Monday, July 02, 2007

Princess Diana knew the power of a visual

Yesterday I watched a fair bit of the telecast of the Concert for Diana from London, England. Inbetween the musical and other performers they showed video segments about Diana. One of the segments focused on photographers who had taken pictures of her, from official royal photographers to fashion photographers. Something one of them said was very interesting.

He commented that Diana really knew how to use the press, especially when it came to helping charities through having herself photographed in a way that helped the cause. One photo they showed was of her walking and she had a T-shirt with the name of the charity on under her jacket. She walked with her hands in her pockets holding the jacket open so that the name of the charity was clear for everyone to see when that photograph was published.

Another story concerned her trip to a leprosy hospital in Southeast Asia. When she came in, she deliberately went over to a man suffering from the disease and shook his hand and spoke with him. The director of the hospital commented to an observer that the one photo of Diana speaking to this man would do more for the cause than his 30 years of work at the clinic.

That's the power of a visual. They could have written letters, grant proposals, met with delegates of many nations, but the visual trumped them all.

So what's the point for business presenters? That visuals have the power to stick in people's minds. People remember images and the emotions they bring forth. In your presentations, look to create and use images that tie your key message to an emotion and you will have a much better chance of your message being remembered and acted upon.


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