Category: Presentation

open-forum-2016-graphic-facilitation-2Above you can see the gallery created by our scribes for this year’s Bank of England Future Forum. This is a major event that connects the Bank of England to the wider public. These illustrations are really important not only because they make the financial services easier to understand, but they also stay in the minds of the viewers longer than lengthy banking text. Where people might not bother to read a document, they will always look at a picture.

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They say a picture is a thousand words and this is certainly true. In a time where attention spans are a rare commodity bullet pointed powerpoint presentations are becoming more and more ineffectual and, we feel, should by now be extinct. It is our strong belief that by translating messages into engaging visuals we can help facilitate communication and get your message across faster and better – people understand pictures without having to read words, and more importantly people remember pictures more than they do words. Our drawing skills and design expertise help us transform our clients’ presentations into engaging experiences. 

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A Typical Assignment

Our client had a room packed with A1 sheets covered with hand written bullet points. The result of long hours of discussion and too many cups of coffee – a terrifying vision if you are looking for a succinct message. They needed clarity – the way to obtain this is through effective visuals that encapsulate their ideas. This is where we come in!  

Our Approach

The first thing we did was to reduce the number of bullet points. We listened carefully to our client’s story – with our years of experience in communication and the fact that we were ‘outside’ the problem it was therefore easy to identify the key messages that would form the basis of our illustrations. Our objective was to create the “Patient of the Future” and explain how modern technologies can help people have healthier lives. Once the most important bullet points were highlighted we used them to create a rough layout. While our client talked we drew quick sketches generating a ‘collaborative lab’ in the room. Clients bring their expertise and we add our unique vision – and it is this combination that results in a very efficient and fun way to work. After creating the initial draft, we decided which style and colours best told the story (usually the client’s brand colours). After these

preparations our scribe drew the final illustrations on big A1 boards. Et Voila! The client loved it – it happened in front of their eyes and they were able to give us feedback there and then. These live sessions allow us to facilitate the ultimate collaborative process.

The Result

The presentation was very successful. Live scribing your bullet points and powerpoint slides is a way to create a unique and remarkable experience for your audience. Ultimately you can communicate your message faster and better.

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The concept was later transformed into a video.

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Picture this: a client with a powerpoint presentation loaded with bullet points which were each a complaint about company employees. We nearly headed for the exit for fear of how awkward this somewhat delicate presentation was about to become! But being who we are we could not yield to a challenge (plus we’d been hired for the sole purpose of softening the blow). “How?” you might ask…

Well, in a situation like this, which could easily escalate into a colossal disaster if handled incorrectly, humour is the most important thing. Our client was quite rightly adamant that the complaints were explained without hurting anyone’s feelings. We decided the best way to solve this problem would be to hold a ‘creative lab’ with the client to make sure that appropriate and amusing metaphors were used for each complaint. In one 4 hour session together we agreed on the correct images for each complaint issue, and the sketches were created there and then. Thus the client was engaged in the creative process. This type of idea generation is fun and energising. The client loves it and we love it too. 

Once the sketches were done and approved by the client, we scanned them and started working on the final illustrations digitally. Digital illustrations are easy to edit and have a crisp finish – though they are originally hand-drawn so don’t look computer generated at all! The final illustrations were elegant, engaging and fun without being childish. We used a reduced colour palette so as not to distract attention from the message. Creativity is the art of mixing different visions and ideas to find a solution that suits everyone. At the same time it is also important to understand the universal part of communication so that the presentation can be appreciated by a large and diverse audience. The client was extremely happy with the outcome due to how effective the illustrations were at communicating the messages to their employees. 

By hiring us to create illustrations with a great deal of humour a meeting, which could have been upsetting and damaging to the company in the long-term, was in fact positive and uplifting for everyone. The illustrations we created in partnership with the client were thus a great way to take the serious edge off a subject during their presentation, and ease an awkward atmosphere. Listening to customer complaints has never been so much fun!

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