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Create Compelling Spectacles

Striking imagery and grand symbolic gestures create the aura of power – everyone responds to them. Stage spectacles for those around you, then full of arresting visuals and radiant symbols that heighten your presence. Dazzled by appearances, no one will notice what you are really doing.

Using words to plead your case is a risky business. Words are dangerous instruments, which often go astray. The words, which are used to persuade us, invite us to reflect upon them with words of our own. We mull them over and often conclude by believing the opposite. It often happens that words offend us, by stirring up unintended associations.

Because of the light it shines on the outer stars, which make up a kind of court around it, because of the just and equal distribution of its rays to all alike, because of the good it brings to all places, producing life, joy and action, because of its constancy, from which it never varies, I chose the sun as the most magnificent image to represent a great leader.
The Sun King, Louis XlV

The visual, on the other hand, bypasses the labyrinth of words. The visual strikes with an emotional power and immediacy, which leaves no room for reflection, introspection and doubt. The visual, like musi, leaps past rational, reasonable thought.

Words put you on the defensive. f you need to explain yourself, your power is in question. The image, however, imposes itself as a fact. It discourages questions, creates forceful associations, resists unintended interpretation, communicates instantly, and forges bonds which transcend social differences. Words stir up arguments and divisions. Images bring people together. mages are the quintessential instruments of power.

The symbol has the same force, whether it is a visual or a verbal description of a something visual. The symbolic object stands for something else, something abstract. The abstract concept - purity, patriotism, courage, love - is full of powerful emotional associations.

Imagine the Cross and the Sun. Crucifixtion and total radiance. With one imposed over the other, a new reality takes shape; a new power is in the ascendant. The symbol - no explanation necessary.

The Roman Emporer Constantine worshipped the sun, as his god, for most of his life. One day, however, he looked u at the sun and saw a cross superimposed on it. The vision of the cross over the sun proved to him the ascendancy of the new religion and he convertred himself and the Roman Empire to Christianity. All the preaching and proselytizing in the world could not be as powerful as that symbol. Find ans associate yourself with the images and symbols, which will communicate immediately and you will have power.

Most effective of all is new combination, a fusion of images and symbols, which have not previously been seen together, but through their association demonstrate your message. The creation of new images and symbols from old images and symbols has a poetic effect - viewer's associations run rampant, giving them a sense of participation.

Use the power of images and symbols as a way to rally, animate, and unite your team. During the rebellion against the French crown in 1648, those loyal to the king disparaged the rebels by comparing them to the slingshots (in French, frondes) used by little boys to frighten big boys. Cardinal Retz decided to turn this disparaging term into the rebel's symbol. The uprising became known as the Fronde, and the rebels as frondeurs. They began to wear sashes, which symbolized slingshots, in their hats and the word became their rallying cry. Always find a symbol to represent your cause - the more emotional the associations, the more powerful.

The best way touse images and symbols is to organize them into a grand spectacle that awes people and distracts them from unpleasant realities. This is easy to do: people love what is grand, spectacular and larger than life. Appeal to their emotions and they will flock to your spectacle in hordes. The visual is the easiest route to their hearts.

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