Why being visual
Have you ever asked yourself why many traffic signs use pictograms and not text? The reason is pretty simple.
It is because visualizations – like pictograms and icons – are easy to recognize and to remember, especially in demanding situations. Even basic visual shapes like circles or squares can be used to communicate information. In traffic outer circular shapes are often used to communicate forbidden things. Triangles show that you have to be aware of something in traffic. Visualizations are use like a kind of universal language.
Being visual in business case
Transfered to the business case being visual helps to overcome (language) barriers. The fact that visual elements are easy to recognioze, to understand and to remember can help you to schow complex things like flows, dependencies and structures.
Using pictograms and icons offers multiple anchor points for discussion compared to a linear text, where interconnected details can hardly be described. This enables you to dig deeper into a topic by taking you time to think about it in an explorative and understandable way, especially together with others.
You can even sort thoughts and show ideas tangible or cluster them with being visual, e.g. in ideation worhsops. There design methods might come into play by adding card sorting or bubble boards.
In business case being visual is often linked to terms like visual storytelling and sketchnoting. One famous approach in this case is called Bikablo. It offers a visual language easy to use for everybody.
Inspiring pictogram and icon ressources
To get started I recommend to get in touch by drawing icons and pictograms which already exist. This is an easy way to get a feeling for the topic of being visual.
https://thenounproject.com/ offers a great data base for pictograms and icons.
Pictograms by Otl Aicher, the famous designer who was responsible for the corporate design of the Olympic Games 1972, can be found here: http://www.piktogramm.de/.