Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Your Visual Thinking Toolkit

The basic premise of Dan Roam's book The Back of the Napkin is that anyone can use a visual medium to powerfully communicate their message. Here are the main concepts - but I encourage you to pick up a copy of the book as soon as possible to fully understand, and implement, these powerful communication tools.

3 Basic Visual Thinking Tools
  • Our eyes
  • Our mind's eye
  • Our hand-eye coordination

4 Steps of the Visual Thinking Process

  • Look
  • See
  • Imagine
  • Show

5 Questions to Help Open Your Mind's Eye

  • Simple or Elaborate
  • Qualitative or quantitative
  • Vision or execution
  • Individual or comparison
  • Change or status quo

6 Ways We See and Show

  • Who/what - portrait
  • How much - chart
  • Where - map
  • When - timeline
  • How - flowchart
  • Why - plot

Tomorrow, I'm going to dive into how I'm using these concepts on a couple of brand new projects: a consulting project for a church in the Bronx, and a new presentation for the Church Solutions Conference in Phoenix next February. For now I've got to run - I'm sketching in my journal at Panera!

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