Use pictures when you teach, part 3

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Great politicians are masters of speaking visually. In 1961, President Kennedy gave a speech to a joint session of Congress to discuss his plans for putting a man on the moon. You’re doubtless familiar with the line, “I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the earth.” When Martin Luther King Jr. stood on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, he said, “I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.” The narration for Ronald Reagan’s famous 1984 reelection ad began, “It’s morning again in America. Today more men and women will go to work than ever before in our country’s history. With interest rates at about half the record highs of 1980, nearly 2,000 families today will buy new homes, more than at any time in the past four years. This afternoon 6,500 young men and women will be married, and with inflation at less than half of what it was just four years ago, they can look forward with confidence to the future.”

 In each of these examples, you can literally picture the words being spoken in your mind, create an animated version of what is being said. Can you picture the man on the moon? Can you visualize a former slave and a former slave owner sitting together? If you close your eyes, can you imagine what a beautiful morning in America looks like? You and millions of others could see those pictures, and it’s one of the reasons these great leaders occupy the place they do in our history.

Hard Goals : The Secret to Getting from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be (Mark Murphy)