[Infographic] Supercharge Leadership With Visual Storytelling

Written by Eugene Cheng

In the modern age, effective business leaders are compelling storytellers.

Think about it – We live in a digitally connected world, where various forms of media are attempting to grab our attention.

Whether you’re having a conversation with your team, presenting to a client or to a large audience we need ways to cut through and get our messages to stick.

That is where visual storytelling comes in.

As part of our human conditioning, we are primed to process visual element and storytelling elements efficiently.

Hence rather than resisting our innate desire for visual storytelling, we should embrace it.

Here are various leadership areas it could enable you to thrive in:

1. Winning The War For Talent

With collaborative tools available and a globally connected marketplace, the competition for talent has never been so fierce.

Competing merely on pay cheques and employee perks is the sure-fire way to lose talent.

Instead, you need to communicate a vision that is bigger than the people involved.

Take Mindvalley for example, the story they tell is that the tradition education system has serious gaps. Gaps such as failing to teach individuals about mindfulness and relationships.

Hence, Mindvalley’s mission is to bridge that gap. This has attracted talent from all over the world to their headquarters in Kuala Lumpur, all eager to be part of the story.

2. Facilitate Organisational Change

Human beings are creatures of comfort. We are resistant to change.

According to Hans Donckers, an organisational catalyst, storytelling is critical for organisational change.

“People often refute that business shouldn’t be about stories but about facts and figures? About rational analysis and objectivity, rather than about emotions and subjectivity. Probably it should be when it comes to taking important decisions. But once decisions are taken, the biggest challenge lies in changing the mindsets of people to adhere to the decision and in igniting the action that is needed to make the decision real.”

Visual storytelling helps facilitate the viral effect as transmitting the fundamental message is much easier that merely memorising numbers and facts.

3. Communicating Your Vision Into Reality

Walt Disney was a genius at this.

He used storytelling to help his team understand his vision for experiences he was trying to create.

The stakes were high as the animators were going to spend the next three to four years of their lives putting his idea into a film.

In the end, he nailed it by producing masterpieces such as Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs.


4. Encourage During Turbulent Times

With industries getting their business models disrupted by hot startups, it is easy to be wary of the turbulent environment.

That is where storytelling can have a comforting effect on key stakeholders such as employees, investors and customers.

According to research by Paul Zak, storytelling evokes a strong neurological response.

“Our brain produces the stress hormone cortisol during the tense moment in a story, which allows us to focus, while the human, emotional factor releases oxytocin, the feel-good chemical that promotes connection and empathy.”

This results in helping individuals to make sense and operate effectively in the turbulent environment.

In the infographic below, we have listed scientific data backing up why visual storytelling is key to effective communication as a leader.



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Article Written By: Eugene Cheng

Eugene Cheng is the co-founder and creative lead of HighSpark (formerly Slide Comet, a strategic presentation consultancy serving Fortune 500 companies like: Panasonic, Dentsu, Nike. A self-confessed presentation obsessive, he relishes in building compelling visual content for his agency’s channel and his personal channel on SlideShare and is also a Keynote Author ( top 1% of SlideShare)

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