While reading John's post below titled 'Where do good ideas come from?' I was reminded of an article I recently read in the Harvard Business review by Daniel McGinn. The article discussed the rising trend in companies such as Accenture, HP, Dell, S.C Johnson, Kraft and Charles Schwab to use graphic recording in meetings. Graphic recording essentially involves an artist coming along to record all the ideas as they are discussed. What you end up with is something akin to the image above that after the meeting helps people better make connections and better recall points.
It is not a new idea. In fact since I started agency life some of my favourite presentations have utilised visual representations such as the below:
In fact companies have been using the approach since the 1970s when it was popularized by a group of architects from San Francisco. What is interesting though is that it is very much back in vogue because people are tiring of PowerPoint and want something anyone can understand if they pick it up and look at it.
So does it work? Well, Professor Martin Eppler of the University of St. Gallen in Switzerland has proven that recall is boosted through graphic rcording, particularly if people are involved with it. In addition to this, software packages that let participants create their own visual representations are apparently even more effective. With this in mind I have recently become a little excited by Prezi. If you haven't seen it, take a look at the below:
Needless to say we have signed up to this and I have been enjoying playing around with it. The question is though, why does it work? Well it isn't rocket Science. Just as Millwood Brown have proven that the spoken word is more memorable when backed up by an image, it is no surpirse that if we see both a picture and words together our recall is more effective.
If you haven't tried it already, why not get the crayons out and give it a try!