Illustrating a word does not reinforce it: adding a photo of a boat does not reinforce the meaning of the word “boat”. It does not add meaning, it simply illustrates. What’s the problem with this type of illustration? It treats your client like a child who doesn’t know how to read, and who needs illustrations to understand the text. This is what sales reps do when they illustrate the word “partnership” with a handshake, or “international” with a map of the world, and so on.
Ideas are what you have to illustrate. An image supports the key idea in the slide. Nancy Duarte tells us to “create ideas, not slides”.
For instance, stop illustrating the word “partnership” with a handshake.
Instead, illustrate the idea that you wish to convey with this word. To do so, you must stop focusing on the word and start focusing on the message you want to deliver, and its key idea.
Let’s look at a concrete case of the word “partnership”: if you are using the word partnership to convey the concept of “closing a deal”, this would be about the only instance where the handshake would be relevant. But you may be trying to convey the notion of togetherness or solidarity… in which case sports would be a good source of meaningful illustrations. And even these will depend on whether you want to convey the notion of solidarity or complementarity.
A few examples:
This is one of the four basic rules to follow to ensure that your sales presentation is effective and leaves a lasting memory once the meeting is over.
Avoid photos that decorate or simply echo your words like pictures in a children’s book.