AV + Connectivity

How to Be Your Own Graphic Facilitator

Graphic facilitators and illustrators take words and ideas and translate them into images, and the best ones, like Brandy Agerbeck, make it look like magic.

Brandy Agerbeck, graphic facilitator, at 2013 Convening Leaders

But you don’t have to be Picasso – or Brandy Agerbeck — to reap the rewards of getting your ideas out on the page. Creativity guru and professor Keith Sawyer, author of Zig Zag writes:

“You don’t have to be a brilliant artist to tap into the power of drawing. Anyone can doodle … The most abstract problems are the ones that benefit the most from visualization. Even if your problem is highly conceptual, translate it into an image and draw a picture of it.”

A technique that works well for process problems — anything that happens over time — is to sketch it as a journey, Sawyer writes.

“Get inspired by geography, by the topography of places you know well. Think in metaphors; draw mountains for blocks and challenges; draw rivers for movement and transition. Maybe even use volcanoes and caves for dangers and pitfalls. The key is to ask yourself: …What’s that experience like?”

Even the masters sometimes surrender their markers. In Agerbeck’s guide to graphic facilitation, she writes “As you strengthen your own skills … you’ll see how useful and powerful it is to empower others to expand their own capacities to listen, think, and draw.”

Barbara Palmer

Barbara Palmer is senior editor and director of digital content.