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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
In my opinion, Dan Roam is among the most innovative business thinkers now publishing books and articles that can help almost anyone think more clearly, make better decisions, and communicate with greater impact. His previously published works offer abundant evidence of his highly developed skills. In The Back of the Napkin (2008), he explains how to solve problems and sell ideas with pictures; in Unfolding the Napkin (2009), he introduces a hands-on method for solving complex problems with simple pictures; in Blah Blah Blah (2011), he explains what to do when words don't work; and now in Show and Tell, he demonstrates with text and illustrations how everybody can make extraordinary presentations.

Some may say, "Wait a minute. He keeps writing essentially the same book every two years." On the contrary, although there are some insights and techniques common to all four books, each can and should be read on its own. True, he published an expanded edition of The Back of the Napkin in 2011 so I recommend that edition rather than the earlier one. However, each of the four has its own scope and focus. Moreover, because Roam has an insatiable curiosity and eagerly welcomes feedback from those who reads his works, each of the three work is the beneficiary of substantial reflection and feedback.

Now let's shift our attention to Show and Tell. Here's a statement by Roam to keep in mind as you read it: "If I tell you the truth, if I tell it with a story, and if I tell that story with pictures, I can keep you glued to your seat. Let me show you how." In essence, an extraordinary presentation is truth well-told. How so "well-told?" Truth is anchored in human experience, in a narrative; it is illustrated; and it is communicated with effective non-verbal skills (i.e. tone of voice and body language) as well as with eloquence.

In Creative Confidence, David and Tom Kelley insist that almost anyone can be creative; in Show and Tell, Roam insists that almost anyone can prepare and then make an extraordinary presentation if they are guided and informed by three rules of show and tell:

1. Lead with the truth and the heart will follow. "When we tell truth in a presentation, three good things happen: We connect with our audience, we become passionate, and we find self-confidence."

2. Lead with a story and understanding will follow. "When we tell a story in a presentation, three great things happen: We make complex concepts clear, we make ideas unforgettable, and we include everyone.

3. Lead with the eye and the mind will follow. "When we tell a story with pictures in a presentation, extraordinary things happen: People see exactly what we mean, we captivate our audience's mind, and we banish boredom."

Roam created this book to show and tell HOW to achieve these and other objectives. He devotes a separate chapter to each of the three Rules and includes dozens of exercises that serve two separate but interdependent purposes: to get the reader actively engaged in the show and tell learning process by interacting with the sequence of material, and at the same time, completion of the exercises will require each reader to assume ownership of the concepts and techniques by applying them.

Time Out: At this point, I want to strongly recommend having a lined notebook near at-hand when working through the narrative and the exercises that accompany it. My personal preference is the Mead Composition Book ("Marble" wide-ruled) but any other will do just fine. True, some of the exercises can be completed within Roam's book and key passages can be highlighted. However, when working my way through a book such as this, I also use a notebook to record doodles as well as diagrams and annotations.

In Chapter 5, Roam shares his thoughts and feelings about how to overcome fear of speaking in public. It is the #1 fear among Americans and probably among most everyone else. "Which is totally understandable. And totally fixable." He devotes this entire chapter to alleviating that fear by developing helping his reader to develop a mindset based on four articles of faith:

o Enjoy your idea.
o Enjoy yourself.
o Enjoy your audience.
o This is going to be fun.

Easier said than done? Obviously, and Dan Roam knows that. His "fix" consists of several do's and don'ts as well as specific, practical suggestions that can help most people overcome their anxiety. My own opinion is that the greatest value of the material has less to do with overcoming stage fright to make solid (if not extraordinary) presentations and more to do with helping each reader to think more courageously, to organize and clarify their thoughts more clearly, and thereby increase their self-confidence and self-assurance even if they never make a public presentation.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on April 10, 2014
This is the third book I read for dan roam , I bought it the first day it was out and I finished it the same day , I could not stop my self from reading it till the end .

I know I will have to go through it multiple times to implement the ideas into my presentations .

The kindle edition needs better formatting though .

I recommend it as a book in any library .
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
I love all of Dan's books but his newest is particularly useful whether you're a seasoned or novice presenter. He breaks down the daunting task of preparing a presentation into simple and memorable chunks: be honest, tell a story, use pictures. And he reassures us that there are only FOUR kinds of presos: the Report, the Explanation, the Pitch and the Drama. Those are interesting distinctions and they immediately got me thinking about my own talks - and what fell into which category.

Show And Tell is a picture book itself, filled with Dan's (well, I hope they're Dan's) delightfully quirky drawings. This is a go-to resource whether you're preparing a TED talk, a local Pecha Kucha or Ignite talk, or your company's 3rd quarter outlook. I only wish Dan were at my side, narrating, as I dip back into the book for guidance. I was lucky enough to hear him on his "super secret" Webinar for pre-order buyers. His voice is calming and clear. He turns a big scary task (creating PPTs) into something doable and fun. Thank you Dan!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on April 20, 2014
The tips were good, and it was an interesting read, but I was surprised how sparse the pages were (I read the whole book during a short plane ride). The book is more like a PowerPoint deck that has some notes at the bottom, than a traditional book. Roam includes some helpful examples to explain his points, but some I didn't fully understand how to apply some of them because of the brevity.

Overall, it's a good read and I feel it's well worth your time. If you've been giving presentations for some time, you'll learn some new ways to improve your presentations. If you're new to presentations, it'll give you a good foundation to start from. But, if you're expecting an introductory book that gives detailed instructions on how to write and deliver presentations, this isn't it.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on July 7, 2014
As an advocate of the visual revolution - I own all of Dan Roam's previous books (even the workbook) and have been happy with all of his publications re: Back of the Napkin and beyond - until now. I was disappointed after receiving this book because there is a LOT of repeat information from the previous books. Nice review - but I could pull my other books off the shelf if I wanted a review.

Just be aware that the focus of this book is not a continuation of his previous (excellent) work - it is about how to use those tools to organize thoughts in order to present. Not a bad topic for a book - but not exactly what I was expecting.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on April 10, 2014
Dan is already a leader in the field of visual thinking and presenting. This book takes his work to the next level by offering different frameworks for each presentation. It's a great book and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it.

Also check out his for further learning.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on May 23, 2014
An inspiring and insightful guide to creating effective and engaging presentations.

This book explores the art and craft of creating "extraordinary" presentations, that, in the author's words "help others see what we see." To do this, we need to:

1. Tell the Truth
2. Tell it with a Story
3. Tell the Story with Pictures

Using this as a framework, the book explores how to use Truth, Story, and Pictures in presentations so they we can change our audience in some way (either their information, their abilities, their actions, or their beliefs).

Part one focuses on Truth, noting the best way to establish trust with an audience is to be honest with them. It also identifies three types of truth that can be used in presentations: intellectual, emotional, and factual. Part two focuses on storylines, and introduces 4 specific types of storylines used in effective and extraordinary presentations: the Report, the Explanation, the Pitch, and the Drama. The author presents a structural breakdown of each these types of storylines and provides a detailed example of each. Part three focuses on pictures, and how we can use them in presentations to help deliver our message. This section describes six types of pictures and how we use them to illustrate our storylines:

Portrait: Shows who and what
Chart: Shows how much
Map: Shows where
Timeline: Shows when events happen
Flowchart: Shows how events happen
Equation: Shows the moral of the story

This last part covers topics that are also addressed in the author's previous books ("THE BACK OF THE NAPKIN" and "BLAH, BLAH, BLAH" both of which I recommend), but focuses the discussion to the specific goal of how to use pictures in presentations. If you've read his other books, some of these ideas will be familiar, but this book expands on them and presents them in a different perspective.

In my current job of managing technical writers and instructional designers, the art and craft of how to explain things to an audience is one of my main focuses, and I'm always looking for new insights into the process of explanation and presentation. This book is a welcome addition to my library.

This book provides a great framework for building presentations of all types, and does so by laying out a set of basic and fairly simple tools that anyone can use effectively. And though these tools may seem simple on the surface, they offer tremendous flexibility and power in crafting presentations that effectively influence their audiences.

The book makes extensive use of illustrations, and simple and somewhat sparse use of text. Don't let this fool you into thinking that this book doesn't contain lots of valuable information. This book offers insightful ideas on every page.

I strongly recommend this to anyone who has to create and deliver presentations, including business people, teachers, and trainers.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on May 2, 2014
This book, Mr. Roam’s fourth, is positioned as a practical primer – how everybody can make extraordinary presentations. A previous reviewer – one of the Top 100 Amazon Reviewers Robert Morris - deservedly awards 5 stars to Dan Roam’s Show and Tell. It may be compared to his previous three - Back of the Napkin (2008), Unfolding the Napkin (2009), and Blah Blah Blah (2011) - by virtue of the continuity of its purpose from helping the world to solve problems with pictures, to illustrate with picture-solutions and now to present the truth through show and tell.

In no way a formulaic Dan Roam demonstrates how he has used three foundational principles: tell the truth; tell a story; tell it with pictures. He offers tools including: a pyramid to help with truth; an outline to help with stories; and a pie to help with pictures. Based on the authors own presentations the book is supported with extensive examples from business, accounting, technology and includes a powerful pictorial life drama of cosmonaut Alexei Leonov.

Show and Tell blends instruction with insightful observations; clearly the fruit of many years dedicated practice and mastery of his craft. As an example Mr. Roam writes (at page 233): “The ideal picture is as simple as a clear sentence. It enters our eye and tells a story, it doesn’t call much attention to itself…The ideal picture is just the essence of an idea made instantly visible and nothing more.”

Historically the word ‘presentation’ finds its literary roots around 1350-1400. It derived from the Late Latin originally used in the sense of making a profound dedication of oneself or another to a higher cause. Show and Tell is aptly a dedication to encourage all to aspire to make extraordinary presentations. It should appeal to a broad audience which includes everybody who is called to present. In the concluding chapter 6 Mr. Roam explains: “The best gift we can give ourselves is learning how to show and tell. The best gift we can give one another is an extraordinary presentation.”
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on May 22, 2014
I first came across Dan Roam when I read his awesome blogpost in Sept. 2013, "Ode to Pictures" and was in awe. I immediately commented on it, and shared it on all my social media channels. As an educator/Autism specialist turned professional speaker and entrepreneur, I have long seen the power of visual learning as the gateway to changing behavior; in self and others. As a visual learner myself who gives presentations, I have eagerly awaited this book's debut. It was SO worth the wait! Dan weaves together a creative, inspirational, customizable, and deceptively simple "how to" manual filled with graphics, takeaways, and sources for further learning.

From citing the hero's journey by Joseph Campbell, to his PUMA metaphor for catchier and more structured story lines and presentations, from his whimsical drawings, to his suggestions for which TED Talks are worth watching, "Show and Tell" is a timely, much needed, and innovative gem! No matter which industry you're in, or whether or not you're a speaker/project manager/educator/entrepreneur wooing investors and/or clients, you MUST read this book!

We are all in a tech-centric, visually driven communication loop these days. One where the art of digital citizenship means leveraging presentation software/mobile Apps, and finding ways to use them to engage others; quickly, effectively, and creatively. As our collective hunger for life's meaning and emotional resonance grows, and our overall attention spans wane, this excellent book will become all the more crucial. All the more relevant for people who need to be both visual teachers and students in the new millennium.

Penina Rybak MA/CCC-SLP, TSHH
Speech-Language Pathologist and Educational Technology Consultant
Founder/CEO Socially Speaking LLC
Author: "The NICE Reboot: How to Become a Better Female Entrepreneur-How to Balance Your Craving for Humanity & Technology in Today's Startup Culture"
Creator: The Socially Speaking™ App for iPad
Facebook: Socially Speaking LLC
Google+, The NICE Initiative for Female Entrepreneurship, Socially Speaking LLC
YouTube: storytellergal, socialslp
Vimeo: Penina Rybak
Pinterest: Penina Rybak
Twitter: @PopGoesPenina
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VINE VOICEon November 5, 2014
This book is a superb guide that teaches the reader how to prepare successful presentations. Practicing what it preaches, Roam uses his steps throughout the book, showing the reader how to create presentations using the six ways that people visualize situations. He convinces the reader that a story needs to be told and uses his PUMA, or Presentation's Underlying Message Architecture, approach to show how to tell one. Roam is an advocate for using pictures instead of words, a case which he made strongly in one of his previous books, as this is how people think and remember most of the time. To achieve this goal in a presentation he advocates showing - using pictures, graphics or drawings - and telling - speaking off the presentation slide. i totally agree with him as i have difficulty following my own presentations when they abound in text. He also repeats here the six ways of presenting information -who/what, where, when, how much, how and why - and the visuals that correspond to each. This work is inspiring and I will definitely use the techniques for my next presentation.
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