While reading Dan Roam's blog today I stumbled on this great little clip of a 1966 Kermit the Frog skit on visualization from the Ed Sullivan show. And then I found an earlier version of the skit from the 1950s below. Jim Henson truly was a creative genius and a pioneer (and either he — or Kermit — was ahead of his time). In this skit from the old Sam & Friends show — which is even before my time — Kermit and Harry the Hipster do a riff on visual thinking (I love the visualization of jazz...).
Dan Roam's @ Google talk
And speaking of the power of visualization, there are a lot of good books out there on the topic, and one of my recent favorites is Dan Roam's Back of the Napkin (which I mentioned before). I recommend his book, but if you've got too much to read already then at least set some time aside to watch Dan's Google talk below. Dan makes many good points in the book (and this presentation). One of his points straight off is that the ability to visualize and even to draw is already within us. The problem is, after the age of six or so we're shunned away from visual thinking as we go through formal education. Obviously reading and writing, etc. are very important. No one is saying we need less of that. The problem is the visualization capabilities that are naturally within us never get fully developed in most of us. I wonder if this is part of the reason why most presenters fall into the old and excruciating bullet-point trap.
(Don't have time for the @Google Talk? Then watch this five-minute presentation from BNET which summarizes Dan's book.)