A Picture: Worth a Thousand Words. A Few Words: Endless Mental Pictures.

Any given picture incurs a wave of words to describe what you see. When you see the Mona Lisa or one of Picasso’s works, you can find nearly a thousand words for it. Actually, most early level college classes require between 750-1000 word papers on one image. On a different angle, what happens when I say “dog”? Every reader just imagined a dog, but not the same one. Just a few words, even one word, sends waves of endless mental pictures. Each listener adds their own experience to the word. Here is the lesson for the day: choose your words precisely when giving a presentation.

Don’t Let Your Audience Wander

Colorful, fluffy words let your viewing audience take a trip wherever their personal feelings take them. Avoid using vague language. Be detailed in your word choice. If you want your audience to all have the same experience, instead of saying dog, say “St. Bernard” or “Jack Russel.” This hones in the pictures you send at your audience. You need to lead your audience, not set them up to wander. Using visual aides boosts your leadership in front of the group and so will using specific words to create mental images.

Limit The Pictures You Send

The best way to give a memorable presentation is to tell the audience a story. We have all had some kind history class and know that telling stories is at the root of human existence. Your presentation needs to tell a story with words and your visual aid if you have one. The words you use to tell this story need to be descriptive, precise, and avoid filler words like “very.” These points limit the pictures you send to the audience. You want to send one picture to the whole. Each individual should imagine the same image in their mind.

Words Control The Pictures

Even though pictures create all sorts of different words inside individuals, words are at the source. The feelings of the artist, the internal, bound conversation, came out on the picture. Words birth the image in the mind and create the picture. Next time you are planning on giving a presentation, choose your words carefully. Test it out on different people and see if the images they envision are close to identical. Then you know exactly how effective your word choice is.

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