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Review: The Back of the Napkin: Solving Problems and Selling Ideas with Pictures by Dan Roam

The Back of the Napkin: Solving Problems and Selling Ideas with Pictures
The Back of the Napkin: Solving Problems and Selling Ideas with Pictures by Dan Roam
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I recently read a book (The Three Value Conversations) that outlined approaches to showing people/organisations (your customers) value by creating, elevating and then capturing it. It delved into the world of powerpoint presentations and how we cannot have effective conversations. Our audience essentially takes in the start of the presentation and some part of the end; the middle is essentially forgotten.

Back of the Napkin is the “how” and “why” of communicating with your customer, team or prospect. As the title suggests it is a very visual book with many images, acronyms and approaches on how to draw and have a conversation versus death by powerpoint. By traversing through the 6 “W” questions (i.e. What, Who, When, Why, Where and How), Dan Roam provides a stock set of templates on how to visualise this to provide impact in your conversation. Very well worth a read!

Three key takeaways from the book:
1. We like seeing other people’s pictures. In most presentation situations, audiences respond better to hand-drawn images (however crudely drawn) than to polished graphics; as long as you’re credible that is
2. Look, see, imagine and show is the four step process to getting visual. You don’t need to be a phenomenal drawer because there are templated approaches for any situation
3. Visual thinking is where it is at. We need to take advantage of our innate ability to see both with our eyes and our mind’s eyes.

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