Recently I read an article titled as above at FastCompany http://www.fastcompany.com/1822792/using-great-storytelling-to-grow-your-business
It’s an interesting article a must read. I’ve talked about storytelling earlier as well on my blog.
The FastCompany article talked about two concepts and I’ve visualized it below:
1. Ensure that you trigger the senses.
2. Use a five step structure throughout your talk, presentation, meeting etc.
“They call it the "story spine": reality is introduced, conflict arrives, there is a struggle, the conflict is resolved, a new reality exists. These two tools caused a profound shift in our abilities to tell effective stories.”
They author does give an example of the same in the article, and it’s quite good, read it. However, I wanted to capture it in a way that I would remember and hence I illustrated the 5 steps using the below visuals.
Lets say you’re walking down a cobbled street and you see and literally smell the stench of a homeless person on the street…
Yep most people will empathize and feel pity, or might even feel disgust at the sight.
You might have further arguments against the idea of helping them at all.
Or you might notice that the sign he’s holding up shows that he’s willing to work to survive and you might step up and help him.
This ultimately could change the reality into something new, helping you both breathe a sigh of relief.
The above ideas could be used in a number of situations. However, I feel that considering that a large portion of the brain is dedicated to visual processing, it might just be a good idea to focus a lot more on the visual aspect in your communications and story telling. Moreover, providing visuals enables one to not only understand but also retain the information far longer and hence it’s more effective. Moreover, using LOTS(Language of The Senses) might not be most appropriate in specific kinds of business contexts, for e.g. lets say you’re explaining a manufacturing business process or the way a computer program works. In these cases visuals work brilliantly, however using the other senses would not make sense. On the other hand using their 5 step process might be useful to provide more structure to your talk/communication.
What do you think? Do share your experiences and thoughts…
2. http://blog.asmartbear.com/custom-cartoons.html – Behind the scenes: Creating custom cartoons
3. http://radar.oreilly.com/2012/02/how-to-create-visualization-facebook-vacation.html – How to create a visualization. Shared by Gavin McMahon on G+
4. http://mindmappingsoftwareblog.com/top-10-visual-thinkers-on-twitter/?goback=%2Egmr_2246990%2Eamf_2246990_25540%2Egmp_64941%2Egde_64941_member_95594618 – The top 10 visual thinkers on Twitter
5. http://blog.duarte.com/2012/02/the-visual-thinking-revolution-is-here/ – The Visual Thinking Revolution is here
6. Video – Dan Roam and Nancy Duarte compare notes on Creative Process – http://blog.duarte.com/2012/02/creative-like-a-fox-dan-roam-and-i-compare-notes-on-creative-process/
7. Video – Are you a fox or a hummingbird – Dan Roam explains your brain – http://blog.duarte.com/2012/02/are-you-a-fox-or-a-hummingbird-dan-roam-explains-your-brain/
8. Video – Grammar Ain’t Just for Words Anymore – http://blog.duarte.com/2012/02/grammar-aint-just-for-words-anymore/
9. Video – Quit Talking and Start Thinking – http://blog.duarte.com/2012/01/quit-talking-and-start-thinking/ Dan Roam and Nancy Duarte
10. Creating short, simple videos that use simple animated graphics, illustrations, text and photography to explain something http://digitalsplashmedia.com/2011/05/how-to-create-educational-motion-graphics-videos/
11. http://www.videoinfographics.com/ – Curated motion graphic & animated informational videos that explain, educate, or inform
12. How2s – Over 100 visual guides to expert teaching – https://how2teach.co.uk/
13. Visual Thinking for Service Design by Dave Gray – http://blip.tv/communication-nation/gamestorming-for-service-design-5971334
14. Great use of visuals by Microsoft in guiding their developers in building the next generation touch applications for their upcoming Windows 8 operating system. http://download.microsoft.com/download/8/A/6/8A652B51-AF09-4A5A-888C-A0465D00FE5E/Windows%208%20Touch%20Guidance.pdf
15. http://www.lulu.com/product/ebook/sketchnotes-a-field-guide-for-the-busy-yet-inspired-professional/18796228#eBookFormatsSection – Sketchnotes a field guide for the busy professional $1.95 pdf download. An absolute beginners guide, very very basic.
This week I’m sharing just two links, trust me these are more than enough to satiate your weekend viewing on visual thinking.
- Brilliant talks by Dan Roam captured in videos-http://vizthink.com/blog/2008/03/18/246/ the last segment 3 on the page is awesome. All the videos on this page together make up a quick mini-course on visual thinking.
- Video interview with visual thinkers, Sunni Brown, Dave Gray and Mike Rohde – Hosted by Dan Benjamin – http://5by5.tv/s/3h
Let me know what you think about these videos, and do share if you come across any interesting videos like these.
Most testimonials aren’t able to communicate your real benefit. However, the people to blame are the one’s who’re asking for testimonials.
The best way to get a testimonial according to Sean from www.psychotactics.com is to ask six questions. He describes these in detail in his ““Brain Alchemy Workshop”. He recommends you don’t send the six questions by an email however, ask the person in person or on the phone, so the conversation is more casual.
A testimonial covering the above is much more useful in conveying the value you provide.
What do you think? Do share.
People usually forget 90 percent of what they learn within 30 days*
Urban Myth? Or Research?
Ok, test it yourself, without looking at any notes. Try to recall any meeting, presentation or workshop you’ve attended 30 days ago. How much of the main theme do you remember?
Ok, now a different test: Which is the last movie you saw, do you remember the main story? Note: I’m asking you to recollect the main theme/plot to an extent that you can communicate it to someone else.
Stories stick in our minds especially if they are unusual, or strike an emotional chord and/or are visual.
WHY MY AWESOME REPORT GOT IGNORED… UNTILL – that’s the title of the story of how I got into Visual Thinking (Read it here). It’s very short, but I’m sure if I ask you 30 days later about it. You will remember the key idea.
Making our ideas stick in people’s mind is the biggest challenge most communicators face.
3 kinds of stories
Most stories fall largely into three buckets. Three essential kind of plots.
The Challenge Plot – Think David & Goliath. Just those two words David & Goliath are enough to kindle your memory.
The Connection Plot – Think Romeo & Juliet.
The Creativity Plot – Think Newton and the apple falling on his head. A mental breakthrough. A person solving a long standing puzzle, or attacking a puzzle in an innovative way.
Here are all three together
Here’s another way at looking at the three story plots
I’ve also noticed that some of the best sales people usually always have a good story to share regarding their products, services and clients, which helps them explain their ideas much better.
What do you think? What’s your experience been? Do share in the comments below.
* Research: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hermann_Ebbinghaus
So many interesting ideas around visual thinking and how people are using it.
- http://www.orbitmedia.com/blog/content-chemistry – Content Chemistry: The Periodic Table of Content
- http://mindmappingsoftwareblog.com/information-overload-kastelle/ – There’s no such thing as information overload
- http://www.ted.com/search?q=hans+rosling – The best at TED from Hans Rosling the visual master presenter (via Presentation Zen site)
- http://www.squidoo.com/davegray – List of books on Visual Thinking and a whole lot more.
- The checklist Manifesto Visualized – http://www.flickr.com/photos/maishn/6771373921/sizes/l/in/photostream/ Original article http://www.pebbleroad.com/perspectives/view/checklist-manifesto-the-lean-way
- http://www.blurb.com/bookstore/detail/1892410 – I want this book in Kindle/e-book format
- The 10 1/2 commandments of Visual Thinking by Dan Roam – http://changethis.com/manifesto/44.03.TenCommandments/pdf/44.03.TenCommandments.pdf
- Make your business model clear with Visual Thinking – http://www.businessmodelalchemist.com/2011/11/make-your-business-model-clear-with-vivid-thinking-guest-post-by-dan-roam.html
- http://owni.eu/2012/01/26/12-great-visualizations-that-made-history/ – "12 Great Visualizations That Made History" – thanks to Greg Neat from the Visual Thinking group for sharing this.
- http://www.danroam.com/tools/ – Dan Roam’s Visual thinking tools, actually I’d call them frameworks, rather than tools. I’ve used these extensively in various business, problem solving situations.
I’m super thrilled that Ana Hoffman at TrafficGenerationCafe.com allowed me to create a visual for her article on website conversion and split testing.
I had great fun coming up with appropriate visuals which matched the key ideas she was blogging about. Btw the article is extremely useful if you’re looking at optimizing your blog or website. It covers two specific areas: how to split test which is basically creating two versions of a page and see which drives more traffic. The other concept is on website conversion which covers ideas on how you can change things on your site to encourage more people to take a particular action. The article links to some amazing thought leaders who share some really great ideas. In fact I just implemented one idea on split testing using the WordPress addin, and I’m happily waiting to see the results.
I had made some additional visuals as well aimed at specific items. For e.g.
I created one specifically regarding website conversion. See the image below.
It was a totally fun exercise as I created the visuals against a tight deadline of just one day.
Let me know what you think about the visuals in the comments below.