Public speaking can be a challenge. Understanding your audience, creating a talk, using body language, and overcoming plain old garden variety nervousness are just a few of the factors that go into a powerful talk. With all these hurdles, why bother to even try? Well, public speaking is also a form of power, the power to inform, to persuade, to get people to take action. It’s also a way to get noticed.
This month, in Philadelphia and New York City, I’ll be leading micro-workshops about how to use visual thinking to improve your public speaking. I use visual techniques every time I give a prepared talk, and I find these techniques tremendously useful. If you want to improve your public speaking, RSVP for one of these free events.
At this month’s VizThink, veteran public speaker, Jonny Goldstein (that’s me), will show you how to use visual thinking to create and deliver a powerful presentation. Afterward, we will head somewhere nearby for some food and drink.
By the end of the session, you will develop and deliver a 2 minute mini-presentation, with visuals, to a small group.
Special Guest: Nora Herting, one half of the NYC based graphic recording company, Image Think will capture our session proceedings visually in a mural which she will create in real time. Check the video below for a demo of Nora creating a graphic recording.
(Above: Video of Nora Herting and Heather Willems of Image Think)
About Jonny Goldstein: Jonny is a Philadelphia based animation producer and public speaker. He has spoken at schools, conferences, universities, commercial venues, and theaters, and has appeared on Tech TV and New York 1. Jonny’s recent presentation at Pecha Kucha Philly was dubbed “a hilarious diquisition” by philadelphiaweekly.com.
About Nora Herting: Nora is a Brooklyn based professional artist who completeted Masters in Fine Arts at the Ohio State University. She helps clients make meetings more productive by providing expert graphic recording. She has teamed up with Heather Willems to create Image Think, the graphic recording company.
When: 6:30-8PM, Mon, Sept 14
UPenn, Wharton Business School
Huntsman Hall, Room G-50
3730 Walnut Street , philadelphia, pa
Visual thinking can be used to clarify or to confuse. The House Republicans created a visual representation of the House Democrats health plan. The graphic is a crazy jumble of boxes, arrows, and lines.
I don’t know if the proposed plan is too complicated or not, but I do know that it’s easy to make even something simple seem insanely complicated. To illustrate that, I made the hand drawn graphic above, which diagrams the org chart of my family’s food buying plan. My family consists of my wife and I, so it’s about as simple as it gets. Yet look how complex I made it seem.
So, how do you make something simple seem complicated using visual thinking?
1. As Leonardo Da Vinci Said “Everything connects to everything else.” So connect as many things as possible! That’s what I tried to do in the chart above, and it’s obviously what the House Republicans did. I have to say, they really went to town. Mine is quite a bit less confusing. Oh well.
2. Separate related items spatially as much as possible so that the lines connectingclosely related things are long, convoluted, and need to cross lots of other lines.
3. Use lots of ugly, clashing colors. OK, I did not have time to do this one, but the House Republicans sure did.
Thanks to Parkview for sending me the link to the House Republican graphic.
32 Strawberry Street is an alley between 2nd and 3d. streets and Chestnut and Market.
Thanks very much to Independence Hall Co-working community and Alex Hillman for stepping up and offering us this great new venue. We’ll pass the hat for donations of $2 bucks each to help cover their expenses.
The upcoming of VizThink Philadelphia will feature activities led by New York City based visual thinking professionals Steve Cherches and Dean Meyers. Steve and Dean are also founding members of VizThink NYC.
Here’s what they’ll be doing:
Steve Cherches: Exploring Visual Thinking With….Visual Thinking!
Steve will lead an activity where we use drawing and found images to think about what visual thinking is and why it matters.
Dean Meyers: Visual Problem Solving: 5 Diagrams in 15 Minutes
Solving problems from â€œwhat should I eat for breakfast?â€ to deciding what to do in business can be broken down using diagrams to visualize the problem from different perspectives. This activity is an exercise using 5 different ways to look at a problem through diagrams that are simple to create yet can be very powerful in the answers they can provide.
There are a lot of things that go into making an effective animated story that explains your product.
One of my tried and true techniques is to bounce between order and chaos until I have something that communicates effectively.
1) (Order) Once I have talked with you about your product, your audience, and your goals for the video, I create a rough storyboard.
2) (Chaos) Then I cut the storyboard into individual frames, and mix them all up.
3) (Order) Next I rebuild the story board by selecting frames out of the mix, leaving out superfluous frames, and making notes about where I need to add content.
By bouncing back between order and chaos, I end up with something good. I think this actually works with all kinds of communicative media—books, comics, music, movies, etc.
The photo above shows cut up panels for an animation I’m doing for a company in the Seattle area.
Last week, Jeff Pulver put on the 140 Characters Conference, AKA “The Davos of Twitter.” Great speakers, lively format, timely topic.
Jeff is an innovator–he’s always looking for new ways to add value to events. That means he’s open to new ideas. I was happy to be embodying one of those new ideas–the idea that visual notes add impact to a conference. Here are the notes.
So what was the impact of having a visual notes artist at the event? Many attendees told me that it gave them a whole different way to engage with the content of the speakers’ talks. Tim O’Reilly made a point of tracking me down and sharing my notes of his talk with his 600,000+ Twitter followers. So the in person reaction was very positive. How about the media reaction? I spent some time tracking down media mentions of the visual notes and this is a sample of what I found.
Reactions to the notes:
The Industry Standard-Venture capitalist Fred Wilson used my notes to clarify a point he made at the conference about the growing importance of passed links the web.
Over 12,000 views of the notes so far, and this only includes what people viewed on Flickr. When people upload photos of the notes to their own sites, views of those images are not recorded in my Flickr stats.
Based on the reactions I got, visual notes provide the following benefits:
–Buzz. Visual notes are “talkable” they give people something to talk about during and after the conference. That adds up to word of mouth marketing for the next time you do your event. –Reach. Posting the notes on the web on a social photo sharing site, like Flickr makes the visual notes available to a global audience. –A fresh perspective. Several attendees of the conference told me that the visual notes gave them a whole other way to engage with the information provided by the speakers. –Lasting impact. Images tend to stick in peoples’ minds. A vivid combination of images and key ideas.
This was an amazing conference, and I am delighted that so many people let me know that the visual notes I created added value to their conference experience. Thanks for having me Jeff.