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Category: * Visual Facilitation Tips

How to Lead a Graphic Recording Team for Big Events

It was a great phone call to receive: would Drawing Change like to coordinate a team of 8 graphic recorders, to capture 54 sessions over 2 days with 2,500 business leaders from more than 100 countries. Absolutely! If you ever get a call like this, – or are hiring a large graphic recording team – here’s what you need to know.

To pull this off, the team consisted of 8 graphic recorders, 1 photographer, 2 graphic designers, and 1 project manager.

Most graphic recorders work alone, so when we get to work as part of teams it’s truly inspiring. Our drawings and lettering influence each other, we push each other to excel, and we also share in collective success. It’s an arena like no other.

We learned a great deal from this event. We learned what it takes to run a successful large-scale graphic recording team. We learned how to cultivate high performing team relationships. And most importantly, we got the team to give us their take on what made it successful. Here’s what you need to know.

Pre-event organization and planning are key

You might think you can graphic record while coordinating a team, but having a project manager was crucial to this event’s success. The project manager effortlessly ensured the pre-planning, on-site organization, and the team support was in place – something that was crucial to a smooth and successful event.

“Having [someone to] manage all the advance communication is helpful. It gives a chance for everyone to get to know the coordinator prior to the event and give the right amount of info at the right time in the friendliest way.” – Lisa Arora

The project manager “quickly became an indispensable part of the team, event before we arrived onsite. Having her manage the many moving parts allowed Sam to work more closely with the client and with the logistics crew.” – Anthony Weeks

Avril Orloff says, “all the background maneuverings … make a big event like this successful!”

L TO R: NATASHA PATTERSON (project manager extraordinaire), CORRINA KEELING, STINA BROWN, LISA ARORA, TANYA GADSBY, AVRIL ORLOFF, SAM BRADD, JIM LOWE (design), YOLANDA LIMAN, ANTHONY WEEKS AND DEANNA SMITH (design). PHOTO BY SARAH RACE PHOTOGRAPHY

Hot Tips!

Phone people. Give your team information weeks ahead of time. By creating an opportunity to create dialogue and answer any questions that come up, it will help define the purpose and scope of the project. Photographers, graphic designers and even graphic recorders may not have done a project like this before.

Book a green room for the team. We needed room to finalize and colour posters, shoot the photos, and for the graphic designers to share a desk. Make sure the client puts the green room close to the stage – and not in the hotel across the street.

Space and easels: Some logistics we learned on the fly include factoring how long it will take to cross a big convention centre. Also, make sure each breakout session has its own easels set up the morning of the event, instead of carrying easels back and forth. We learned this one the hard way.

Shipping is more complicated to a convention centre than hotels or other venues. Convention centre delivery is expensive – you’ll be charged labour fees to move boxes, and it will be handled by a third party with their own cut-off delivery deadlines. Get on top of this early. Make friends with the account manager by phone and be clear about how the final posters/boards are going to be shipped home. Figuring this stuff out before the event will make everything so much smoother! We promise!

Be clear on what time teams should arrive. With a high pressure agenda, we all arrived 2 hours early the first day, and Sam and the project manager stayed at the hotel so there would be no travel issues.

 

Create space for team development

“Treating the team to dinner the night before was such an unexpected treat and a classy move. Also a great chance to deal with questions so you weren’t overloaded with them the next morning.” –Lisa Arora

Organize a team dinner the night before to introduce the members of the team and create space to answer questions. It will support team cohesion, communication, and will resolve any conflicts before the day of the event. There will always be way more questions – the more people, the more questions!

Approach the day like a team, not solo artists. It’s a balance of letting talented graphic recorders work their magic, and also giving some constraints on creativity. This project needed final files back by 8pm the day of the session. The team approach meant people prepped titles for each other, helped with colouring and “polishing” the charts – instead of it being a race to who would finish first.

   For out of town graphic recorders, make sure their needs are met.  

Include the non-graphic recorders in your team building! This way when the graphic recorder asks the photographer to boost the contrasts, it will be a friendly request.

Make time for 1:1 conversations with each team member during the day.

Happy teams are well fed and caffeinated. Have a plan for where staff eat lunches, snacks, and coffee. Don’t assume staff or vendors can help themselves to the attendees’ buffet – no matter how convenient it is outside the door.

By ensuring each person on the team is well connected, well fed, and generally well taken care of, you’ll have the right conditions for success.

 

Consider having a “backup listener”

When there is so much happening, it’s easy to lose track of the information coming from the stage. With so many graphic recorders on hand, we could have added a backup listener to each session. In hindsight, having a backup listener would have been extra helpful for such large event. This is especially useful when any posters have incomplete content.

With something of this scale, it is normal to not know what we don’t know. We learned having an extra set of ears to take notes and add content in the polishing stage can be extra helpful. (Thanks to Lisa Arora for the tip!)

 

Add delight

There was no possible gift we could have bought this client to say thank you – so instead, we made something priceless: a summary poster for Day 1 and a summary poster for Day 2.

When the graphic recording team had a few seconds during the day, we added quick highlights from the 54  keynote presentations into a summary poster. We presented the first poster at the end of day 1, and the client spontaneously burst into happy tears. It really inspired us to up our skills for the Day 2 poster, too. Her gratitude was a huge gift back to us.

Be someone your client wants to work with by bringing delight.

 

Leadership qualities on the day of the event

Leadership involves many qualities, and every leader will be nuanced in their style. That said, here’s a few things that helped.

Don’t be a micro-manager. Don’t tell professionals what to draw, but do tell them what you need. ”This took off a lot of tension from us (at least me) because we were all a bit nervous. It basically said “I trust you, I know you’ll do your best, I’m not going to try and control that.” You rolled with it and that made us roll with it too, and I loved how everyone pitched in.”  –Yolanda Liman

Be calm. I’m not sure I was calm, but I fake it. “I was impressed most by your calmness under pressure and trusting all of us to be where we’re meant to be on time. By no means an “easy” task with an ever-changing schedule in the mix!” –Tanya Gadsby

Be professional and authentic when people need to step up to a challenge. “I loved it when you said “I need all of you to move about 50% faster starting now”. You called us to bring our best game and I feel like we all did, in our own ways. We all behave differently under pressure.”  – Stina Brown  

“The required quick turnaround of the charts for digitization made us more disciplined about chart clean-up and finishing. While some of us lingered over our charts longer than others, we had just enough time to apply the finishing touches before handing them off. This made for a more streamlined work flow.” – Anthony Weeks

Be clear on what you need, and ask directly. Lisa Arora said, “ In the morning, you announced what you were most focused on, “I care about timing and…” I think that really helped the team understand what to pay attention to. It was comforting to people to know exactly what you wanted. And from there on, there was no micromanaging.” This helped the whole team move in a unified direction.

Let things go. Define the problem, be open to solutions, then make a decision and let it go.

At some point, you have to go with the flow. This works when things are well organized first, generally. But as much as structured planning and organization are necessary, so too is the ability to let go and allow the event naturally unfold.

 

Be mindful of your presence on stage

We alternated sides of the stage, so the 2500-person audience could see the work happening. This added a layer of complexity navigating backstage. We also had one person waiting in the wings ready to go at all times.

“Have the team be aware of their visibility to the audience when waiting in the wings. It runs the risk of being distracting and is less of a “seamless” transition from back-stage to on-stage presence if we’re visible with big white boards and non-black clothing. Of course I know it was necessary to take a peek every now and then in order to hear the speakers and know where things were at!” – Tanya Gadsby

Last Hot Tip!

This was the first event where we were tipped! And what a classy move. Since most clients do not tip, so consider building this cost into your project proposal and contract so you can then pay it forward to the team. It’s a great idea that goes a long way.

 

What we’ve learned

We hope you’ve enjoyed reading about how we pulled off capturing 54 sessions in 2 days. It was a sincere privilege to be a part of such a large event and to share the work of graphic recording with such a large audience.

When an event is to this scale, you can never know and plan for everything. With the dream team of 8 graphic recorders, photographer and graphic designers, we were able to deliver an outstanding product for the client.

  • We are deeply thankful to the team and appreciate the generosity of graphic recorders who shared their feedback.

We do this work because we love it. While logistics, planning, and on-site professionalism are important, equally so is reminding ourselves of why we do this in the first place. So be present, have fun, and enjoy!

 


 

Interested in learning how to graphic record and facilitate? Check out our Graphic Recording and Facilitation Workshop, October 28 – 29 in Vancouver, Canada!

Are you already an experienced visual practitioner? Check out upcoming workshops in Portland, Oregon: Towards Mastery: Advanced Graphic Facilitation Workshop, February 11 – 14, 2018
Visual Practice Workshop, February 15 – 17, 2018.

2018 Advanced Graphic Facilitation Workshop in Portland, Oregon

Amplify your visual impact with a graphic facilitation master class!

Towards Mastery with Sophia Liang and Sam Bradd returns, this time in Portland, Oregon in February 2018!

Designed for visual practitioners with a firm grasp on fundamentals, and a desire to stretch your potential, this workshop will:

  • Advance your core visual skills
  • Deepen your business development knowledge
  • Be experiential, customized, peer-based learning environment

This accelerated workshop includes two days of training and an evening social. The content will be tailored to meet participant’s goals. This is a highly participatory session and it draws on the collective wisdom of a peer learning environment. Passionate about continuous improvement and learning, Sophia and Sam will bring diverse facilitation techniques, a balance of theory and practice, years of experience, and new tools to take your career to the next level.

graphic recording workshop

 

Who should participate?

Designed for visual practitioners with a firm grasp on fundamentals, and a desire to stretch your potential. This accelerated and highly participatory workshop includes two days of training and an evening opening session. Every workshop is customized to meet participants’ goals through storytelling, presentations, hands-on practice, group dialogue, and draws on the collective wisdom of a peer learning environment.

Passionate about continuous improvement and learning, Sophia and Sam bring facilitation techniques, a balance of theory and practice, years of experience, and new visual tools to take your career to the next level.

A prequalifying survey is required to determine eligibility for the Towards Mastery workshop. If you’re just starting out, we’d recommend Graphic Recording and Facilitation Training in Vancouver, Canada instead.

 

Details

Dates: Sunday, February 11th; Monday, February 12th; and Tuesday, February 13th, 2018
Times: (Sun) 5:00 PM – 9:00 PM; (Mon-Tues) 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Opening Session details:  We’re having dinner together on Sunday evening to open the workshop. It will be an opportunity to connect with the instructors, meet other visual practitioners, and share any questions. Then we dive right into training on Monday and Tuesday!

Where: The Ace Hotel, Portland, Oregon

Why: To amplify your visual impact and lift your business to the next level!

Anything else? Register for Kelvy Bird and Alfredo Carlo’s workshop later that week and receive a 5% discount on this course, Towards Mastery.

 

DELIVERY TEAM 

Last time, Sophia Liang and Sam Bradd teamed up to teach in Georgia, USA at the International Forum of Visual Practitioners. Don’t miss this opportunity to lift your visual practice and business to the next level.

Hi! I’m Sophia Liang, the owner of Graphic Footprints a graphic recording and facilitation company in Los Angeles, California.

I’m passionate about people and enabling sustainable communications within teams and inside organizations by utilizing the power of visual communication. I have an extensive background in designing experiential learning events with a focus on creating moments that matter.

I’ve been fortunate to work with amazing clients, including Fortune 500 companies such as Walt Disney Imagineering, Dolby Labs, Google, and Genentech, as well as both not-for-profit organizations and government agencies. I am a part of The Grove Consulting associate network (one of the original graphic facilitation firms, based in San Francisco, California) and have a Bachelor of Arts from University of California, Berkley. I have run multiple graphic recording/facilitation workshops at the International Forum of Visual Practitioners and International Association of Facilitators annual conferences over the years.

When I’m not traveling for work, I enjoy salsa and west coast swing dancing, and cooking in my home in Los Angeles.

Sam Bradd graphic recorder live scribe

HI, I’m Sam Bradd. I’m a graphic facilitator and specialist in information design. I use visuals to help groups be better at what they do. In the last 15 years, I’ve traveled the globe collaborating with the World Health Organization, Fortune 500 companies, Google, and Indigenous organizations.

I specialize in turning dense information into images: visual strategic planning, graphic recording, infographics, knowledge translation, and engagement.I’m the editor of two new books: Drawn Together Through Visual Practice (2016) and Graphic History Collective. My formal education includes a Masters in Education (University of British Columbia), a Bachelor of Arts (Simon Fraser University), facilitation training, and courses in design, human rights monitoring and Indigenous cultural competency. In the community, I’m an active member of the International Forum of Visual Practitioners.

 

graphic recording workshop vancouver

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/advanced-graphic-facilitation-workshop-in-portland-oregon-tickets-37134636698

COSTS
Individual Early Bird: $1650 USD (10 spaces or until Oct. 11)
Individual: $1800 USD

Receive a 5% discount on the Towards Mastery Workshop when you register for Kelvy Bird and Alfredo Carlo’s “Visual Practice” workshop at the same time. Contact hello@drawingchange.com for details. 

Kelvy Bird and Alfredo Carlo will be teaching a Visual Practice Workshop at the same venue, February 14 – 17, 2018. The “art of scribing” is taught to bridge the ecological, social, and spiritual divides we experience in our world today. Join us the same week in the same venue. We will be coordinating so participants can attend both workshops. If you sign up for The Visual Practice Workshop as well as Towards Mastery, you will receive a 5% discount on Towards Mastery. (PS: Sam and Sophia are attending this workshop!)

The registration fee includes: supplies, course materials, lunch and two snack breaks each day. Breakfasts and dinners would be self-organized. Participants are also responsible for their own transportation and hotel accomodations.

Refund Policy
The amount paid minus a $350 processing fee will be refunded for all cancellations received in writing before January 14, 2018. No refunds will be granted for cancellations received after that time, but registrations can be transferred to other participants at no additional cost.

More questions?
For more information, contact Sam at hello@drawingchange.com.

 

graphic recording workshop vancouver

TESTIMONIALS FROM PARTICIPANTS from the last Towards Mastery:

graphic recording workshop vancouver

We can’t wait to meet you!

 

Make an impact with visual thinking! Foundational course in Graphic Recording and Graphic Facilitation - October 28 & 29, 2017 in Vancouver Canada

2017 Graphic Recording and Facilitation Training in Vancouver, Canada

There’s no shortage of information anymore. Even when we have all the data and people in the room, it doesn’t always add up to a great meeting. What’s missing are people who can help groups make sense of information and tools to help people feel heard. This is the moment where visual thinking tools – such as graphic recording and graphic facilitation – have impact.  

Invest in your meeting skills with this two-day foundational course in Graphic Recording and Graphic Facilitation – October 28 & 29, 2017. Register here.

When we see visual process work in action, what happens is our eyes, ears, mind and heart begin to make connections. When that happens, we listen more deeply. We care more deeply. The seeds of action start to take root. When we see our words and thoughts expressed in front of us – live – we are pulled deeper into what is happening in the room.

drawing change graphic recording facilitation workshop vancouver bc with sam bradd

Graphic recorders and graphic facilitators use listening and drawing skills to help groups reach a deeper understanding. Graphic recording is not “just” doodling: graphic recorders use visuals to create alignment, engagement, and solve problems. And now you can too.

graphic recording workshop vancouver BC
Graphic recording workshop with Fostering Change BC and Amanda Fenton | photo courtesy of Yumi and Vancouver Foundation team, 2017

THIS TWO-DAY INVESTMENT WILL

  • Expand your leadership tool-box with visual superpowers
  • Elevate your ability to include diverse voices in meetings
  • Develop your capacity to distill information
  • Sharpen your tools to have more effective meetings
  • Teach the visuals you need to improve group engagement
  • Hone your creative thinking and problem solving skills
  • Explore visuals as a key tool for systems change
graphic recording workshop sam bradd

WHAT WE’LL DO TOGETHER 

Day 1 Graphic Recording & Facilitation Workshop Highlights:

  • Understanding the field: graphic recording and graphic facilitation
  • Work big! Learn how to use space on a big scale
  • Build your visual vocabulary: simple icons to make an impact
  • Hand lettering: how to master one of the biggest trends of 2017
  • Lettering: ways to bring your flip charts to the next level
  • Listening: even more important than drawing. Listening for story and synthesis
  • Putting it all together: Understanding layouts
  • Time for hands-on practice
  • Resources for your success
  • Visual tools for facilitating different meetings, in addition to graphic recording:  templates, timelines, photo-based tools, and other contexts

Day 2 Graphic Recording & Facilitation Workshop Highlights

    • Introducing the new “9-part model for reflection” custom designed for visual practitioners
    • Visual processes: choosing the right visual processes for strategic planning, coaching, curriculum development, and more
    • Case studies: graphic recording skills for listening and drawing live and graphic facilitation opportunities
    • Building your business: how to develop your capacity for visual thinking within an organization and as a consultant
    • Opportunity for participants to co-create part of the agenda, focussing on conversations about visuals and diversity, visuals and conflict, and what is important to you
Register here:

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/graphic-recording-and-facilitation-training-in-vancouver-canada-registration-36701150128

This two-day investment will be highly participatory and hands-on. We are all creative, and importantly – we are most creative when we feel supported and accepted. Participants in this class will build a brave space to take risks and learn together – while supporting each other in reawakening our creativity!

USING VISUALS TO LEAD

This highly participatory graphic recording workshop is intended for facilitators, educators, managers, and innovators – anyone who finds themselves working with groups (isn’t that everyone?).

As part of your work, you might spend a significant amount of your time in meetings or working with people who have competing demands. In those meetings, you might have wondered, “What is this meeting about? Is this the best use of my skills and my talents?” At Drawing Change, we’ve spent many years in these meetings. We’ve learned there can be a better way.

graphic recording workshop - vancouver BC
Photo credit Josh Berson

WHERE IS GRAPHIC RECORDING AND GRAPHIC FACILITATION USED?

Visual thinking, graphic recording, and graphic facilitation works with groups from two into the hundreds.

Here are some ideas where graphic recording/facilitation skills are useful:

  • Transforming a mission/vision statement into a visual
  • Strategic planning session off-site
  • Getting what’s in your head onto the page
  • When you need to iterate, prototype, and test ideas
  • Small brainstorming meetings
  • Keynote speakers, so everyone has a reminder of their words
  • Customer or client journey mapping to describe a user experience
  • Capturing group discussions during World Cafes
  • Translating an anonymous suggestion box into a summary visual
  • And on a smaller scale, visuals can be a great reminder of individual coaching sessions or feed-forward sessions
  • Taking personal sketchnotes during meetings that you want to back to teams afterwards… Not just file in a corner!
graphic recording workshop vancouver BC
Graphic Facilitation Example During a Conference

In this class, you will learn how to connect ideas, listen and create visual summaries, as well as develop other visual tools for meetings and events.

sam bradd holding up a creativity planner visual template
Creative Mornings with Sam Bradd | Photo credit – Rob Shaer robshaer.com

COME JOIN US!

You don’t need to be a super-sketcher to be able to communicate visually. If you’ve ever drawn two overlapping circles to explain something, you’re already using visual thinking. This workshop will enhance how you connect ideas, listen and create visual summaries for meetings and events.

Do you want a hand writing a compelling letter to your employer, asking for professional development funding? Here’s our tips!

PDF download: Drawing Change_How to get your employer to invest in you and your graphic training

This investment aims to push the boundaries of what you do and where you want to go. And I promise you don’t need to be a super-drawer.

INSTRUCTORS

Sam Bradd

Hi! I’m Sam, the owner of Drawing Change – a graphic recording and facilitation agency in western Canada. I work internationally and edited an anthology for visual practitioners, called Drawn Together for Visual Practice.

During the past 15 years, I’ve been fortunate to work with leaders around the world, including the World Health Organization, Google, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, various Fortune 500 companies, as well as Indigenous and public sector organizations.

sam bradd graphic facilitation creative mornings speaker
Photo credit Aura Mckay

Drawing on my experience and my Masters in Education from the University of British Columbia, I want to share my experience with both new practitioners and skilled colleagues. In my mission to help groups use visuals for better engagement, this workshop will amplify your leadership. I’ve taught graphic recording, sketchnoting, and facilitation classes to a wide range of participants – from city councillors, staff in the social impact sector, and young people.

This course will be joined by Drawing Change Associates, Tiaré Jung or Michelle Buchholz. Michelle and Tiaré have been graphic recording with Drawing Change, using their listening and drawing skills to support groups for a better world.

Register here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/graphic-recording-and-facilitation-training-in-vancouver-canada-registration-36701150128

graphic recording workshop vancouver special kitWHAT YOU GET

Participants will go home with a Graphic Recording kit worth $100, plus an additional exclusive Neuland® Ambassador Marker Kit gift.

  • Two full days of instruction
  • Catered lunch, as well as morning and afternoon coffee breaks for both days
  • Templates, handouts, a book of icons, tools for practice, and a list of favourite books and resources –  Valued at $100
  • 30 minutes of coaching from Sam afterwards
  • PLUS participants receive an exclusive Neuland® Ambassador gift 
  • Opportunity for additional graphic or business development coaching
  • A new network of visual practitioners to support your learning and development after the coursegraphic recording graphic facilitation book drawn together through visual practice sam bradd brandy agerbeck kelvy bird and jennifer shepherd
towards mastery visual practice workshop with sophia liang
Towards Mastery Visual Practice Workshop with Sophia Liang – and Folks from 7 Countries!
 

Register here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/graphic-recording-and-facilitation-training-in-vancouver-canada-registration-36701150128


Do I need to be able to draw?
Nope! Just bring yourself and a willingness to be creative in a group setting.

What are the course dates and times?
Saturday October 28 and  Sunday October 29, 2017. Doors open at 8:30 am, workshop begins at 9:00 am, and ends at 4:00 pm. Stay tuned for detailed logistics. We will take great care of out of town guests.

Where’s the workshop?
Creekside Community Centre is a beautiful venue with a full wall of windows, wood panelled walls, and lots of natural light. Creekside Community Centre is a central hub on the edge of Vancouver’s Seawall.

Our workshop will be located at 1 Athletes Way, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. More logistics and details will be provided to participants.

Remind me what’s included?

  • Two full days of instruction 
  • Catered lunch, as well as morning and afternoon coffee breaks for both days
  • Templates, handouts, a book of icons, tools for practice, and a list of favourite books and resources –  Valued at $100
  • 30 minutes of coaching from Sam afterwards
  • PLUS participants receive an exclusive Neuland® Ambassador gift
  • Opportunity for additional graphic or business development coaching packages – more details soon
  • A new network of visual practitioners to support your learning and development after the course!

You’ll be able to start using your new skills right away!

How many spots are available?
20 Spots are open and previous drawing experience is not required

graphic recording workshop vancouver

How much does it Cost?

  • Early Bird Rate $1300 Canadian + GST until September 15th
  • Regular Rate $1500 Canadan + GST, September 16th onward
  • 2 spaces for Community Youth Scholar Rate $300 + GST (see below)

*Payment plan options available by request. Please contact hello@drawingchange.com.

Curious what other graphic recording workshops cost? I made a chart. And, this workshop is in Canadian dollars, so if you’re American, you can take advantage of extra savings!

Community Youth Scholars
There are two community spaces available for young people, with priority given to self-identified BIPOC youth. These spaces are at $300 to cover the cost of room and food, and I will donate supplies and other costs. If you would like to apply for a community scholar space in this workshop, please send hello@drawingchange.com a short paragraph describing why you’re interested and what organization / movement you’re part of to share these skills afterwards. We will collect names and then select two people by September 15th, so it’s not first-come-first-served. Youth scholars will receive a full supply kit, and there’s no volunteering expectations. 

What’s the refund policy?
We will happily refund the cost minus a $300 processing fee. If you wish to receive a refund, please send us a written request by email before midnight October 1, 2017. Please note we are unable to process refunds October 2nd and after, however, we can transfer your registration fee to another person at no additional cost.  

Can I update my registration information?
Absolutely! Send us an email and we will be happy to update your information. Please contact Drawing Change at hello@drawingchange.com

Is my registration fee transferable?
We are happy to transfer your registration to another participant. Please contact Drawing Change at hello@drawingchange.com

I have more questions. How do I get in touch with you?
We’d love to hear from you! Please contact Drawing Change at hello@drawingchange.com

Register here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/graphic-recording-and-facilitation-training-in-vancouver-canada-registration-36701150128

The “Towards Mastery Workshop” with Sophia Liang for practitioners with 3+ years experience returns in February 2018 this time in Portland Oregon…visit this page for details!

Custom trainings by request – fantastic for youth / educators, the social impact sector, and off-site sessions. I’ve trained hundreds of people and can’t wait to meet you!

graphic recording and facilitation workshop

master class - graphic facilitation class 2017 with IFVP

Highlights and resources from the 2017 IFVP conference

It was half family reunion and half summer camp (but with way more markers) – the annual International Forum of Visual Practitioners conference! Graphic recorders, graphic facilitators, illustrators, designers, and process consultants from around the world came together for a 4-day conference. This year I launched three new things at IFVP – a new workshop with Sophia Liang, a conversation circle on diversity in our field, and a mini-book on reflection. As always, I gathered a ton of new resources, too – here are my highlights!

(*note: I attended the pre-con and just Day 1, so head over to Tricia Walker’s update for a full picture.)

New workshop with Sophia Liang

graphic recording workshop

Sophia Liang, Founder and Principal of Graphic Footprints and I launched a new workshop, Towards Mastery – a 1.5 day intensive for visual practitioners with 3+ years of experience to advance their core visual skills and deepen their business development knowledge.

Our accelerated workshop was customized, highly experiential, and a peer-based learning environment – and brought together participants from seven countries. Folks had to answer a pre-selection questionnaire so we could tailor the content. Thank you for making the investment in your craft – and for joining us! 

Here’s a few highlights:

Using a Kanban Board

I’m a huge fan of the Kanban board, a visual tool part of Lean thinking.Why a Kanban? Just do three things at once. And the satisfaction of seeing what you did – ahhhh. And, it’s a visual system: you can use it to track your own work visually, or help clients during workshops/change projects. Here’s a quick primer.

If you know each day you’re going to be doing or moving forward only three things, life becomes manageable. When life becomes manageable, it also becomes more enjoyable and allows you to more easily identify the sources of that joy. Armed with that positive knowledge, you’ll know how to and when to recharge. This is exactly how I want to spend the rest of my life. – Via Design*Sponge

Using visual tools – beyond graphic recording

Visual facilitation is about the broadest umbrella of tools to support groups visually – including graphic recording, and beyond. We started a list to get people thinking of what their favourites are – the ones that are tried and true – and what new things can you consider. Choosing is key, and then, sequencing.

graphic recording workshop visual tools

Lettering with Rosanna and Sam

graphic recording workshop sam bradd tools

Sophia and I are pleased to be Neuland ambassadors – and they surprised us with providing beautiful lettering pads for our students to use, along with their generous support of other supplies. Rosanna von Saacken has been working on her lettering – (that’s an understatement!) and you can see some quick tips in this video. If you want to really jumpstart your lettering, sign up for a class with Heather Martinez. 

https://www.facebook.com/sophialiang/videos/10106869903864393/

Listening

Listening skills are almost as important as drawing. Anthony Weeks’ new article about listening as a graphic recorder is a must-read. 

graphic recording workshop listening

Listening for Diversity – workshop

diversity and graphic recordingI hosted a workshop during IFVP about Listening for Diversity as visual practitioners. I wasn’t sure if there was interest for this – but almost half of the conference attended! My big thanks for helping to create this “brave space” together. This topic is about starting a conversation, not about finding one answer. As visual practice expands, it’s an exciting time for us to share techniques that work for practitioners, clients, and communities.

Two new tools to share:

new bookS and what to read

Currently reading Dan Newman’s new book, and thoroughly enjoyed the ‘Life of a Graphic Facilitator’ by Alfredo Carlo. 

Rachel Smith has a new book coming out about virtual visual meetings! If I could use five exclamation marks here I would.

The presentation by the Grove had this list of useful vocabulary and books. Reminded me of the work that Stephanie Brown did as part of IFVP 2016 around centering Dialogic OD. Glad to see this current continue.

graphic facilitation dialogic organizational development resources

And you caught the link above to Anthony’s new article about listening? Great.

PREVIEW: new tools for reflection

Last year, my friends and colleagues Brandy Agerbeck, Kelvy Bird, Jennifer Shepherd (plus 27 authors in all) launched an anthology for our field, called Drawn Together Through Visual Practice.  The very last chapter was co-written by Jennifer Shepherd and me, and it was a tool for reflection – a set of 64 questions in all.

They’re organized into a 9-part model to help practitioners understand the varied relationships in the room. For example, there’s a relationship between the practitioner and the artefact they’re making, and also between the artefact and the participants. What questions can we ask to each of these relationships to help do our work well? And we discovered, what’s almost as helpful as good questions  – is having them in a useful format! We made these mini books as an exclusive tool for people at IFVP. Questions for your pocket, marker kit, or something to pick up and thumb through once in a while.

We have plans for an online format soon, and an online Zoom call to start exploring ways to use the questions too, so stay tuned!

Community

And it wouldn’t be an IFVP conference without meeting old and new friends: this was the Canadian contingent this year!

Next year the conference moves to Denmark for 2018 with Euviz. I was at the Berlin conference and the hosting, facilitation, and design details were phenomenal. So 2018 I’m looking forward to great people, bicycles, hygge and art – hope to see you there!

graphic recording graphic facilitation diversity IFVP listening for diversity drawing change

Slideshare: 20 Expert tips for Supporting Diversity in Graphic Recording

As a graphic recorder or facilitator, how do you “Listen for Diversity”? Many of us are working in specialized fields and it’s not one size fits all. Now for the first time, you can read expert advice from over 20 visual practitioners – in an easy to read Slideshare. 

It’s about starting a conversation, not about finding one answer. As visual practice expands, it’s an exciting time for us to share techniques that work for practitioners, clients, and communities. Enjoy!

Why this topic, and why now? This month, I hosted a session called Listening for Diversity at the 2017 International Forum of Visual Practitioners conference, and almost half the conference attended – which was exciting.

I wanted the workshop to include as many voices as possible – including people who aren’t able to make this year’s conference, and to amplify what’s working well for practitioners. So before the workshop, I reached out to the graphic recording community for insights.

Diversity comes in infinite forms — race, gender, cultures, age, and abilities to just name a few. Through their insights and experience, these graphic facilitators show that it’s vitally important that our work be responsive to the people with whom we’re collaborating, and that we all take time to reflect on the choices we make.

With thanks to the folks who took the time to share their thoughts and tips!

image by lindsay roffe, ink factory

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To read even more about visual practice and listening, cultural safety, and working cross-culturally, visit our new anthology Drawn Together Through Visual Practice. 

listening for diversity

How Visual Practitioners Listen for Diversity: tips from the field (long form)

graphic recording graphic facilitation diversity IFVP listening for diversity drawing change
tricia walker

As a graphic recorder or facilitator, how do you “Listen for Diversity”? Many of us are working in specialized fields and it’s not one size fits all. Now for the first time, you can read expert advice from over 20 visual practitioners.

This month, I hosted a session called Listening for Diversity at the 2017 International Forum of Visual Practitioners conference. As visual practice expands, it’s an exciting time for us to share techniques about “Listening for Diversity” that work for practitioners, clients, and communities.

I wanted the workshop to include as many voices as possible – including people who aren’t able to make this year’s conference, and to amplify what’s working for practitioners. So before the workshop, I reached out to the graphic recording community for insights.

The responses are grouped by five themes:

  1. self-reflection and diversity
  2. drawing diversity
  3. diversity of perspectives
  4. relationships, and
  5. graphic recording as a participatory process.

Diversity comes in infinite forms — race, gender, cultures, age, and abilities to just name a few. As visual practitioners, it’s a great time to start a conversation.

Images were scribed/graphic recorded by participants of the Listening for Diversity workshop session unless otherwise noted.

Enjoy!

1. Self-reflection

As many graphic recorders noted, listening for diversity isn’t just about the people in the room, it’s about what we bring to the room – that is, we need to question our own biases and assumptions, and even how we conceive of our role. As Anthony queries, is it just about creating a visual record of events or about intervening? Having our peers record our work could also enable us to step back and look at our facilitation through someone else’s eyes. Only through critical self-reflection, will we be better equipped to listen for diversity.

image by Rosanna von Saacken (provided)

In order to represent diversity in ways that advance it, create change, equity & inclusion, we ourselves need to be able to see what we are not seeing… We must question our assumptions and seek to understand what things mean to others, what made them so, and what is really their impact as visual practitioners … We all know that it’s hard to understand what we can’t see and our gift is to help folks see. – Claudia Lopez

When I worked with communities in Vancouver’s Downtown East Side on a potential redevelopment of the Woodward’s Building (which was then occupied by squatters), we engaged with many people marginalized by homelessness, poverty, addictions, and/or mental illness. In facilitation, we sought to respect their passions, their own vision for a better future, and to meet them where they were (literally and \). Checking my own preconceptions, attitudes and biases was vital for me to be open and credible- they had to trust me enough to share their (often very private) aspirations so that I could capture their ideas visually. – Drew Ferrari

Is there a better way for everyone to be heard? I think it’s a really good idea for us to have our own conversations drawn by someone else. – Aaron Johannes

graphic recording graphic facilitation diversity IFVP listening for diversity drawing change

As an Indigenous, mixed race facilitator (with many other identities) I notice how often marginalized groups are described by those who don’t belong to the group… What words do they use to describe themselves? [I also] notice my own tone of voice, body language, [and] who I direct my comments to. Make an effort to scan the room, make eye contact with various contributors. – Tiare Jung, with Drawing Change

How we present images on a page says everything about who WE are, how we see the world, and how we instantiate the biases, dominant points of view, and commonly-held reference points in our work. It’s a subjective business–and our subjectivity is both our Achilles heel as well as our calling card. It all depends on how we interrogate it, play with it, and use it to help groups and teams see their conversation. My suggestions are not prescriptive, but rather, borne out of inquiry. Do we have a role in “signal boosting” voices that are not usually heard? Do we have a role in saying directly to groups: “These are the voices I’m hearing…but what other voices need to be heard here?” What might we offer by embracing the role of “artist” and see the world differently, in contrast to the time-honored tradition of “capturing” only what is heard? – Anthony Weeks 

2. Visualizing diversity

One of the surprising outcomes of the survey, was the number of excellent and thoughtful techniques about how to visualize or draw diversity! Given the nature of our work, it makes sense that we are also translators or interpreters – we put on paper what we hear. So, it’s important to consider how we put diversity to paper.

Drawing diversity is a prickly, tricky subject for some recorders…I try to go for a light touch. It’s entirely possible to draw diverse people by making slight changes in the shapes of faces, noses, eyes and clothing. I try to avoid drawing “costumes” if that’s not what people wear in everyday life. I’ve also done a trick where I draw the country flag or country flag colors in the body of the person to show German or Chinese or French people. I think it’s good to be conscious of your visual biases when you draw.– Deb Aoki

graphic recording graphic facilitation diversity IFVP listening for diversity drawing changeWhen dealing with diversity issues, sometimes it’s best to put the pen into the group’s hands. Let them reflect on issues through facilitated exercises, drawing exercises, templates, etc. We’re only one person in the room. Sometimes it’s more powerful to let someone else draw. – Sophia Liang

To visualize diversity in a meeting, I ask participants to describe attributes of a successfully diverse team that they have served on or participated in. I draw a group of diverse people on a flip chart and add the words they offer up. I refer to this diversity chart throughout the course of the meeting. – Heather Martinez

We always introduce ourselves as visual practitioners and tell people it is very important to us that we get the images and words correct, then we show them our ‘delete key’ or ‘chart Band-Aids (large silver backed labels) so we can change anything on the chart, so please tell us if we have got anything wrong so we can correct it! – Rob Benn

I ask the participants to come to me during the breaks and tell me what they feel should be added. I also do couple of speech bubbles to note down different points of view. I note down also fun moments/random comments – this works amazingly well for the participants to feel connected to the recording. I also try to create a complex picture that makes sense as a whole (e.g. road to somewhere, a scene, a street in the city with different buildings around), but it always has to be connected with what is being spoken about. – Bea Broskovagraphic facilitation drawing with diversity picture of sam bradd holding up a post it note with an iceberg on it

I want to reflect the people in the room, so I try to look at the actual people present, and draw who I see. It has also helped me to study photos online of different ethnic groups, to practice learning ways to draw different types of people quickly, but in a manner that is (I hope) respectful. When I introduce myself, I let people know anything I write or draw can be changed. I encourage people to let me know if they feel mis-heard or mis-represented by anything on the chart, and to tell me in the moment or on a break and I will change it. – Emily Shepard

One big AHA moment I’ve had is to acknowledge the “white space”…the space where people didn’t have ideas, or realized more thought was needed. One particular event comes to mind. At the end of one session, there was the dreaded “vacuum of white space” that I didn’t know how to fill. The truth was that the group didn’t have as many ideas of HOW to execute their vision as they did on WHAT was their vision. So I put dashed lines around it, and labelled it “more discussion needed on how to build the archive”. It was actually really effective, especially when compared to other graphics of the day, which were full of diverse ideas and concepts. – Yolanda Liman

Let’s spread and integrate new terms in our visual vocabulary: symbols for different ways of reduced mobility, gender, colour… – KSt

 

Read more

listening for diversity

Listening for Diversity – share your tips with visual practitioners

Visual practitioners, what techniques do you use to Listen for Diversity?
Do you have a tip about how you work? Interested in seeing one of your tips spread wider?

Take this 2-question survey!

listening for diversity

I’m hosting a session called Listening for Diversity at the 2017 International Forum of Visual Practitioners conference this June. I’m excited to hear from as many graphic recorders and graphic facilitators as possible about this topic – so if you are not headed to IFVP 2017 I also want to hear your tips.

You’re invited to participate in three ways:

  1. Spend 5 – 10 minutes on this survey (click the link)
  2. Be interviewed in a short video (1-2 minutes – click the link to sign up)
  3. Participate in a 10-12 person fishbowl discussion about diversity during the workshop, or NOMINATE someone (click the link to sign up)

I’ll compile everyone’s contributions and share them back to the field afterwards. You’ll get to hear what other practitioners are doing, and what is the learning edge for what is coming next. Answers will be edited for length.

Thanks again, and any questions can come to me at sam@drawingchange.com. Survey closes May 8th.

Take the 2-question survey

graphic facilitation drawing with diversity picture of sam bradd holding up a post it note with an iceberg on it Not ready to click to the survey yet? need to know more?

Picture an iceberg – what we draw is only what’s on the surface. We can support diversity in our drawings, and there’s also an opportunity to go even deeper.

I’m curious about questions/ideas such as:
– “When I find myself in an unfamiliar context, I get ready and find resources to help me by…”
– “I didn’t know how to draw xyz, and I learned that drawing xyz this way is important because …”
– “The power of the pen is also about what is unsaid – and I listen for … ”
– “I am a member of this ______ group, and I wish other practitioners would draw ME as ….”
– “I mentor someone with lived experience to co-graphic record with me in specific communities. Has anyone else done this, and what did you notice?”

What’s the first thing that comes to mind? Will it help someone else? Share it here:

That’s right, here’s the 5 minute, 2-question survey!

Thanks in advance!

——

About me:

I’m Sam Bradd from Drawing Change. I’m interested in how reflection and diversity can help us deepen our work. In 2016 I launched and co-edited the book Drawn Together Through Visual Practice with Brandy Agerbeck, Kelvy Bird and Jennifer Shepherd, and I wrote about working with cultural safety while working with Indigenous communities. This year Jennifer Shepherd and I are launching a new (free!) tool about reflection. I’m a graphic facilitator based in Vancouver, Canada and collaborate with communities working towards a more just, inclusive, and diverse world.

Sophia Liang from Graphic Footprints and I are also teaching a pre-conference class called “Towards Mastery” at this year’s IFVP conference, for participants with at least 3+ years experience. Spots are filling up and you can sign up here: http://2017.ifvp.org/agenda/. See you there! master class - graphic facilitation class 2017 with IFVP

 

master class - graphic facilitation class 2017 with IFVP

Graphic Facilitation Class – teaching Towards Mastery

Take a graphic facilitation master class this summer!
Sophia Liang (Graphic Footprints) and I (Drawing Change) are teaching a Graphic Facilitation class in June for practitioners with 3+ years’ experience. It’s part of the pre-conferences for the 22nd International Forum of Visual Practitioners gathering, this year in Georgia, USA.
If you have 3-5 years of experience – we invite you to join us.
And, there’s a fantastic list of professional development opportunities during the pre-conference – including lettering, building 3-D displays, becoming a FUNdamental facilitator, and more. Hard to pick just one!
Graphic Facilitation Workshop Description: Towards Mastery
This workshop is focused on emerging visual practitioners with 3-5 years experience to advance their core visual skills and deepen their business development knowledge. Our accelerated workshop (evening + 1 day session) is tailored to meet participant’s goals and is set in a highly participatory, peer-based learning environment. Passionate about continuous improvement and learning, Sophia and Sam will bring different facilitation techniques, a balance of theory and practice, and new tools to take your career to the next level.
A prequalifying survey is required to determine eligibility for the workshop. If you’re just starting out, we’d recommend the IFVP signature workshop GR 101 (Graphic Recording 101) instead.
When: June 19th5:00 pm to 9:00 pm and June 20th9:00 am to 5:00 pm (we’re having dinner the night before, together) 
Where: Decatur/ Atlanta, Georgia USA
Why: annual IFVP conference is a don’t miss-event!
master class - graphic facilitation class 2017 with IFVP
graphic recording vancouver sam bradd what is graphic recording

Marketing Visual Facilitation – with the IAF

From the March edition of the Global Flipchart with the International Association of Facilitators

graphic recording vancouver sam bradd what is graphic recordingSometimes I’ll get a call from a client who says: “I don’t know what you do, but I’m told that I need you.” And it’s true. You might not know that you need graphic facilitation, just like you didn’t know you were hungry until you had a snack.

But those same clients will stand next to my images during the meeting and say – “yes, that’s exactly what I meant.”

Graphic recorders and facilitators listen deeply, and record what is said using text and pictures. Drawing out ideas live helps groups break through their existing paradigms and see connections. We create images that help groups learn together, connect, and lead.

Marketing what we do

marketing visual facilitation examples
Above: I facilitated and drew this during a World Cafe of 100 people

Marketing graphic facilitation is often really easy: a picture is worth a thousand words. We have challenges in our marketing, too. We get asked: “Are you an artist? Will you come draw my wedding?” or “Do you doodle for a living?” No, not really. We’re not artists inventing images or doodling without purpose – we are skilled consultants where every mark is meaningful. We’re there to help groups tap into their hidden wisdom, by making it visible. And that’s a tricky thing to market.

On the plus side, it’s easy to share images on social media (when not confidential) and add to a conversation in real-time online. I market my graphic facilitation and graphic recording services by having great meetings. Participants experience the impact that visuals make in meetings of two people to 900 plus.

Graphic facilitation makes a difference for groups because it:

  • Synthesizes large amounts of information clearly
  • Helps with memory retention during the meeting
  • Is a tool for reflection at strategic points
  • Starts conversation at breaks and on social media
  • Keeps the conversation going afterwards, because there’s an engaging summary to share.

How clients use these images

The images created through graphic facilitation and graphic recording will continue to create an impact long after the events and meetings are over. Clients make use of these images in a number of ways:

example of marketing visual facilitation
  • Following up with participants
  • Reminding staff of goals and plans
  • Adding a visual punch to reports and newsletters
  • Displaying them in gathering spaces for everyone to enjoy.

Marketing joint services

Graphic facilitators and non-visual facilitators can be great partners. Together, you can provide better value for the client than either partner could do alone. Personally, I’m interested in using graphic facilitation to help groups think through problems. Here are some ways to pair up with a graphic facilitator or graphic recorder.

  1. Do you need to facilitate a company vision? Bring in a graphic recorder to help the group think differently. What if the room was surrounded by brightly coloured visuals that inspired participants to see what was possible?
  2. Do you need to engage the public at an open house, and you’re deeply bored of post-it note exercises? What if your team had a graphic facilitator, to ask questions of the passerby and draw out ideas, so people could see they had been heard?
  3. Do you have a 200-page report of the new strategic plan you facilitated for three months? You need an eye-catching graphic that summarizes the report on one page.
  4. Are you working with vulnerable communities? Graphic facilitation can map out someone’s personal story (such as experiences with homelessness), and it can recognize and validate their experiences. Graphic facilitation can synthesise a lot of information, but it can also help us lead with our hearts and tap into something deeper.

Finding a great fit

Graphic facilitators and graphic recorders are often asked to recommend a great facilitator and vice versa. Both parties want a good fit, and it’s not always about location. Clarify roles and approaches.

When hiring graphic facilitators to work with you, does the group need someone with “outside ears” to listen for plain language and clarity, or is it better to have a subject matter expert who will understand the nuances? Our professional association is IFVP.org and there you can find practitioners worldwide using the handy map directory.

Different approaches to marketing in the visual field

example of marketing visual facilitation
visual facilitation

Like non-visual facilitators, there are practitioners in many places. Most are solo practitioners or consultants, and some are facilitators with full-time jobs who also use graphic facilitation tools in their jobs.

Some practitioners rely on word-of-mouth, some people bid on RFPs and some lead with facilitation and then bring in visuals in many aspects of their practice (pre-drawing timelines, using templates for group work, Visual Explorer Cards, etc).

I love that feeling when I leave a great meeting. People are fired up from the inside out. They feel heard, and they’re truly communicating. Bring visuals – and snacks! – to your meeting to make this happen.

* * * * * * * *

Thanks to Monique Walsh at the IAF and The Global Flipchart who reached out to me. The Global Flipchart is IAF’s quarterly magazine about the power of facilitation – made by members, for members. Contact the editorial team by email: globalflipchart@iaf-world.org

* * * * * * * *

More from me online: How to use graphic facilitation visuals after a meeting, and see my new book at www.visualpracticebook.com

Graphic Recording is truly global

In 2016, I saw the power of graphic recording and graphic facilitation around the world first-hand. Visuals help people connect, find belonging, and work on urgent problems. And visuals are now a global approach.

In Tanzania, I worked for three days in a tent with zoonotic disease researchers:

img_2231

graphic recording one health tanzania zoonoses sam bradd

And it was a good thing I learned a lot about rabies and One Health, because the OIE (World Organization for Animal Health) invited me for graphic recording in Bangkok, Thailand for a conference on veterinarian education:

OIE Conference on Veterinarian Education graphic recording sam bradd

The visuals at the conference, with 180 delegates from 90 countries, were a huge hit on social media and online afterwards. Thailand was stunning (and delicious):
img_4740

 

I returned to Geneva to work with the World Health Organization for a second time, this time about Yellow Fever. 

world health organization graphic recording sam bradd geneva

The urgent discussion was so inspiring, that I gladly donated a custom graphic recording illustration to the Global Health and Diplomacy magazine on a related topic.

global health and security graphic recording global health and diplomacy magazine image sam bradd

And then joined the OIE for the 4th Annual conference on animal welfare in Guadalajara, Mexico.

“After three days of fruitful discussions, the 430 participants of the 4th OIE Global Conference on Animal welfare representing more than 100 countries have endorsed a range of recommendations:”

http://www.oie.int/en/for-the-media/press-releases/2016/4th-oie-global-conference-on-animal-welfare/

graphic recording images OIE  OIE-Animal-Welfare-Draft-Recommendations

We wanted these graphic recording posters to stand out from the June session, so I created a different icon for each session:

graphic recording one health sam bradd one welfare

Not the usual weather for me at Christmas!

mexico
It’s a true privilege to be able to go where I’m needed. I also spent a lot of time this year working closely with Indigenous organizations across Turtle Island. From Tl’etinqox territories to Fort William First Nation, I heard and visualized stories of resilience, wellness, economic development, and reconciliation in the justice system.

youth4leaders

michelle-and-sam

As a white person working with Indigenous communities, working in partnership and capacity building is important to me, and so I’m teaching and mentoring this year.  Read more about my approach to visuals using cultural safety in this 4-part blog series, in our book on Visual Practice.

graphic recording graphic facilitation book drawn together through visual practice sam bradd brandy agerbeck kelvy bird and jennifer shepherd

And speaking of our new book – it’s out in the world now! We’ve shipped it to all sorts of far-flung places, which is exciting, and it’s started many conversations which is even more exciting. With 27 chapters and 25 contributors, it was a great opportunity to gather with colleagues online and in person, advance the graphic facilitation field, and spread visual thinking even further.

This new global collaboration by Gestalten on graphic recording looks fantastic:

graphicrecording_press_cover

Visuals help people tap into their creativity, too. People email me photos of the first time they drew during a work meeting from halfway around the world, and also share their students’ projects (thank you twitter). I love seeing what inspires you.

Can’t wait to see what 2017 brings for our visual practitioner community!