storytelling with data...scribed!

I was in Dallas earlier this week and had the opportunity to talk about storytelling with data with a few different groups. One of those was the DFW Data Visualization and Infographics Meetup. This afforded me the pleasure of meeting Randy Krum, president and founder of InfoNewt, and John Colaruotolo from Collective Next, who (as far as I'm concerned) is able to create magic with pens and a whiteboard. Here is the latter's creation, which he completed during my talk:

Download full-sized here.

My experience with meetups is that people tend to flee pretty quickly after the presentation and Q&A. This isn't surprising - in most cases, people have shown up after a full day of work and are understandably anxious to point themselves towards home when the 9PM hour strikes. 

But this meetup was different. After my talk, people congregated around John's whiteboard creation in awe. Taking it in was like reliving parts of the presentation they'd just experienced, but with a slightly different twist. For me, it was fascinating to see a visual replay of what I'd just said: seen and heard through someone else's eyes and ears.

I overheard one person describing this as a superpower. As in, "yes, John has a super power that many of us do not have." I thought this was an interesting perspective. And very cool - when you consider that probably most people you encounter have some sort of superpower that you do not personally possess. John's superpower was palpable. Or at least, I stood in awe. He was...

listening...

intepreting...

drawing...

ALL AT THE SAME TIME. 

Crazy. Brilliant. Beautiful.

That's all I have to say.

Well - not quite all. Big thanks to Randy (@rtkrum) for hosting a great event and to John (@johncolaruotolo, www.collectivenext.com) for capturing it on a (beautiful) whiteboard!