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The "Process of Communication" attempts to codify the act of communication. That is taking an idea, transmitting that idea to an audience, and receiving it by the audience. Here is one of many diagrams that can be used to quickly summarize the act of communication:

enter image description here

How can we better encode messages so that metaphors and visual items are transmitted as part of the encoded message?

For example, if we put an image of a half-filled glass on a presentation slide discussing "ideas" meaning (put your thoughts here) is that part of the encoding?

What strategies are there to make sure imagery is correlated and understood strongly enough to be part of the encoded message?

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    The conversation about the on-topicness of this question has been moved to chat. If you want to debate the on-topicness of this or past versions of this question, please do so in the designated Meta post. – Wrzlprmft Apr 17 '18 at 7:32
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    Back in the late 60s, I used to work with a guy at the University of Toronto [Canada] who—among other things— kept yammering, "The Medium is the Massage." Human Communication was his life's work. You'd probably enjoy some of his thoughts. His name was Marshall McLuhan. – Stan Apr 17 '18 at 18:40
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Here is my stab at this. Love your question!

How can we better encode messages so that metaphors and visual items are transmitted as part of the encoded message?

As the graph suggests, you would want to reduce as much noise as possible for all steps of communication. Metaphors are based in culture so a part of the "noise" is not being sure how your audience will interpret your message. If people cannot see your image properly for any reason (poor resolution, someone else standing in the way, etc.) that would also be part of the "noise".

For example, if we put an image of a half-filled glass on a presentation slide discussing "ideas" meaning (put your thoughts here) is that part of the encoding?

I think anything the sender does/displays is part of the encoding. It doesn't mean that it will be transmitted or decoded as intended.

What strategies are there to make sure imagery is correlated and understood strongly enough to be part of the encoded message?

Here I think the answer lies in a good knowledge of your audience and medium. Testing before hand and using an appropriate focus group would inform how to improve the encoding. So you would want to get feedback from a test group before the intended communication takes place.

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