16 October 2007

My sessions at VizThink: What do YOU think?

I'll be giving a workshop at VizThink, and also a special pre-session (limited to 50 people) on the Sunday before the event. I would love to get your input about what I should cover. Here are some of my starting thoughts:

Who are we? Understanding the VizThink Community. A special workshop where several facilitators work with the group to define the community. What is the change we want to make in the world?

Visual Thinking toolkit. A tour of the visual thinking toolbox used by XPLANE consultants and designers. Part facilitation techniques, part drawing, all fun. Includes ways to engage groups and get them thinking visually, plus drawing and design tips.

Envision your Vision. Every large organization these days has a "vision statement" -- IT'S A VISION PEOPLE! In this hands-on workshop you'll learn how to develop a vision for your company, department or group -- and learn how to do it the right way: visually.

The Elements of PowerPoint Style. Take your PowerPoint to the next level. Tools, tips and tricks to make your PowerPoint clear, cool and compelling.

Goals and metrics. How to set simple but clear goals and metrics for your communication, so you can know when it's working and when it's not.

From "boxes and lines" to rich pictures. How to represent abstract ideas and concepts visually.

Visual thinking practice. Practice and coaching drawing and visualizing your ideas. Practice presenting your ideas to others.

Visual thinking tools. What are the best tools for visual thinking? Analog tools like sticky notes, software and online tools for organizing ideas, technology like digital cameras. What are some of the best ways to use the tools as part of a systematic approach to visual thinking?

PowerPoint makeovers. Bring a presentation that you want to improve. We'll break out into small groups, and each group will take a presentation, break it down into its components, and re-create the story to make it more clear, visual and compelling.

Selling visual thinking. How to explain visual thinking to "non-believers." Why they should care. Why it's important. What it can do for them. What to call it.

Engaging your organization. Getting people in your company to think and deliver ideas and content more visually. How to build alignment with brand teams on some of the unique requirements of information visualization.

Changing the world. A group session on the visual thinking community, who it is, what we can do together.

Personal action plan. How to incorporate visual thinking into your life as a daily/weekly habit. Things you can do on an ongoing basis to hone your visual thinking skills.

I want your thoughts, whether or not you plan to attend VizThink or the special pre-session.

These are just starting points. I want your feedback and ideas.

Please leave a comment and tell me what you'd like to see in visual thinking training. In your comment it would help me if you'd say whether or not you plan to attend the events.


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Anonymous said...

Hi Dave,
I plan to attend your session, so glad to take the opportunity to give some feedback.

Two subjects for me stand out:
- From boxes and lines to rich pictures
- Visual thinking practice

Another subject that could be interesting is how to sell visual thinking deliverables before they are there (so selling the process). I find it very hard in my daily consultancy practice to see it as a product in itself. Customers see it as very helpful after I took the liberty of translating the subject at hand to a visual deliverable. But I need a carrier, called problem definition or something like that. Since I feel that 'business visualizations' is a field that will come up, but struggles to get boxed in the mind of customers. They see it as overhead or communication fluf, but the process itself is key to get good results. Would be interested to hear your thoughts on that and discuss (since it seems that xplane has cracked this problem in a good way... ;o)


Unknown said...

Hi Mark,

I added your idea to the list, under the heading "How to sell visual thinking." Thanks for the thought!

Menelaos Gkikas said...

I think this is interesting so i will give you my brainstorming case!
1.) Goals and metrics:
favorable customer behavior, a recreation center related with the objective functions, aesthetics, an integrated marketing communication system, attractive thinking / providing the appropriate level of significance and its deviation, evaluating all the factorial parameters of communication
2.) From Boxes and Lines to rich pictures:
transforming the draw into a digital draw, graphics, colors, 3D, a sythesis of geometric components, multijunction accuracy
3.) Visual Thinking Practice:
Maps include several ways that can be tested with and be the subject of coaching
4.) PowerPoint lasts forever! This means that to patronize innovative thinking related with the project, and making powerpoint presentations accurate, will definitely optimize solutions
5.)The potential of the community: Baring in mind the entertainment industry, they include one very significant point, that is, branding nature! I will move beyond that: the process of merging art and science, especially in the framework of organizational behavior: can you have insights? and intercutural communication in the global

MsMaverick said...

Hi Dave

I would like to see how we can help corporate teams that produce information they post up on the website (in our case a financial services and wealth management company) to complete re-think text and generate much more visual representations of content....so much of the financial stuff is dry, take lots and lots of words to explain...but I believe for web consumption, diagrams and visual representations work much better.

We have a further challenge _ a brand that specifies photos for all imagery!!!!! EEEK!

How to get around this..?

Joanne Vincett said...

Hi Dave,

Perhaps also a brief part towards the end on "Personal Action Plan"...

Meaning how we are going to actively incorporate VisThinking in our life/community?
Build a structure, daily/weekly routine, habit. Such as "take 60 min a week for necessary solitude to specifically practice my visual thinking..."


Unknown said...

MsMaverick and Joanne: I added your ideas to the post above, thanks!

Anand Mistry said...

I want internet marketing skill and so for that share with me all the skills what i require.

Jason Canapp said...

I think the idea of reworking Power Point presentations is a GREAT idea! People in all industries are now expected to use this tool to present ideas but just about all are poorly done.

Anonymous said...

Hello Dave,

I will be attending your workshop on Saturday.

I'm very interested in using visual tools to engage non-English speaking groups. I manage teams in Asia and Europe and we often forget to present our ideas in ways that will appeal to non-english speakers and in metaphors/visuals that are language agnostic.

I'd love to see at least part of your session cover this idea.

And as a "hyper-verbal" person, I wonder if you can address the idea of visual literacy. We generally know what it means to be a literate person but what does it mean to be fluent in visual ideas and what are the fundamentals that everyone should know if they want to be visually literate: basic composition, color theory, drawing skills?

Unknown said...

These are great topics Matthew. Metaphors can be especially tricky in cross-cultural environments.

Both this and the topic of visual literacy are likely to come up in the podcast I'll be doing with Tony Karrer next week. Hope you can join us!