Graphic Facilitation Q&A

Why Graphic Facilitation?
We use graphic facilitation (a.k.a. graphic recording or graphic scribing–there are subtle diffferences between the three that we'll address towards the end of this entry) to translate complex ideas into words and images in real time.  If you need visual note taking services, graphic/visual documentation, or visual facilitation that incorporates graphic capture, you've come to the right place. We guide you through the design process to ensure that you get the results you want.

Where is Graphic Recording/Scribing/Facilitation used?
Off-site gatherings
Project and Scenario Planning
Strategic Visioning
Team Building
Work Retreats

What are the advantages of Graphic Recording/Scribing/Facilitation?

  • Graphic recording/scribing/facilitation promotes the clarification of main ideas and key themes, increases clarity, and provides a way to get people on the same page by distilling complex ideas into simple words and images while maintaining the meaning behind them.
  • It provides an upbeat, interactive atmosphere which leads to greater focus, higher levels of engagement, and increased participation.
  • It improves content retention by combining various learning styles: auditory, verbal, and visual.
  • It fosters collaboration and teamwork by collecting key data without interrupting the flow of the meeting. Participants don't have to worry about taking notes so they can concentrate on the task at hand.
  • It synthesizes creative take-aways that can be used as marketing collateral, inserted into formal presentations, and posted in physical spaces as jumping off points for future gatherings.

What's the difference between Graphic Recording, Graphic Scribing, and Graphic Facilitation?

This is a tricky question, but here is my interpretation of these terms:

  • Graphic recording is where a recorder captures the bulk of the content as it's heard. There is usually a minimal amount of interpretation. It's focus is to capture as much content as possible. It can be text-heavy.
  • Graphic scribing is similar to graphic recording, except there's another layer of synthesis. Graphic scribes will often wait to hear what's said and condense the salient points into words and images on the board. Graphic scribes will occasionally interact with the traditional facilitator for clarification. This is where the bulk of my work typically lands.
  • Graphic facilitation is where a graphic facilitator actively guides and shapes the conversation like a traditional facilitator, while they are graphically capturing the important outcomes of the discussion like a graphic scribe or recorder.

While graphic facilitators have a much more obvious facilitation role, graphic scribes and recorders are also a part of the facilitation process in that they help participants clarify and understand the content and/or process. This is why the terms are often treated as synonyms.

This sounds great! What now?
Contact me so we can discuss your needs. I'm based in Brooklyn, New York, but I travel internationally.