August 15, 2014

Visual Storytelling - 6 reasons why stories with pictures are awesome.

I spoke in a panel at BlogHer14, called "Developing Your Visual Voice". My segment was about eighteen minutes pulled from my workshop on Visual Storytelling. The response was positive enough to follow up with a more in-depth "how to" series here on my blog. I am nice.

Let's get started.

Why should we tell stories with pictures?


1. Welp. The world is full of noise.


If you're doing business, if you're an educator, or an independent artist, writer or blogger; if you're content marketing in any way, images will help you stick out of the pile.


There's a lot of bloggers out there - not a lot of them draw. And NO ONE draws like you (whether you think you can draw or not).



2. Stories will pictures have sticky-power. People have short attention spans - they often skim rather than read.

I'll bet you're reading this.

So putting your message into pictures is a perfect way to be instantly seen...


...and remembered. And shared.


Hurrah for sticky-power!

3. Be instantly recognizable. Use certain colours and styles consistently to establish your visual voice. Remember that visuals add your personal touch to any kind of media. Some folks call this 'branding', but it really means you being 'you'. Know who you are.


Your "look" should be visible on all your social media platforms, your audio-visuals, PowerPoint presentations and your print media.


4. Pictures are empathy triggers. They grab people and make them feel something. The more personal your drawing is the better, i.e. if you draw it yourself, then you're using your own authentic visual voice.

And if you can engage on an emotional level, it becomes a two way conversation.


You talk to them and they talk back - people like to be heard, it makes them feel good. We all want to feel that we are a part of the story.


You can capture the hearts and minds of your audience with visual storytelling.


But that's not all. These four points contribute to one great result:


5. Drawing is good for your brain. Whether you draw it yourself or hire someone else to draw it for you, being able to think and express yourself visually will make you a better communicator and a better storyteller.


6. Duh. Stories with pictures are fun. You can put things in drawings that enhance a story and add layers of meaning. Visual storytelling is value-added.


I mean, which book would you go for?

Next up in this series: simple digital tools.