I had a fantastic time graphic recording for the Professional Employees Association 2013 Renewal conference a couple weeks ago. The engaging speakers and passionate audience made for a great session — everyone had something to add, especially during the exercises on Renewal. The energy in the room really kept me on my toes! (Check out the Prezi above that walks through the graphics.)
Graphic recording constantly introduces me to different industries and professions — the beauty of my work is that I get to delve head first into conferences and really get to know what’s driving organizations and the successes or challenges they are facing.
Whether it’s patient journey mapping for families struggling with substance use, or capturing the discussion around tax reform, or helping two different organizations in a BC town see common ground… it’s surprising how often there are common threads between seemingly unconnected industries. Having this “big picture” view really helps me move quickly with discussions and understand different points of view.
But the really rewarding part? Seeing people’s faces light up when they review the graphics; having people interact with the graphics and ask me to add a drawing of something that really stood out to them during the meeting. That’s the power of graphic recording: the meeting becomes something tangible and real. Something that everyone can contribute to.
Dr. Brent Mainprize from the University of Victoria’s Peter B. Gustavson School of Business got in touch with me in early March to help develop a video showcasing a new program for Aboriginal entrepreneurs in North Western BC. The turnaround time was tight, but we put our heads together and wrote a script, constructed a concise story board, and ultimately produced a video that emphasizes the core principles and value of the program.
To date, this is the longest video I’ve put together. But if this were a standard 2:00-3:00 min. video, it wouldn’t provide prospective students with a comprehensive understanding of the program.
It’s fantastic that the Peter B. Gustavson School of Business has developed such a unique program, and I’m excited to contribute to its promotion — check out www.nwace.ca for more info!
Scott Phillips provided an inspiring interview with Heather Ferguson of Whale Communications during Episode 2 of the Sonar Moment series. His remarks about entrepreneurs needing to have a big vision but also understand how to operate rang true for me. Entrepreneurs are also great at jumping in with two feet and not letting risks stop them!
Check out the interview and share your thoughts! We all have a little entrepreneur inside of us.
Many people assume that graphic recorders are artists who create beautiful murals. Some of us are, and our style of graphic recording reflects that. But many business and government clients are looking for a balance between visuals and content.
Having too many artistic visuals in a graphic recording can leave out the “meat” of the discussion and be off-putting to people who are more “left-brained” and looking for content. Likewise, a wall of text is overwhelming and not engaging — our minds don’t process it as quickly as visuals.
For example, infographics lay out information visually so that it’s easy to interpret and engaging. Graphic recordings are essentially life-sized infographics created in real time. It’s crucial to find the balance between visuals and content while making smart choices about white space and layout. There’s no value if a graphic recording is cluttered and and you don’t know where to start reading. People to who weren’t at the meeting should be able to read and make sense of the charts.
The same balance of visuals vs. content can be applied to presentations, Power Points, and reports. Even contracts and legal documents can benefit from visual elements… and it doesn’t have to be huge images or artwork — a subtle border, bold headings in a different hue, and a few appropriate images go a long way to keeping a reader’s eye moving.
Have you thought about the balance between visuals and content in your documents and presentations?
I’m thrilled to collaborate with Heather Ferguson of Whale Communications on a series of interviews with CEOs from the lower mainland and Vancouver Island. This is the graphic recording from the first interview with Sage Baker CEO of Q5 Innovations. Truly inspiring! Keep watching Sonar Moment on Whale Communications for more interviews!