Leadership

Get The Most From WORLDZ, With Sketchnotes

The speaker has you on the edge of your seat. Every word a revelation, every insight an imminent prediction. These are ideas that will change the way you work and live, and you can’t wait to share them. Welcome to WORLDZ, a summit jam-packed with thought leaders who connect, educate, and inspire you.

There’s only one problem. By the end of day one, your mind has been blown numerous times. You’re in information overload and can’t even begin to remember the details of a single session.

Here’s where sketchnoting can help.

A method of visual note-taking (and a term first coined by designer Mike Rohde), sketchnoting combines hand-written text and drawing in a graphical map of ideas. This makes information easy to understand, learn, remember and share, long after a speaker’s session ends.

 

ImageThink, a graphic recording firm based in New York City and San Francisco, puts these principles into practice on a larger scale—illustrating big, bold visuals that help Fortune 50 companies like Google, IBM, NASA, and others to capture key ideas and clarify conversations. But you can achieve the same for yourself, with some pointers and a little practice.

Here are three top sketchnoting tips from Worldz Master Nora Herting, ImageThink’s co-founder, that will ensure all the inspiration from WORLDZ makes it back home with you.

Get the right tools.

For the best results, gather what you’ll need to work with ahead of time.

First, consider your canvas. Size matters, so choose a blank, unlined journal with enough real estate to picture your ideas. (The classic 5 x 7-inch Moleskin notebook is ideal. Avoid ruled journals, as the lines can get in the way of your sketches.)

Second, when it comes to pens, find one that feels right to you. You’ll want a black pen that allows ink to flow freely—but not so much that it smears or bleeds through to the next page. Pick at least two additional colored pens to help you organize your ideas.

If you’re going digital, then a stylus and iPad work as well. (We recommend the Procreate® app!)

 

Listen and process.

Once the presentation begins, you’ll want to take in what the speaker is sharing and synthesize this mentally, before sketching out your ideas. This process will help you identify the most important points and how they relate to each other, as well as making your sketchnotes tighter, more relevant and easier to review at-a-glance.

To do this, listen deeply and actively. Take a mental note of information and insights that stand out and allow your mind to experience and crystallize these naturally. There’s no need to capture everything the speaker says verbatim. Instead, focus on taking in and connecting the biggest concepts and ideas as they surface. Think of your brain as a cache—storing, sorting and summarizing this information mentally, before you put pen to paper. (Or stylus to iPad!)

Sketch it out.

As you’re listening and engaging with what’s being said, start to sketch out your notes.

Begin with the speaker’s name and the presentation subject as a title. This will help you establish a visual structure—keeping your notes organized and easy to refer to later.

Next, quickly jot down big ideas, insights, and quotes in words. Embrace your entire page, capturing and grouping related information in “chunks” and adding emphasis to key points by using different fonts, colors and larger text.

Finally, sketch simple drawings and icons that distill concepts visually, and use arrows and dotted lines to link content. This isn’t as difficult as you might think, and these images don’t need to be complicated. Think of how easily emojis can add interest and impact to your notes.

The result will be an engaging and memorable record of the WORLDZ summit you can return to, long after your on-site experience ends.

But don’t stop there! Once you get the hang of sketchnoting, start sharing your work with the WORLDZ community and beyond. Join the ImageThink team as we create sketchnotes of WorldZ speakers to share on the conference app and beyond.

 

Want to learn more about Nora Herting, ImageThink and visual facilitation? Join Nora at WORLDZ 2018, where she’ll be leading a Visual Leadership Masterclass. See ImageThink’s website for more on how the team can help you move ideas to action with visuals.