The master at work.
Dan Roam has a new book coming out this November and it became available for pre-order on Amazon this week.
Details about the new book are scarce. You can see a little about the cast of characters in Dan’s blog post.
I feel confident in pointing you at this book though because of the superlative-ness of Dan’s previous books, The Back of the Napkin, and Unfolding the Napkin: The Hands-On Method for Solving Complex Problems with Simple Pictures. I recommend both to anyone who communicates, whether or not you already do so with pictures.
As a presenter it is your job to get your ideas across to your audience. In many cases it is much easier for people to understand something if you show it to them, instead of just talking about it. It’s a good idea for you to start paying attention and perhaps even studying ways of presenting information visually, rather than just verbally. This shouldn’t be a new concept as it is much like show and tell which we all participated in successfully as children. But as we get older it’s often good to be reminded of concepts we may have forgotten over time.
I’ve compiled a sampling of visual demonstrations for you this today. This is in no way an exhaustive list, but is simply designed to get you thinking about various ways of “showing” information.
Humans have trouble understanding comparisons between really large numbers, such as millions, billions, and trillions. These videos use pennies to illustrate just what is meant by those huge numbers.
Thanks to my friend and co-worker, Barry, for passing these videos along.
This guy is one of my favorite new YouTubers, and he reminds me of Bill Nye. He has several videos in which he explains numerous scientific concepts clearly and visually, and new videos are coming all the time. In this video, he explains why other lines at the supermarket always move faster than the line you’re in.
Finally, here’s a video I made a few months back about the concepts in a book I was reading at the time. I recommend drawing as a great way to illustrate points to your audiences. There’s something about the image taking shape in front of your audience that’s just very interesting and helps your audience understand. And as you can see from this video, your drawings don’t have to be complex to get the point across.
For more on methods for communicating by drawing pictures, check out The Back of the Napkin
by Dan Roam.
In Kindergarten we were all great at Show and Tell, but for some reason, the Show part of our presentations got lost somewhere between then and graduation. But with a little creativity and imagination, you can (and should) take advantage of the power of “show” to help your audiences understand complex concepts.
Do you know of some other great examples of illustrating a concept visually? If so, I hope you’ll share them in the comments.