Graphic recording is the real-time capture in words and hand-drawn images of an event's key ideas.
While theoretically a new discipline, it is one of the oldest; the world's first graphic recorders were in fact the artists who illustrated cave walls in the prehistoric era.
Today, however, this has become one of the best ways to ensure that a meeting or other event is efficient, creative and dynamic.
Graphic scribing goes well beyond the Powerpoint presentation. As we lay out words and pictures on a large visual display participants get the big picture. Engaged and stimulated, they get bigger and better ideas, contribute their thoughts; the resulting document, called a graphic chart, remains as the group memory of the event, for sharing and communicating with others.
There is something fascinating about watching an artist draw in real time. Yet participants are not distracted from the main topic of discussion; rather, they are more mindful of it, play a larger role in the gathering, and remember more of it later. Drawings do not distract; in fact, they help to think.
Greater information retention. Participants retain up to 65% more information.
Bigger and better creativity. By calling on visual capacity, it's easier to take in ideas and knock them together to create new ones. Innovation is born.
Productivity shifts into gear. By illustrating key ideas in real time, structure is given to the event.
Accountability comes to the fore. As roles and goals are recorded with clarity, participants are readier to take responsibility.
Action happens. Recording the plan, step by step, makes the course of action faster to understand and easier to implement.
In practical terms, scribing is done with special markers on a piece of paper about a meter in height and several meters long. After the event, this document can be scanned for distribution to event participants or others.
The recording can also be scribed on foam board; while this precludes scanning, this creates a light, portable yet more resistant document which may be easily displayed or transported.
Scribing may also take place as digitally, via a tablet or tablet PC, and projected on a screen. This makes scribing at distance possible.
Last, the recording may be conducted with scribing in a notebook. Called sketchnoting, this form of visual note-taking permits discretion during the event. The resulting pages may be photographed with a mobile device for immediate distribution.