The Power of Imagery in Communications

head treeBest-selling author, Stephen King once said “imagery does not occur on the writer’s page; it occurs in the reader’s mind.

“To describe everything is to supply a photograph in words; to indicate the points which seem the most vivid and important to you, the writer, is to allow the reader to flesh out your sketch into a portrait.”

While King is known for his horror, suspense, science fiction, fantasy novels and short stories, this statement can apply to any type of writing; even public presentations.

Imagery in Writing

Imagery in writing is important as it gives the reader a sense of what you’re thinking and how you see the bigger picture. Imagine pitching the plans for a new high rise and simply saying “a tall building with windows.” The reader could interpret that a million different ways, or might just be bored and move on. By providing a detailed description, the reader is able to visualize what you are writing about.

Not sure where to start in delivering imagery in your writing? The Business of Writing notes that a writer should “paint your verbal pictures in nibbles more than great gulps of information.

“This means you should avoid writing descriptions of setting in long narratives. A rule, and we all know rules are created for us to break, says to put no more than two sentences together when describing your scene.”

Imagery in Presentations

In presentations, it is important that you use visual and descriptive language. Even the greatest speakers can seem boring if the audience can’t picture what they’re hearing.

A great way to provide imagery in presentations is through storytelling. Storytelling keeps the audience engaged and helps them “see” what you are presenting.

How do you use imagery in your writing and presentations? Let us know in the comments below.

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