Circles and Lines

As Shakespeare’s Hamlet said “Words, words, words.”  It’s all talk without some context or structure.

When trying to solve a problem, when trying to convey the relationships of a business process or information flow through a system, when trying to communicate with a customer, nothing works so well as a diagram* to help get the point across.

In a recent customer engagement, a speaker’s sixty slides spread conversational confusion like kudzu, spawning discussion and debate down a number of different branches.**  As the next presenter up, I started with a blank screen and a drawing tool, then drew some circles and lines to anchor us all in the reality.  The conversation was brief, understood and agreed by all, and led to a meaningful, focused, and brief demonstration to prove out the diagram.

There’s a reason the back of the envelope exists- problems are solved there; multimillion dollar ideas are born there.  And it may be all your audience can consume in one session.

Getting them aligned with one idea is a great success for any meeting.

*As a geeky fan boy, episodes of Star Trek always drove me nuts.  Plots essentially revolved around figuring out some kind of logic puzzle, and Kirk and Spock or Picard and Data would bandy about with the Tom Tom-voiced Computer trying to come to resolution.  I’d scream at the television “would you just get out a sheet of paper and write something down!?!”
** Triple alliteration score!
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