A Tip for More Powerful Storytelling

This is a simple idea, but a very powerful one. We’ve all heard it before, yet so many of us continue to ignore it’s value.

Whenever possible, tell your story with pictures and not words. Pictures create images in the mind, and for most of us the mind retains the things it sees much longer and much more vividly than the things it hears. And here’s a real life example of a powerful presentation introduction that I saw from one of our clients.

The presenter was going to be introducing a new process flow strategy for engine repair at his large organization. They spent millions of dollars every year on engine repair, and he and his team had concluded that there was a lot of money, time and resources wasted in the current process.

But instead of simply talking about the problems with the old strategy, and then describing the new strategy, accompanied by classic, boring text slides with bullet points, he opened his presentation like this.

Today’s presentation is about our engine repair process. And here is what our current process looks like:

Old Process

And now, here is what the new process we are proposing looks like:

New Process


If we make this change, it will save our organization $x million in the first year, guarantee faster service, and more reliable engines that need to be serviced less frequently.

This intro took him about 30 seconds to present, and the point of the presentation was immediately understood by the audience. If he had instead tried to make the same point with words only, it would have taken longer, been less visual, less memorable and less effective.

The point here today is that pictures can help us make our points more clear and our messages more memorable.

Have a great day.

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One response to “A Tip for More Powerful Storytelling”

  1. […] As it turned out, I never needed the slide deck to begin with. In fact, having it only made my presentation sound stilted, scripted, and over-rehearsed. But I did know the topic, my audience, and the story I wanted to tell. […]

Dean Brenner

A book about change

The Latimer Group’s CEO Dean Brenner is a noted keynote speaker and author on the subject of persuasive communication. He has written three books, including Persuaded, in which he details how communication can transform organizations into highly effective, creative, transparent environments that succeed at every level.