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Episode 100 of 137

[Feature Friday] CEO Todd Cherches on Visual Thinking: The ROI Online Podcast Ep. 100

station description Steve Brown believes you, the entrepreneur, are the invisible hero of today’s econo... read more
The ROI Online Podcast
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Duration: 46:19
Are you struggling with leading your team and yourself to higher levels of performance? Everyone communicates in different ways, but we’re all very visual, so maybe that’s a great place to start. On this Feature Friday episode of the ROI Online Podcast, Steve talks with expert Todd Cherches about ho
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Are you struggling with leading your team and yourself to higher levels of performance? Everyone communicates in different ways, but we’re all very visual, so maybe that’s a great place to start. On this Feature Friday episode of the ROI Online Podcast, Steve talks with expert Todd Cherches about how you can use visual thinking tools and techniques to thread the needle for your business.Todd is a consultant, executive coach, TEDx speaker, professor, author of VisuaLeadership, CEO of BigBlueGumball, and thought leader in the field of leadership and visual thinking. Todd’s engaging and entertaining approach enables business professionals of all levels to become more innovative and effective thinkers, communicators, managers, and leaders.As science shows, the use of visual imagery and visual language gets people to focus. It increases understanding and enhances memory and recall—all things we could use to grow our business and have a much better performance.Among other things, Todd and Steve discussed:Todd’s background in the media and entertainment industries How visual thinking worksTodd’s book VisuaLeadershipWhat being a thought leader meansHow often messages get lost in translation and whyWhy visual information is way more effective than other communication formsYou can learn more about Todd here: Todd on LinkedInRead the books mentioned in this podcast:The Golden Toilet by Steve BrownVisuaLeadership by Todd CherchesThinking of starting your own podcast? Buzzsprout’s secure and reliable posting allows you to publish podcasts online. Buzzsprout also includes full iTunes support, HTML5 players, show statistics, and WordPress plugins. Get started using this link to receive a $20 Amazon gift card and to help support our show!Support the show ($stevemfbrown)
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you know, as humans, we have these eyes that are on the front of our heads. There. Tell us. Tell us, Um um, what's the word I want to come up with anyway? Our eyes are on the front, and so they're looking forward. But our brains are so big because we have a unique optimal. Um, our brains are designed to help us see almost the best in all the animal kingdom. And so therefore, we're very centric about seeing, and that's why we say I see what you're saying. Oh, I get it. And that's why we're so centric on this visual thing. People say, I see I'll, you know, I'll believe it when I see it. In fact, in my in my book, I have a whole bunch of I go down, like with common, you know, out of sight, out of mind, right? Uh, Thoreau said It's not what you look at that matters. It's what you see. Um, Napoleon said a good sketch is better than a long speech. Um, every picture tells a story. Um, so the list goes on, right? Picture this, um, Disney. If you can dream it, you can do it. If you can see it, you can be it right? So the whole there's a whole list, so it's like That's the focus to use that word of my work is used using visual C, you know, seeing as a metaphor. So it's it's looking. It's seeing it's noticing. It's watching and basically, um, taking information visually. One of the things someone asked me the other day it's like, How does this apply to people who may be blind or sight impaired? We could still use visual language. So if I was describing the Southwest Airlines Triangle before, even if you couldn't physically see with your physical eye, you can still see it in your mind's eye. And Shakespeare, um, actually coined the term to see something in your mind's eye and Hamlet when Hamlet said, I think I see my father and Horatio says where Hamlet says in my mind's eye, because he wasn't sure if he saw the actual ghost or if it was a figment of his imagination. So when he said, It's in my mind's eye, think about that. We don't have an eye in our mind, but we pick what we picture something and we're not sure if we're seeing it physically. That's the metaphor we use. So in Shakespeare was the one who popularized that race, so it's just so ingrained in our culture. But this really does apply to everyone in all contacts, in work and in life. Yeah, binoculars was the word I was trying to think of there. So you know, when you're leading people, you need to help them see where you're going in in the future, in the horizon. And so you literally have to draw a picture with words with images, but they need to be complementary. And here's the thing that I think is broken about marketing is that we focus on the words, but we don't realize how the visual can be so powerfully complementary and empowering to communicate way more than a stupid sentence. Yeah, I mean again, as we mentioned before, attention, attention spans are so much shorter these days, right? There's so much clutter, which, as markets we need to cut through the clutter. Also think about different mediums we use, like if you're driving like a picture of billboard, right. A billboard, like a good power point slide, is meant to convey an an, an an an an idea in an instant, right in the blanket. If you're driving 80 miles an hour down the highway, you're not gonna pull over and stop to read the whole page of text, right? You might do that in a magazine, but you're online, But you're not gonna do that on a billboard. Similarly, with your PowerPoint slides, I'm sure we've all seen those death by bullet point Power Point slides where people just put up paragraphs or just and then they start reading one bullet after another. And what happens is, well, you're talking and presenting. People can read so much faster than you could talk. Maybe not as faster than I could talk, because I talked about that. But, um, there, while you're presenting to them, what are they doing? They're reading ahead. So they're onto your like, eighth bullet point while you're still on number three. Right? So we need to use our visuals to combine with our words to get our message across. So there's two principles that I often talk about. One is the picture superiority effect, which is a scientific principle that says that if pictures and texts are doing battle against each other. The picture will always win. And one example of that again, for the people watching this on the video. This is the book list from my n. Y u course. This is the same list, right? So it's the same information. But where is your eye drawn in terms of attention, comprehension and retention? Which one is going to get you? You know, your eyes are magnetically drawn to the visual image. So, um, that's the power of that's the picture superiority effect in action. And the other theory is called dual coding theory, and dual is in, too. Is that when you use pictures combined with text that's more powerful than either text or images alone, right? So, for example, would you buy something on Amazon or eBay? If there was not a picture of the item just from the description? Probably not. If someone sends you a link to an invitation and there's no head shot and you don't know who that person is, are you gonna accept it? Maybe not, Right. So if if you have a blog post, if it has a visual image attached to it, you're more likely to read it than if it does it. So those are all just three practical, real world examples of how visuals just get our attention and hook us in right. So again they have to be appropriate. Visuals have to be relevant and relevant to your audience as well, but, you know, just to get more examples of how visuals helped to get our message across.
So, you know, great communicators. This is how big of a competitive advantage this is because great communicators, the people that we follow think about it. The thought leaders you follow the books that you read that you really appreciate. You get something from, and they help you see something more clearly That was a little bit fuzzy before is they've really succinctly packaged what was in their head and presented it to you. And you go, Oh, that makes sense. But so you use acronyms a lot of times, you you help us see these pictures. And for whatever reason, it endears us to you. Yeah. One of the things we were taught was actually in a meeting. I belong to the thought leaders, group of authors and and speakers, and we're talking about the estate. How do we make get a thought leader? If you think about the word thought leadership, right, it's the thought, and it's the leadership, right? So it part one is formulating ideas in your head, and the leadership side is getting out there into the world and getting other people on board with those thoughts, right? And those ideas, And that's one of the biggest challenges we face, especially when we're communicating something that's never seen before. So when we use visual language and metaphors and, for example, golden Toilet, we could talk about as a powerful visual metaphor, Um, right. They make the unfamiliar familiar, the intangible tangible and the abstract concrete and the invisible visible right. So if we use visual language, people will say, If you say, Oh, this is kind of like that you have two people have to know what that is and you're making the connection, right? So one of the stories in my book, I tell us about the creation of Southwest Airlines on a napkin sketch right where they were sitting at the bar once said, Hey, wouldn't it be cool if there was an airline that just connected Dallas, Houston and San Antonio and they drew a triangle? And it's like, Wow, that would be amazing. Right in Southwest Airline was born from that napkin sketch, right? That's the legendary story. So again, in order for that idea to resonate, that person has to have a mental image of a map of Texas and see that triangle so you can actually describe it as I'm doing right now. They didn't draw it right. I'm not using it. But I'm sure you're picturing it in your mind's eye because you can picture triangle. You can picture those three cities in the map of Texas. It's like, Wow, that's how Southwest Airlines was born, right? So think about how often our messages are lost in translation because we can't communicate them effectively so that the other person can really get it and see it.
Yes, you know, there's I talk about. We live in a world that's industrialized in many ways, including our communication, and everybody defaults to a text First Communication assumption, and you think about all the energy it takes your brain to read. An email will read a short one, but we won't read a long one. And the beauty of what you're talking about is a shortcut around all these hurdles that are industrialized society has put in front of our brain one point. Oh, we We have these phones that are like 12 point iPhone, 12 point whatever, but our brains are still one point. Oh, and yet we need to be smart and adapt our communication to accommodate our brains rather than what we were been industrialized to project. Yeah, I mean, that's why a picture is worth 1000 words, is one of those expressions in every single language. Um, if you think about that cave drawings, which were you know, we have cave. We've seen cave drawings going back to 45,000 BC or 5 45,000 years ago, so cave drawings existed long before the written language, right along before math along before the Egyptian hieroglyphics and you think about like Egyptian hieroglyphics. They're basically pictograms, right? So they basically pictures evolved or morphed into leathers. Right? So world just again. That's that's just another example of how and now we use emojis. Right? So our emojis of today are the cave drawings of 44 45,000 years ago. Nothing is new.
So the poet William Wordsworth. How that expression called the poetry, is the recollection of powerful feelings, and he called it emotion, recollected in tranquility. So you hit it right on the head. Marketing is not just facts. It's emotions, facts and figures and feelings, right? So when you take someone back like Marcel Proust, he had that Madeleine Cookie that when he tasted, just brought him back to his childhood. The sights and sounds and songs and imagery basically takes us on a mental journey and recreates those mental movies in our mind's eye and again like That's the power of visual thinking. So whether we have a dream and remember it, whether they were picturing whether Day is going to look like or envisioning our future, those are all examples of using visual thinking to, uh, to basically, you know, process information and make decisions.
I you know, people say we're in the attention economy, but I disagree. We're in the focus economy, meaning that you can I can drop a book on the floor and everybody will stop talking and look. But then they go right back to what they were doing, and I got their attention, but I lost it just as fast as I got it. But it's important that you learn to take the opportunity to get their focus. And we're yet we're competing against highly weaponized platforms that are designed to grab our attention and then pull our focus in for hours and we look up and go, Oh, my gosh, I've been on instagram for an hour and a half, but yet as leaders, that's what we're competing against as parents, as business owners. And so by taking the concepts in your book, the concepts that you teach about at Columbia University and N. Y. U. It's important to put this in here because that's what you're up against. Yeah, I talk about why visuals what people say, Why visuals, whether it's about visuals that make it so impactful and without getting into all the neuroscience of the brain um, I used to be words, attention, comprehension and retention, right? So when you use a visual image or visual language, right, we paint pictures with words as well, right where people can create an image in their mind's eye. When you use a visual image of visual language, it gets people's attention and gets them to focus. Just like you're saying right. It's like it's not just the attention, but the focus on that thing comprehension. And it increases understanding, because when you're looking at something, it's like if I explain how to get to my apartment in Manhattan from JFK Airport, I could describe it to verbally. But isn't it better if I just send you a map and you look at and say, Oh, now I see where your apartment is relative to the airport? I have to go. You know this direction and this direction, right? So it's attention as first comprehension. Second and retention is third. When we see a visual image, it's it's stuck in our minds eye. And whether I was as well as preparing for our talk today, I was thinking about I know you're in Amarillo, right? That's really located so I was flashing back, and the other day I was listening to Bruce Springsteen mix on Spotify and the song Cadillac Ranch came on. And, uh, are you not far from there? I'm guessing. Exactly. So when I I lived in L. A for 10 years, grew up in New York, lived in L. A. For 10 years when I worked in the entertainment industry for Disney and CBS number of other countries. But when I moved back to New York, my brother flew out from New York to L. A. We jumped in my car and we drove across country. So we took Route 66 stopped up when all little small towns along Route 66 1 of our stops was a Cadillac ranch, right? So every time I hear the Bruce Springsteen song, what do I think of it? Comes rushing back those cars, those colorful cars with the spray paint headfirst in the ground, and my brother and I spray painted our names on them and took pictures. So that one song but Bruce Springsteen, who is from New Jersey, by the way, right near me in New York. But that song Cadillac Ranch It takes me back to another place and time in my head, where I'm almost watching a video in my head, a mental home movie of being at the Cadillac ranch and what that was like, what it looked like, what it felt like. And that's the power of visual thinking, right? We hear something auditory Aly, as in a song, but it takes us back to a visual memory in our mind. So that's just one example of the power, and it connects us because again, the New York ambarella connection, right?
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