Skip to main content

How to get started:

Feel like you’re at a crossroads? Ellevate 101 introduces you to the community that can give you a career kickstart.

We’ll walk you through some light intros and give you space to connect about shared career experiences. You’ll also learn how to use your Ellevate program to continuously make moves towards success at work.

Our next live welcome session is .

Register here for your chance to get started

4 women lined up supporting each other

Visual Communication Tools for Selling and Persuading

Visual Communication Tools for Selling and Persuading

Brain Candy: The 21st Century Communication Tool for Selling, Persuading & Explaining Anything to Anyone

by Jen Weitsen

In today’s increasingly noisy world, we face many communication challenges. We continuously struggle with information overload, the reluctance of clients to make major changes and short attention spans.

A recent study about Internet surfing, found that goldfish had longer attention spans than human beings. If you take a way the water factor, you have a better chance at selling and capturing a goldfish’s attention online than a person’s.

So how do you break through the noise to successfully sell, persuade and communicate?

In this Ellevate Jam Session, Anne Miller, speaker, seminar leader and author of The Tall Lady with the Iceberg shares lessons on how to effectively incorporate visual language to communicate, sell and persuade. For over 25 years, Anne has coached CEOs, senior management and sales teams at Fortune 1000 companies to communicate effectively, successfully and memorably. Anne’s communication techniques have been featured on NBC Today in New York and Bloomberg News Radio. She is the author of four books, including two on the power of visual language to persuade, sell, & explain anything to anyone. Anne has also written numerous articles online and for business publications like Brandweek and Selling Power.

Why does it work?

Visual language is like brain candy. We can use actual images, as well as metaphors, similes, analogies and props to create visual images in people’s minds.

Using visual language, we can tap into existing associations of what clients know, see and feel about an idea. Through visual stories, we can appeal to clients’ right-brains. Visual analogies relax people, capture their attention and make their left-brains more willing to listen to analysis of facts and figures.

Visual language is:

- The quickest route to the brain

- Impactful

- Memorable

- Evocative

- Instantly understood

7 common situations when you need brain candy

Seven situations where the use of visual language is particularly useful include:

1. When you want to nail a point: you’ve explained something well, but you need to reiterate its importance

2. Email subject in-boxes

3. Titles of books, articles, blogs to peak readers in wanting more

4. Numbers with visual context

5. Starting off a public speaking engagement with an analogy, story or to capture the audience’s attention

6. Elevator pitches

7. Handling clients’ objections and concerns

4 steps to creating brain candy:

Step 1: What is the concept I am trying to get across? What is the point I am trying to make?

Step 2: Take a snapshot. What do I know about my audience that they can relate to?

Step 3: Create the metaphor or analogy using a concept the audience can relate to.

Step 4: Relate it back. What will be the outcome or consequences of not buying or using your idea or selling point.

How to develop your “inner metaphorian”

Developing good metaphors (and not over-using clichés) takes practice and can help you succeed in selling, influencing or persuading. Here are tips on building your visual language muscles:

1. Get into the “its just like...” habit, i.e. whenever you are explaining something, say “its just like…” and then add a metaphor or analogy.

2. Look for multiple comparisons or instances of visual language when you are preparing for a conversation or pitch.

3. Become a clipper. Use timely and current news stories to illustrate a point.

For more information on the power of visual language, visit Anne Miller’s website . You can also check out her book The Tall Lady with the Iceberg, sign up for her newsletter, "The Metaphor Minute," and blog "Make What You Say Pay."