Blah Blah Blah is by Dan Roam, author of Back of the Napkin, leads us from just using words when we communicate, to vivid thinking and expressing. Every word we use has a picture connected to it by the person hearing the word. Take the word "fly." There are many different visual images that a mind can attach to fly... it's an insect, it's a plane trip, it's going fast.... When we clarify communication by using vivid images, we quickly direct the brain to the right path we intend.
We all can at least draw stick figures, using our best illustrating skills, even from the least skilled illustrator, we can get our point across more clearly. Blah, Blah Blah takes us from boring to taking the clutter out and sharpening it, from removing the fog to seeing the essence of the main idea, from clearing up misleading information to what it is intended to mean. The Blah Blah Blah is the boring, foggy, misleading that hinders vivid thinking.
Vivid thinking is the visual and the verbal being interdependent. It's creates words and pictures, contains words and pictures and explains everything using words and pictures.
When and where to use pictures to sharpen up words.Roam calls it vivid grammar.When you hear a noun draw a portrait, a picture of a person, even with stick figures.
When an adjective is about quantity, draw a chart to compare numbers, volume, the amount.
When it's a preposition, use a map to show its direction and relationship.
Is it past, present or future tense, use a timeline to show where it fits.
If the verb is complex, make a flow chart to show options of direction.
When you have a complex sentence draw a multivariable plot.
This one requires some explanation... a steak, with vegetables, water, and seasoning make a stew.
Show how the parts come together in what proportion to make the end result.
One note about Blah Blah Blah. This summary really doesn't do the concept justice. Only words are being used here, and his illustrations in the book will enhance your understanding way beyond what you read here. (Check his website, and book.)
Once you learn vivid grammar... using what kind of pictures, illustrations in place of which parts of grammar... Roam takes you into the forest. So if you can't see the forest for the trees in your communication, here's more guidelines.
The walk through the forest starts with...Form is determining if you are using all of the six vivid grammar parts well... portraits, charts, maps, timelines, flowchart, multivariable plot.
Only the essentials. Distill your idea down to the essentials, only the essentials.
Recognizable. Use visual metaphors from nature, life, the world people have seen before.Evolves. The idea should evolve. Nearly complete the idea so others can complete it. Connect the dots.Spans differences. Include the opposite of the idea. People can grasp the what from what it isn't, and seeing the difference.Targeted. It goes where the listening is inclined to go: the leader wants to know where it's going, the doer getting it done, the expert wants complexity, the newbie needs simplicity, the numbers personwants quantities, emotional person feelings.
Roam uses the hummingbird and fox to demonstrate how this works. The hummingbird likes to show you, the fox talks your arm off. We have both of these in our brains, but we seem to have more emphasis on the words. Vivid communication is a show and tell.
What's in a great story?
Jesus is using our lives to build a great story through us. He is the Author and Perfecter of our Faith (Heb. 11:2). As a premier author, His story holds one's attention with plots and subplots through each day. Healings, dealing with naive disciples, and conniving religious leaders. Many following him, many what him leading their cause, many loving him in depths never known before, and many wanting to kill him. The story is a movie headliner... action, romance, intrigue, adventure, tension, conflict, mystery, excitement, laughter, heartbreak and uplifting joy.
Our lives are a great story too, that Jesus is writing. You see books that have the author's name as written, "by John The Author with Sam The Writer." We are a "by" "with" authorship. Your story "by" you "with" Jesus.
Bob Sorge in a presentation called "Jesus, the Consummate Author," impresses on us that our lives are a story of great intrigue. With life not being perfect, and working through highs and lows, challenges with victories, we have a great story with many fascinating subplots. He points out...
(Bob Sorge, Oasis House Ministries)
If our lives were perfect and all things went well without any hitches, it would make quite a boring story. But with things moving along a merry road, and then all of a sudden injustice, surprises, unfulfilled visions, disappointments, then another surprise... it is going on the path of a great story. Plots, subplots with unexpected turn of events... it builds, grows, twists and turns. We enjoy a story that has an ending that surprises us, catches us off guard, creates curiosity on what will happen next. That's the average person's life. When God is with us, He works with us through all these facets of our lives.
He is building a story in us. A story we can tell others on how God so uniquely took us through all aspects, unexpectancies, disappointments, tragedies, complexities of our lives. A story that encourages others through our unexpected turn of events we can expect God to be with us and come through with a surprise, a twist, a fulfillment, and mission we never would have expected.
But the thing God is up to is building our faith. He is our author and He is the perfecter of our faith. The longer the answer waits to come, the more He is building faith. Abraham waited 40 years for his answer to the promise. The whole time, through ups and downs, hills and valleys, Abraham's faith grew strong. This timeline built Abraham's faith. The delay grew His faith.
It is in and through our story of ups and downs that our own faith is being strengthened. We become people of great faith through this, our life adventures, and with great faith we will see great things. A great cloud of witnesses are watching, people of great faith. Our faith becomes larger (great means large) so we become larger in our faith through the going through of all the hopes, disappointments, followed by new hope.
This is how God builds great faith. So as God builds great faith in us, His is also giving us a great story. With a great story others will listen with intrigue and curiosity about our lives... "well then, what happened next." So our life is a testimony, a story to share... we have a story of movie caliber, compelling attention, that others can see themselves as part of. Our faith is built... we believe and increase belief for the wonderful vision God has given us.
Sorge pointed out too that life growth is based on trajectory. We have hills and valleys, it goes up and down, sometimes within the same day. But over the course of time, we see a trajectory going up. It's not based on days, weeks, months, as much as years. When we look back over a year, and see how God has been building our lives. Ask yourself, "How has God changed my life from this time a year ago."
Jesus is the author and perfecter of our faith. He is helping us write a great story for others, and is building our faith to become large in faith.