So far this week, we’ve looked at the power and impact we can have by doing simple drawings as part of our presentations.  

Esther Choi calls them “StoryPictures” which are “easily one of the most straightforward, natural, and cost-effective ways to amplify the power of [our] message,” she writes in her book Let the Story Do the Work.

“The best way to communicate a StoryPicture, perhaps ironically, is to not make a big deal out of it,” Esther writes. “No pomp and circumstance, no big announcement or unveiling.”

Best practice #1: “Always have something to write with and to write on,” she says. Drawing a StoryPicture allows us “to be in charge of the conversation by putting [us] in the spotlight.”

Best practice #2: “Tell [our] StoryPicture in the beginning of a meeting/presentation,” she suggests. “Doing this sets the stage, anchors [our] audience to [our] framework, and gives them something to think about and work on.”  

Best Practice #3: Don’t include our best StoryPicture in any pre-printed materials. “Printed materials these days tend to be overly polished and come with many bells and whistles,” she writes. “Ironically, this decreases excitement.”

Drawing “live” brings vitality to our presentation. A StoryPicture “draws people in and makes them wonder ‘Where is this going?’  

Whether we “grab a cocktail napkin or go to a whiteboard,” it feels like we are “showing them something that has just occurred to [us], even if it actually occurred to [us] long before.”

The final best practice? “Practice telling and drawing, and the timing between telling and drawing,” she recommends. “It will seem impromptu. . ., but don’t be fooled by how easy using a StoryPicture may seem.”

For maximum effect, we need to approach a StoryPicture “just as a magician must practice a trick countless times to get it just right,” she writes.  

More tomorrow!


Reflection: How often do I use drawings to help influence and persuade others?

Action: Experiment and draw a StoryPicture during my next presentation.

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