One of the biggest differences between live and virtual meetings is the importance of visual illustrations. Virtual interactions are the perfect medium for using pictures to support a sales presentation. In fact, illustrations can make the difference between a successful encounter and a waste of time. Simply look at how social media has embraced the use of pictures. According to Hootsuite, as of January 2020, there were nearly 1 billion monthly active users on Instagram, surpassing Twitter’s number of users. So why is a picture worth more than 280 characters?

As we explored in previous blogs, virtual meetings are vastly different from live interactions because the nonverbal signals and subtle communication clues that are normally exchanged between people can be missed on a screen. As a result, the structure of your narrative and the quality of your images are critical to getting and keeping the audience’s attention and to influencing their thinking. The good news is that the human brain is highly susceptible to being captivated and influenced by pictures. Take advantage of this by effectively illustrating your story.

Turning On the Brain

Traditionally, sales professionals have relied heavily on the ability of words to emotionally influence others in face-to-face meetings. Words do change minds, and it’s important to master the storyline of your message. But adding one or more illustrations massively strengthens your message’s impact because they activate more areas of the listener’s brain.

When you speak, your words are processed in the auditory cortex of the listener’s brain. This is a relatively small area on the outer edge of the brain where sounds are interpreted.

Humans can hear only a narrow range of sounds compared to other animals, so only a relatively small portion of your brain is dedicated to processing the information available from sounds. Dogs, for example, have much larger sound-processing systems in their brains, which enables them to understand the world based on what they hear.