Draw to Win: A Crash Course on How to Lead, Sell, and Innovate With Your Visual Mind

Draw to Win: A Crash Course on How to Lead, Sell, and Innovate With Your Visual Mind

The most concise, easiest to read book of Dan Roam's distinguished career. Perfect for fans who have read every book since 2008's The Back of the Napkin, as well as new readers who just need a crash course in the power of visual thinking. Dan Roam's brilliant strategies for creating images, sharing them and explaining them have finally been distilled into a "best of" handbook for busy/>...

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Title:Draw to Win: A Crash Course on How to Lead, Sell, and Innovate With Your Visual Mind
Author:Dan Roam
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Edition Language:English

Draw to Win: A Crash Course on How to Lead, Sell, and Innovate With Your Visual Mind Reviews

  • Nathan Albright

    [Note: This book was provided free of charge by Target Marketing in exchange for an honest review.]

    Those who have known me and seen my pitiful attempts at drawing, despite a fond appreciation for art [1], would not consider this book to be initially ideal. But before I got halfway through this short (less than 200 page) book, I was no longer offended by the writer's seeming desire to defend contemporary culture from its devotion to the image and its comparative denigration of text, w

    [Note: This book was provided free of charge by Target Marketing in exchange for an honest review.]

    Those who have known me and seen my pitiful attempts at drawing, despite a fond appreciation for art [1], would not consider this book to be initially ideal. But before I got halfway through this short (less than 200 page) book, I was no longer offended by the writer's seeming desire to defend contemporary culture from its devotion to the image and its comparative denigration of text, which is still the one part of the book I find irritating, and instead was more intrigued by its defense of data visualization and the thoughtful and simple way the author goes about this task with somewhat basic and primitive art to give a vision to that which is often at best imperfectly understood [2]. As someone fond of Tufte's work on data visualization, I found much to appreciate here in terms of the art of visual explanation. Even those with modest artistic abilities will likely appreciate what this book has to offer.

    This book offers what it sets out to do, and that is guidance and instruction on how people can use simple drawings to lay out a vision and succeed in business, and even in life, by being able to visualize better than others and to gain an advantage as a result of taking advantage of the immense human brainpower devoted to visual processing and analysis. Not only does this book contain a great deal of pictures, which are within even the drawing abilities of someone like me, but the drawings themselves serve to tie together the overarching themes the author is dealing with, including the fact that the division of tasks within corporations is related to six fundamental types of drawing that answer the six basic questions of reporting, so the Chief Marketing Officer draws a portrait and answers the question of who customers are, while the CEO provides the reasons why a company is doing what it does, by showing the equation that makes sense of what is going on. Other drawings show how a use of before and after and the 75-25 principle allow customers to own drawings and sell themselves on what is being offered to them. Those reading this book are likely to be fairly open to the approach the author has about using visual processing to sell one's vision.

    At its heart, this book is a book about sales and marketing, and it makes clear a large part of the reason why there is a great deal of interest in data visualization in the contemporary discourse on technology. In many ways, though, this book is far more appealing than most pitches that one will receive in this sort of area, because the author is not trying to sell expensive data visualization software, but rather something simple, namely the fact that one can use simple drawings on a napkin or the back of an envelope or a blank sheet of paper to convey deep truths and gain insight on patterns and processes that would otherwise remain invisible. This is not a book about spending a lot of money to convey graphs and drawings to executives, but rather about capturing a vision by putting it down on paper through modest drawings that tell profound stories that allow us to better communicate with others. And which of us does not wish to communicate better with those around us?

    [1] See, for example:

    [2] See, for example:

  • Brad Revell

    We have been visual creatures since our inception. Our oldest ancestors told visual stories by drawing - this has endured for thousands of years. Today in the business world we stick to powerpoint presentation and dull our audience to sleep bullet after bullet! We even have a name for it  …. “death by powerpoint”!

    From the beginning of this book Dan Roam’s challenges this status quo and proposes an alternative; drawing to win. In my opinion is that a book, like a presentation, should

    We have been visual creatures since our inception. Our oldest ancestors told visual stories by drawing - this has endured for thousands of years. Today in the business world we stick to powerpoint presentation and dull our audience to sleep bullet after bullet! We even have a name for it  …. “death by powerpoint”!

    From the beginning of this book Dan Roam’s challenges this status quo and proposes an alternative; drawing to win. In my opinion is that a book, like a presentation, should answer the question of "so what". If Roam's first book (Back of the Napkin) was the "how", then his second (Draw to Win) is the "so what".

    Draw to Win delves into the key aspects of why you should draw a certain way. For example, starting with the who, leading with the eye and the mind will follow, drawing the world upside down are some of the areas Roam covers off in his book. Draw to Win was one of my favourite reads of 2016. If you work in the business world or better yet have to communicate with people (who doesn't) then pick this book up and enjoy!

    Three key takeaways from the book:

    1. From Cisco, 90% of all data transmitted on the Internet is visual! This was a 2015 statistic

    2. Writing is the recording mechanism of verbal thinking. Drawing is the recording mechanism of visual thinking.

    3. Roughly 1/3 of the brain's neurons are dedicated to visual processing and another third are occupied by vision combined with other sensory processing

  • Steve

    Great book! I found this wandering in a bookstore and it captured my attention. I learned so much reading this book. I have always been interested in mind mapping because of its visual element. Dan Roam broadened my horizons about the way in which simple drawing can be so powerful in communicating ideas of all sorts. I’ve started using the ideas in this book in my own professional life — and, while I am still learning, it has created a fresh shift in my thinking. I’m planning to use these ideas

    Great book! I found this wandering in a bookstore and it captured my attention. I learned so much reading this book. I have always been interested in mind mapping because of its visual element. Dan Roam broadened my horizons about the way in which simple drawing can be so powerful in communicating ideas of all sorts. I’ve started using the ideas in this book in my own professional life — and, while I am still learning, it has created a fresh shift in my thinking. I’m planning to use these ideas in my teaching of online classes next semester. If you are interested in expressing yourself clearly and creatively in professional life, check this book out. I’ll pursuing more of this author’s books in the future.

  • Bar Franek

    I used to draw, a lot. Not too much anymore. After reading this book, I don't think I'll ever let the drawing habit slip again.

    This book drives home the point that we're visual creatures and pretty much everything can be understood and explained better with pictures. This isn't a "how to draw gestalt art" book. Anyone can draw the basic shapes to get their point across and understand things better. The book is about using a few simple concepts to get ideas across for innovation, sales, and teac

    I used to draw, a lot. Not too much anymore. After reading this book, I don't think I'll ever let the drawing habit slip again.

    This book drives home the point that we're visual creatures and pretty much everything can be understood and explained better with pictures. This isn't a "how to draw gestalt art" book. Anyone can draw the basic shapes to get their point across and understand things better. The book is about using a few simple concepts to get ideas across for innovation, sales, and teaching. Concise but wonderful.

  • Kevin Ng

    Very practical, deceptively simple, and clarifying. No fluff. Tips and processes that I'll be carrying back not only to work, but everyday. Going to be keeping this deskside.

  • Alejandro I Sanoja

    We are all in the business of COMMUNICATING, and this book will help you do so in a more efficient and effective way!

    Easy to read, to the point, and VERY actionable. No matter what you do, this book will help you clarify your thinking and the communicating of those ideas.

    Also, this goes in line with what Adam Grand shares in his book "Originals" about how to hack yourself into being more creative. By DOING creative activities, we can trick the brain into being more creative (proved

    We are all in the business of COMMUNICATING, and this book will help you do so in a more efficient and effective way!

    Easy to read, to the point, and VERY actionable. No matter what you do, this book will help you clarify your thinking and the communicating of those ideas.

    Also, this goes in line with what Adam Grand shares in his book "Originals" about how to hack yourself into being more creative. By DOING creative activities, we can trick the brain into being more creative (proved by research).

    So start drawing to win! Look forward to some of my drawings soon on my Instagram account (@mindfulbusiness).

  • Lorilin

    The premise of this book is very, very simple: if you want to be the most effective you can be, draw your thoughts out, especially if you are trying to communicate them to someone else.

    The book is divided into ten chapters.

    Chapter 1 - Author Roam clarifies that he defines the word "draw" loosely. He considers even "gesturing while talking" a type of drawing, since it gives the audience visual information. Really, he just wants his readers to start using pictures, images, anything visual, to en

    The premise of this book is very, very simple: if you want to be the most effective you can be, draw your thoughts out, especially if you are trying to communicate them to someone else.

    The book is divided into ten chapters.

    Chapter 1 - Author Roam clarifies that he defines the word "draw" loosely. He considers even "gesturing while talking" a type of drawing, since it gives the audience visual information. Really, he just wants his readers to start using pictures, images, anything visual, to engage with people on a deeper level. He also claims that you don't even have to be good at traditional pen-to-paper drawing, since almost any picture is better than no picture.

    Chapter 2 - Illustrates how visual presentations will set you apart from the competition.

    Chapter 3 - Shows how to make clear, logical drawings that reflect whatever it is you are thinking. If you have an idea, call it Circle. Call the next idea Triangle, etc. Just assign pictures to your thoughts and get them on paper.

    Chapter 4 - Argues the importance of simple, clear visuals that make sense and are easy to read. Draw the right pictures in the right order.

    Chapter 5 - Discusses the importance of telling people about people. Don't forget emoticons and stick figures, whatever it takes to remind your audience that people are the focus.

    Chapter 6 - Discusses how to use images to illustrate vision and leadership.

    Chapter 7 - Gives advice on how to use images to more effectively sell.

    Chapter 8 - Shows how drawing can spark innovation by encouraging people to think differently.

    Chapter 9 - Argues that visuals are an absolute necessity when training people.

    Chapter 10 - Gives a short summary of why drawing is such an important part of thinking and communicating.

    I think this is a good book for people who are really hesitant about being "artsy" in any way. For me, the information is a little too basic, but I could see how this book could be helpful to those working in a buttoned-up, business world setting. The book is super easy to read; it's short and, as you might imagine, has a lot of pictures. If you are looking to become a bit braver with your pen, you'll probably enjoy this one.

    ARC received through Amazon Vine.

    See more of my book reviews at

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  • nicola zema

    New book and for the fourth time the same stuff. I trusted Dan Roam till today, but this is the last time. Sorry for that.

  • Vasja Volin

    A decent business advice book and a decent basics book. However, it feels fairly disjointed at times and doesn't get to the point as coherently as it could. There are better, shorter presentations online covering the same.

  • Coatl S

    I read it in a couple of hours, but I think it will be a great tool. Dan Roam encourage us to use "our visual mind" and get advance of simple drawings in order to understand better an idea.

    4 hightlights and 2 task to do. It is a great coffee table book for quick consult. :)

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