Help Participants “See” “

i get itEver wonder how you can ignite participant understanding? Open up the dams of creativity? Or help group members brainstorm new possibilities?

Believe it or not, by adding simple visuals, graphics and images to your meetings, you can accomplish all three plus more.

As a professional facilitator, I use visual metaphors and templates whenever possible. For example, let’s say my group needs to envision a different future, perhaps a new kind of organization, a novel approach, or innovative ways of responding to customers.

I start by giving individuals time to do some visioning on their own, with a visual template. After they have generated some ideas, I ask participants to break into small groups to share their initial thinking and then to collaborate to create a group poster. Their task? To sketch out their idea with both visuals and words so that others can ‘see’ and ‘get’ their idea. When all the posters are ready, we create a gallery and participants walk among the posters to view the groups’ ideas.

Then there’s a discussion. We talk about features of the various posters. Which one is the most intriguing? Which one represents the most promise? Which one is the most attractive? Which one speaks to the majority? And so on.

As the visioning process continues, the gallery of posters is a visual representation of the group’s ideas. And it’s amazing how often we refer to the posters throughout the remainder of our time together.

Do visuals make a huge difference in how group members interact with each other? with the facilitator? with the topics or issues they’ve gathered to discuss? We think the answer is obvious. Visuals make a world of difference.

As an experienced facilitator, do you know how to incorporate visuals and graphics into your meetings? Contact us to bring our visual learning programs in-house.

 

Author: myriamlaberge

M.A. (Economics), Certified Professional Facilitator Founder & Managing Director