There are a lot of benefits to making graphic recording part of an event. It increases understanding and engagement, makes information memorable and leaves participants with a visual touchstone they can return to again and again. But there’s something else graphic recording contributes that’s no less important– it makes magic happen.
As a graphic recording takes shape during the course of a speaker’s address or breakout session, it becomes a sort of mirror, reflecting back what participants are experiencing as they experience it. And watching that mirror take shape—the words and images, seemingly coming from nowhere to fill a blank board—is like watching magic. And not just for the audience. As a graphic recorder myself I often don’t have time to think about where what I’m drawing is coming from, or how it will all fit together in the end. That sense of improvisation is one of the things that makes graphic recording so exciting. I’m usually as surprised as everyone else when a chart is done.
It’s rare to watch an act of creation, let alone participate in it. But that’s exactly what graphic recording invites us to do. And the fascination an audience feels during that process becomes part of their larger experience of the event. Participants leave not just with better understanding of what’s been said and some cool images to share on their Twitter feeds. They also leave feeling like they’ve been part of something special.
How valuable is that?