Content Marketing

Graphic Facilitation – Where Every Picture Tells a Message

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We are all visual thinkers. 75 percent of the sensory neurons in our brains are processing visual information. As B2B marketers we are constantly bombarded with information from discussions, presentations, and reports, the question arises: how do we keep all of this information and transform it into something organized and accessible? One way is to use graphic facilitation which finds the right mixture of words, illustrations, and designs to capture a subject and make it memorable.

The early field of Graphic Facilitation, or visual note-taking, was named “Explicit Group Memory” by Facilitator Geoff Ball, who discovered that a shared picture supported group learning or more importantly – a lasting memory in the group. With the help of Image Think, a company that transforms complex ideas into powerful visual stories, we implemented this for our annual Summit.

We used a graphic facilitator to capture visual recordings of the keynotes at the recent Marketo Summit. Sketching notes from each keynote and track sessions in real time created a record that is not only memorable, but also one you might actually want to look at again. (It’s now art hanging in the Marketo office). Here are four benefits we reaped almost immediately from using a graphic facilitator to illustrate our conference sessions and keynotes.

  • Extends conversations and builds buzz. Immediately after each session, our visual boards were drawing crowds who took photos and posted them to various social networks right away.
  • Helps with short term memory cache. By breaking down the information into single chunks illustrated within the visual notes, it becomes much easier for an audience to process and understand when learning new things.
  • Enables better understanding of key takeaways. Our visual boards became a piece of content providing a tangible representation allowing the audience to quickly grasp big ideas and translate their impact and value.
  • Gets attendees to look up from their devices. Putting pen to paper, or in this case sharpie to foamcore, is an antidote to the pervasiveness of digital culture. Studies show it can help retain more information.

Presenting thoughts and ideas visually is a terrific and simple way to capture a conversation and its meaning. Hiring graphic recorders who sketch what is discussed at meetings and conferences is a great way to keep employees engaged and communicate complex ideas in a meaningful and memorable way. Below are three examples from our summit. You can view and download all of the visual notes here.

 


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