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June 15, 2008

Book review - Back of the Napkin

Dan Roams' book "Back of the Napkin: Solving Problems and Selling Ideas with Pictures" really appealed to me. I am predisposed to visual thinking tools anyway, but this book takes that to a whole new level.

You know the moment right? Someone has asked you to explain a concept, theory, or sales proposition in a way they can understand it better. You walk up to the flip chart, or turn over the napkin, grab your marker / pen, and off you go!

He has taken a similar watershed moment for him, and turned it into a system for generating powerful visual aids for selling concepts, thoughts, services and visions. While reading this I had the feeling that I already "knew" a lot of this; I just didn't know I knew it. meaning it tapped into something on a level deeper than concious thought for me. A sign of truly authentic and inspiring work.

I have found that when consultants are able to master the art of visual thinking, and using visual aids, it cuts down a lot of the time needed to get a point across. Whether you are in sales, training or direct consulting.

The brilliance of it is that it takes away any fear you might have about your drawing skills. Mine, for example, are horrendous, yet I use these principles continually in whatever I do. (Sketching or in electronic format)

(Check a recent post of easy to adopt graphics for presenting benefits)

Summary Review
  • Unique subject, vital theme
  • Productivity and effectiveness improvement
  • Well written
  • Systematic, enables easy adoption and application
This book provides a comprehensive and insightful treatment of a skill that every consultant could benefit from.

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