How to be Influential & Illustrious: Use Illustrations

Ilustración (ee-looh-strah-SYOHN) Illustration

Brush yer tongue, MJ.

How often d’you brush your tongue?


The way she said it completely failed to disguise her disgust.

If she was trying to disguise it at all.


I tried to say “I don’t know… how come?

It came out like this,  “I uhh-wo…how kah.


It’s hard to speak when Margaret has both her hands in my mouth.

Margaret is my dental hygienist.


Well, it looks like you didn’t do it today…. You should brush your tongue every day.

When her fists graciously retreated from my mouth, I stretched my jaw.

I was glad to verify it wasn’t unhinged.


I will. From the tone in your voice, I can tell it disgusts you.

We have a candid relationship.


I didn’t mean to be rude, but… yeah, it grosses me out. You should see what that gunk looks like under a microscope. It’s alive. These tiny little disgusting worm-like things are crawling all over your tongue. Totally gross….


She had me sold. That did sound gross.


If I could show you a picture of what it looks like, you’d brush your tongue every day. Guaranteed.


Margaret was right.

Pictures work best.


For example: People know smoking is bad.

Which of the 2 images below seem more effective?

A. tells you.

B. shows you.


Language works the same way.

I can tell you how to say “Rebar” in Spanish:






Or I can show you.

The Best Tasting Rebar in Italy.



Lot more calories than your typical al dente… and you’ll need a forklift to buy more than one box….but memorable, right?






When you can, use pictures or illustrations and you’ll be more influential.

When you can’t – try again.



Bradley Hartmann is founder and el presidente at Red Angle (, a Spanish language training firm focused on the construction industry. He likes his hygienist Margaret, Barilla pasta and cringe-inducing cigarette warning labels. Read Hartmann’s recent article on Shrinking the Communication Gap here:–Shrinking-the-Communication-Gap/10FCP21128

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