In defense of clichés (sort of)

I came across two interesting links about clichés last week.
  1. Seth Godin: point to a cliché and do the exact opposite (blog post). From a presentation perspective the most interesting tip is the "secret weapon" he points to: a book full of clichés: Dictionary of Cliches (affiliate link)
  2. Nikki Smith-Morgan pointed me to this wonderful list of 101 cliché images.
I now realize that I have been reinventing the wheel over the past few years. I am guilty of using many of visual concepts, and even have posted many of them on this blog. I agree that some of the images are really worn out (#1 example the handshake), but not all 100 other images are equally bad in my opinion.
Especially in everyday corporate presentations, getting people to use images instead of bullet points is a huge win, even if the images that are picked are somewhat obvious. It is the beginning of a path moving away from bullet points. I was there 5 years ago, but every day more and more people join the movement. Clichés are a good way to start.
A cliché is a visual shortcut that can prove useful in corporate presentations when used wisely. "Wisely" means picking a beautiful image. (Yesterday I was guilty of a tunnel with light at the end for example).
Obviously, the big keynote address is a different story from tomorrow's management review meeting.