How Graphic Recording Can Transform Your Training, by Sue Fody, Got It! Learning Designs in Denver, CO.What Exactly is Graphic Recording?

Picture this. Your training session is about to begin. You are the presenter and your deck is already beaming the intro slide onto the screen. Participant materials are distributed and people are starting to enter the room. A large 4 foot by 8 foot mostly-blank sheet of paper is hanging either on the wall or on two easels. I am your graphic recorder. My tubs of markers are by the wall with me.

You and I talked last week when you briefed me on the content of the session. Now you smile as you watch and I start to draw the title in large, colorful letters. Participants coming into the room are surprised and suddenly are curious about what this gigantic picture is going to contribute to the training session. “Wow”, they think. “This might be fun!”

How Does it Work? Live!

As your graphic recorder, I place my supplies in the room so the participants can focus on the presentation and you – the presenter. They can also look at the graphic recording. The large format paper is taped to the wall of the training or meeting room either at or near the front of the room. I tape the paper up with artist tape that is gentle and will leave no impact on the wall. The paper is doubled so there is no color bleed. I’m very conscientious about leaving no trace behind in the creative space.

With energy and enthusiasm you start your training session, and I start to draw. I use keen listening skills to capture key learning concepts and convert them into visuals. Your words and those of the participants flow into my ear, simmer briefly in the brain, then emerge out of my fingers in amazing pictures. I listen for key points and supporting information, with the intent of capturing the essence of the session. Colorful markers turn the words and the conversation into images and text.
As your graphic recorder, I am your visual partner and work to create this additional mode of communication to enhance the understanding and retention of the conversation all happening in the room. Key points come to life and the big picture slowly emerges.

Your graphic recording maps are one-page visual summaries.

Problems Solved – Learning Transfer

How does learning transfer work? Effectively, content goes from short term to long term memory. During the training session, your participants are listening and watching you and your supporting slide presentation. This is audio and visual learning. They participate in interactive exercises to engage themselves and their brains, which includes interpersonal and intrapersonal learning. They watch the graphic recorder bring ideas and conversation to life in pictures and text as it happens in the room. This satisfies kinesthetic and visual learning. Images embed on the brain within the context of the course. Kinesthetically it is engaging to watch the actual drawing process. The participants can verify, confirm or clarify what they hear as they start seeing the big picture.

What happens after the training session ends? One of your biggest concerns may be the retention of content after training. Yes? The graphic recording map is a one-page visual summary of the key points of your training content. The original creation is huge in size! Hang it in the business office where people will pass it frequently and be able to review the messaging. Ask me to scan the original. I will provide a digital copy so smaller sized replicas can be made for all the participants in the class. These are “pretty drawings.” People receive them, like them, and hang them in their workspaces. Problem solved! There’s your training content in an “in your face” format to be seen on a daily basis.

But don’t let them just hang. Encourage managers to use these graphic recording maps for debrief and review sessions. They are effective and fun summaries, creating a true memory retention of important content.

Would you like to learn more about how you can incorporate graphic recording into your training? Contact me today to discuss your ideas.

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