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Three ways to use illustrations in workshops

It can be helpful to make a distinction between three typical uses of illustrations or hand drawn images in meetings and workshops.

1. Wall Decorations: seek to evoke emotions or express wishes

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The brilliant work of @GapingVoid. The mans a genius.


+ Done well, they can inspire an outlook, or attitude and help set a context for a meeting.

- They can seem trite or trivial to some people, especially if they are not done well or don’t match the culture of a group.



2. Graphic Recording: record in pictures and words what is heard

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A graphic recording by
@scriberia at the 2013 UK Active conference


+ Capture key points visually and record what was said in a way that is engaging and memorable for some people.

- They can look messy and unstructured, and often do not offer a hierarchy of importance in the information they provide.



3. Strategic Illustration: seeks to bring to life key points to help explain them

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A detail from an strategic illustration created during a ProMeet workshop.

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+ Done well they give clear and memorable ways to remember and ‘see’ often complex information.

- They require more thought and time to prepare. The illustrator needs guidance in order to show the key ideas.


They can be animated as ‘cartoons’ too - see “
The truth about dishonesty”, from the RSA Animate series, for a great example of this.



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