Digital Marketing and Social Media Strategy

Visualize This

Last year at SXSW, I decided that I would try to see more presentations about things I knew little or nothing about, or by people who I had never heard of before. Dan Roam was one of those people.

Chris Brogan wrote a blog post recently about doing the work. In his post he mentioned Walt Disney’s mind map, which helped Disney create his empire. Chris’ mention of this reminded me to write this post, so thanks Chris.

Dan Roam

Dan Roam is the author of the best-selling book, The Back of the Napkin. In his book he describes how we can communicate simply, most effectively, by drawing our thoughts. He has completely sold me on this thinking.

Be clear that he is not suggesting becoming an artist (although that’s always a cool idea). He is talking about drawing sketches of ideas to help you formulate plans and articulate information.

Mindmapping is a great way to visualize your work, as is sketching on a blank piece of paper. Heck, an entire airline was born on a cocktail napkin!


During his presentation, Blah Blah Blah: What to do When Words Don’t Work, at SXSW, Roam shared the entire history of humans in just five minutes, all 32,000 years!

SXSW 2010: Dan Roam on Visual Thinking from Teehan+Lax on Vimeo.

I recommend reading Olivia Mitchell’s post, How Dan Roam nailed his SXSW presentation, because she sums it up so well.

Watch This!

If this has you intrigued (and I hope that it does), you should check out Roam’s full presentation at Google’s headquarters.


Then pick up his book (affiliate link), it’s fantastic.


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