Visual storytelling, visual communication is a hot topic in presentation skills training. With more and more professionals looking for tips and tricks. Use this 6-point cheat sheet to get ahead.

Anyone can become immediately better at visual storytelling, when armed with a short checklist. Knowing what to do as well as common pitfalls to avoid helps new presenters tell visual stories in style.

Use visual storytelling to generate ideas, build ideas, develop story flow, connect with teams, and present to audiences. While there is much to learn about producing images that truly connect with your audience, use these simple tips to get started.

1. Generate Ideas
You’ve captured ideas, doodling on the back of an envelope. Now, do the same thing as you invent. Use this method to build a robust collection of ideas. Go even further and do this with a group or team.

2. Explain A Concept
A lot of concepts, processes and systems are complicated. That’s why your visual story must be simple.

3. Present With Impact
Show and tell your solution. Show a picture…tell a story. Draw an example, add details on the spot. Adjust your visual diagram with input from your clients. See, this is the fast way to build real-time interaction.

4. Organize In A Snap
Tracking information and flow of discussion can be awkward—especially if you are relying exclusively on words.

But with pictures, diagrams and icons, a whole new world opens up.
Strengthen your visual storytelling muscle by listening to talks, presentations, and conversations—organizing information in buckets.

5. Collaborate Creatively
More and more teams enjoy using visual storytelling to solve problems, trouble shoot, and invent solutions. Whether you are part of a project team, sales team, or senior leadership team, make use of visual storytelling to build a powerful creative interactions.

6. Sequence Strategically
Thinking strategically in business requires focus, creativity and logic. One of the skills that makes this possible is the ability to sequence information. Working visually makes it much easier to experiment with the order, progression and flow of ideas.

This is very valuable for project planning, strategic planning, and business development.

If you’ve been noticing the trend towards visual storytelling, now you understand why. It is the perfect solution to discover ideas, explore solutions and work with outrageous productivity across teams.

Much of the discussion about visual communication gets focused on tools. What’s the perfect tool for the job? Is it built for individual and team use? Is it built for network ease and sharing?

While many tools exist and new ones are being developed, I have one personal favorite. You’re going to laugh. It’s a marker. I guess there’s just something so easy, familiar and down-to-earth about a plain black marker.

It’s convenient. It’s cost effective. It works on paper. There are similar models for whiteboards, dry erase boards and flip charts. Just about everyone has one or can get a hold of one.

I know. Call me old fashioned. I just like the way it writes. I like the way drawings look. And I have a strong preference for the fact that it’s not slick, fancy or special.

The point here is: there are very exciting trends in technology. And these enable distance teams to work together with increasing ease. But even if you don’t have access to a high-tech tool, you can use visual storytelling in your business.

In my experience, often the simplest tools are best. When you pick up a pencil or marker and draw a sketch for an important client… a special moment happens. You’re not trying to impress him or her. You’re using an everyday tool to share an innovative idea.

That’s memorable. That’s different. That stands out as exceptional. You’ve just learned a hidden secret about presentation storytelling…simple tools are exceptional.

Author's Bio: 

Milly Sonneman is a recognized expert in visual language. She is the co-director of Presentation Storyboarding, a leading presentation training firm, and author of the popular guides: Beyond Words and Rainmaker Stories available on Amazon. Milly helps business professionals give winning presentations, through Email Marketing skills trainings at Presentation Storyboarding. You can find out more about our courses or contact Milly through our website at: