8 tips to start with visual meetings
Visual meetings are not only more fun than normal meetings, they are also more interactive and productive. Participants of visual meetings are more engaged and prepared for action. During our workshop Visual Meetings, that we organize twice a year at our office in Amsterdam, we share 8 tips to start with visual meetings tomorrow:
1. Learn the graphic alphabet.
Everybody can draw! Just start practicing with simple drawings. For example, while taking notes during a seminar or meeting (make it visual this time). After that, start practicing during one-to-one meetings, before you start facilitating group meetings.
2. Use the right materials.
You cannot facilitate a visual meeting without a flipchart, lots of flipover paper, good markers in different colors, sticky notes and tape. Prepare the materials before the start of the meeting.
3. Start directly with visual formats.
Put a poster on the entrance of the meeting room with an interesting title for the meeting, ask people to subscribe graphically, let them write down a question they have or make a graphic agenda for the meeting.
4. Prepare some templates.
Templates are visual ways to generate, structure and present information. What is the goal of the meeting and what templates could be useful to reach that goal? Select and practice the templates beforehand.
5. Create team-ownership.
Try to engage every participant. At the start of the meeting, ask them what their expectations are, and finish the meeting by making decisions about concrete actions, deadlines, follow-up, etc. Record this in a visual way.
6. Develop your own graphic alphabet.
You can use templates of others (for example of David Sibbet, Dan Roam or Sunni Brown/Dave Gray), but you can also design your own templates. Try it and practice with them. What is the effect of your templates on the participants, how could you use the templates in the future?
At the end of the meeting, ask participants if they liked the meeting and if their expectations were met. Find the flipposter where you wrote down their expectations at the start of the meeting and compare it. Record this in a visual way.
8. Make visual notes of the meeting.
Take pictures with your smartphone, so you can send the visuals to others, or put the flip posters on your office wall, so everybody can see what has been discussed and what has been decided.