Use Visual Words in Your Story to Improve Dramatically Your Impact

By November 2, 2015 February 9th, 2019 No Comments
visual words with playful metaphor designs of the words smile, drop, idea, sliced, and cough

People who love to tell stories…the good storytellers…think in visual ways. When they create stories in their minds, they transform words into engaging and memorable experiences…experiences that draw you in and make you feel like you are part of the experience. “A picture is worth a thousand words,” perfectly describes the necessity for you to tell your stories with engaging (and powerful) imagery.

Think of a story you were told recently while at work. Was it interesting? Engaging? Memorable? We bet you a billion Monopoly® dollars that for you to say yes to all three, the storyteller used visual words. Words like those of Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook, during a commencement (YouTube link) she gave to the Harvard Business School Graduates (fast forward to 06:19 in the video):

Lori has a great metaphor for careers. She says they’re not a ladder; they’re a jungle gym. As you start your post-HBS career, look for opportunities, look for growth, look for impact, look for mission. Move sideways, move down, move on, move off. Build your skills, not your resume.

This excerpt is an excellent example of metaphor and descriptive language.


Watch videos of professional speakers. As you do, stop the video every so often. Think about the words you just heard. Do they move you? Do they make you think? Are they clever? Are they memorable? Are they insightful? Try to determine why and why not? What can you learn from these examples?

Here are some websites for you to watch videos:

– Watch videos on TED and TEDx.
– Watch speeches on YouTube from noted academics, business leaders, politicians, opinion leaders, and thought leaders (examples include LinkedIn Speakers, @Google Talks, Stanford Graduate School of Business, and Harvard Business School)
– Watch movies with powerful dialogue and memorable scenes (IMDB is an excellent source of movie information)

Photography Source: © Copyright 2018, The Chief Storyteller®, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Ira Koretsky

About Ira Koretsky

Ira Koretsky has built The Chief Storyteller® into one of the most recognized names in communication, especially business storytelling. He has delivered over 500 keynote presentations and workshops in nearly a dozen countries, in more than one hundred cities, across 30 plus industries. His specialties are simplifying the complex and communicating when the stakes are high. He is also an adjunct professor in public speaking and storytelling at the University of Maryland's Business School. With over 25 years of experience, he is a sought-after global speaker, trainer, consultant, and communication coach.