Visual Storytelling Made Simple
Visual storytelling is one of the fastest ways to create an emotional connection with clients, prospects and audiences. Stories told with compelling pictures create high-impact presentations in education, marketing and sales. The combination of 'picture + story' is a vital success formula in face-to-face pitches, video presentations, and virtual meetings.
This White Paper provides a simple methodology to become a highly effective visual storyteller.
What Is Visual Storytelling?
Visual storytelling is the blend of persuasive pictures and stories. Like a solid marriage, this partnership is complimentary and synergistic.
Visuals compliment the verbal story. A compelling story strengthens and reinforces deeper meaning. Together, the message creates understanding for customers, prospects, students and viewers.
Visual storytelling acts like a magnetic force pulling people together. A visual story resonates with clients, prospects, employees and the public. This image-idea story connects deeply with all levels in an organization: from new hires to front line workers to CEOs.
A visual story adds meaning. It positively affects both the storyteller and the audience. How does this show? New ideas. New insights. New collaborations. The magic of a visual story affects both teller and listener, enriching everyone who is telling, showing, seeing and hearing the message.
Visual storytelling appeals to the whole brain. Colorful pictures spark emotional connection with the right side of the brain. Logical stories connect-the-dots, resonating with the left side of the brain. Blending innovation with logic, presenters simplify data, explain value and engage over-saturated audiences.
Who Uses Visual Storytelling?
"The soul never thinks without a mental image"
Ancient storytellers painted pictures with words and images. Cave paintings over 10,000 years old reveal journeys and triumphs in hand-drawn pictures.
Today, the pictures are different. But the essence is the same. Pictures ignite emotion, deepen logical buy-in and inspire action.
Visual storytelling is not new. It has been the method of choice for advertisers, educators, marketers and sales professionals. Why? A picture sticks.
However, now visuals are a core part of effective communication. Expectations in business and education have changed. The new standards require effective pictures and memorable storytelling.
Why Is Visual Storytelling So Effective?
Visual learning is one of three basic types of learning style, which includes auditory learning and kinesthetic learning.
Research studies define approximately 60% of the population as dominantly visual learners. An additional 25% are kinesthetic learners, yet this group prefers to see the big picture before taking action.
Now do the math. Add up the numbers: 85% of the population prefers to receive new information with visuals.
If you are in business, education, marketing, sales or service—you are in the company of highly skilled visual storytellers.
Yet, sometimes the question is much more personal.
Why Should I Use Visual Storytelling?
A visual story is the heartbeat of an idea, business, project or venture. With it, you and your team are alive and able to take on new challenges. Without it, you and your business 'flat line' out of the spotlight.
Some visual stories are sticky. They catch on with anyone who hears them. This causes the story to spread like wildfire. Buzz. News. Accolades. New business. New customers.
Some visual stories speed sales. While one sales person is a natural storyteller, this is a learnable skill set. An entire team of storytellers creates a dramatic impact. Sales professionals have the ability to adapt, customize and serve specific client needs. Creating meaning for customers and prospects. When an entire company is joined in effective visual storytelling, the traditional silos between strategy-marketing-training-sales are ancient history.
Some visual stories win the hearts and support of investors. It's not just a well-told story or a perfect graphic. Instead, it's the storyteller's authentic passion and care for each customer. While visual storytelling may be enhanced with professional graphics or copywriting, the true storyteller embraces every challenge.
When you, your team and your business have a clear strategy, mindset, skill set and toolset for visual storytelling, you'll find new ways to conquer obstacles. Innovative storytelling is not limited or bounded by past conventions.
Armed with visual storytelling skills, new frontiers open up. It's easier to embrace new technology, new media and new ways to share your story with clients–and help them tell their story.
What Is Effective Visual Storytelling?
Visual storytelling can be divided into four parts. The chart below shows the four critical elements to be highly effective.
Chart with visual, story, interaction, verification
To master these four fields, it is helpful to think of visual storytelling as a journey. Starting in the upper left quadrant, you'll travel through visuals, story, interaction and verification.
What is the best way to navigate through these four fields? Use a SMART Compass.
What is a SMART Compass?
You may already be familiar with the SMART acronym. It stands for:
As in most journeys, it is very helpful to navigate with a compass. SMART is a flexible tool to develop complete understanding of the process of building effective stories, telling stories and using visual storytelling in business.
Chart of SMART Compass
Using the SMART compass, it is possible to avoid common pitfalls, streamline your journey and rapidly become skilled in the art of visual storytelling.