Article Title

An Analysis of the efficacy of Graphic Recording in a Corporate Environment


Tatum Kenna


Tatum Kenna, 2021


An Analysis of the Efficacy of Graphic Recording in a Corporate Environment


Tatum Kenna

Student No. 2960415


Griffith University

Undergraduate Degree: Bachelor of Communication

Majors: Business Communication and Creative Writing


Introduction.. 3

Visual Communication. 4

Benefits of Visualisation and Graphic Recording.. 5

Engagement. 5

Comprehension. 7

Retention. 9

Limitations. 10

Summary: Benefits and Limitations. 11

Participant Observational Case Study. 12

Context. 13

Textual Analysis of Graphic Recording. 14

Feedback & Testimonials. 15

Reflection.. 17

Conclusion.. 19

References. 20

Bibliography. 23




This paper explores the practice of graphic recording [GR] and seeks to understand its efficacy in a corporate environment. The paper is structured in two main sections. Part one describes the benefits and limitations of GR and provides a literature review of the key aspects of engagement, comprehension and retention in relation to GR. Part Two will test and apply the research from part one using a participant observational research case study. The case study examines a live event that utilises graphic recording, outlining the scope, procedures, outputs and observations. Textual analysis will be conducted on the output of the graphic recording, explaining the decisions and strategies used to produce the GR product. Testimonials/feedback from the session will analyse and compare the findings of the literature review. Finally, a key issue often reported by clients on the anxiety of distraction is analysed and explored. To conclude, the paper will summarise the findings and offer some recommendations for further research.

Graphic recording, as defined by the Graphic Recorders Association Australia, is the “…process of visually capturing content, in real time, using a combination of words, shapes, symbols and imagery.” (Gee 2019). It is commonly used in workshops, conferences and presentations to document spoken content in a visually engaging way. Graphic recording is both a practice; the art of live capture, and a product, the artefact created.

In the corporate environment it is important to make communications compelling, simple and memorable. Meetings, conferences and workshops are the most common fora that workplaces use to communicate messages internally and externally between staff and clients. These fora are primarily verbal, using limited visual stimuli such as PowerPoint to present materials to their audience. Rarely is any artefact shared at the conclusion of these presentations, putting the onus on the audience to absorb and retain the information themselves. GR seeks to address this gap, and this paper considers the efficacy of GR in achieving this.



Visual Communication

With the current proliferation of social media, photography and videography, visuals have become largely synonymous with how we communicate. In much the same way as print disrupted oral culture, visual communication and visual culture has diversified written culture (Rodríguez Estrada & Davis 2015, pp. 141). Equally, the rise of the internet and the webpage has also influenced the landscape of media consumption, offering visually interactive media for mass distribution (Gershon Eick & Card 1998, pp. 10). As Rodríguez Estrada and Davis (2015) suggest, “we are now likely to encounter complex texts that contain elaborate visual images, complex design elements, and unique formats in order to understand … and construct meaning” (Rodríguez Estrada & Davis 2015, pp. 141). Traditional text-based media such as books, newspapers and articles have adapted to prioritise the experience of visuals through the design of information (Gershon Eick & Card 1998, pp. 10). New multi-media such as ‘scrollytelling’ combine traditional journalism with graphic design principles to create interactive digital stories (Seyser & Zeiller 2018, pp. 402). These ‘scrollstories’ are visualised through a variety of text, images and data that animate as the reader scrolls down through the article. The design of the journalism is just as important as the information itself, engineered to attract, entertain and engage the viewer. This shift in contemporary communications has put a greater emphasis on visuals in combination with text to facilitate deeper engagement, comprehension and memory retention.

Despite these advancements in distribution and diversification of content creation, communication in the corporate environment continues to be dominated by verbal and written text. In meetings, conferences and workshops, little attention tends to be given to visualisation. Content is habitually verbal, spoken by one or more presenters to an audience. Occasionally material is provided such as reports or emails to supplement the presentation, but these documents are primarily text-based with limited if not no visuals. Visual aide tools such as power-point have endeavoured to fill the visual void in communications, giving access to a rudimentary design software to create slides. However, often the producer of these slides is not trained in visual literacy or the principles of design/composition which results in poor, heavily text-dominated presentations. When this occurs, the effectiveness of the program is redundant and, in some cases, interferes with the effectiveness of the presentation.

Graphic recording provides the corporate environment a solution to text-heavy and lecture formatted presentations by providing a visual representation, real-time. By creating an experience, GR heightens the attention to verbal information by offering an alternate visual channel (Witteman & Segers 2010, pp. 133). When we include visuals, the brain converts these visuals into cues, associating the verbal information with visual information to enhance the capacity for retention (Lankow, Jason, et al 2012, pp. 50). When text and verbal information are used in combination with visuals, we can amplify our engagement, extend our comprehension and retain more information (Poland 2013, pp. 4465).


Benefits of Visualisation and Graphic Recording

The key benefits of visualisation and GR are engagement, comprehension and retention.  The following section will discuss each concept in turn.



As defined by the Oxford dictionary, ‘engage’ means to “succeed in attracting and keeping somebody’s attention and interest” (Oxford 2012). Visual communication is fundamentally guided by this principle – to capture audiences and communicate information through visuals (Hagen & Golombisky 2017, pp. 5). In an age where information is being generated exponentially, it is becoming increasingly difficult to capture and hold an audience’s attention (Lankow, Jason, et al 2012, pp. 40). From social media notifications to news bulletins, our environment is saturated with information. People are receiving more information than ever before, putting the onus on content producers to create information that is concise, distinct and memorable.

One of the ways visuals attract viewers is by being visually appealing. Visual appeal is created through the field of aesthetics – an area of expression that is used to evoke and conceptualise ideas of beauty, art and style (Smith, Kelly & Josephson 2020, pp. 90). By applying a variety of visual elements such as colour, shapes and graphical elements, information can captivate and hold a viewer attention by being aesthetically pleasing and appealing (Smith, Kelly & Josephson 2020, pp. 90). When designers utilise principles of aesthetics to create visual appeal, they attract readers and engage them deeper to the information than if using text alone (Lankow, Jason, et al 2012, pp. 40).

Central to the design of information is the concept of form and function. Form encompasses the principles and techniques of design, whereas function can be understood as the reason for the design’s existence. As Hagen & Golombisky (2017) explain, exceptional design is the “partnership between ‘form’ as art, and ‘function’ as a utility” (Hagen, Golombisky 2017, pp. 3). When these two elements come together, information is formatted efficiently in an engaging and entertaining way (Lankow, Jason, et al 2012, pp. 41). A study from the University of Saskatchewan reported that participants prefer information to be presented visually through illustrations rather than with charts (Lankow, Jason, et al 2012, pp. 42). The research suggested that when viewers were presented with two options, one diagram containing a simple level chart and another that illustrated the data, participants consistently chose the illustrated version. When asked why, participants reported that they found the information more attractive, memorable, and that it helped with accuracy when asked to recall the data (Lankow, Jason, et al 2012, pp. 43).

As graphic recording is produced live during an event, the experience of creation can also be identified as a form of engagement. Just like art in a gallery, the viewer interacts with both the process and product of graphic recording by appraising the product. As a result, attention is increased and emotions are aroused (Smith, Kelly & Josephson 2020, pp. 97). As more time is spent viewing the GR product, the degree of investment and interaction between the viewer and GR is amplified through the aesthetic experience (Smith, Kelly & Josephson 2020, pp. 98). Similarly, with other forms of performative art, the experience of performance drives attraction and entertainment, heightening the viewers engagement. The experience of live creation also creates anticipation for the audience (Lee, Kazi & Smith 2013, pp. 2424). By visualising the presentation live, the key points are mirrored in sequence, directing and holding the viewer’s attention in a narrative, from one element to the next (Lee, Kazi & Smith 2013, pp.2419). The combination of real-time content production with real-time viewing creates an experience for viewers that enables deeper and continuous engagement.


In visual communication, design plays a central role in guiding how the viewer experiences and understands information. All visuals are made up of elements that are arranged to form compositions (Davis & Hunt 2017 pp. 21). Elements are the signs and symbols used to form a composition i.e., colour, text and graphics. These elements are arranged by designers to make compositions. As Davis and Hunt (2017) explain, “composition communicates a hierarchy of importance among elements and provides information about relevant interactions among particular components of a message” (Davis & Hunt 2017 pp. 21). These devices (composition/elements) give us access to visuals, helping us understand and frame meaning. In visual communication, these devices are used strategically when designing compositions to simplify complex information and facilitate audience comprehension.

Humans use a variety of senses to process and comprehend information. We often prefer these senses in a learning environment, favouring one modality of stimuli over another. Walter Burke Barbe and Neil Fleming’s VAK model suggests that people learn best from one of three sensory stimuli: visual, auditory, kinesthetics (Helena & Sreenidhi 2017, pp.18). From this theory, educators have designed learning approaches for students in accordance with their learning style. However new evidence suggests that there is no empirical evidence to support verbal comprehension aptitude based on different modes of instruction (Rogowsky, Calhoun & Tallal 2015, pp. 75). In fact, educators could be providing a disservice to learners by tailoring teaching methods to learning styles rather than strengthening their overall sensory competency (Rogowsky, Calhoun & Tallal 2015, pp. 75). Instead, to ensure the greatest possibility for comprehension and learning, educators should engage all senses and learning styles to achieve the best learning outcome (Rogowsky, Calhoun & Tallal 2015, pp. 75). By creating learning environments that engage multiple senses, the probability of comprehension can be exponentially greater than if only accommodating one learning style.

On a biological level, we favour visuals because our visual processing system is more powerful than all our other senses combined (Lankow, Jason, et al 2012, pp. 45). This is largely due to the brain’s ability to pre-attentively process images – to automatically and without conscious effort, access and recognise imagery (Helena, Sreenidhi 2017, pp. 7). As no conscious effort is required to access images, we process the information one-third faster than written text (Williams 1993, pp.673).

Visuals play an important role in achieving brevity, simplicity and differentiation. The notion that a picture paints 1,000 words alludes to this ability, as pictures can elicit a variety of feelings and expressions without the processing complexities of text (Williams 1993, pp. 675). Despite our ability to process images faster, words and text remain our dominant vehicle for communication. This is due to language’s ability to efficiently and explicitly formulate meaning and convey ideas (Williams 1993, pp.674). Therefore, what is central to comprehension is the balance and alignment of appropriate media (visual, text, audio) to the demands of the task (Williams 1993, pp.674).

Accompanying visuals with oral stories amplifies the benefits of storytelling, facilitating greater efficacy in communications.  Across millennia, cultures and civilisations have used stories to communicate important information. From Homer’s Iliad to the Bible, stories have served as an effective form to disseminate knowledge, share ideas, beliefs and retain information (Mirkovski, et. al. 2019, pp. 1154). To this day, storytelling remains central to how we share information in conversations, communities and organisations (Mirkovski, et. al. 2019, pp. 1154). All stories use a narrative structure, containing a beginning, middle and end, tied together with a plot (Mirkovski, et. al. 2019, pp. 1154). Visual storytelling emulates this structure, using design elements to construct a composition. GR uses the verbal narrative of a presentation to visually reconstruct the story. As the GR mirrors the narrative, it appeals to multiple senses to enhance comprehension. Thus, participants can follow the story both visually and verbally.


It is well documented across the research that images and visuals are powerful agents in establishing, extending and enhancing memory retention (Williams 1993, pp. 675). As mentioned in the comprehension section, humans predominantly process information through visuals (Richardson 1995, pp. 1345). When the brain ‘sees’ it builds rapid connections with previously stored information, allowing us to identify and comprehend the world around us. We do this almost instantly, in 100 milliseconds (Lankow, Jason, et al 2012, pp. 50). By processing visual information into stored knowledge, we create deeper associations with existing memories, which when recalled, gives the brain multiple cues to draw upon. (Richardson 1995, pp. 1352).

When visuals are paired with verbal information, memory is further enhanced. Dual-coding or visual-verbal processing argues that there are two separate channels through which information can be transmitted to the brain: visual and verbal (Witteman & Segers 2010, pp. 133). The theory suggests that as these channels are independent, more information can be processed together without cognitively overloading one channel (Volz, Higdon & Lidwell 2019, pp. 45). The reason for this is that we code images twice in the brain, verbal words are only coded once – i.e an image is connected to both a visual and verbal code, whereas verbal words only generate verbal code (Volz, Higdon & Lidwell 2019, pp. 45). For example, when we hear the word ‘elephant’, the brain only receives one code to connect the word to stored memory. However, when we hear the word ‘elephant’ and see an image of an elephant (whether an external image or conjuring an image in our own mind), we create two connected codes for the brain to store and access in memory recall. Effectively, when we pair words with visuals we retain more and have better comprehension of information (Witteman & Segers 2010, pp. 133).

In Graphic recording, verbatim verbal information from the presentation is translated into a combination of words and images in a composition. The composition provides a visual aide to verbal information, allowing audiences to access an alternative channel to process information visually. By utilising both channels, visual and verbal, participants can increase their capacity to absorb information, and retain greater amounts of information through visual coding and cues (Richardson 1995, pp. 1352). GR enhances verbal presentations by providing visual stimuli to facilitate greater comprehension, engagement and retention.



From the benefits section, we can ascertain that the use of visuals, in combination with verbal information, is efficacious for communications as it facilitates greater engagement, deeper comprehension and memory retention. As a tool for communication, graphic recording translates verbal information into a combination of both text and visuals. The graphic recorder must listen, absorb, retain and visualise the verbal information as the presenter is speaking. Their responsibility is to capture the high-level messages, create relevant graphics and generate aesthetic appeal for the audience’s experience.  The final product of the GR should provide participants with a visual high-level summary of the presentation that is attractive, engaging and easy to understand. Both the process of GR and the product help audience members to have better comprehension and create deeper memories with content.

Given that these presentations are primarily conducted under live performative conditions, the graphic recorder must design and produce a high-quality product in tandem with the presentation. During the session, there is rarely an opportunity to stop or interject during the presentation to seek clarity or repeat missed information. Instead, the onus is on the graphic recorder to ensure the right information is captured and the visuals are appropriate. As these tasks are performed by one individual, there is inevitable risk of human error. Spelling mistakes, misinterpretation and missing sections of information are common areas that could impact the efficacy of the GR during a live presentation. Additionally, the capacity of the graphic recorder to listen and convert information with speed and accuracy is also variable and subject to the experience of each practitioner. In order to help mitigate these risks, additional support can be allocated to take notes and supplement the information captured by the GR. Spelling mistakes can be proofed post-session and amended.

The purpose of GR is as a high-level visual summary to capture key messages, themes and metaphors from a verbal presentation. It is not a comprehensive notation of the presentation nor does it contain the details of the presentation’s context or attending participants. Content capture devices such as minute taking, photography, videography and audio recordings are devices used to achieve accuracy. GR should not be substituted for these devices. Instead, GR should be used complimentarily with these content capture devices, to provide participants with an alternate media to share, engage and remember the presentation.  It is designed to capture the high-level messages simply and succinctly, enabling time-poor viewers a comprehensive understanding. Transcripts on the other hand, contain the detail of the session but require hours of concentrated effort to synthesise and elicit meaning.


Summary: Benefits and Limitations

From the benefits literature research we can ascertain that visualisation and the use of visuals in communication are efficacious in facilitating an audience’s engagement, comprehension and memory retention. Visuals engage viewers by being attractive. Through the forms of colour, graphics and text, compositions have aesthetic appeal that draw the interest of the reader. We interpret compositions through the principles of design. These principles (composition/elements) help frame meaning and when used strategically, can be used to simplify complex information and facilitate audience comprehension. When form is balanced with function, the viewer is not only seduced into the information but also prompted to engage deeper with the content. In graphic recording, attention is heightened further through the experience of live creation, as the viewer is able to interact with the content and follow the verbal narrative as it comes to life visually.

We favour sight/vision as our dominant sense as the brain processes visuals faster than all other senses combined. Dual coding creates multiple cues in the brain, enabling viewers to comprehend more information, faster. These visual cues strengthen our ability to understand, process and remember information than if only using one sense. Thus, when we combine senses for communication, the learning experience is enhanced and the viewer is prompted to engage deeper, have better comprehension and memory retention.

Graphic recording produces visuals from real-time verbal information. The process and product help create an alternate channel for audiences to engage, interpret and remember information. GR is limited by the individual practitioner and their ability to absorb, retain and translate the verbal presentation. To avoid misunderstanding, ambiguity or gaps in the content, event organisers can allocate an internal member of the organisation to help supplement documentation and review the GR as it is being generated in real-time. This feedback can be given to the GR live during the session or post session to be incorporated.

As a product, GR’s purpose is to visualise a high-level summary. Therefore, if the desired outcome is to have a comprehensive capture of the session, additional capture devices such as audio recording, photography and videography should be used to supplement the GR.


Participant Observational Case Study

The following section will detail a participant observational research case study of a live graphic recording session. The study will examine and detail the events of the session, testing the validity of the arguments from the benefits section. Textual analysis will be made on the GR product and the testimonials/feedback as further evidence to support this argument. This will be followed by a discussion and reflection on the findings.



The client engaged graphic recording (GR) services for their annual Leadership summit as a way to capture the verbal presentations from the day. The brief was to create a ‘visual storyboard’ for each presentation. Prior to the summit, two briefings between the client and graphic recorder occurred. The first briefing covered the context and intention of the session as well as the client’s desired outcomes for using GR. From this scoping conversation, a proposal and quote were provided to the client and agreed. The second briefing session discussed the logistics, preferred channel of capture (analogue, digital, virtual) and agenda of the day. From this meeting, the graphic recorder prepared for the session by familiarising themselves with the agenda items, presenter names and any pre-reading content provided by the client. As the session was digital, the graphic recorder prepared their iPad, loaded brand colours, pre-wrote session titles/presenter names and ensured full battery and accessories were in working order. On the day, the graphic recorder liaised with the event production crew prior to start time and ensured set-up (technology and allocated positioning) were operating correctly and according to the briefing arrangements.

The session kicked off at 9am and concluded at 5:30pm with over two hundred attending participants. In total, eight graphic recording ‘boards’ were produced from nine separate presentations ranging between 20-90min in length. The presentations varied in content and purpose, from external keynote speakers to internal executive panel conversations. The GR was projected onto a large projector, sandwiched between two mirrored PowerPoint slides. At the commencement of the presentation, the GR canvas was blank, containing only the title of the presentation and the presenter’s name. As the presenter progressed through their talk, the GR built behind them on the middle screen, reflecting back to the audience key words, phrases and metaphors from the presentation. During breaks, the finished GR boards were displayed on the screen to participants as a way to revisit and hold previous content in the room.

Post-event, the GR boards were finalised. This involved adding additional colour to the imagery and proof-reading for spelling mistakes. At this point the client also had an opportunity to point out any gaps in content to be incorporated. Any changes made were integrated and final copies of the GR were handed back to the client.


Textual Analysis of Graphic Recording

For use on a projector, the GR was formatted landscape at 4K resolution. The perimeter of the content was framed in dark grey with a lighter grey inset. This framing and shadowing of lighter grey focuses the eye to the centre of the artwork.  At the top of the board, the title is written in bold, orange font, distinctly different from other fonts used in the artwork. These factors (hierarchy and differentiation) signpost to viewers the relationship and differentiation between ‘title’ and ‘content’.

In Australia, an emerging practice among GR practitioners is to acknowledge traditional landowners. Graphic recorders do this by attributing the landowner next to their signature such as, “This graphic recording was created on Wiradjuri country by xxxx”. This practice echoes the contemporary social shift in Australian organisations and government to acknowledge traditional owners at the commencement of any proceedings.

The colour palette used was based on the organisation’s brand guidelines. Aligning the colour palette to the brand of an organisation created an associated link to the business. This choice ensured that the when the artwork is distributed both internally and externally, the identity of the business is coded into the artwork. The colours create an associated link to the business and perpetuate the brand’s identity. There are five main colours used in the artwork, orange, peach, grey, light blue and dark blue. The colours are evenly used across the page to create symmetry and balance for aesthetic appeal. The text and typography vary in colour and font to create interest with differentiating hierarchy, size and shape. The graphical elements conversely are uniformly outlined in grey. This achieves legibility, differentiation and consistency among elements.

The graphical elements are used to compliment key phases, quotes and messages. An example of this is in the top right corner. The message is, “Vow to change”. Surrounding the text is the image of a butterfly flying upwards from the portrait of a man. The image recontextualises the quote, anthropomorphising the ‘change’ into a ‘butterfly’. The butterfly is a literal interpretation of the word ‘change’ and the man and trailing dotted line, signifies the journey. The image is both humorous and playful, eliciting interest and emotions from the viewer.


Feedback & Testimonials

Testimonials are routinely collected after GR sessions in order to gain insights for continual improvement and ongoing performance management. Overall, the testimonials from the study were overwhelmingly positive and complimentary of the process and product of GR.


For the purposes of this research paper, testimonials were collected to test and verify the audience experience against the literature research on the benefits of GR. The aim of the research was to validate the efficacy of GR as a communication tool in facilitating greater engagement, comprehension and memory retention. The results from the testimonials showed that the experience of GR for audience members was congruent with the literature research, supporting the argument that GR is efficacious in the corporate environment as a tool for comprehension, engagement and memory retention

Typical comments from the session include the following.

One participant raved about the process of GR as it ‘brought the presentation to life’. They remarked that they felt the GR heightened the experience for participants as they were able to engage with the information as it created a visual summary to supplement the verbal presentation. The hand-drawn style and performance of live creation was exciting and attractive, drawing and maintaining the audience’s attention to the presentation. Overall, they felt the GR helped create another element of engagement for audience members, by creating a visual experience.

Another person remarked that they enjoyed the experience of GR as they were a ‘visual learner’1. They felt that the GR deepened their ability to comprehend and remember the information as they were able to see and hear the information simultaneously. They commented that they would usually take notes in a presentation environment but felt they didn’t need to as someone was already doing that for them in a visual way. This enabled them to focus on the live presentation and reflect on the content of the presentation in the breaks. The individual went on to explain that they were looking forward to receiving the GR boards after the session to share with their team and discuss the events of the day.

The testimonials and feedback from the session indicate that the benefits of GR in facilitating engagement, comprehension and memory retention supports the literature research. The use of imagery in combination with text helps participants understand complex messages and create stronger memories to content. As the output is aesthetically appealing, the GR helps prolong the longevity of the presentation as participants are excited to share the boards and experience with colleagues.

With such overwhelmingly positive testimonials and no negative feedback, one has to question the environment in which these testimonials were collected. As the GR is produced under performative conditions, participants may be impacted by the ‘moment of spectacle and maximum emotional impact, known as the “wow climax” (Jenkins 2007, pp. 308). This ‘wow climax’ serves to benefit the experience as it entrances the audience with emotion, excitement and aesthetic appeal, enriching the experience during the session. However, this effect could also shadow the poorer components of the GR as participants are focused and consumed by the experience of performance. To ensure a balanced review is gained, additional feedback should be conducted post-session. This additional feedback should give audiences an opportunity to reflect upon and remember the event at a later date.

1 – As previously outlined in the paper, this statement is flawed by new evidence. However, the idea of being a ‘visual learners’ has become somewhat of an axiom in society and widely accepted as a universal truth. Therefore, debating this point with participants is unadvisable as the concept generally supports the advocacy of GR.




An issue that did not surface in the case study but has been mentioned by previous clients is the issue of ‘distraction’. Clients who raise this issue often have no prior experience with GR and are only aware of the practice due to exposure of the end product (GR boards). The distraction anxiety typically arises during the scoping stage of the engagement and is often a product of pressure from presenters/colleagues. Client’s worry that GR could distract participants from the content provided [e.g PowerPoint] and also undermine the focus on the person presenting. However, from the benefits literature research and participant case study, we can ascertain that this is not the case for the participant experience. In fact, as we have seen from the research and testimonials, GR can help facilitate greater engagement, comprehension and retention, generating a better learning experience for participants.

Distraction is endemic in contemporary society. As technology and social media have pervaded our communication, we are obsessed, addicted and conditioned to be distracted (Smith 2018, pp. 1). Social media sites such as Facebook have capitalised on the power of distraction, designing their products with the principles of behavioural psychology to attract and hold a user’s attention (Smith 2018, pp. 2). As a result, we seek out distraction. We look at our phones and let our eyes wander as we crave entertainment and have an insatiable appetite for consumption (Subramanian 2018, pp. 2).

In fact, distraction can be used advantageously as a pedagogical strategy. Much in the same way as Facebook is designed to attract and compel users, GR can be implemented to create ‘purposeful distraction’. By introducing an additional focal point to a presentation, GR can offer an alternate ‘distraction’ to hold the audience’s attention without conscious effort. Once the audience engages with the GR, the supplementary benefits of appeal, comprehension and memory retention can amplify the effectiveness of the presentation.

To address the anxiety that GR undermines the importance of the presenter, event organisers must consider the participant experience. Participant experience is the fundamental principal that workshops, events and presentations must consider when designing their session, as this is who the session is intended for. As we have identified, GR enables greater audience engagement, comprehension and memory retention by creating an exciting and attractive experience for participants. GR is designed and intended for the audience experience, not the presenters. When questioned on this anxiety, GR practitioners must exercise diplomacy and navigate the conversation back to the benefits of GR. Practitioners may be faced with push-back from clients which could be linked to the preservation of presenter ego. However, it is important that GR practitioners reframe the conversation with the client to consider the audience and their experience.

As there is a lack of awareness of GR, there is an inherent challenge for GR practitioners to educate their clients and have strategies for dealing with concerns and anxiety. Practitioners must be able to articulate succinctly and confidently the research that validates GR as both a process and product to substantiate its efficacy as a communication tool in the corporate environment. Practitioners need to explain how GR can enable deeper engagement, comprehension and memory retention in order to manage client expectations and alleviate anxieties on distraction.



This paper has explored the efficacy of graphic recording in a corporate environment through two aspects: a literature research into the benefits of GR and a participant observational case study. The benefits literature research examined the three areas; engagement, comprehension and memory retention, and unpacked the beneficial relationship between visual and verbal information. This literature verified that visuals, when combined with text, are powerful agents in extending audience engagement, comprehension and memory retention. From the participant observational research, testimonials and feedback confirmed the literature research, providing further evidence of the efficacy of visuals in combination with text.

Graphic recording as both a process and product offer audiences an alternate media to interact with verbal content, by creating live a visual high-level summary of a presentation. Despite the anxiety that GR causes distraction, it can be argued that GR creates ‘purposeful distraction’. This ‘purposeful distraction’ can help audiences maintain attention and remain engaged to the content.

In Australia, GR is in its infancy as a practice. As a result, GR has limited exposure in the corporate environment as both a process and product. Consequently, the practice lacks awareness as clients are unaware of the potential benefits, uses and applications of GR. Therefore, it is paramount that GR practitioners educate their clients on the benefits of graphic recording and navigate any preconceived anxieties. Practitioners must equip themselves with research and evidence to validate the value proposition of GR and withstand potential criticism from clients.

Currently, there is limited research that yields specific results from implementing GR. Therefore, it is my recommendation that further research be conducted into the practice of GR to measure the tangible effects visuals play in engaging, comprehending and remembering content. Further studies could test and apply these findings to truly substantiate the efficacy of GR in a corporate environment.



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