Graphic facilitation

Originally published at

Attended yet another 2 day long workshop by Nicola Bailey who is a “professional facilitator” at PaperPlane. It was a very exciting & creative experience. I think what I enjoyed the most was having a huge white flip-chart & so many types markers & sketch pens of all colors possible! I went all the way back to kindergarten! :)

I’m going to write about a few things that have stuck with me..

Firstly, the lady who was the “professional graphic-draw’er” was simply awesome! As Nichola spoke to us…& as we kept talking.. she kept drawing & writing & highlighting &.. just awesome!

Before everything, came the basics!

“How to pin up a large (the best quality!) flipchart on the wall to work on!” When she started to explain this, I think we all were slightly confused & I’m sure apprehensive about what was the workshop really going to be like… But once we got up & actually started to put one up for ourselves is when we realized how awfully difficult it was to get the chart up without wrinkling or even tearing it! So here are the steps -

Tools required:

* a massive roll of high-quality white paper she even mentioned the exact company from where the paper should be purchases

* an arguably sharp paper cutting knife

* Big roll of sellotape


* Sit on the floor & lay roll out a big portion of the paper (about 4 * 4 feet) apparently bigger is better!

* Use the knife & gently cut through the paper it has to be super straight

* then you roll the cut portion back — DONT you DARE get up with the paper all stretched out, else your sure to get a thud on your head by Nicola :)

* Once you at your wall-space, un-roll the paper slowly from left to right. First place the paper & stick tape to the top-left corner.. thrn

Then came the Ice-breaker — drawing out the meaning of our names. Again.. I feel we all were just so ecstatic about all the markers, we just went ahead doodling.. I’ll detail out more details in another post..

I think the main concept was :

“graphic”- enhance & highlight what you write using simple but effective drawings &

“facilitation”- keep the audience engaged by noting down highlights of the discussion/sessions — make them feel like they are listened too..

See how the Agenda of the workshop is so wonderfully put out :

The topics-to-be-covered are on large sticky notes (so that they can be moved around as required) & are placed in an arrow which point to the Outcomes of the workshop. There is so much captured in a small area which so much life to it!

Following are a few quick tips to use when ‘white-boarding’ in discussions, IPMs, estimation session etc.

* User bright colours to mark bullet points. Bullet points can be big red dots or triangles or wiggly lines

* Use curly lines or simple boxes to highlight a section like ‘How to write clearly..’

* Use headings & make them bold

* Little sign posts that highlight a section more like ‘Look here’ or ‘Stop’

* Use photo-frames or a hanging photo or a note pinned up to jot points

I’ll add a few more soon..

We practiced these quite a lot..

On day 2, we were made to listen to a recording & asked to graphically jot down the highlights of the talk. It was embarrassingly difficult to do do it! Here is my version of the talk.. 
(clearly a long way for me to becoming a pro :)

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