February 26, 2014

Visuals are the emotional heart of your story

Even though television is a visual medium, I don't find most commercials as visually compelling as they could be. There's also very little originality in how most advertisers are telling and selling their stories.

This one caught my eye, however, and I bet you can guess why. It reminds me of a simple image-based slideshow that enhances what the speaker is saying by conveying the emotional impact of her words. And by emotional impact, I mean that there are a variety of emotions triggered by the images, that help to "sell" her story.

Without the images, you don't get the full impact of what the narrator has experienced. The images fill in the blanks as though she were telling you her story in much more detail. The images are, in a way, a shortcut to understanding what she's been through, giving her story an emotional heart.

If you can't see the video on this page, click here to view on YouTube.

Are you using compelling visuals to make an emotional impact on your audience and help sell your ideas, or are you still dwelling in the dark ages of bullets and paragraphs of text?

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4 comments. Please add yours! :

Ian said...

Hey Lisa. Where was this when I needed it this morning. I had the misfortune of sitting through the dictionary definition of a 'death by PowerPoint' presentation in all of its ugly splendor. The idea of using a well conceived image to frame your conversation and kick start your point is so elegant and effective.It's a wonder that so few speakers use this technique. It certainly beats the H-E-Double Hockey Sticks out of staring at a wall of text on each slide as the presenter reads the slide back to me verbatim.

Lisa Braithwaite said...

Ian, all we can do is keep getting the word out! Change isn't easy, and a lot of speakers want to stick with what they already know. We have to get people out of their comfort zones and persuade them that this is the better way. Hint: It's all about the audience, not about making it easier for the speaker to use slides as their notes. :-)

Ian said...

'It's all about the audience, not about making it easier for the speaker' - EXACTLY! PowerPoint isn't meant to be your lecture notes. It's meant to focus your audience's attention to the key idea that you want to talk about next so you can (heaven forbid) talk about it. I work with a gentleman who has been a 2 time semi-finalist at the World Championships of Public Speaking. And he makes a great point about the need to regularly step outside your comfort zone, because in his words 'Just outside your comfort zone is where all of life's magic happens.'

Lisa Braithwaite said...

Yep! I totally agree. :-)

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