Early in May my husband and I tripped out to Victoria, B.C. so that he could attend a conference with our daughter and I could add quality granddaughter time to my writing day. And we both loved the change of pace. I worked on the opening chapter of a new book in preparation for a Barbara Kyle course back in Toronto but Ron–he and our daughter learned something completely new and exciting.
Now this technique involves either one (speaker draws while talking) or two people (one person talks and one draws) and the wall poster is done during the talk. The audience members watch representational graphics for whatever the speaker is saying come alive before their very eyes.
Why is this so exciting? Well for all you doodlers out there, this takes drawing to a whole new level. And the old adage ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’ reminds us that learning is enhanced with visual images. I put my picture on my website but I could just as easily have described myself. The problem is that would take longer to write and longer to read. In this instant gratification society the picture is the way to go.
Why am I, a writer, so pumped about this technique? I love anything that’s new and innovative. And a lifelong teacher, I recognize the absolute necessity of grabbing the attention of my audience. Don’t you think this would do it for you? Picture yourself entering a business meeting, sitting in one of the hard chairs, all lined up in a row facing the podium. You settle yourself and check your watch. The speaker arrives with someone accompanying her. He goes to the back wall and tapes up a 4′ by 8′ length of paper from a roll. As the speaker makes sure her mic is on the facilitator arranges a wide variety of markers on a small table to his left. And then the session begins.
The speaker introduces herself and her graphic facilitator. As she talks he draws and writes. You are mesmerized. Her words become pictures in lovely colors, arrows, bubble letters, all relating to what the speaker is saying. This is graphic facilitation. It is known by a few other terms such as visual representation and graphic recording. If you Google the term amazing applications and explanatory facts will appear. You can use this process to lead your group toward a common goal.
In the poster above, entitled Useful Findings About How People View Websites, information pertaining to the subject is incorporated into icons, and structured by a numbering system. Other structures might include arrows joining ideas and taking the eye to the desired outcome of the meeting. This works well in business and private sector meetings.
What about writing? What about historical fiction, which is the primary subject of this blog? It can work here, too, folks. And when we can get our ducks in a row, Ron and I are going to do a video to demonstrate just how this works. Look for that in the coming weeks.
How do you incorporate new ideas and technologies into your writing? Or your life? Do you agree that innovation is paramount in learning? Consider leaving a comment with your views.