Show, Don’t Tell

Effective communication is about the receiver understanding the message. Books like Presentation Zen & Back of the Napkin are great examples of the power of visual communication. The next opportunity you have to present an idea, remember these three steps:

1) Right beats Left
We are better at visual recognition than we are at verbal description. This concept it based on verbal overshadowing. Our left brain thinks in words while our right brain thinks in pictures. When explaining, use visual cues to clarify your message.

2) Tell a Story
It’s much easier to listen to a story than comprehend bullet points. For example, when using PowerPoint engage your audience with high quality photos. Don’t bore them with data. Images supplement your story. Take them on the journey with you.

3) Imagine…
Did you know this is most powerful word in the English language? “Imagine” registers the most powerful emotional response. (Why do you think Disney uses it so much?) Include this word in your talks to paint the picture of the ideal future.

Selling yourself is about the package and the product combined. That means how you present is as important (if not more) than what you present. The next time you pitch an idea, remember to show, don’t tell!

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