What is Total Acuity?

Why meaningful details drive great stories?

What is Total Acuity?

What is Total Acuity? 366 219 Shlomi Ron

What is Total Acuity?

“Acuity means sharpness of vision
or the ability to perceive details.
When your story includes details
your audience truly cares about,
attention spikes,
then emotional empathy builds up
that gradually turns into trust
and behavior change.”

-Shlomi Ron
CEO, Visual Storytelling Institute

“It just spoke to me” responded an art collector as to why he purchased that abstract blue painting for its 7-figure price tag.

A video you shared on LinkedIn where you told the story of how your recent presentation tanked and what you have learned from it – received top engagement including a few promising leads.

One of my favorite movies is 1961’s The Job by Ermanno Olmi. I like it because it authentically depicts a detailed corporate culture I have experienced throughout my career.

What’s common with all these examples?

You may say relevancy, relatability, or believability. Indeed, these are all accurate terms but underneath you’ll find: meaningful details.

At the end of the day, any decision you make about anything; from a movie, an online video, product pitch, to someone you’ve just met in a networking event – boils down to a mirroring exercise.

We mirror the new information against our past experiences and look for meaningful details that support or negate our worldview.

Every great story needs meaningful details that the audience truly cares about in order to build empathy.

Total Acuity refers to the sharpness of vision or the ability to perceive fine details. And in our visual storytelling context, that means marketers’ ability to create visual brand stories that carry meaningful details.

The logic is simple: The more meaningful details you capture in your research phase and then bake into your story, the stronger propensity for your customer to see herself mirrored in your story, and as a result, capture her attention, build emotional empathy, trust and act on your call-to-action.

That’s why I am super excited to invite you to order your copy for my new book Total Acuity that covers this exact topic.

Total Acuity BookOrder your copy

Since I proudly wear the visual storytelling hat, for this book, I decided to venture out of the usual business book format and offer business leaders a collection of relatable short stories of events I personally experienced that carry actionable marketing morals.

Show vs. tell, right?

All tales also include illustrative visuals that demonstrate visual storytelling principles ready for you to test out.

I was fortunate to have great collaborators on this exciting book initiative.

Penny Raile, a gifted illustrator, that magically translated my vision into the book’s beautifully rich designs in the timeless tradition of medieval illuminated manuscripts. Jennifer Hudson, a true friend, and Corporate Communications expert for editing and her thoughtful suggestions. Geoffrey Colon, an old friend from the time we collaborated at IBM, and one of today’s clearest voices of marketing disruption – for an insightful foreword.

Why I used a medieval design for my book cover

As for my visual storytelling approach, as you can see from the book cover, with Penny’s incredible design skills we used the timeless style of medieval illuminated manuscripts that are traditionally detail-rich (in line with the Total Acuity theme) and also carry that unique aura of classic parables with strong morals.

Another visual layer worth noting is that if you look closer you’ll see a few details that don’t belong. It’s my way of combining a past visual grammar with present tech elements to elevate the visual story experience to our times.

If you know you’re talking to the right audience at the right time, place using the latest digital eye candy but for some reason, your message is missing the mark, it typically means your message lacks Total Acuity or meaningful details your audience actually cares about.

And so, I hope you’ll find my book useful in creating richer visual stories that emotionally move your internal and external audiences into action.

Shlomi Ron

Shlomi Ron is the founder and CEO of the Visual Storytelling Institute, a Miami-based think tank with a mission to bring the gospel of visual storytelling from the world of art to more human-centric and purpose-driven marketing. A digital marketing veteran with over 20 years of experience working both on the agency and brand sides for Fortune 100/500 brands such as Nokia, IBM, and American Express. He started VSI to combine his marketing expertise with his passion for visual stories stemming from his interests in classic Italian cinema and managing the estate of video art pioneer, Buky Schwartz. At VSI, he helps brands rise above the communication noise through visual storytelling consulting, training, and thought leadership. Select clients include Estée Lauder, Microsoft, and Cable & Wireless – to name a few. He currently teaches Brand Storytelling at the University of Miami’s Business School. Thought leader and speaker at key marketing conferences. He is also the host of the Visual Storytelling Today podcast, which ranks in the top 10 best business storytelling podcasts on the Web. His book: Total Acuity: Tales with Marketing Morals to Help You Create Richer Visual Brand Stories. Outside work, he is a nascent bread baker, The Moth fan, and longtime fedora wearer likely to jive with his classic Italian cinema interest.

All stories by: Shlomi Ron

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