A picture is worth a thousand words. I’m sure we’ve all heard that quote before, but have you stopped to consider how it could be applied in a workplace scenario?
For millennia, sketching has existed as a critical communication form for humans, however, its popularity in the professional workplace hasn’t kicked off until fairly recently (and it’s now catching like wildfire).
We could sit here and speculate as to why this may be, but wouldn’t you want to learn about the benefits you could be reaping instead?
Did I hear a yes? Read on my friend.
Improve Engagement and Concentration
Leveraging visuals in your workshop sessions are a great way to keep attendees engaged. By incorporating custom illustrations that attendees can focus on (death by PowerPoint no more), you can easily create a fun, positive atmosphere. In turn, people may be more inclined to participate, as the general feeling in the room is encouraging and non-judgemental.
Already incorporating visual elements in your workshops? One way to take things even further is to encourage participants to use graphic recording when taking notes. This is especially useful in conferences and training sessions, as attendees must be fully engaged to represent their ideas in pictorial format. No more dozing off at 3 pm in the afternoon if you’re focusing on finishing your sketchnote masterpiece!
Above: example of a sketchnote output
Bring Everyone Along for the Journey
In addition to improved engagement, visuals are powerful communication tools, as they can be easily distributed following a session. For example, if your team runs a workshop to define the high-level goals for your pipeline of work, you can easily share the results with anyone who was unable to attend (extremely useful for sharing workshop outputs with senior management, or client stakeholders). Further, these visuals may be displayed in team spaces, enhancing visibility, and creating a talking point for team members and any passers-by.
Enhance Shared Learning
Following on from the second point, visuals are a fantastic mechanism for enhancing shared understanding, both within a project team, and externally. Let’s take a hypothetical situation, say it’s been a few months since your initial kick-off workshop, and you have a new important stakeholder join the team. To catch them up at the beginning of the project, would you prefer to:
a) talk them through a one-page visual summary, or
b) refer them to the long-winded documentation that nobody even understands anymore?
Option A you said? That’s exactly what we thought.
Visuals also provide a great talking point within the team, and in the wider project community.
By stimulating conversation, these artefacts have the power to align understanding and reduce miscommunication.
Interested in applying these benefits to your workplace?
Get in touch!