Learning how to work with a fully remote team comes with unique challenges for every organization. Some may have already been working at least part of the time remotely. Others, meanwhile, are struggling to adapt to a COVID-19 world, where face-to-face interactions are no longer an option. But one thing is certain: your team is probably interacting with more forms of visual content than ever — from video business meetings to GIFs to social-media posts — which means that corporate leadership should be training its employees in design and communication skills. Being able to communicate more effectively in these key mediums is an essential skill right now — and may well be from now on.
Let’s take a look at some of the types of visual content teams are using today to interact, and how better visual communication skills can make all the difference.
Corporate Communication in a Visual World
The Killer Visual Strategies team in our weekly meeting, conducted via video conference while we all work remotely.
It’s been about a month and a half since the coronavirus pandemic put millions of Americans out of work and forced millions more to work from home. But even before this international crisis, you, your coworkers, and your employees were probably already highly engaged with visual content. Video drove the majority of web traffic, and GIFs, photos, and animations were essential currency across social-media platforms. In the workplace, you shared visual content over email and through communication channels such as Slack, and you participated in the occasional video conference.
Now, as we shelter in place, almost all of our contact with the outside world is via visual mediums. All of our meetings use video. The number of webinars and virtual conferences most of us attend has skyrocketed. At work, we’re brainstorming and giving feedback by sharing sketches and marked-up documents. And socializing with coworkers and friends alike has taken on whole new dimensions. For example, here at Killer Visual Strategies, our team is sharing photos of their lunches, #ThrowbackThursday selfies of us as kids, and just about as many Tiger King memes as you might imagine. We’re even hosting our usual weekly playlist virtually using a service called AuxParty.
It’s a way for us to feel connected, build community, and stay focused.
Why Design & Visual Communication Skills Training Matters
The amount of innovation in support of meaningful human interactions during this crisis has been stunning. At the same time, we’re all new to this kind of scenario, and to many of these modes of communication. And that means it can be easy to miscommunicate, misunderstand, or otherwise miss the mark.
Where do you draw the line on appropriate photos and memes in a workplace setting? What standards should we hold ourselves to when it comes to meeting and webinar presentation decks? And for organizations that are now competing in an almost entirely visual space, how can you ensure you meet your audiences’ standards of quality?
These aren’t easy questions. But they’re questions that your human resources department, marketing communication team, and corporate leadership will each need to work to answer.
And that’s why training from someone who is already well-versed in visual communication and design might be the best fit for your team. You’ll learn about common mistakes people make when it comes to visual communication. You’ll also learn some basic design best practices so that everyone on your team, even if they’re not creating designs themselves, will know good design when they see it — an essential skill for project managers and others who are working with designers or a design agency to achieve their vision.
This kind of communication training can take on different forms depending on whether it’s for corporate leadership or other teams within your business. For instance, a 2018 report from McKinsey & Company found that, when an organization’s leadership values design, the company sees significant increases in annual revenue and returns to shareholders. So corporate leaders may need training in how to facilitate and encourage quality design throughout the organization. Marketing and HR departments, meanwhile, may need more hands-on advice and skills development about how to produce effective visual communication and training content.
Putting Together a Communication Skills Training Program for Your Business
There are a number of resources out there on visual communication best practices. Here are a few of the free resources that we offer:
- Our ebooks don’t just offer essential visual communication insights—they’re also examples of quality viz comm design in themselves.
- Our free webinars are hosted by Killer CEO Amy Balliett, a thought leader in visual communication.
- Make sure to explore our blog for a wealth of articles on every type of visual content you might want to produce.
Killer Visual Strategies CEO and founder Amy Balliett offers in-person and virtual training and guest speaking services that are customized to your organization’s needs. Amy has spoken at more than 175 conferences around the globe, including SXSW, Adobe MAX, and SMX Advanced. As the founder of one of the world’s leading visual communication agencies, she can offer insights about the latest innovations in visual communication design that few others can.
Amy’s book, Killer Visual Strategies: Engage Any Audience, Improve Comprehension, and Get Amazing Results Using Visual Communication (Wiley 2020), will be released June 30. You can pre-order a copy on Amazon.
If you’d like to learn more about working with Amy to develop a training program for your company, click here to learn more about her training capabilities and experience. Or you contact her via this form:
No matter how you train your team in visual communication skills and design best practices, you’ll be glad you did. The world we live in is more driven by visual content than ever. And as we all work together to pull through these difficult times, visual communication helps us feel connected. That’s why it’s not just a valuable tool for individuals, but for organizations.