The Back of The Napkin – Book Review

Dan Roam’s book The Back of The Napkin: Solving Problems and Selling Ideas with Pictures  (2008) presents a methodology for creating visual graphic presentations. If you want to get your point across visually then this may be a helpful ongoing reference book. The SQVID concept once clearly explained and displayed in the center portion of the book is a great tool. Roam also uses the 6 W’s (reminiscent of the old print media strategies in writing a story) to help you create a usable visual for your presentation.  This book while seemingly an easy read, is not necessarily easy to grasp in just one session.  It can serve as a useful reference text when you are creating a presentation to sell your ideas or solve a problem. Don’t skip the appendix, it also has some interesting and helpful sections.

Dan now runs The Napkin Academy. I suggest reviewing this website before and after reading The Back of The Napkin  to help the concepts sink in. If SQVID has you curious, check out his link here.

If you enjoyed this book review – here are a few others:

Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us

Quiet: The Power of Introverts

Six Thinking Hats



Filed under Books to Read, Business Marketing Strategies, Client Management Strategies, Communication Strategies, Creativity, Knowledge, Productivity

2 responses to “The Back of The Napkin – Book Review

  1. Alex Jones

    Images appeal to the right side of the brain, whilst the text with them will appeal to the left side. In this both sides of the brain is activated at the same time. Good method.

  2. Fred

    Thanks, Terry, for introducing a very intriguing concept to us! I looked over his website overview and what impresses me is the humble simplicity. Nothing fancy – just the back of envelope when the inspiration hits you (and when it does the only thing available may be a napkin or envelope!). Doing the graphics helps you to visualize hidden or submerged relationships that may not be otherwise easily conceived. To me a key provisio in reading “authorities” or “experts” is to take from this what is useful to you per your inner muse or inner voice or original creativity and not just treat the author as the canonical expert whose word is law. Incorporate his unique insights into the mindset of your own creative unique insights. The other three books Terry lists also are very intriguing, especially the one about introverts, because ironically we normally think of extroverts as having the “power”. These are all great, fun books!

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