“Show And Tell” Still Works

Show And Tell Still Works
Marsha Freedman

Remember bringing in a special item to proudly share with your classmates in elementary school for “Show and Tell” day? Although it was a long time ago, guess what? If you’re speaking to existing or prospective clients, “Show and Tell” still works.

A classic study on the use of visuals reports that when words alone are used, only 10% of the message is retained 3 days later, but when visuals are used, it increases to 65%.

Besides that, a visual draws the audience’s attention, keeps them engaged and increases comprehension. All of these are critical in just about any profession.

After all, if you can’t keep your audience’s attention long enough for them to hear about how your product, service or idea can help them deal with their challenges, you’ll never be able to close a deal.And who wouldn’t want their message to be remembered and shared with others?

Visuals can be photos, graphs, charts, diagrams, videos, models, people or props. I used a Teflon pan and a piece of Velcro asa metaphor when speaking to doctors about making their lectures “stick” vs. sliding off. Be creative! In this day of high-tech, sometimes low-tech props get more attention.

Whatever your choice, remember “Show and Tell” still works. And no wonder—as humans, we tend to process the world visually. We believe what we see, more than what we hear. After all “A picture is worth a thousand words” and “Seeing is believing.”

Contact Marsha Freedman, Express Yourself Communications at or

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