A Doodle for Your Thoughts

Too many times I have sat down with friends, colleagues, and clients to discuss complex ideas, when, before I know it, my mouth involuntarily rounds into an ‘o’ and starts sputtering, “oh, oh, wait, wait, waaait! ”, while my hand flails into action, drawing all my thoughts out as I verbalize them.

Circles, squares, arrows, stick men, what ever the wishful Picasso in me serves up, I notice people aren’t looking at me, they are fixated on my visuals. What, am I not animated enough?

Pictures are Worth a Thousand Words

According to the Visual Teaching Alliance, not only does the brain process visual information 60,000 times faster than text, but 90% of all information that comes to the brain is visual. Click to Tweet That explains a lot; think of children’s books, magazines, ikea instructions, you get the ‘picture’.

Discussing ideas and reading text only creates part of the big picture (makes sense since 65% of us are visual learners). The rest requires some kind of visual to bring the audience along with the story. Believe me, no artistic gift is required, my stick men look more like tree branches than men.

The Picasso Basics

I’ve found, through years of doodling for people, that there are several techniques to communicate more effectively:

#1. Don’t get fancy, this ins’t a game of Pictionary. Stick to the basics, that is; boxes, circles, arrows, signs, happy faces, etc. The more elaborate you get, the more likely the exercise will turn into a session of Pictionary. Your audience should not have to guess.

#2. Slooooooow it Down. Let the pictures synch in with your verbal story telling. You don’t want to lose your audience. Think of me reading Hasel and Gretel, telling you about the kids getting lost in the woods, while showing you a picture of the witch in the oven. Huh? I know.

#3. Think Linearly. Most people think linearly when it comes to processes or time (guess that explains why Facebook changed its design to show you a timeline). So, if at all possible, draw your doodles in order, whether it’s steps or dates.

If you love to doodle your ideas out and have your own tips and tricks, we’d love to hear them. Email us at info@whiteboardconsulting.ca/staging or Tweet us@whiteboardcons using #betterfastercheaper.

Until next week!