Pianist Joyce Yang sees music in colors and shapes. She can’t help it; she has synesthesia, a condition where one sense activates another. In Yang’s case, hearing music triggers color. She sees black notes on white paper and her brain processes flashes of silver, green or yellow, indicating the emotions she feels in the piece.
After Yang learns the music, she rewrites the composition with colored pencils. This technique indicates to her how the moods flow and change. It’s her own system, but does it work? Yang tours with world class orchestras, records constantly and is described as “an astonishing artist.”
When you compose a talk, your content is like black and white notes on a page. But how you infuse your presentation with appropriate tone or emotion is the key to success. And like an excellent piece of music, it should carry the audience through a series of feelings, as well as thoughts. Use the colored pencils in your imagination, and like Yang, paint your presentation with many colors.