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52 of 55 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Practical, not academic... a better approach to meetings than PowerPoint
After reading BACK OF THE NAPKIN (Dan Roam)and his sequel, I pre-ordered VISUAL MEETINGS, thinking it would be a good sequel to the sequel. The day the book arrived I had been a victim of another full-afternoon PowerPoint presentation barrage without much interaction. What fresh thinking I found inside, moving from rank basics of flip chart posters and lists to the...
Published on August 3, 2010 by Rob Eskridge

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101 of 111 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Expected more than an autobiography
I felt compelled to write a review of this book as I did not find the professional reviews spoke to the content of this book. I was excited to pre-order this book as the topic is pertinent to my current position, I was expecting to add some new tools to my belt to help me facilitate team meetings that are both productive and worthwhile. I was disappointed to find that the...
Published on September 13, 2010 by Carmen


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101 of 111 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Expected more than an autobiography, September 13, 2010
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This review is from: Visual Meetings: How Graphics, Sticky Notes and Idea Mapping Can Transform Group Productivity (Paperback)
I felt compelled to write a review of this book as I did not find the professional reviews spoke to the content of this book. I was excited to pre-order this book as the topic is pertinent to my current position, I was expecting to add some new tools to my belt to help me facilitate team meetings that are both productive and worthwhile. I was disappointed to find that the book read like the author's portfolio. The chapters and headers outlined the content but the text is full of stories describing how the author handled a meeting with a client. I do not think I read one paragraph in the book that did not use the first person. If you are looking for a book to review how 'someone else did it' - this book fits the bill. If you are looking for strategy, tips and 'how to' - it is not written in a way that is easy to incorporate the authors experiences into your arsenal.
One other annoyance is the size and shape of the book make it difficult to hold upright to read once opened, it is too wide; its too thick to wrap the pages behind the book once you are past the first few chapters. Setting it on your lap will not work either, cannot see the outer margins where the supporting graphic are placed. Very annoying.
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52 of 55 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Practical, not academic... a better approach to meetings than PowerPoint, August 3, 2010
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This review is from: Visual Meetings: How Graphics, Sticky Notes and Idea Mapping Can Transform Group Productivity (Paperback)
After reading BACK OF THE NAPKIN (Dan Roam)and his sequel, I pre-ordered VISUAL MEETINGS, thinking it would be a good sequel to the sequel. The day the book arrived I had been a victim of another full-afternoon PowerPoint presentation barrage without much interaction. What fresh thinking I found inside, moving from rank basics of flip chart posters and lists to the post-graduate "graphic skills continuum" in Chapter 21. It's really a nice how-to reference that will live close at hand; I'll refer to it before every meeting that I lead, knowing that group interaction will be better and that my own skills and confidence will improve, starting with a blank sheet of paper rather than a PowerPoint with all the answers predetermined.

Don't miss the Group Graphics keyboard in Chapter 9, which is a great roadmap for practicing visual thinking skills and for selecting an approach to visual formats for different meeting purposes. It's fascinating to see the experience of a long and successful career condensed into one powerful chart.
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I see what he means!!!, August 6, 2010
By 
Jennifer Landau (SAN FRANCISCO, CA, US) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Visual Meetings: How Graphics, Sticky Notes and Idea Mapping Can Transform Group Productivity (Paperback)
If you have ever reached for a pencil to explain or hang onto an idea, then you will be delighted with this book. Visual Meetings will change how you think, work and meet - and even think about "visuals." Don't draw? Not to worry - this isn't about drawing per se but how to use "visuals" - text, simple drawn images, photographs, graphic metaphors -- as a natural part of engaging people, analyzing, innovating, and better yet, getting people to put their ideas together and take action. Visual Meetings is about how to surface the knowledge in the room (or in yourself!), and get it organized so that you can use it. And this means both via traditional paper with pens, as well as digitally/virtually - from table top size to huge templates and charts.

Sibbet outlines a comprehensive system of visual strategies and techniques. The clear instruction and tons of inspiring examples / case studies are backed by serious concepts and models about how people think, group dynamics and engaging people around tough questions, real work, deep learning. Storytelling is mixed with bullet-pointed lists and line art, making it easy to understand and apply.

The author doesn't stop at offering the wisdom of his own experience. Sibbet weaves in and acknowledges that of others he has learned from and worked with around the globe, so you will find a wide variety of tried & true strategies, models and techniques as well as Sibbet's own --- all in visual form, all reality tested across languages and cultures. It is truly a treasure trove of "process" gold nuggets, pulling together some of the best in meeting facilitation, project management, and system change...and then launching the reader into realms far beyond.

Visual Meetings is an offering not to be missed. This book will bump up your creativity and effectiveness as it has mine, enriching all that you do at work and in your community - and around your dinner table with the kids, as well!
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, but hard practice to make it work for you, September 6, 2010
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This review is from: Visual Meetings: How Graphics, Sticky Notes and Idea Mapping Can Transform Group Productivity (Paperback)
This book is a good buy and can lead to the development of worthwhile meetings and the development of group dynamics which in turn can lead to change. The ideas of visual presentation of concept and data and using them to create insights of structure and the processes that can flow from that are gaining momentum (cf The Back of the Napkin (Expanded Edition): Solving Problems and Selling Ideas with Picturesand The Wall Street Journal Guide to Information Graphics: The Dos and Don'ts of Presenting Data, Facts, and Figures. I cannot help but applaud the author for putting this book together and attempting to educate conference presenters and team leaders to create dynamic audio visual presentations without complex technology. As an inveterate drawer and graphic presenter, I could understand what was presented and could gain new insights and ideas for the future. The book certainly is worthy of the reviews already received.

But I do have a caveat which leads me to give less than a five star rating. It is this. To what extent will people who do not naturally think in this mode be able to adopt these methods? I appreciate the author's knowledge and experience and his belief that everybody can draw and can develop skills. Even if that is so, however, in order to develop the plethora of skills and techniques in this book and to use them dynamically, will take enormous work and dedication. This book is excellent, but it is not an easy fix for the management and development of small group and large group development and creative settings. My advice would be to look at it carefully if you think you need to develop such skills from scratch, unless you are willing really to work hard at skill development. If you believe you already have some degree of skill, however, this book can be a revelation.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great book-gets the brain juices moving, but a little repetitive, October 6, 2010
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This review is from: Visual Meetings: How Graphics, Sticky Notes and Idea Mapping Can Transform Group Productivity (Paperback)
Awesome book but wish it was a little more instructional or tutorial. Haven't gotten through it all, but I find myself looking for the part where the author explains which visualization tools or illustrations are most appropriate for specific concepts.
A chart or visualization of when to use which tools would be greatly appreciated especially early in th ebook.
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Horrible, April 26, 2012
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This review is from: Visual Meetings: How Graphics, Sticky Notes and Idea Mapping Can Transform Group Productivity (Paperback)
This book is all about how the author handled different situations. If you are looking for his auto-biography than this is it. The content is redundant, chaotic,very poorly organized and limited in its usefullness. Take advantage of amazon's offer to review the text, that will clue you in somewhat. If amazon had a lower rating than 1 I would give it. This is the most misrepresented, disappointing book I have ever purchased.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Visuals and thinking combined, October 15, 2011
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This review is from: Visual Meetings: How Graphics, Sticky Notes and Idea Mapping Can Transform Group Productivity (Paperback)
I'm not entirely new to using graphics in organizations, and I'm not particularly good at drawing. But I like to use my limited visuals in meetings (or even conversations in my office) to organize information, ideas, metaphors, and relationships. So, Sibbet's book has prompted new ideas for using visuals in all sorts of settings -- one's I wouldn't have thought of. I didn't buy it looking for drawing technique. I didn't buy it looking for graphical display of information like Edward Tufte. I bought it more to help me thing how to organize and convey information so that people can better understand complex relationships, sequences, processes. I didn't mind the storytelling about Sibbett's client examples, as did another reviewer. I liked seeing the application. And the bonus was getting insight into Sibbet's thinking when he's working with groups, not just how to use visuals. It's lit a fire under me for new ways to consider graphics in conversations -- small and large.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sibbet and the Grove hit the mark, August 11, 2010
This review is from: Visual Meetings: How Graphics, Sticky Notes and Idea Mapping Can Transform Group Productivity (Paperback)
As a visual practitioner, I've come to rely on The Grove Consultants International for serious facilitation tools. With "Visual Meetings," David Sibbet hits the mark again, putting all the basics in a compact container. I can reach in and grab what I need for nearly any engagement, refresh my learning and find something I didn't know in every chapter. Beyond the mechanics of visual thinking and its relationship to productivity, David covers the gamut of imminently practical methods, approaches and techniques that are hallmarks of The Grove. He is meticulous about covering the "why" with the "what," the "how" along side the "when." It's the Chicago Style Manual for visual practitioners and the Holy Grail for anybody who wants to see results from their organization's meetings.

Make no mistake, this is not a compendium. It's all meat and no bone, yet at a svelte 250 pages Mr. Sibbet manages to capture essence and theory without neglecting nuance and detail. He's a master at the craft of communicating how to achieve group creativity and productivity.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Visual Meetings: How Graphics, Sticky Notes and Idea Mapping Can Transform Group Productivity (Wiley), February 4, 2011
This review is from: Visual Meetings: How Graphics, Sticky Notes and Idea Mapping Can Transform Group Productivity (Paperback)
In "Visual Meetings: How Graphics, Sticky Notes and Idea Mapping Can Transform Group Productivity," (Wiley) author and business consultant David Sibbet, explains, in quite lucid terms, the advantages of utilizing the new language of visual thinking particularly in the group setting for the creation and communication of ideas, plans and programs designed for ease of use and maximum comprehension.

Sibbet begins by explaining the advantages of visual thinking, the tools involved, the language of the communicator as well as the rules of the road for navigating group meetings around the creative process. In Sibbet's view, (much like Dan Roam's earlier work) visual thinking has it's own language, where symbols, boxes, arrows and lines serve distinct purposes in communicating organizational ideas. From brainstorming to idea mapping to storytelling, the book describes every aspect of visual (i.e. graphic) communication, including formating your output using templates, up-to-the-minute software resources and even tablets like the iPad.

Sibbet's book is similar to Roam's previous work, wit perhaps a greater emphasis on the group aspect of visual thinking, but either book unlocks the code of presenting ideas in graphics instead of text. After spending time with any of these books, you will be convinced that you need a white board for nearly every conversation. Bring plenty of Sharpies.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars User-friendly!, August 30, 2010
This review is from: Visual Meetings: How Graphics, Sticky Notes and Idea Mapping Can Transform Group Productivity (Paperback)
David Sibbet's Visual Meetings is a wonderful resource filled with great ideas and very practical suggestions. David cites examples of situations and links them to the skills he teaches and creates. I would highly recommend this book for anyone who wants to learn more about human interaction, systems thinking, creative problem solving, and graphic recording. It is amazing!!
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Visual Meetings: How Graphics, Sticky Notes and Idea Mapping Can Transform Group Productivity
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