Using idioms to illustrate a point in a presentation can quickly drive a message home. But what are idioms anyway? They are modes of expression that offer advice about how to live and also transfer some underlying values of our society. These wise sayings have a “figurative meaning” meaning, so they basically paint pictures in our imaginations.

Take ‘tunnel vision’ – that is the inability to see the entire picture because of being focused on just a part of it. Watch what happens when you play the video below.

When might you need to illustrate the idioms in a presentation.. Tunnel vision can be the undoing of a project if a team participant succumbs to it. If someone hasn’t the ability or the will to see the whole landscape and is focused irrevocably on one component they won’t be able to join the universal position held by the rest of the group. For example in Lucia’s photo (used in the video) above, if you only see only the cow you will understand the idea one way and if, conversely, you see only the girl and her dog, another. Yet neither view takes into account the whole picture. Because idioms are visual metaphors for abstract ideas, pictures are a great way to have everyone see how the problem presents itself. Using a visual of an expression such as tunnel vision in a presentation is a great way to get everyone on the same page (sorry for throwing in another idiom, haha) when discussing ideas or collaboration.

Idioms are a great way to bring humor to a presentation.

It isn’t always easy to put humor into a presentation, but using an idiom can make it easier. If you accuse someone of having tunnel vision, you are not, after all, complimenting them. However, if you use an image like Lucia’s where the reveal of what is outside the tunnel view is surprising and funny, you soften the accusation and make the problem crystal clear (oh dear, yet another idiom!).