Pitch Decks Aside, Why Are Visual Aids Important When Selling Your Science? Let’s Take A Look!
They say a picture is worth a thousand words. If that is true, then a video is worth a million. How does this figure in to your life science business? I speak with many research scientists, physicians, business people and pharmaceutical reps. These people are highly intelligent and really know their niche. Sometimes they assume that all others in their arena speak the same language. This is only partially true. The world is very “specialty-driven” these days. Everyone has a very specific skill set, a specific area of expertise. Getting your science across to other scientists is not guaranteed. With the general public, forget it. The statistics say that only 10 other specialists in the world can understand your highly complex research. Only 10 have the background knowledge and the training to comprehend the intricacies of what you so desperately want to convey.
Recently, I was at a stem cell conference at a prestigious university. The first speaker stood up and just started to rattle off the ins and outs of her latest findings in the lab. She made a critical error. She assumed her audience already knew a lot more than they actually did. What’s more, she gave no indication as to why her research was important, or why anyone should care. None of the benefits were discussed, and frankly I thought I was in for a long day. Then the second speaker stood up. He had some great stories, and injected a bit of humor into his presentation. Things were looking up. I found that throughout the day, the people who had the best narratives where the most effective. Their visual aids were engaging, and they really made clear what the science was, and why we should care. One gentleman presented his research. He stood up with a chart that had these high peaks and low valleys on the slide in back of him and said this. ” Roller coasters may be fun for most people, but for diabetics, they are a nightmare” Everyone got it immediately. His visual aid and his narrative introduced his concept perfectly. Which brings me to number 1, charts.
- Charts and Graphs: A well presented chart to illustrate data can be worth more then 5 pages of boring dialogue. Most people understand more if they can see a clear concise picture. Just reading off your data is not memorable. Pictures stick in people’s minds. Visuals like charts and graphs are like a mental shortcut for the memory. When you want to sell your concepts, you have to make your presentation as memorable as possible. A colorful and visually beautiful chart will accomplish this.
- Illustrations: Don’t tell them, show them. Illustrations are good for obvious reasons. Describing how a medical device is and how it works is much less effective than flashing a picture on the screen complete with call-outs as to which piece does what. Illustrations will again stick in someones mind much more so than a description, but if you feel you have to describe it also, look at tip 3, narratives and analogies.
- Narratives and analogies: A well spun story can really make you memorable in the minds of your audience. Describing a senescent cell, as a bad apple in a bin of good apples, or comparing the parts of whole blood as red water balloons, white water balloons and tiny yellow water balloons will help people get a mental picture. In their minds they will be able to recall that picture and explain it to others in the same way. Now your science can go viral! This is how buzz spreads that make scientists famous. Sometimes it is not how good the research is, but how effectively it can be explained.
- Videos: YouTube is so effective at every level. Most people have an aversion to being the spokesperson for their own work, but today, it is the thing that may tip someone from anonymity to notoriety overnight. No media before or since has turned everyday people into superstars. Making a YouTube series is more effective still. A consistent platform, delivered in an entertaining way will build a fan base for your work that will get people promoting you ( free of charge even!) . What’s more, you don’t need a fancy set, or expensive props. Many people do it from their car these days, and the sound quality is actually more important then the lighting and the backdrop. Free sound programs like Audacity can help you where voice-overs are needed. It is free to post and you can regularly inform your fans of your progress in the clinic or the lab. Win-win!
- Animation: Saving the best for last, animation is one of the single best ways to get your point across. We live in a macro world. Life science companies deal with micro-worlds. So, how do we explain things that are too small to see? Animation is the answer. There is no better way to show cellular or internal processes than with an animation. Cartoons rule, but in the science world they are priceless. Investing in one of these production gems can get people interested in what you do. Rather than explain it over and over to different people, you can just share a link and show them. Better still put the anime on your website and let thousands of people share in your vision.
The visual world is waiting for you. Sharing your ideas with pictures, stories and visuals will catapult you to new heights, and make you relevant and understandable. There is no time like today. Start building your fan base to get partners, patients and investors interested in your next amazing discovery or invention!
For more useful tips, visit urbanechomarketing.com to learn more about how we can help you sell your science.