communicating across a broad audience and go heavy on the images to keep them interested.

Check out these other blog posts on writing:

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