doodling

Talk Nerdy to Me: The Science Behind Why Graphic Recording Works

If you’ve ever experienced graphic recording, you know it’s an extremely valuable tool to support groups to do their best thinking. But what is it that’s making the meeting feel so productive, insightful, and energized?

Today, instead of my usual explanation (It’s magic…see, I even just added a Unicorn to your strategic plan!), I’d like to share some of the neuroscience behind the benefits of having a graphic recorder or facilitator supporting your group.

Visual thinking is innate. From the Harvard Gazette: “…the study found that even when [participants] were prompted to use verbal thinking, people created visual images to accompany their inner speech, suggesting that visual thinking is deeply ingrained in the brain.”

Thinking visually helps us remember information better…

  • “People who were encouraged to doodle…were able to remember 29% more of the information on a surprise quiz later,” Wall Street Journal
  • Dual Coding Theory: Information is more likely to be understood and remembered when presented using images and words.
  • Cognitive Load Theory: We have a finite amount of “brain power” to apply to critical thinking, remembering, or being creative. In fact, our brains can remember up to seven chunks of information before we start letting other things go. Using visual cues helps free up our minds from keeping track of those chunks and instead focus on connecting ideas, remembering key information, and creative thinking.

…and to express our emotions more deeply…which, in turn, results in a stronger memory and likelihood to retain information. An article by the Wall Street Journal cited a study that showed more complex emotional communication and processing from doodles than written responses: "Their pictures communicated more than just a text or a regular photo. They were more personal, more intimate."

We all learn best in different ways. There are four ways in which people learn; auditory —prefer to listen, visual—prefer to see, verbal—prefer to speak, and kinesthetic—prefer to move or do some physical activity. Graphic recording can support all four modalities as people hear the speaker, see the images and words, and get up to see the drawings closer, or walk around the view them.

Everyone wants your attention, which means visuals are more likely to be looked at and engaged with. “Recent studies say that nowadays, content is browsed 94% more often if it contains images and is shared 40 times more often in social media if it contains images.” - Visual Facilitation Cookbook

Side note: I could geek out on this all day – in fact a large chunk of my master’s thesis was devoted to using visual thinking to support understanding of the complex science of climate change. For more articles and publications, check out my  Resources  page. If you want to talk more, please  let’s do !

Side note: I could geek out on this all day – in fact a large chunk of my master’s thesis was devoted to using visual thinking to support understanding of the complex science of climate change. For more articles and publications, check out my Resources page. If you want to talk more, please let’s do!

Once again, thank you from my heart and soul for your support, great senses of humor, brilliant minds, collaboration and what you're each doing to make the world a better place.

Cheers, Karina

Think this sounds pretty neat? Let’s put science into action for your organization.

Where in the World is ConverSketch?

Feeling the ENERGY in Utah.  This week I'm back in Salt Lake capturing content for an Energy Democracy Symposium at the University of Utah. Starting tomorrow...so for now here's a watercolor card of the Irish countryside I made for my Da.

Feeling the ENERGY in Utah.

This week I'm back in Salt Lake capturing content for an Energy Democracy Symposium at the University of Utah. Starting tomorrow...so for now here's a watercolor card of the Irish countryside I made for my Da.

What They Don't Tell You About Storytelling

Storytelling is a deemed an “irresistible” and powerful tool for strategic thinking and marketing in business these days.

Good stories need to keep our attention -- which is a rarity in a time of sensory overload and instant gratification – by creating some sort of tension that ensnares the emotions and intrigues the audience. Good marketing uses the power of story to go beyond what a company does or makes to share a deeper understanding of the companies’ Why.

But just because we’re telling a story, does that mean the strategy is working?

Over the past year, I’ve been drawn to the concept of storylistening, which embodies what graphic recording is all about.

Taking a moment to reflect, “storytelling” assumes that if we speak a story, people will listen to it. But people are busy, they’re not going to listen to you unless they have a reason.

During strategic planning or visioning, successful processes allow space for leaders to listen to the past, connect it with the present, and create space for people to see the future. Using graphic recording supports the group to tell a story that helps everyone see the Vision, to own it, live it and make it happen.

A good storyteller tells a tale with the audience, reacting and shifting the story as needed. Listening, visually capturing, synthesizing and adjusting with the group is one of my favorite parts of graphic facilitation. Sometimes it looks messy, but if it helps the group tell and listen to their collaborative story, then we’ve done good work together.

How can you give people a reason to listen to your story?

conversketch-graphic-recorder-good-stories

Once again, thank you from my heart and soul for your support, great senses of humor, brilliant minds, collaboration and what you're each doing to make the world a better place.

Cheers, Karina

Want to get everyone at your company telling the same story? Already have a story, but want to spice it up and share it with the world?

Where in the World is ConverSketch?

The American Society of Safety Engineers

I just want to say you are awesome and you take our brand to the next level! We love you!!        - Alex Scovil, Gates Corporation

I just want to say you are awesome and you take our brand to the next level! We love you!!        - Alex Scovil, Gates Corporation

Fort Laramie Illustrated Video

The first Drawing Connections to Climate Change video is now out! Find out how a National Historic Monument in Wyoming is feeling the impact of a changing climate, and share your ideas to create a different future! CLICK ON THE IMAGE TO WATCH THE VIDEO.

What Can Jack-O-Lanterns Teach Us About Business?

Happy Wednesday!

Carved pumpkins are emerging and I've appreciated several characteristics they share with a genuine and successful business and life. 

Each jack-o-lantern is unique, unapologetic about imperfections (really, they totally own them) and they proudly shine their unique lights out for the world. If it's blowing rain sideways or still and quiet night, jack-o-lanterns shine on. 

My most meaningful days, whether they are focused on running my business as a graphic facilitator or living life, are when I'm tuned into what makes me unique and I share that with those around me. So today I encourage you to be generous with your Light, shine it brightly and joyously, even if the wind picks up or snow starts to fall. Because you're the only one who can shine your Light the way you do. 

Here’s this week's drawing tip:

Love the imperfections. If you're drawing and a line isn't as straight or round as you'd like, embrace it anyway. See how that "imperfection" actually makes your drawing even more interesting or calls attention to your unique style. Be like that Jack-O-Lantern and just "glow" with the flow!

As a graphic recorder sometimes things go, shall I say, different than I had hoped or expected, so I try to look at it from a new perspective and make it part of that unique graphic facilitation!
 
(Hint: click on the image below to see the larger version)

Comment and upload your Sketch below to share your unique style and inspire someone else!  And of course, any questions, epiphanies, and requests for future ConverSKETCHes!

If you liked this tip, please sign up for my emails and if you'd like,  share this with friends who have a unique, bright Light to shine out to the world!

Thanks for reading and doodling this week. Keep drawing, and shining your authentic Light out to the world!

Cheers, Karina




Having trouble finding a match to ignite your individual or business's unique Light? Get in touch with me to set up a one-on-one or small group visual mapping session to see how to illuminate your uniqueness to make an impact!

Where In The World Is ConverSketch?

The Fort Collins Museum of Discovery is a gem in our town, and I'm stoked to have filmed a new explainer video for their Annual Report this year! Here's a teaser -- look for the finished short in early November!

Complexity - 3 Reasons to Draw it Out

Hey folks!

Lately I've been working as a graphic recording artist with clients with complex ideas -- things like greenhouse gas accounting, a Bitcoin start-up, and a Colorado medical care group trying to increase efficiency and communication across regions.

So today I wanted to share some reasons why getting visual can help you move forward on that dauntingly complex project, idea or conversation. I've also put together a sketch to help you start by yourself, or you may want to map things out with the help of a graphic recording artist.

1. Feel less overwhelmed. If you've got a start up, or a strategic plan process to put together and facilitate, or a group of movers and shakers in the room to work on a challenge, it can feel overwhelming to see the big picture. Start getting all those ideas, questions, connections and resources down on paper (or whiteboard). You'll be amazed to see where you have the most energy, where to focus resources more effectively, and how next steps appear when you start to organize your ideas visually.

2. Simplify your message. Getting all the moving parts drawn and written out shows you your strong points and can illuminate what I like to call your Soul Purpose -- the core reasons for what you're working on. From there it's easier to refine your story and get it to your audience.

3. Get on the same page. Often when a bunch of smart people are in the room, the conversations are lightening quick and full of energy. Mapping out the key ideas of the conversation makes sure that each person in the group is using the same language and any underlying assumptions are more easily clarified for a more productive meeting and shared understanding.

Now, here’s this week's drawing tip:

If you're not sure how to get started, try a mind map. Start by writing the main idea or topic in the middle of a page or board, draw a circle or rectangle around it, then write related or supporting ideas around it using lines and circles to connect them. Using different colors and connecting lines can help you keep track of themes and relationships too. For example, red might mean lots of energy or a challenge, and blue might mean a positive connection.

Wondering how to give those little people a curious, determined look? Find out how to add emotions to your drawings and why that helps your memory of the conversation!
 
Ready to give it a go?           (Hint: click on the image below to make it larger)

Now I want to hear from you!

Have you ever used a drawing to map out a complex idea, by yourself or with a group? What helped you get started, even if you were feeling overwhelmed? 

You can upload your Sketch in the comments section below to share your unique style and inspire the community! And of course, any questions, epiphanies, and requests for future ConverSKETCHes!

If you liked this tip, please sign up for my emails and if you'd like, share this with friends you think might need help drawing out a complex project.

Thanks for reading! Keep drawing YOUR inspiration, whatever that looks like for you to make your unique, positive difference in the world!

Cheers, Karina




Do you need help mapping out your project or clarifying your Soul Purpose? 
Get in touch with me to schedule your private Visual Mapping Session and get energy and momentum to move that idea forward!
 

Things are getting high-tech around ConverSketch headquarters! Something new will be coming to the ConverSKETCH emails...can you guess what it is? No, it's not a mountain bike tuning tutorial...even though that is a bike stand...Stay tuned for more!

Things are getting high-tech around ConverSketch headquarters! Something new will be coming to the ConverSKETCH emails...can you guess what it is? No, it's not a mountain bike tuning tutorial...even though that is a bike stand...Stay tuned for more!

ConverSKETCH - Draw on the Power of Emotions to Connect to Your Audience!

Hello and welcome to this week's ConverSKETCH!

It's been a full two weeks since the first ConverSKETCH was sent out, and I have been inspired by your stories about how you've been using the drawing tips!

From enhancing student understanding with whiteboard drawings in higher education, to encouraging nephews to get creative with drawing their family and pets, I have loved hearing how you're taking these tips and making them your own!

Research shows that graphic recording, drawing and doodling helps you be more creative, collaborative and understand ideas better. Did you know it helps you remember nuggets of information better too? And this week's drawing tip will help you make your drawings even more memorable!

Now, here’s this week's drawing tip:

Did you know that if you associate a memory or idea with an emotion you're more likely to remember it? Now that you've mastered drawing people, try adding some emotion to their faces to really get your idea across. (Did you miss the first ConverSKETCH? You can see it on the blog!)

Not sure how to show the difference between surprise and scared? Use eyebrows to make emotions pop in your drawings.
 
Ready to give it a go?

Now I want to hear from you!

Come on over to the blog and upload your drawing in the comments section to share your unique style and inspire the community!

What variations did you come up with? How are you using this Sketch? And of course, any questions, epiphanies, and requests for future ConverSKETCHes!

Last week I went to Mexico City to work with BASF Chemistry and IdeaGuides for a creative brainstorming session...EN ESPAÑOL! While I can't say much about what they talked about, I can share this image above of some of the brainstorming methods they used. 

Fun fact: the phrase for "brainstorm" in Spanish is "lluvia de ideas" which translates to "rain of ideas"!

Did you like this drawing tidbit? 

Please sign up for my emails and if you'd like, share this with all your friends you think might enjoy some fast, free and fun ConverSKETCHes!

Thanks for reading! Keep drawing, and do the best you can to make your unique, positive difference in this world!

Cheers, Karina