Want to be a graphic facilitator?

If you are a trainer, coach or facilitator I bet you’ll recognise the deep satisfaction of knowing you have changed someone’s view on the world even if it’s only in a small way. You’ve given them a skill they will have forever. Shared knowledge with them that they will always have. I mean really it’s frickin amazing!

I love training people. It’s something I’m passionate about. Of course I typically train people to work more visually but what you might not know is that I deliver my training sessions using visual tools. I’m a Graphic Facilitator.

Huh…what is a graphic facilitator?

As trainers, coaches and facilitators you’re already an expert at what you do. Whether you’re training in one topic or across a range of programmes you already have a deep knowledge of your area of work and you probably already use some visuals. Pictures in your powerpoint? A smiley face on your feedback form? You do that already because it makes a difference. It makes things friendlier, more approachable and more accessible. Being a graphic facilitator is all that x1000.

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A graphic facilitator uses simple images and visual tools to help sessions be both more enjoyable and more effective. It’s win-win. People understand more of what you’re saying and can remember it for longer (honestly there’s a heap of science behind it). Add to that the fact that they enjoy it more too and you’ve seriously taken your sessions to the next level.

I can’t draw

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I know. Don’t worry. You’re not alone. It’s a very common lament, and don’t get me started on the education system that’s left a generation of perfectly capable adults convinced of this fact…anyway...suffice to say it doesn’t matter. There is some drawing involved but it’s functional not artistic. So think stick figures rather than Botticelli. All the drawing skills you need can be taught.

Yes. Even to you my friend.

What does it involve?

That’s a simple one.

Your existing expertise / session plan + visual tools = Next Level

Everything from visual agendas, to flipchart hacks to visual scales and reviews, there are a tonne of tools and methods that can fit in to what you are already delivering. Think of it as the cherry on top. No scrap that, think of it as the icing, the cherry and fizz you’re having with it. It can turn a session from a great cake into afternoon tea at the Ritz.

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Sign me up

If you want to know more. Or if you’ve been thinking about it for a while and now you’re fired up to begin we have the course for you. Perhaps not surprisingly it’s called Be a Graphic Facilitator : )

“I really enjoyed this course - very clear and has already inspired me to work more visually” K. Mistry.

“My flip charts will never be the same” R. Rumsey

“The material is fantastic” L. Hurst-Brown

Find out more about training options here www.graphicchange.com/training


Graphic Change is a visual thinking studio that works with individuals and businesses helping them to get the benefits of working visually. If you want to find out more about working visually in meetings join our online course Be a Graphic Facilitator to learn the skills you need, or if you want to chat through a possible project, get in touch.

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Want to be a graphic recorder?

There can be few things more satisfying (in a work sense) than doing a job that makes you happy, makes other people happy and has a tangible, real time benefit to the context you're working in.

I get to draw in some amazing places around the world, (...underneath Concorde, in the ballroom at the Savoy, on the roof of the National Theatre, by an Italian lake, in a morgue...), I get to meet fascinating people and sit in super interesting meetings (mostly they're confidential so sshhhhh!). 

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Life as a graphic recorder is full of 'feel good', in fact it's such a nice job that I often get a round of applause as people wrap up their session, but it's still a relatively unknown career for most people. I think it's time that changed. If like me your dream is to earn a good living out of working creatively then it might be worth a closer look.

Would it suit me?

Everyone's different of course, but here are 5 traits that lend themselves to life as a professional graphic recorder. 

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1. You can draw

Now I spend a lot of time showing people how to work visually and get the benefits of visual thinking, even if they can't draw at all. This is not that.

To be a professional graphic recorder (as opposed to someone using visual skills in their role) there is, rightly or wrongly, an expectation that you can draw, and that the finished graphic record will both make sense and look good. So although you don't need to be in any way an artist, you do need to be able to draw identifiable objects quickly. 

2. You are mentally agile

By that I mean you're able to take in information, which may be random, unexpected or about a topic you're not expert in, and make sense of it. If you're not sure if this is you, then go and pick a random TED talk, have a listen and see if you could understand the key points. If you can then you'll probably be fine.

3. You are happy to serve

By this I mean that you're able to get pleasure from a job well done, even if you don't particularly enjoy the content. Sometimes you'll be called upon to draw opinions that may not be yours, or listen to content that you don't find interesting. Your role is not to join in the discussion, but to identify and capture key points, connections and themes, all of which helps the participants process and understand the information better.  You are there in service of clarity.

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4. You can innovate

Stuff goes wrong all. the. time. Equipment fails, agendas change without warning, and all possible human and environment variables come into play at some point.  You need to be able to think on your feet and go with the flow. Be a sapling not an oak tree.

5. You can pull off the business basics

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Most people in this field are self employed or running their own small business. The scene is evolving slightly as some corporations are hiring their own in-house graphikers, but in the main, you have to be okay with the rollercoaster that is working for yourself. So are you able to build relationships, talk about money, and have enough systems in place that you know the right image file is going to end up with the right client? You'll need to be able to deal with unpredictable cash flow (especially at the start) and still get your bills paid on time. 

How many did you have?

If you had most, or maybe even all of these traits then you might want to think about exploring something new and joining the growing global tribe of graphic recorders. 

Our awesome online course Be a Graphic Recorder teaches you all the skills you'll need to start capturing conversations brilliantly. 8 weeks of exercises and support from me, an expert in the field with over 12 years experience running a graphic recording studio. I've drawn everywhere from a muddy field to Buckingham Palace and have worked with clients like TimeWarner, Google and the NHS. 

The course is in our online Graphic Change® Academy, with content available 24/7 so you can do the exercises when it suits you, with an private group to share your work and individual tutor feedback on your work, it's a perfect place to start your career as a graphic recorder. We have students in 59 countries (and counting). To join them head to our training pages.


Graphic Change is a visual thinking studio that works with individuals and businesses helping them to get the benefits of working visually. If you want to find out more about working visually in meetings join our online course Be a Visual Facilitator to learn the skills you need, or if you want to chat through at possible project, get in touch.

If you enjoyed this read, let us know by clicking 'like' below, and if you know someone who will appreciate this post, share it forward.