VC-Funnel: Tool to Building Strong Visual Communication Foundation

By on June 15, 2013 — Updated on January 30, 2017

The VC-funnel is a tool to building strong visual communication foundation. It is a part of the VC-compass which consist of the trilogy of visual communication (presenter, message, and audience), and the three building block an effective visual communication ( clarity, media, and creativity).

As shown on the frame of the VC-funnel, visual communication primarily involves the presenter, the message and the audience. It is a trilogy as I have said. The presenter and audience is connected with a message. If the message is not delivered and presented effectively, it will result to misunderstanding which may result to a problem and loss.

During my first few months in Brunei, I only speak and understand English and Filipino languages, and most of the people in the country is communicating in Malay.

One time, I needed a black plastic to pack the garbage in the office, so look for a cleaner. I went to the utility room, and there, was a cleaner who was also a foreign worker like me.

“Can I have two pieces of black plastic to pack our trash in the office?” I asked. He just stared at me with his mouth opened.

“Can I have two pieces of black plastic to pack our trash?” I repeated. “Apa?” he replied. (Apa is a Malay word which means “what”.) “Black plastic,” I uttered. “Itu?” he said while pointing to a plastic signage with written words “Do not BLOCK this exit with goods”. (“Itu?” means “That?”)

While trying to figure out how drive what I am trying to ask from him, my eyes wandered around the room trying to find for what I needed. Presto! I saw it on a cabinet. I move nearer to that black plastic and pointing it, I excitingly said, “This is what I need, please give me two pieces,” while showing him a two-finger. “Ahh… okay, okay,” he said while nodding.

The problem between our conversation existed because the way a Filipino pronounces English words is different from how it is spoken in Brunei. The word black is blek for Malays while it is blak for Filipinos. However, that is only an example.

The Audience

The audience is the receiver of the information.
VC-Funnel-audince

When the audience receive an information, their brains are unconsciously processing a picture of the information or idea in  their minds base on their experiences and stored knowledge.

If the audience and the presenter have similar experiences, the message is easily understood, but the problem is the so called individual differences. Every person is unique. Even the identical twins are different from each other.

This means that the picture that a receiver creates in his or her mind has a great tendency to be different from what the presenter in trying deliver.

Let us try this.

What comes in your mind when you hear or see the word, “HONEY”?

  • A chef may picture out a sweet golden liquid in a bottle.
  • A hungry man may picture out an oozing honey on a waffle.
  • A husband may picture out his beautiful wife.
  • A boy may picture out her mother shouting at him.
  • A hunter may picture out a beehive guarded with honey bees.

How about you, what picture your mind has generated?

See… I told you, you’ve pictured it out differently.

For me, I pictured out myself having a sore throat.

This is why it very important that the presenter will provide a visible picture of information he or she is trying to deliver.

The Message

VC-Funnel-messageA message is the meaning to the information being delivered while information is the communicable knowledge of something. It is the idea that presenter wanted the audience to understand, and NOT the interpretation of the audience to the given information.

The message should be clear, concise, and to the point.

Base on the given example above, every individual has his or her interpretation about the information being delivered that may be different from what the presenter meant.

The Presenter

The presenter is the provider or the communicator of the information.

VC-Funnel-presenterWhile the role of the audience in the process is to understand the message, it is the biggest role of the presenter to find ways that the audience get the right message to achieve the expected response.

In able to for the presenter to do that, he or she must have the logical appeal, the emotional appeal, the ethical appeal and building blocks of effective visual communication.

The logical appeal, the emotional appeal and the ethical appeal are based on the Aristotle’s Rhetorical Triangle.

Ethical Appeal is known as the credibility of the presenter—this includes his or her trustworthiness, experiences, educational background and credentials.

Logical Appeal is known as the reasoning ability of the presenter—this includes the supporting data, applicability usefulness of the idea and evidences to prove that the information is reliable.

Emotional Appeal is known as the ability to establish relationship with audience—this involves the feelings, values and beliefs of audience.

Next is the building blocks of effective visual communication.



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