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Blah Blah Blah: What to Do When Words Don't Workby Dan Roam
Synopses & Reviews
Ever been to so many meetings that you couldn't get your work done? Ever fallen asleep during a bulletpoint presentation? Ever watched the news and ended up knowing less? Welcome to the land of Blah Blah Blah.
The Problem: We talk so much that we don't think very well. Powerful as words are, we fool ourselves when we think our words alone can detect, describe, and defuse the multifaceted problems of today. They can't-and that's bad, because words have become our default thinking tool.
The Solution: This book offers a way out of blah-blah-blah. It's called "Vivid Thinking."
In Dan Roam's first acclaimed book, The Back of the Napkin, he taught readers how to solve problems and sell ideas by drawing simple pictures. Now he proves that Vivid Thinking is even more powerful. This technique combines our verbal and visual minds so that we can think and learn more quickly, teach and inspire our colleagues, and enjoy and share ideas in a whole new way.
The Destination: No more blah-blah-blah. Through Vivid Thinking, we can make the most complicated subjects suddenly crystal clear. Whether trying to understand a Harvard Business School class, or what went down in the Conan versus Leno battle for late-night TV, or what Einstein thought about relativity, Vivid Thinking provides a way to clarify anything.
Through dozens of guided examples, Roam proves that anyone can apply this systematic approach, from leftbrain types who hate to draw to right-brainers who hate to write. This isn't just a book about improving communications, presentations, and ideation; it's about removing the blah-blah- blah from your life for good.
"We all hate corporate-speak and impenetrable, needlessly complex language — but Roam's (Back of the Napkin) ire is at an altogether different level. He rails against the iniquities of 'blah-blah-blah' — the hopped-up pompous language that leads to complexity (which kills our ability to think), misunderstanding (which kills our ability to lead), and boredom (which kills our ability to care). The solution, he proposes, is learning with images rather than words, which we do as children — and are then dissuaded from ever doing again, with the exception of standouts such as the Periodic Table of the Elements, the world's greatest organization chart. Through a series of charming line drawings starring a fox representing the linear, verbal mind and a hummingbird representing the synthesizing, visual mind, Roam presents his theories on how to present ideas and arguments such that they can be readily understood — which unfortunately, boils down to the rule to 'use images instead of words' and not much else. It's tough to miss the irony of a book decrying the unnecessary complication of language spinning out a single idea through dozens of unnecessary illustrative examples." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Book News Annotation:
Roam, an author associated with a management consulting firm that uses visual thinking to solve complex problems, addresses the overuse, misuse, and abuse of language that creates complexity, misunderstanding, and boredom in communication. He demonstrates an easier way to think about complicated things, understand ideas, and make learning about complex ideas more engaging. Using illustrations and examples from Bernie Madoff to VitaminWater, he outlines a tool for detecting problems; a set of guidelines for avoiding them by engaging the verbal and visual minds, called vivid thinking; and a path to follow so that ideas are vibrant, clear, and memorable. Annotation ©2011 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
A visual guide to making extraordinary presentations by the acclaimed author of The Back of the Napkin
We are all natural born presenters. We have ideas to share, voices to share them, and people to share them with. So why do most of us find public speaking so hard?
In this pithy but powerful guide, communication expert Dan Roam provides a simple five-step path to take us from jitters and complexity to confidence and clarity. He explains his tried-and-true visual techniques and the wisdom he has gained from giving award-winning presentations. Roam shows us how to:
and#160; and#160; and#160;and#149; Clearly present any idea with simple visuals
and#160; and#160; and#160;and#149; Know our audience before we step in front
and#160; and#160; and#160;of them
and#160; and#160; and#160;and#149; Channel fear into fun
Roamand#8217;s lively visual style, hand-drawn pictures, and vivid text will help regular people overcome anxiety and make brilliant presentations.
A fearless guide to awakening your mind using simple visual language
What do Einstein, Edison, Richard Feynman, Henry Ford, and JFK have in common? Like virtually all heavy-hitting thinkers, they looked beyond just words and numbers to get intellectual and creative insights. They actively applied a deceptively simple tool to think both smarter and faster: the doodle. And so can the rest of usand#151;zero artistic talent required.
Visual thinking expert Sunni Brown has created The Doodle Revolution as a kick-starter guide for igniting and applying simple visual language to any challenge. The instinctive and universal act of doodling need only be unleashed in order to innovate, solve problems, and elevate cognitive performance instantly.
With humor, wit, and a commitment to disrupting our perceptions of doodling, Brown teaches us how to:
Despite what our culture suggests, doodling and sketching are powerful tools and they are for everyone, not just artsy types. Itand#8217;s time we recognize visual literacy as a fundamental requirement for the future.
About the Author
Dan Roam is the author of The Back of the Napkin, which was Fast Company's Best Business Book of the Year and BusinessWeek's Innovation and Design Book of the Year. His consulting clients have included Microsoft, Google, Wal-Mart, Boeing, Lucasfilm, The Gap, the U.S. Navy, and the White House Office of Communications. His health-care analysis was named BusinessWeek's Best Presentation of 2009. He lives in San Francisco.
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