Public Journaling: Content and Context

Although it’s meant as personal art, raw art journaling also has practical purposes. It can be used in keeping notes so people understand what happened in a meeting, what ideas were represented, and what the outcome of the meeting was.  The business  name for this is visual facilitation.  Here’s an example of visual facilitation. It’s a lot easier to look at images and words because together, they create ideas.

Visual facilitators combine content and context. Image: http://avrilorloff.com/

The reason raw art works–both personally and professionally–is that we process and understand ideas using our left brains, and understand emotionally using our right brain. Judgment is performed on the right brain–along with emotions. To get someone to understand and agree with you, you have to engage both sides of their brain.

You can write in your journal and persuade yourself because you are talking just to you in a journal. In a group, you have to make your thinking understandable to many different kinds of people. In this way, visual facilitation is like journaling in front of a crowd–and it’s their journal.

Full brain understanding happens through content and context. PowerPoint, originally designed to allow engineers to talk to marketing, is an example of the result of increasing content and reduced context. Endless bullet points instead of simple images is death by PowerPoint.

No one feels inspired by the "bean people" anymore.

Add emotional understanding through images and you not only “get it,” you keep it gotten. As it were. If you just heard this as a presentation, you’d still be guessing. But add context with vivid images, and. . . .you understand it.

Quinn McDonald is a writer and creativity coach. She trains people in improving their PowerPoint presentations by using visuals that clarify content.