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Graphic Recordings for for unforgettable occasions

Natalie Ediger, September 25, 2017· Digital Learning

You always wanted to surprise your audience with a unique presentation? Do you want to lead a workshop that your participants won’t forget in a hurry? Or do you want to make the company anniversary the highlight of the year? Then we have the idea for you: Live drawing! With so-called Graphic Recordings you offer your audience occasions that will definitely leave them smiling.

Live drawing – that’s what it’s all about

Documenting discussions, events or workshops is nothing new. But there are alternatives to photo or writing protocols. A visual documentation by live drawing is not only more creative, informative and original – it keeps your audience happy. And that during the whole time.
When you draw live, a Graphic Recorder packs your content into beautiful images that later serve as a visual protocol. We know that images stick better than words, they evoke emotions and keep your audience happy. And at the same time, these images will be full of content and new knowledge – so your audience will learn without the hassle.

Depending on the occasion, live drawing has its own advantages. A convincing PowerPoint presentation is quite difficult to achieve. But if a graphic recorder supports you with live drawing, you’ve almost won your audience over. It gives your event that certain something and will certainly be the highlight of the event. And when it comes to training or workshops, you’ll benefit from the power of simple information – your participants will be able to easily remember the content. No matter what kind of occasion a Graphic Recorder supports you, the great thing about all of them is that the pictures are yours and you can use them again and again.

And how exactly does this live drawing work now?

Since every event is unique, individual pictures are created each time during live drawing – more uniqueness is not possible. But that also calls for professionals and yes, if you want a really good graphic recording, you can get a specialist on board. Because for a contemporary, visual accompaniment of an event, a lot of experience is needed. The draughtsmen are thrown into the cold water every time anew and must be able to translate the told information into visual form immediately. The narrative is filtered and reduced to small key points and catchwords. These are then often written down and then enriched with pictures. Always tailored to the occasion – live, individual and creative! The following infographic visualizes how you can use an infographic and benefit from it.

Graphic Recording – How does a professional visualize?

Imagine you’re giving an important presentation. Everything is going wonderfully, after all you are well prepared. You have thought the process through well and the PowerPoint slides are clear and understandable. But in the middle of her presentation someone suddenly reaches out and asks you to illustrate the last sentences in order to explain them better. Unprepared and spontaneous.

Would you sweat a little?

Probably, and that’s absolutely understandable. You didn’t reckon with it and didn’t think in advance how of all things this one fact could be visualized. Of course, that puts you under a lot of pressure now …

For a graphic recorder this is the proverbial daily bread. Every illustrator who works as a live draughtsman at an event is thrown into the cold water in this way again and again. That’s what makes Graphic Recording so appealing – you never know what the result will be at the end of the day.

I regularly stand in front of an empty white poster at events and know that in a few hours it will be literally overflowing with information and pictures. I don’t know what the graphic recording will look like. After all, the information I rely on is often only generated on site. For example at a workshop. That’s super exciting, but always makes you a little nervous. One wonders: What if I can’t think of anything clever? What if I don’t understand what is being discussed? What if I approach the screen layout incorrectly and draw too quickly or the wrong thing?

Such doubts are part of this job. A certain nervousness also ensures that you stay focused and give your best. So I’ve gotten used to it by now. Nevertheless, there is always the fear that I won’t come up with suitable pictures on certain subtopics. Even though this fear has always turned out to be unfounded for me … And maybe you wonder how I do it. How do I manage to turn spoken sentences into a picture in a short time and record it on a poster or iPad?

It’s not that easy to explain! I really had to sit down before writing this article and figure out how to do it. Meanwhile I know that the process can be fixed at two points: “routine” and “text becomes image”.

1. Routine

Logical: The more live drawing I do, the more routine I have. After some time, I realized that many events often have the same points. These are, for example: Ideas and innovation, customer focus, trust or leadership by example. Such keywords appear again and again in presentations. And, of course, over time you will also know which images are best suited for this purpose.
“Ideas and innovation” is a perfect example … I’m sure you can come up with a suitable picture. What is it? Exactly, a light bulb! Of course there would be other pictures that would also fit, but a light bulb is a well-known synonym for ideas in our culture. So why not use something like that for a graphic recording? I also often use the same image for the keyword “trust”, namely two mountaineers who have to rely on each other.
I could give you many more such examples.

2. Text becomes image

It is much more difficult to visualize facts that do not occur again and again. This actually makes up the majority of graphic recording. I have got used to distilling the information first in my head. Whole sections become single keywords or short sentences. I then record these directly as keywords on the poster, and as I write, the creative motor in my head runs at full speed. It is well known that creativity is stimulated when you paint. And that’s how it works when I capture text on the poster. It is much more difficult to simply do nothing and wait for a flash of inspiration before the empty poster than to come up with an idea directly by writing.
So while I’m “painting” words on the poster, more or less matching pictures go through my head, and I just have to weigh which one I’m best at.
Let’s take another example here: the CEO of a large company is giving a lecture on digitization. He talks about the fact that certain processes will be completely digital in the near future. To do this, I record “processes = digital” on the poster, and as the image I choose gears that mesh with each other and a tablet PC that is connected to the gears by rectangular lines.

I can remember that the first time I drew live, the whole thing wasn’t so easy for me. It’s clear that experience also plays an important role in the 2nd point – the more you practice this visualization, the easier it is for you and you also become more courageous when it comes to ideas. So give it a try. It will be worth it, I am convinced!

You can find more cool Graphic Recordings here. More cool projects every month in our newsletter.