One of the most common questions I hear from clients about graphic recording is, “What should I do with the charts after the meeting?” Great question! The answer depends on what the initial purpose was for including graphic recording in the meeting in the first place. For example, if it was included purely for fun and for increasing the “Wow” factor at a big public conference, the answer for how to use the charts after the event will be different than if graphic recording was included at a small leadership meeting to increase participation, alignment and commitment. With that in mind, here are some effective ways to use the charts once meeting participants have left the room:
- Share them digitally. Send digital images to participants in a follow-up email (or as part of a meeting report), post them on your conference website, or share them on social media to create some continued buzz.
- Hang them up. Post the charts in a common area (break room, cafeteria, staff room, hallway) where team members will see them and have a chance to review and remember what you covered at the meeting. Mounting on foamcore is optional – often it works just as well to hang them directly on the wall with artist’s tape.
- Create mementos. Print a single digital image on card stock and give one to everyone who attended to pin up next to their desks. Or create an entire workbook containing all of the charts from a meeting with event photos, quotes, etc. I’ve also seen clients print out images of charts on mugs, mousepads, T-shirts, etc.
- Create presenter thank yous. To thank a presenter, give them the graphic recording of their presentation, or send them a digital version with a thank you after the meeting.
- Use them to continue the dialogue. Hang the charts in a central area and ask people to review the charts and put a sticky note on some aspect of the chart that they have a question about, or challenges the status quo, or deserves more discussion at the next meeting. You can also ask people to use sticky dots to vote on some part of the chart to help with prioritization. For example, if the chart shows 10 potential vision themes, you can ask people to use dots to vote on their top 3. In other words, use the charts to continue the conversation or to help create a bridge between a series of related meetings.
- Use them to support next steps. Certain charts, especially those that capture the mission, vision, or strategies of a team, can be posted again and again at check in meetings to keep everyone aligned on the goal. I know a team that has been hanging the same (by now very tattered chart) at their monthly staff meeting for the past year. This makes my heart sing because charts are supposed to be useful, not just beautiful.
- Use them for orienting new team members. Show the images of previous meetings to new team members to help get them up to speed on what the team has been working on and thinking about.
- Use them to spread your message. Use entire digital images or selected sections of a chart in PowerPoint slide, Prezis, or in videos to help communicate a message to stakeholders. If you’re a conference organizer, you might print an image of a chart on a postcard and send out to attendees as a follow up with a special message or offer.
Lane Change Consulting is a consultancy based in San Francisco specializing in visual facilitation, graphic recording and team effectiveness. We design and facilitate strategic, collaborative conversations that create clarity, focus and engagement in organizations. We can be reached at email@example.com.