Blah Blah Blah: What To Do When Words Don't Work

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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 ...
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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.

 

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Editorial Reviews

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.

Visit www.danroam.com
 

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

88 of 91 people found the following review helpfulBy Robert Morris HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 1, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Those who have already read one or both of Dan Roam's previous books, The Back of the Napkin and Unfolding the Napkin, will be pleased to know that in his latest book, he develops some of his most valuable insights in much greater depth but also expands the scope of his analysis to include new issues and new challenges as well as new opportunities to communicate more effectively. Of even greater significance, at least to me, he explains with exceptional precision and clarity the interdependence of verbal and visual literacy.

In the first "Napkin" book, Roam suggests to his reader that one of the best ways to answer a question, solve a problem, persuade others, or to achieve another goal is to express its essence. What the French characterize as a precís. For example, formulate it as a simple drawing. You may claim that you have no skills for drawing. That's good news. Why? Roam asserts that less-sophisticated drawings have greater impact because those who see them can more easily identify with stick figures, for example, and focus more readily on the relationships suggested, such as between and among options to be considered, implications and consequences, and cause-and-effect relationships. Simple drawings accelerate both inductive and deductive reasoning.

Then in the second "Napkin" book, he reiterates three key points:

1. There is no more powerful way to discover a new idea than to draw a simple picture.
2. There is no faster way to develop and test an idea than to draw a simple picture.
3. There is no more effective way to share an idea with other people than to draw a simple picture.

In both "Napkin" books, Roam explains how to achieve these objectives by (you guessed it) drawing a series of simple pictures.Read more ›
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35 of 36 people found the following review helpfulBy David W. Gray on November 1, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I have been a fan of Dan Roam's work since I first saw his blog sometime in 2006. Dan has a fantastic way of simplifying things that seem difficult, or even impossible, to the point where they are easy to understand and achieve. In his first book, The Back of the Napkin, he demonstrated in a step-by-step fashion how anyone can use pictures to improve their thinking, solve problems and sell their ideas. In this book he takes it to the next level. He shows you how to not be boring. This may sound like something simple, and when you are talking about simple things maybe it is. But what about when you want to explain something that's complex or potentially confusing? If this is your challenge this book will be especially helpful.

Using a framework he calls Vivid thinking, he shows readers how to both explain and engage people around your ideas, whether they be simple or complex, subtle or sophisticated. The subtitle of the book "what to do when words won't work" belies a subtler truth: neither words nor pictures, by themselves, are enough. It's only by putting them together that we can fully engage audiences, make ourselves understood, and achieve our objectives in life.

Dan also practices what he preaches. The book is absolutely engaging from start to finish, with a cast of characters, pictures, stories and tools that all work together to deliver fresh thinking and real help for anyone who truly wants to improve their communication skills and get their ideas across in such a way that they have real impact in the world.
 

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