Gone are the days of mundane slides and meeting minutes gathering dust. Now, it’s all about personalised experiences. And when it comes to live events and roundtable discussions, what’s more personal than a live illustration of you and your guests’ thoughts coming to life as you speak?
What is sketchnoting?
Sketchnoting is a visual representation of a live event. Think of it as a collective mindmap for you and your attendees. As the discussion progresses, a live illustrator puts pen to paper—or, in this case, a tablet—and creates a visual depiction of the pertinent ideas, concerns, and talking points brought up. It’s a creative and effective way of documenting your event.
Why is this important?
Break the monotony
High-level discussions and corporate meetings aren’t made up of just the boardrooms, generic suits, and monochromatic graphs we all see on TV and in cinema. At the end of the day, no matter where we sit in a company’s pecking order, we’re all human, and we crave engagement.
Instead of discussing over a series of slides and Q&As, having a live illustration can allow guests to stay engaged and interested. Studies have shown that imagery can reach and trigger the human brain in ways that words cannot. So live illustrations not only allows participants to immerse themselves in the discussion better, but it also activates emotions and imaginations.
“Live illustrations not only allows participants to immerse themselves in the discussion better, but it also activates emotions and imaginations”
A unique and personalised experience
In any collaborative activity, visual aids should serve the discussion and not the other way around. Prepared slides lead the conversation down a pre-made path, while a sketchnoting follows wherever it goes. You will need a flexible roadmap for truly productive and open communication, not a rigid structure.
Sketchnoting gives you the power to tailor your visuals to the discussion and the personalities in the room. Your event may be a part of a longer series tackling a singular topic, but no two discussions will ever be the same. These illustrations ensure that differences big and small have the spotlight, creating a one-of-a-kind record that properly represents each event.
Imagery is an incredibly powerful tool that can do wonders for any activity but, if used wrong, could become counterproductive. The effectiveness of image-based communication lies in its relevance to the context. We have a limitless supply of stock photography and corporate artwork at our fingertips, but these come with the risk of being uninteresting, irrelevant, or even distracting.
Statistics show that approximately 65% of the population are visual learners, meaning that most people absorb and retain information more effectively with the aid of visual cues instead of plain text, verbal communication, or hands-on experiences. In addition, the human brain can process an image in as little as 13 milliseconds. Live illustrations capitalise on these innate human characteristics.
With digital illustrations, a myriad of perspectives are brought to life, and a choir of opinions is given a structure. As a result, participants can easily visualise challenges and solutions, all while having the luxury of a visible flow, the direction of which they can dictate.
Studies revealed that humans have immense recall abilities for images, remembering thousands with up to 90% accuracy for days following initial exposure. That’s why, at the end of the discussion, participants are given a copy of the final sketchnote. This serves as an engaging and easily digestible reference covering significant points brought up in the discussion, whether it be from experts or fellow guests.
Knowledge-sharing does not end when the discussion does. The availability of a concise, engaging summary can be instrumental in the post-event dissemination of newly procured knowledge to colleagues, subordinates, and leadership alike. Guests do not need to take notes, draw from memory, or waste valuable time reading through meeting minutes that are often bloated, repetitive, or simply uninteresting.
What you can do
Event hosts and attendees are quickly realising the value of sketchnoting despite it being a fairly new tool. Give it a shot at your next internal meeting, and reap the benefits for yourselves.
The Ortus Club, an organisation specialising in high-level knowledge-sharing, is open to guests and clients from all industries. If you want to host an event with a live illustrator, The Ortus Club can equip you with the right people to get the job done. Leave your details on our Host an Event page, and one of our team members will get in contact with you.
For more information on how Ortus Draws works, visit their website.