Summer Howarth & Jessamy Gee: The Graphic Recording-Facilitator Partnership, Lunch ‘n’ Learn – 28/09/20

When working with groups, it’s common to have a facilitator leading the group discussion, and a graphic recorder supporting the facilitator by creating real-time visuals of the conversation.

Both the facilitator and the graphic recorder play a key role in helping the group to explore and evolve ideas and to arrive at consensus. The relationship between facilitator and graphic recorder is therefore crucial for the group’s success. Here are some tips for facilitators to ensure you make the most of your collaboration with a graphic recorder:

  • Involve your graphic recorder in the planning of the event. They may have some ideas to make the day more effective, interactive, or fun! They may also be able to help with preparing templates or make suggestions on timing to improve activities.
  • Share key information about the event with the graphic recorder at least a few days before the event—the agenda, participant list, the group’s goals, challenges, and who the key stakeholders are.
  • If the event includes one or more plenary presentations, be sure the graphic recorder has information about the speakers, including how to spell their names, photographs of them, the title of their presentations, and how long they will be speaking for.
  • Acknowledge and invite your graphic recorder to introduce themselves.
  • Plan breaks for the group—including for the graphic recorder.
  • Involve your graphic recorder in warmup activities and icebreakers. Including them as part of the group will demystify their presence for participants who have not worked with a graphic recorder before.
  • For in-person events
    • Agree on a room layout ahead of time, including where the graphic recorder will be positioned.
    • If your event includes a meal break, ensure your graphic recorder gets a meal as well. Ask your graphic recorder if they have any special requirements.
  • For virtual events:
    • Share the meeting link with the graphic recorder well before the day
    • Run a dress rehearsal several days beforehand to iron out potential technical glitches
    • Agree on exactly how the graphic recorder’s canvas will be visible to the participants. This could be via screen share, via a virtual camera to their webcam, or intermittently throughout the day, interspersed between presenter slides.

By viewing the facilitator-graphic recorder relationship as a partnership, and collaborating before and during the session, your group event is destined for success!

For additional tips on collaboration for facilitators and graphic recorders, be sure to check out our Lunch and Learn videos, available in the Member Resources section (members only).