Graphic recording is a way of visualising information in context. It is often used at events and meetings to collect information from presentations, discussions, workshops and sessions and present it in a large scale visual. I also produce smaller scale sketchnotes around A4 size which can be easily scanned and made into a digital PDF file to be distributed after an event.
Why should you use it?
- ‘A (big) picture is worth a thousand words’ – we understand information better and more easily in a visual form and it’s more fun. Wouldn’t you rather see a picture than read hundreds of pages of text and see the big picture at a glance?
- Visuals are more engaging – they can help us learn new things more effectively as we feel like we are an important part of the process by being involved and suggesting new insights. This gives participants ownership and makes them more active learners.
- It helps decision making and focusing on the task at hand – as we are bombarded with so much input every day, our brains can only handle so much information at any given time. A graphic recording can take care of collecting the group intelligence, presenting it back and helping make decision making more efficient.
- It enables creative thinking – visualising connections reveals patterns and helps generate more associations, new ideas and reveals new patterns we couldn’t see before.
- It can be fun! We can often think meetings or other events are dull or just not engaging enough. Graphic recording can help bring something new to the mix and keep people focused and interested – and they feel like they really get something out of it.
How does it work?
As a graphic recorder I observe, listen and transform what is being said into visual form. I typically use a large sheet of paper and draw words, illustrations, colours and symbols to emphasise meaning and highlight connections. This sheet is ideally placed somewhere visible to all participants so they can check on the progress during the session. The format is adaptable: it can be a sprawling mind map, a linear journey, a series of clusters or a custom visual metaphor – whatever is relevant to the topic. I record everything live during the event and can provide the visual in an electronic form for future reference. Sometimes a graphic recording can be developed further into diagrams, maps and illustrations.
What is it good for?
- Workshops & meetings
- Conferences & seminars
- Team days & staff development
- Vision & value mapping
- Strategy & planning
- Reviewing & assessment
- Deeper discussion & discovery
If you would like to know more or discuss booking me for an event, please get in touch.