What’s worse than having an important message to share, spending hours writing it and polishing it up, and then having your audience ignore it? Not much.
It’s frustrating. You devote time and effort to crafting a masterful written message. You share it with the world. You watch as no one even glances at it.
How can you make them look?
A couple of weeks ago I talked about how design adds a layer of performance to your message.
Today I want to talk about a specific task you should incorporate into your written communication.
As the headline infers, you already know how to do this. That doesn’t make it easy. It means extra work and time spent on your writing projects. But the effort will be worth it.
When done right, this extra effort makes the difference between words that lay there on the page, ignored and forgotten, and a message that makes an impact.
Show and tell
Remember Show and Tell? If you went to grade school in the US, you probably do.
Students are invited to stand in front of their classmates and tell a story. They bring some kind of prop to illustrate their story — an object that adds meaning to their words. It’s storytelling and public speaking experience rolled into one.
To double the impact of your message, use the Show and Tell method. Find an image that enhances your words and adds a layer of meaning to them. Tell your viewers what you want to say with words, and show them the feeling behind your words with images.
Provoke a response
Images — whether they’re photos or illustrations — add a layer of meaning. They provoke emotions that complement your verbal communication. They can make the viewer feel:
- Moved to action
What to look For
When searching for that perfect image, look for interesting angles, well-lit subjects and natural poses.
Avoid cheesy stock photography that is so posed and perfect it becomes generic.
Use online photo manipulation software like PicMonkey.com (that’s my affiliate link, btw) to crop, re-size and retouch your images.
Think about what emotion or reaction you’d like to provoke, and look for an image that communicates that.
How about you? Do you enjoy adding images to your writing? Any tips you’d like to share? Tell me in the comments.