All posts for “Art of Explanation”
Think for just a minute about the specialists who make a difference in your company or organization. Let's say you're a product manager. An IT specialist may keep your computers and networks up-to-date and working smoothly. A marketing specialist may help you see opportunities to reach new customers or help to identify features customer want. A programming specialist may help you discover ways software can make the product more powerful. Together, these specialists and others become a... Continue Reading
The best I can remember, my formal education in written communication ended in formal letter writing. We learned where to put the return address and date, how to write a salutation and where to sign it. While these are still valuable skills, in the past ten years, I have used this knowledge approximately zero times. Yet, I have likely written tens of thousands of emails over the same period. No one ever taught me how to communicate with a computer or email. It just happened - I got a... Continue Reading
Imagine for a moment, the person sitting across from you in a meeting is introducing a new idea, but this time it’s different. She doesn’t start with a list of features or technical jargon. Instead, she builds the idea. She starts with context and connects her idea with ideas the group already understands. She packages her idea with clear language and visuals that invite everyone to understand how it works and why it makes sense. You can see the reactions - heads nod approvingly, relevant... Continue Reading
We're approaching a new phase in getting The Art of Explanation into the world. Now that the writing is 99% done, we need to think about marketing and promotion. Soon I will have a meeting with Wiley (the publisher) and start putting together a marketing plan. In preparation for this phase, I hope to learn as much as I can. I would love your help. If you have written/promoted a book, worked in publishing, marketing, PR, or simply have ideas, I'd love to hear your thoughts. I am a first time... Continue Reading
The march towards publishing The Art of Explanation continues on swimmingly. The publisher recently sent over "page proofs" which are hard copies of the book as it will appear in the real thing. Reviewing the proofs is our last chance to make any corrections and changes before the book gets printed. When I send these puppies back, my work (in writing at least) is pretty much done. Phew. The book comes out in print and ebooks on October 8th. Here are some photos of the proofs... The book has... Continue Reading
Well, The Art of Explanation book is getting a lot more real. A few days ago we finalized the cover for the book: What do you think? If you'd like to track our progress, check out the Art of Explanation website.
Over the past month, Sachi and I have been neck-deep in ideas surrounding explanation, and it has been one of the most creative times in our lives. As you may remember, I'm writing a book called The Art of Explanation that will be out in October of 2012. To make our deadlines with the publisher, we took time this month to focus almost solely on the book - and that we did. I've written and Sachi has edited almost 60,000 words in the last month or so, which is much more than will appear in the... Continue Reading
It’s true. The book is called “The Art of Explanation” and it should hit the shelves in the fall of 2012, published by Wiley & Sons. The Big Idea: The Art of Explanation is built on the very simple idea that explanation is a skill that can be learned and improved. The book is designed to help people rethink how they communicate and learn to package ideas into simple explanations that make people care, whether it’s at home, work or school. Background: For many years, I’ve been a... Continue Reading
The following post is a part of a series called "Explainer Tips" where we share lessons we've learned in crafting explanations. One of the books that I read just before creating our first videos was Made to Stick by Chip and Dan Heath. More than almost any other, this book helped me see new opportunities to present ideas in a unique way. One idea from the book really stands out - it's The Curse of Knowledge We've all experienced it - in talking to a doctor, an engineer or academic, we get... Continue Reading
The following post is a part of a series called "Explainer Tips" where we share lessons we've learned in crafting explanations. You likely have friends and family members who consider themselves non-technical. When discussion turns to anything related to computer, they throw up their hands and say "I just don't get tech stuff!" The truth is, this is the vast majority of people. And it's completely understandable why they feel this way. Technology can be very intimidating and many of the most... Continue Reading
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