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The easiest way to make your speeches and presentations powerful and memorable is to emulate the greatest speakers – use lots of imagery to make your key points.

How to use images in presentations

In the first post of this three-part series we looked at the research that demonstrates the power of imagery in presentations. In the second post you read how to spice up your presentations in “6 ways of lighting up your talks and speeches with imagery”.  In this final post we’ll look at how to go about injecting imagery into your presentations.

How do I inject images into my presentation?

When you have your speech or presentation fleshed out and you are absolutely clear on the key points you wish to get across, you can then look at injecting some imagery into your talk to make those key points more memorable.  Take this simple five-step approach to making your presentations more image rich, emotional, and memorable.

  1. Look inside first!  For each of your key points brainstorm to see if any of your personal stories, or those of you know of from others, might help to make your point more effectively.  Look for stories that closely parallel the point you’re trying to make in your presentation.
  2. Use outside resources.  If you cannot think of an appropriate story then search your metaphor and simile dictionaries to see if you can come up with anything that will help you drive your point home strongly and make your key presentation points more memorable. Google to quickly locate suitable quotations, similes or metaphors.
  3. Make sure you have a strong set up.  When you inject your story, metaphor, simile, or quotation into your presentation be sure that you have provided enough information in the run up to its introduction in your talk that the point of your image is crystal clear – make sure the connection between your imagery and your point is perfectly obvious.
  4. Don’t over/under do it.  When you have your presentation’s main points illustrated with suitably strong image-rich supports then look through your talk again to see if there is anywhere else you could inject other metaphors or similes – use them to punctuate your talk all the way through, keeping an element of imagery throughout. Be careful, however, not to overdo it – don’t string long lines of metaphors and similes together.  Use these mechanisms like you use like salt on your food; use sufficient to make it interesting and tasty – but not so much that it dominates the meal or leaves too strong a taste in your mouth.
  5. Test drive your finished presentation.  Try out your stories, metaphors and similes on lots on colleagues, friends and family BEFORE you use them in a live situation.  Make sure they work well in making your point – and be sure that the images serve the presnetation and do not obscure your point.  When you deliver your talk for the first time watch your audience as you deliver your images.  Did they ‘get it’?  If not, elaborate.

You can raise the charismatic impact of any presentation , speech or talk you give in the future – by simply investing a little time and energy in injecting a little more image-based communication.  With so many average speakers delivering average material you can distinguish yourself comprehensively by applying these simple guidelines to create image-rich talks, and can raise the charismatic impact of your presentations and speeches dramatically.

What’s your best tip for making a presentation really memorable?

Use ‘Comments’ below to share your best technique



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