Mind Pictures

As a young man, Albert Einstein hated rote drills, memorization and force-fed facts. He found a mentor in Johann Pestalozzi who encouraged him to visualize scientific concepts. This revolutionary way of problem solving led to Einstein’s “thought experiments” and became a significant aspect of his genius.

For example, to define gravity as a warping of space and time, Einstein imagined rolling a bowling ball onto a trampoline and then adding billiard balls. The smaller balls rolled toward the bowling ball because of the way it curved the trampoline fabric. To work out complex physics problems, Einstein also visualized lightning strikes, elevators rising in space and running alongside speeding trains.

Did you envision the bowling and billiard balls when we described them? Visualizing not only makes it easier to understand difficult concepts, but speaking in visual terms allows audiences to absorb them more readily. Take time to look at trees, clouds, or mountains. Imagine how the wind direction or change of light affects them and what these images suggest. When crafting a presentation, consider how you can describe ideas visually. Watch the pieces fall together as easily as making a hot peach cobbler and dripping melting ice cream on top.

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