There is a certain power in visual communication that isn’t always present with just words. But, words are how we describe the visual elements, define problems, and develop and describe solutions – therefore, if you are mindful you absolutely can use the written word to illustrate problems and solutions in a way that your audience will understand.
Understand Your Audience
You may get tired of hearing that you need to know and understand your audience. But, this is how you’ll know what words will mean to them. Knowing what words will draw out emotion, or demonstrate a certain fact more clearly is essential to communicating through the written word with your audience.
We Live in a Visual Age
Keep in mind that today everything we do is very visual, so choosing images to go along with the written word is an essential element in illustrating problems and solutions. Choose pictures that make sense and help to fully demonstrate what you’re trying to get across to your audience. If the picture is disconnected from the words you use, it will only confuse the reader.
Remember White Space
Adding other visual elements to the written word also helps to communicate your meaning more clearly. Bullet points, bolded subheadings, differentiation of font for important points all help the reader know what is important and what they should remember from what they’re reading. White space is essential to keeping the reader interested and moving in the right direction on any document.
Use Charts and Graphs
When you want to demonstrate numbers, figures and facts, a great way to do so is to use charts, graphs, diagrams and tables to bring another visual interpretation to the words that you use. When your audience sees what you are talking about in a visual element like a graph, it can help with their understanding.
Color Helps Convey Meaning
Whether you’re writing an eReport, an eBook, or a blog post, the colors you choose for different elements of your writing can also send a message to the reader about the importance or lack of importance of what they are reading. Even the colors you choose for images, charts and graphs matter if you’re trying to elicit a certain mood from your audience.
Stick to the Formula
Understand your audience, use their terminology and define the terminology you’re using. Describe the problem by giving concrete examples to which the audience can relate, then provide the solution using clear language and terminology that your audience understands. Leave no questions left unanswered, and remember to place your focus on benefits over features for every solution you describe.
When you write anything for your audience, remember to keep them in mind, using words they understand and relate to. Also don’t try to put on airs; try to simply write how you talk. Don’t add extraneous words that you wouldn’t normally use. Shorter sentences are always better and never be afraid to repeat an important point that you want your audience to remember.