In the world of COVD-19, most people who can are now working from home and all businesses are looking for virtual solutions, particularly when it comes to communication.
Our role as visual practitioners is hugely valuable in supporting people through new communication methods - more so than ever, actually.
I am currently in the process of working with my clients to convert as many jobs to virtual as possible. It’s important to keep in mind that while, yes, this is looking after my own income - it’s much more than that. I know I can provide real support and tangible, engaging communication tools for them to help people connect better in a physically disconnected environment.
There have been many articles shared on the technical side of virtual graphic recording/facilitation (I have included a list below), so I’ll leave that part to the experts.
Rather, I’d like to offer some suggestions for how to articulate the value of the work in a virtual setting, and hopefully help to build confidence from your clients that this is a smart investment.
1) It provides all the ‘normal’ value, x10
All our regular value propositions for GR / GF still apply in a virtual setting, and they increase tenfold in an online environment where engagement is more difficult than face-to-face.
In a virtual setting there is more room for distraction, and the lack of physical presence can make it harder to for participants to focus.
Here’s how I break it down :
- Engage - compelling visuals help participants engage in content in the moment
- Understand - using visuals to simplify and synthesise information helps people to understand it, or see it from a different perspective
- Remember - visuals help participants to form strong memories, and creates an artefact to help access and communicate them
- Connect - helping participants to connect to the content on an emotional level
2) It provides visual anchors
Having real-time graphics in your virtual meeting or workshop provides a visual anchor that makes content easier to follow for participants, and brings a sense of unity to a session that is physically disconnected.
3) It provides real-time summaries
The ability to send your visual capture for each segment of the agenda to the group as you finish each one means participants have an easy reference for things they might have missed in the moment, and relieves them from the need to take their own notes.
4) It captures the informal learning
In a physical workshop setting, often it’ll be while getting a cuppa* and chatting to one of your colleagues that you get the chance to ask questions for clarity or compare notes. This is obviously something we miss out on in a virtual setting, but having the session graphically recorded provides the opportunity to capture people’s questions and “workings out” - not just the final output. It captures all the juicey in-between bits that are often left out of more traditional text-based capture, but are so useful in telling the story of how you got there.
5) It provides instant, engaging artefacts
The ability to deliver close to instant artefacts (jpeg + potentially time-lapse mp4 if you use an app like Procreate) is a huge plus for the client. This means the participants are able to maintain momentum post-meeting, easily report back to their teams / managers on the work that’s been done, and have a tool for reflection and communication.
Remember - you are offering a service that’s of great value to your client. The better you can articulate the ways in which you can support them in these unpredictable times, the more confidence they will have in you and your work.
*cuppa = Australianism for cup of tea or coffee
Virtual GR Technical tools & tips:
Crash Course in Translating your process to a virtual setting (Rachel Smith)
Overview of Online Platforms & Tools:
Tips for hosting Online Conversation