A Graphic Recorder (Visual Note Taker) brings an almost magical level of engagement to your event. Integrating their presence is a sure way to maximize the investment you made to have them on site. So, where do you place them?
While there is not one answer to this question, here are a few things to consider when deciding where to place your Graphic Recorder:
The terms “Graphic Recorder” and “Graphic Facilitator” tend to get used interchangeably, which can be confusing, there is a difference though:
Graphic Recorder (GR)
The Graphic Recorder is a passive presence in the room, drawing what they hear. When I am Graphic Recording I am listening intently to the conversation or presentations; I am very present in this state of observation and deeply focused. The GR may create a single drawing that synthesizes major themes and connections, or many detailed drawings throughout the event. Other terms that are often used to describe a Graphic Recorder are: visual note taker, graphic note taker, scribe, graphic scribe, visual scribe.
Graphic Facilitator (GF)
A Graphic Facilitator takes an active role in the room. The GR works alone or as part of a team to create a group process. They may create templates as part of the process, and they will use a variety of visual tools (such as stickies, multiple charts to gather input, templates to guide processes, visualization cards) as part of the group exercises. This sample shows a template designed by the facilitator and the Graphic Facilitator working in partnership, for a group process. Also shown is the template after the group worked their way through interactive processes that had them working individually, in pairs, and small groups.
The World Café framework is often customized, and kudos if you are considering hiring a Graphic Facilitator/Graphic Recorder (GF/GR) to document your session. It is powerful validation for participants to see their words written and illustrated. In addition to providing affirmation, it provides a written record providing assurances that their contributions will stay part of the dialogue long after the end of the World Café.
Some things to consider when working with your GF/GR:
Graphic Recording, Visual Notes, Graphic Notes, these terms are used interchangeably and describe the process of being a listener who carefully uses words and images to illustrate the process unfolding in the room.
Change often starts with awareness and aspirations - seeing these is emerge provides a valuable reference for the group process. This public sector human resources department was deeply engaged in visualizing their path forward. Working in a room full of this kind of energy is one my favorite parts of being a Visual Practitioner.