visual facilitation is not about only drawing. it is not a modern name for making a comic based on a situation. it is way more. it means working with a powerful combination of words, shapes and colours for recording and organising the communication and creation flows in conversations inside an organisation, a group or even in one’s own note-making for a deeper understanding and a more participatory access.
i use visual facilitation for example when developing a concept with our customers and planning an event together. visual notes take good care that all details are transparent and we are all on the same page of what needs to be done during which of the steps of large group events.
i also find visual facilitation helpful for preparing instructions for people in a large group, in small groups or even individually. this gives them something to check with, whether they understood the instructions and what the consecutive steps should be and allows participants to relax deeper into the participation in an actual dialogue.
visual facilitation allows you to put many things that belong together on one piece of paper, in a neat and clean way. below the example of a training schedule for a five-day event, including the every-day structure, topics addressed during each day, the two major focus forces and a symbol, explaining the dynamics of what the training refers to, in this case: increasing creativity in teams.
second example is a schedule of a one day event on mindfulness, including the WHAT, the HOW and the WHY of the session.
sharing my practice: what i use to organise my notes is a frame with two boxes: the lower, outer edge box includes the date, the upper inside box the setting (customer / event / theme). this helps me find in my notes what i am looking for easily.
if you want to see more examples of really diverse visual facilitation styles and some works of truly great visual practitioners, join me on a sentimental journey back to this july in berlin, on EUVIZ – european conference for visual thinkers, practitioners and facilitators. a rich HARVESTING archive you can find here.
now it’s your turn. just grab a pen and paper, listen to someone talk about a matter that intrigues you and – go visualise!