Sketchnoting is a fairly new but incredibly effective form of note-taking that you may or may not have heard of. So what is it really? Read on through to find out and get the answer to some of the questions we get asked most frequently.
What is sketchnoting?
Short and sweet, it’s turning verbal into visual. It’s taking the most pertinent points in any discussion—be it a seminar, interview, roundtable, masterclass, you name it—and adding a creative spin! Fun and apt visuals corresponding to each point are illustrated, and by the end of the session, you’ll have a full and engaging mind map of what’s been tackled. It’s stimulating, it’s easy to digest, and it’s a far cry from the boring old meeting minutes gathering dust in everyone’s inbox. Even better, it can be done live and for everyone to watch! As participants speak, their ideas come to life. What can be more engaging than that?
Do I have to be an expert?
Nope! All you need is a creative mind and something to draw on. Drawing a cabinet of servers and computers to go with a discussion about AI servers doesn’t really sound like a ‘creative spin’ now, does it? What makes sketchnoting so wonderful and engaging is it takes you out of the restrictive world of whatever you’re discussing and connects with imagery from other walks of life, making it all the more memorable. Now, how about having an image of a robot serving you tea to represent AI servers? AI? Check. Server? Check. Instant memorability? Double check!
Isn’t it distracting when done live?
Not at all! Sketchnoting serves as a supplement to the discussion, not a replacement. At the end of the day, no matter how comprehensive the mindmap, what’s being put to paper is what’s coming out of the speakers’ mouths. Ideas are amplified, not drowned out. Statistics show that 65% of the population are visual learners. One study even found that purely auditory stimulus was far inferior to purely visual and a combination of the two, and the disparity only grows as individuals get older.
If anything, live sketchnoting helps participants be immersed even further in the discussion. Nowadays, with Zoom fatigue as rampant and widespread as it is, anything that can pull participants back into the discussion and keep their attention can be a huge boost. Plus, don’t underestimate the human attention span. The human brain can process images in as little as 13 milliseconds. Go, humans!
What about non-visual learners?
Worried about the verbal learners out there? 35% is still a huge chunk of the population. Well, news flash! We’re all visual learners in one way or another. In another study, researchers aimed to find a correlation between subjects’ preferred learning style and the one effective for them. Conclusion? Hardly any correlation at all. What they did find is that most everyone benefits from a form of visual aid. ‘Visual presentations produced better free recall than did purely verbal presentations.’ Loose translation: Words alone don’t cut it! We shouldn’t be surprised. From the age of cave paintings to the rise of hieroglyphs and ideograms to the memes and social media platforms of today, humans crave visuals.
What do I do with a mind map?
There’s a lot you can do with your final mind map. First, you can share it on social media! To say that engagement is difficult to gain online is an understatement. Social media managers around the world will agree. Instead of having a forgettable text post on LinkedIn telling everyone about an event you just had, post your mind map. Nothing like a colourful and beautifully drawn illustration to catch people’s eyes and stop them from scrolling. Second, send it to your colleagues! So many ideas and insights can be drawn from these virtual events, but not everyone can attend. Sending over meeting minutes or reports bears the risk of having it be ignored by busy bees and go-getters. We’ve all been guilty of this. At first glance, mind maps demand attention and have a way of keeping it. Plus, going through them is both easy and enjoyable. Furthermore, you can leverage your mind maps for following up with your guests. Want to reach out to a guest or participant? Send the mind map over, and you’re sure to be met with delight. Plus, it helps them recall your event and keep you fresh on their minds.
What can I do?
Everyone has their strengths and specialisations. Not everybody can be a live illustrator, but not to worry, everyone here is! Save Ortus Draws a seat at your next virtual event, and we’ll take care of the rest. You can also just send over a recording of your event, and we’ll have a mind map ready for you in a jiffy!
Ortus Draws is a live sketchnoting company that specialises in bringing ideas to life with creative and informative mind maps. Our sketchnotes capture the key points of virtual events, roundtables, webinars, discussions, conferences, presentations, pitches, interviews, and internal meetings. Looking for an illustrator for your event? Contact us now!