To do Graphic Recording means to visually map a conversation in real time, on large scale canvases, as the conversation takes place. In other words, to make a LIVE drawing that summarises a conversation. A visual brief. Something like this (but more complex and adapted to the subject):
How does it work
By conversation we mean any context that requires a speaker (or more) and a listener (could be one person or a group). So it can be a conference that has key note speeches and presentations, like TEDx. It can be a press release event, where a company and its officials make the launch of a a new product or service. But it can also be a team meeting, where people talk about strategy, decisions, directions, roadmaps. Or it can even be an experience that a team takes part in, like a workshop or a team building, that is more or less experiential, and includes a debriefing session. It’s just that the Graphic Recorder doesn’t actively interact with the participants. From this point of view, despite the appearances, Graphic Recording is very much different than Graphic Facilitation.
By graphically recording a conversation, we are giving ideas (which sometimes can be quite abstract) a visual shape. We turn them into something palpable. And we connect them. In the end, this is what innovation is. Connecting ideas. Making sense. And then building on it!
In this way, we convey a visual story that helps ideas make more sense also in people’s minds, gaining more value. They’re not anymore just ideas, they are a story! And that story can travel. It can be shared. It can be played with.
Why you’d use it
Because it’s useful, necessary, interesting, daring, attractive. It helps people to remember information and it can become a visual anchor for them. They can go through the visual representation and remember numerous informations about a session that they have attended.
Types of support
Graphic recording is done LIVE in the same rooms as the event. We have to take part in it. That is why, depending on the types of support that we use for making the drawings, there are different advantages and also some logistics involved:
On paper/foam board
Graphic Recording that is done on paper/foam board requires a wall onto which we can mount the paper/foam board. Rest assured, the wall is not affected by this, as we use non-invasive materials, like wall gum or paper tape. Also other types of support work.
The piece of paper/foam board that we work on comes in different formats. It’s recommended that one piece has at least 80 x 120cm. But it can also go up to 120 x 500cm or more, depending on the length of the event and the content that it will provide.
The advantages of GR on paper/foam board:
- people see it evolve in real time and they have access to it;
- it becomes an attraction for the eyes;
- participants are interested in interacting with it: they come to see it, take pictures of it, talk with others about it;
- at the end of the event, it can be taken and displayed in your space: office building, room, hall.
On a graphic tablet
Graphic Recording that is done digitally requires a medium desk in the event room, to place the tablet on, and a comfortable chair to sit, with easy access to sockets (for electricity), wi-fi, and maybe wires (i.e. an HDMI cable).
Depending on your request and logistics, we can easily make the image available for projecting it in real time on a wall or a screen that you’ll provide. And there’s always the option to have updates over the cloud so that you can make use of the visuals asap.
The advantages of GR on digital tablet:
- the result is easily printable and shareable through digital services (email, Google Drive etc.);
- it’s easier to post parts of it very quickly and directly online (on social media for example, or on a website; no further editing required) as the event takes place;
- participants can share it online and non-participants can have a bit of taste from afar;
- post-event, elements from it can be further used separately.
On different types of materials
Setting aside the many options and sizes of paper and the digital work, we’ve been contracted also for working on other types of support, ranging from plastic and glass to whiteboard, white walls and blackboard painted walls.
Each of these other options require also different kinds of tools that can be used for them. For plastic, we need permanent markers, for glass and whiteboard we usually grab erasable markers, for walls we need acrylics.
The advantages of it
- Most often, in such cases, the service itself isn’t anymore a LIVE Graphic Recording, but rather a well-thought mural created for the long-term;
- The visual has a friendly aspect, a cozy feeling. It’s not just hand-made, it also looks handmade, which makes it more personal and unique;
- It can be edited and new elements added at any time.
When to use Graphic Recording
Elevate an event
Whether you organise a conference or a press release event, you have speakers that will take turns on the stage and present information to an audience. In this case, the purpose of the Graphic Recording is NOT to draw people’s attention. Or to draw it just a little bit.
So the paper or the screen that showcase the work on will be far enough or small enough so that people can actually decipher information ONLY from 3-4 meters away. So that they have to approach it physically. People will still be engaged in what’s going on on the stage, but they’ll know that there’s something nice being prepared in the background.
They will want to check it in the breaks or at the end of the event. And they’ll be very happy to take it with them as pictures, share it with friends, and keep it as a strong reminder of that day.
Boost L&D programs
Trainings, workshops, and anything else that falls in the basket called Learning & Development can always be mentally challenging, energy-consuming, and, frankly, some are actually quite dull. It’s one of the reasons why people tend to easily forget what they have been learning or exposed to. Plus: in the learning process, people naturally skip some details. It’s normal, we can’t process so much new information in a very short time.
But a visual summary is always a great reminder of what one session has been about. It can contain the main learning points, relevant details, questions and answers, and also some parts of the story that is going in the group conversation.
Participants can leave the room not only with their own notes, but also with a visually compelling story of the experience they just had.