A Simple Facilitation Technique: The Parking Lot

A Simple Facilitation Technique: The Parking Lot

What happens when you are running a meeting or a workshop and the group starts to stray away from the agenda?

Maybe someone mentions a topic and another person jumps in to add their thoughts.  Before you know it, the entire group is now discussing something outside the scope of your meeting.  I have seen this happen time and time again.  And so have you right?  When I am supporting a facilitator with graphic recording, I always offer to create a Parking Lot for the meeting.

The Parking Lot is a placeholder for capturing ideas that should be followed up at a later date outside of the meeting.  It keeps your meeting on course and it shows the contributor that you acknowledge their idea/concern.

Here is a quick video that explains how to use the technique.

What’s your favorite method for keeping meetings on track?  I’d love to hear it.

If you want to use visual communication for your next project, meeting or workshop just contact me for ideas.  I’m happy to help.

Project: National Principals Conference #NPC17

Project: National Principals Conference #NPC17

On July 10th I had the chance to provide graphic recording for NASSP at the National School Principal Conference.  This conference brought over a thousand K-12 principals from across the country to Philadelphia, PA.  In the evening, the NASSP had their Salute to Leaders Recognition and Awards program.

Here are some pictures from the event. I can’t wait until next year, I really enjoy sharing the power of visual learning with education leaders.

National Principals Conference, graphic recording, NASSP

The Jostens Team (yes, the company you bought your graduation ring from!)

Display Setup in Expo Hall give attendees time to reflect.

National Principals Conference, graphic recording, NASSP

Breakout session led by Jayne Ellspermann & Tom Dodd


Keynote Speaker Simon Bailey, “Releasing Leadership Brilliance”


National Principals Conference, graphic recording, NASSP

NASSP Salute to Leaders, recognition and awards


Thanks for reading! I appreciate all the comments and feedback that you send me (smile).  I love referrals too, please continue to spread the word about See In Colors.

If you want to use visual images for your next project, conference, or strategy session, just contact me for ideas.  I’m happy to help.

Project: Social Enterprise Symposium – University of Maryland

Project: Social Enterprise Symposium – University of Maryland

I love these kinds of projects, because I get to learn something new about business!  I provided graphic recording for the Robert H. Smith School of Business, University of Maryland at their Social Enterprise Symposium.

My favorite quote of the day came from the keynote speaker, Shannon Schuyler of PwC.  She said “Creating a better world is smart for business.”  I agree, 100%.

Great speakers and special thanks to lead sponsors Price Waterhouse Coopers, EarthColor, and Goodwill Industries International, Inc.

Click the image below to expand for a larger view.

Social Enterprise Symposium - UMD Graphic Recording by Lisa Nelson

Social Enterprise Symposium - Graphic Recording, sketchnotes by Lisa Nelson

Getting started with quotes from the keynote speaker, Shannon Schuyler of PwC

Graphic Recording, Social Enterprise Symposium at UMD Robert Smith School

Thanks for reading! Let me know know your feedback, I’d love to hear from you.  If you find this valuable, please share this with someone you know.

If you want to use visual images for your next project, conference, or strategy session, contact me for ideas.

Project: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Civil & Human Rights Awards #1uMLK

Project: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Civil & Human Rights Awards #1uMLK

On Sunday, January 15th I created this 4’x8′ chart in real-time for the AFL-CIO.  The Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Civil & Human Rights Awards took place at the Hamilton in Washington, DC.  There were 8 award recipients, including Sen. Elizabeth Warren and actor Jussie Smollett.

Graphic recording sketchnotes by Lisa Nelson, Washington, DC #1umlk

Graphic recording by Lisa Nelson for #1uMLK. The Hamilton, Washington, DC

I enjoyed working on this project for so many reasons.  One reason is because I come from a family of union workers. When award recipient, Carmen Perez, mentioned the 1199 union it made me smile.

Another reason I enjoyed this project was because of the program itself.  It was so rich with stories of ordinary people doing amazing things.

AFL-CIO Program for #1umlk, Washington, DC

I love this quote that was printed on the program.  It speaks to the labor movement and matched the occasion perfectly.

“All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence.”
— Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

I used pieces from the music selection, video segments, and stories from the honorees to make the chart a collage.

Click here to see a 15 second video of the complete chart.

Project: GE Advanced Manufacturing Summit

Project: GE Advanced Manufacturing Summit

This week I had the privilege of working with Wildman Event Group and GE for the #AdvancedManufacturing Summit. Speakers included Congressman Tim Ryan of Ohio and Steve Case, founder of AOL. This event brought over 300 attendees together to discuss the future of Advanced Manufacturing (#futurefactory).

The Advanced Manufacturing Summit was held at Dock5 Union Market, Washington DC.  This was my first time at this event space and it was an awesome venue.

Graphic Recording #AdvancedManufacturing #futurefactory Washington, DC

This ceiling had tons of light bulbs hanging down and it was so reminiscent of GE.   I even included some light bulbs in my chart!

GE Ventures, Dock5 Union Market, Washington DC

Completed Chart - Graphic Recording for GE Ventures, Washington DC

#Futurefactory Completed Chart of Graphic Recording

Here is the completed chart showing the key points from the presentations, panel discussions and input from attendees.

I even saved space for ideas from attendees during the reception.  My favorite response from an attendee was about the future of Advanced Manufacturing, his answer was “Making things is going to be COOL”.

What stands out for you in the chart? Leave a comment and let me know.


Use Video to Help Your Participants Remember

Use Video to Help Your Participants Remember

How can you make sure the people in the room will remember the key points of your meeting?

According to Hubspot, 80% of users recall a video they saw in the last 30 days.  I’m not surprised at all.  As a matter of fact, I started my graphic recording business as a result of stumbling on a YouTube video and I still remember it!  Here is another factoid from Insivia, 75% of executives watch work-related videos on business websites at least once a week.

So… I found a really effective way to EXTEND graphic recording with video.  You might be saying, “what is graphic recording?”.  Graphic recording is a skill used to capture and summarize meeting content by using hand drawn pictures and text.

Lisa Nelson Graphic Recorder Washington, DCOn Saturday, I attended the Reinvention Weekend business conference. My setup was very simple, I was sitting in the audience drawing in my sketchbook as I listened to the keynote speaker, Melinda Emerson.  When I finished graphic recording, I scanned the picture (see photo) and used the image in a short video that walks through the key points of Melinda’s presentation.

Graphic Recording with Video
Sharing a video will help your participants refresh their memory after your meeting or event.  Don’t forget the people who could not attend, they will really appreciate it and say “I felt like I was there!”  The video below is only 1 minute long but a rich takeaway for participants. Imagine sending your attendees a video like this.

We can help you use the power of visuals at your next event, to learn more click here.

Leave a comment below.

error: Content is protected !!


Sign up for a weekly dose of visual ideas, inspiration and creativity + receive your Visual Note-Taking Tip Sheet.  Just enter your email address below...

You have Successfully Subscribed!