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Nancy Duarte’s Foreword to Photo Jolts!

Posted by on June 2nd, 2014 with 0 Comments

I’m privileged to have worked with Nancy Duarte – presentation guru and author of a number of brilliant books, including slide:ology and Resonate. Thiagi and I were deeply honored when she wrote the foreword to our book, Photo Jolts! Here is her foreword:

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Images are powerful. While you might not remember a full sentence from a recent book, you can probably summon an image of Neil Armstrong’s moonwalk, the horror of New York City’s Twin Towers tragedy, or a faded photograph of your parents in their youth.

Unfortunately, the power of images is underutilized. While words are beautiful, they are not the only way to communicate in training and presentations.

A little known creative device is to use pictures as a tool to generate memorable communications. Emotive images can bring consensus and spark creativity in unexpected directions.

I’ve spent more than 25 years of my life helping people harness the power of images to change the world through their slides. With my books Slide:ology and Resonate, I’ve worked to help corporations, non-profits, and individuals transform their words into images, their images into stories, their stories into actions, and their actions into positive change. I’ve seen the transformative effect of images as they amplify a message, change minds and become the flashpoint for a movement.

I’m not alone in the visual movement. In Brain Rules, John Medina explains how we learn and remember best through pictures. In Back of the Napkin, Dan Roam demonstrates a process for “solving problems and selling ideas” through sketches.  In Visual Thinking and Visual Meetings, David Sibbett shares how to facilitate group processes with large graphics. In Gamestorming, Dave Gray, Sunni Brown, and James Macanufo show how combining games and visuals can transform organizations.

Each of those books has been a game-changer that I devoured and kept on my bookshelf, and so is Photo Jolts!

Like those books, Photo Jolts! is clear and actionable. Glenn and Thiagi show us how to use images to create positive change in individuals, teams, and organizations. Photo Jolts! uses images to destroy barriers to communication.

I experienced my first Photo Jolt with my friend and colleague, Presentation Zen author Garr Reynolds. Glenn asked each of us to choose an image that demonstrated what we admire about the other. I chose a cherry blossom image that I felt captured Garr’s gift of simplicity. Garr chose a candle that represented the light of inspiration and warmth that he sees in my work. I found the activity engaging and enlightening. It was fun – and the visuals provoked a deeper response than words alone. Garr and I identified a ‘fire and ice’ relationship that we would not have discovered verbally.

When I heard that Glenn and Thiagi had written this book documenting photo facilitation techniques, I was not surprised. If I was asked to handpick two people on this planet to write an activity book that shows us how to use images for learning, these are the guys.

I met Glenn Hughes in 2008, shortly after the release of my first book Slide:ology. Passionate about the concepts, he came alongside me like a big brother and helped me transform our training program into a masterwork. He’s a remarkable facilitator, photographer, and communicator. Thiagi, meanwhile, is a legend in the training industry. He is a prolific writer, an in-demand speaker, and an influential training designer.

Together, Glenn and Thiagi deliver on the promise of the book’s subtitle, “Image-based Activities that Increase Clarity, Creativity, and Conversation.” The recipe format is clear and easy to follow. The 51 activities provide more than 300 variations, 21 topic areas, hundreds of debrief questions, and 27 ways to modify any exercise. And, while this is a ‘how-to’ book, they maintain a conversational tone throughout. It’s true that images are underutilized for reflection and learning purposes today. With Photo Jolts! in your hand, however, that will change. So, grab a handful of photos, postcards, or magazine images. Gather your friends, family, or colleagues. Open this book and experience Photo Jolts!

Nancy Duarte
CEO, Duarte, Inc
Author, Slide:ology, Resonate, HBR Guide to Persuasive Presentations
Sunnyvale, California

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Photo Jolts! is a recipient of ISPI’s (the International Society for Performance Improvement) 2014 Award of Excellence in Outstanding Human Performance Communication.

 

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