Becoming a Visual Storyteller


Look, visual thinking is for everyone. Now I know there may be a lot of people who say, “Dan, you know that sounds great, but I can’t draw… So how could I be visual?” This isn’t about drawing. This isn’t about being artistic. Visual thinking is literally just taking advantage of this amazing, visual system that we have and understanding it the same way we begin to understand spoken language. For spoken language we have all of these tools, and rules and grammar and syntax and vocabulary – All I’m trying to do is apply some of those to what we do with vision. Since we’re all extraordinarily visual to begin with because half of our brain is used for processing vision, every one of us, by definition is a visual thinker. There is no downside to adding pictures, everybody has the capacity to add visuals to their communication and all you need to do is start and practice and it won’t take long before you say, “Wow, this is really good, I am now able to see what I was only talking about.” Anyone can learn to think visually. We are profoundly visual creatures, just by definition of being human. More of our brain is processing vision than any other thing that we do.

In order to become better at it, there are two things that we need to do. The first is that we need to stop worrying about not being able to be artistic – don’t even sweat that. The second thing we need to do is practice and I guess there is a third thing – The tools to practice. So what I recommend is breaking our idea down into its’ simple elements – What are the things we’re really talking about here? And then trying to figure out how would we sketch those out? What are the three or four most critical pieces of information we want to communicate? – And then practice those. In what order do I want to communicate them? – Draw them. And what order would I take my client through them? And do exactly the same thing that we would do with words. We have the tools and then we practice. Anybody can become extremely visual!

What Did You Think?