Red Light Go! 

If confronted with these two restroom signs (on the right), which one would you choose?  If you drove up to a green stop sign, would you stop or go?  If the "No Smoking" sign was on the bottom of an upside-down ashtray... hmmm... where to even start....?

These are just a few of the extremely important questions posed at BigBlueGumball's recent VizThink NYC workshop entitled "Red Light Go: Mixed Signals in Visual Communication."  

We live in a world in which we regularly encouter mixed signals that lead to miscommunication, misunderstanding, and uninformed decisions.  Visuals can (and should) help clarify our communication, but poor visual choices can amplify the confusion, and lead to disasterous results.  

"Red Light Go" was an opportunity to examine the impact of mixed messages in visual communication, as well as an exploration of how we can avoid them by becoming more effective visual communicators.  The end result looked something like the image below (courtesy of Amanda Lyons of Visuals for Change)...

For more about the event, please see the blog (courtesy of Dean Meyers), and check out the event photos on

To stay in the loop on future VizThink NYC events, please click here and join the VizThink NYC Meetup Group.

Ready.... GO....!!!


BBG Rocks the ICF (International Coach Federation) in NYC

Todd & Steve were proud to be the guest speakers at the May 2012 meeting of the NYC chapter of the ICF (International Coach Federation).

Held at the NYU midtown campus on W. 42nd St., our presentation, entitled, “The Power of Visual Thinking: An Innovative Approach to More Effective Presenting & Coaching” was attended by a high-energy and highly-engaged group of approximately 50 members of the local coaching community.

We presented our, “Ten Top Tips for Designing & Delivering More Effective Presentations: A Wild 30-Minute Roller Coaster Ride,” followed by an interactive exploration of how to leverage the power of visual thinking and visual communication in a coaching context.

Among the various topics discussed were: what visual thinking is all about; napkin sketching; the use of visual language, metaphor, and storytelling; and how to create your own Visual Coaching Toolkit.

As promised, following are the answers to the top three questions we were asked:

[1] Can you post a copy of your “10 Top Tips”?


[2] Where can we find visual images to use in powerpoint presentations?

[3] Can you post a copy of your presentation skills book recommendation list?    

The List:

1.  The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs – by Carmine Gallo

2.  Slideology – by Nancy Duarte 3.Resonate – by Nancy Duarte

4.  Presentation Zen – by Garr Reynolds

5.  The Naked Presenter – by Garr Reynolds

6.  Presenting to Win – by Jerry Weissman

7.  The Exceptional Presenter – by Timothy J. Koegel

8.  Beyond Bulletpoints – by Cliff Atkinson

9.  Power, Influence & Persuastion – by Harvard Business Essentials

10.  The Confident Speaker – by Monarth & Kase

11.  The Story Factor – by Anette Simmons

12.  How to Develop Self-Confidence & Influence – by Dale Carnegie

13.  The Quick and Easy Way to Effective Speaking – by Dale Carnegie

14.  10 Days to More Confident Public Speaking – by Princeton Language

15.  Present Like a Pro – by Maxie & O’Connor 

For further questions, please contact us any time.  We look forward to hearing from you.


A Valentine's Message to Inwood House

It was a Sunday afternoon in May of last year and I was reading the Business section of the New York Times when I came upon the Corner Office column wherein they interview a top business leader each week on their leadership insights.

Well long story, short, I was so inspired by that week's interview with Linda Lausell Bryant, the executive director of Inwood House -- a NYC-based organization that "Helps Teens Take Charge of Their Lives"-- that I did something I had never done before:

I sent her an email out of the blue saying, "How can we help!?"

As it turns out not only is Inwood House an amazing NYC-based organization, but they are our neighbors... located right here on the Upper East Side, less than a 5-minute walk from BigBlueGumball's home office!

So I am proud to say that over the past ten months we have had the pleasure of working with Linda and her brilliant and incredible team (some of the smartest, nicest, and most dedicated people we've ever had the pleasure of working with!), to help their staff develop their skills in the areas of management, leadership, communication, and innovation.

In addition to the pure satisfaction we receive from making a contribution to this amazing organization that is, literally, saving the lives of New York City teens, the following words of appreciation from Linda was, perhaps, the greatest gift of all:

"Meeting you and having the benefit of your brilliance and commitment to us is indeed one of the biggest blessings that came out of the New York Times article. In every interaction we have with you, we come away having learned something and ready to apply something. Thank you for your priceless partnership with us. We are thrilled to be your friends, your fans and your students!"

Humbled by these incredibly kind remarks, we would like to say thank you to Linda for what you do, for how you do it, and -- most of all -- for who you are.

We truly love working with you and your team, and thank you for this opportunity to make a difference, and to share in this wonderful partnership.  




BigBlueGumball + Big Apple Greeter = a Great BIG Friendship


As a long-time volunteer for Big Apple Greeter (16 years and counting -- see MSNBC article and fun pic below!), my full-time focus on growing our BigBlueGumball business has made it difficult for me to do as many "greetings" as I used to.

But Steve and I were thrilled to have the opportunity to pay a recent visit to Big Apple Greeter's NYC headquarters to deliver a pro bono training workshop for their amazing leadership team of Lynn Brooks, Alicia Pierro, Elizabeth Holmes, Gail Morse and other key staff members. We volunteered our training expertise in visual thinking and visual communications to assist them in their quest to "Design & Deliver More Effective & Persuasive Communications & Presentations." 

A good time was had by all, and we look forward to continuing to contribute in any ways we can to help support Big Apple Greeter in their mission to help make NYC the greatest -- and friendliest -- city on earth.

BigBlueGumball Gives DialogueDirect Something to Chew On

Thanks to our good friends at the wonderful fundraising organization, DialogueDirect, for this rave review of our management training! We really appreciate it...!

    Big Blue Gumball

“Todd and Steve were a fantastic duo…we laughed throughout the casual but professional workshop while learning and honing in on some excellent management tactics and techniques.” – Avi Lugassy (Campaign Manager)

“Todd and Steve were fun, personable and clearly had a genuine interest in developing us as managers…all in all a fantastic experience” – Jamie Bryans (Campaign Manager, Los Angeles)

“I feel I have left the forum better equipped and prepared to manage my teams and myself. Thank you BigBlueGumball for a great time and a fantastic learning experience.” – Jorge Quinta (Campaign Manager, Chicago)

Please click here for more details about our wonderful partnership with this great organization.