One of the biggest stumbling blocks to effective communication is abstraction.

We are simply too vague.

We talk about having a plan or being better as a company.

But I can’t see a plan and I don’t know what “being better” means.

So, I tune out.

Being able to paint pictures with words can help you get your point across.

For example, when we speak about the size of buildings, we use the equivalency of how many football fields it is.

Most of us have been to a football game or we’ve watched it on television so if we say something is three or four football fields, we know it is pretty big and can picture that.

Another great example comes from Michael Osterholm whose is an infectious disease specialist and he was talking about the coronavirus as a raging forest fire and all of us being the human wood that fuels it.  Getting a vaccine, he says, helps us put out the fire.

That is such a powerful image because can feel the heat of a forest fire, smell its smoke, and more importantly, understand its danger.

When you are able to paint pictures with words, using metaphors and analogies, you will be able to break through to your audiences because they will able to see and feel what you are trying to get across.