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.

What is graphic recording?

What is graphic recording?

“Wow!  What do you call that?”

I hear this question all the time.  Most people have never seen graphic recording in person, but once you see it, you never forget the experience.

Event planners and consultants hire me for their conferences and meetings.  Graphic recording is a process of listening, synthesizing, organizing and drawing what’s being said.90

The magic comes in when a Graphic Recorder does this process real-time at your meeting or event.  Yes, I said “Magic!”

Picture this, you are at a meeting or a conference.  Your listening to the speaker or having a strategy session.  A key point just came up but you didn’t catch it.  Uh oh.

Graphic Recorder, Lisa Nelson working at a conference in Washington DC

Lisa Nelson, Graphic Recording

Then you look up and see a graphic recorder at the side of the room taking notes and drawing pictures for you.  No worries. Yeah, it’s like magic!

When you see an image and text together, you have an 80% chance of remembering the content.  That’s HUGE.

Graphic Recorder working

Do you know a meeting planner, consultant or facilitator?  Go ahead and share this info with them so they can benefit and subscribe.  Thanks!

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.


6 Key Benefits of Graphic Recording

6 Key Benefits of Graphic Recording

Graphic recording  is the art of capturing conversations with hand drawn pictures so that meetings and events come alive! Here is a quick video that outlines just a few of the reasons why you should use graphic recording for your next meeting, workshop, conference, or leadership retreat.

The benefits of graphic recording:

  1. Supports the Facilitator.  Graphic recording supports the facilitator by making ideas visible so the group can get on the same page.  That’s a good thing.
  2. Validates Participants.  The graphic recorder listens to the conversation during report outs, brainstorming, focus groups and other group discussions.  Participants can actually see their input being captured and visualized with illustrations and text.
  3. Better Decision Making.  Ideas are clarified and visible to everyone in the room.  “Once the facts are clear, decisions jump out at you”- Peter Drucker.
  4. Increases Memory and Comprehension.   Graphic recording creates a “visual memory” for attendees and it can increase retention up to 30%.
  5. Helps the Group to Maintain Focus.  It’s easy for participants and attendees to get distracted, especially after lunch.  Before you know it, someone is yawning and someone is looking at their cell phones.  Having a graphic recorder in the room gives participants a way to bring their attention back to the discussion, catch up and stay focused.  It’s also great for people who did not attend the meeting or conference.  I often hear people say “I felt like I was there” after seeing the completed charts.
  6. Promotes Creativity.   As soon as participants enter the room, they realize this is no ordinary meeting or conference.  Big paper means BIG ideas.  Graphic recording sets the stage for conversation and creativity.

Learn how you can use the power of graphic recording at your next event, click here.

Please comment below, I’d love to hear what you think about the benefits of graphic recording.

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