Executive Tip: Look out for Metaphors

An essential part of condense data-heavy material into a digestible form that is easy to understand is understanding how to use metaphors. When I work with senior executives, we go through a crash-course in what I call in The One Minute Presenter ‘taglining’, which is basically a process. This process is similar to the one that branding, advertising and movie firms use when they are looking for ideas on how to summarise a brand promise in a sentence. It is one of those simple processes that are difficult to implement at first.

For some executives, a shift towards a more visual way of thinking is needed. I came across this article over at ribbonfarm by Venkatesh Rao. I especially like the sketches he uses to simplify the concept he is conveying. In fact, I believe if all business presentations used this format then communication would be quicker, more fun and certainly have a higher retention rate of key messages.

Look for ways in your next presentation to turn data into simple icon pictures.  How can you summarise a page of words into a picture? Can you turn your speech message into an icon or sketch?

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