Three ways to use Zoom whiteboard for facilitation

Three ways to use Zoom whiteboard for facilitation

And then…my whole wide world went Zoom.

Love it or loathe it Zoom has become a large part of our lives. From virtual pub quizzes to virtual learning Zoom is here to stay.

As a facilitator, have you thought about how Zoom can support your facilitation processes? What has really piqued my interest is the use of Zoom Whiteboards to support the collaboration and co-creation of ideas.

 

Here are three ways you can use Zoom whiteboards for facilitation:

  • Establishing a Group Contract/Working Agreement

As a facilitator you may, at the beginning of a session, invite a group to share the norms and behaviours they feel need to be in place in order for everyone to get the most of the session. Using a Zoom whiteboard for this exercise makes it particularly collaborative. Instead of the facilitator noting what each person says, individuals themselves use the ‘Annotate’ tool on Zoom to draw or type in their responses, thus co-creating the group contract.

 

  • Dot Voting

Dot voting is a great way to garner opinion on a topic or decision. In a real-life setting ideas are shared using post-it notes on a flipchart or wall, then each person is given a certain number of dot stickers which they then go and place next to their preferred idea(s).
With a Zoom whiteboard a facilitator can note down ideas in text on the Whiteboard and participants can vote on their ideas using the Stamp function within the Annotate menu. Stamp gives us the ability to add a green tick (or heart for example) beside our preferred idea. An added bonus is that the voting process is anonymous (unless you use the arrow for stamping; as a facilitator exclude that from the options), thus reducing (in part) group think bias.

 

  • Checking in for understanding

This can be used in many ways, one way for example is to check to ensure everyone has a shared understanding of a problem. Using the Breakout function break people into groups and invite them to draw out the problem. The whiteboard function in Zoom allows people to draw on the whiteboard at the same time. Smaller groups can work together scribbling on the board, drawing out their shared understanding.

 

I hope this has given you some food for thought for your next facilitation session. Do make sure that you regularly familiarise yourselves with the latest Zoom security updates.

 

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Made the right decision? Quick visual confidence check

Made the right decision? Quick visual confidence check

So you’ve made a decision as a group … everyone has contributed their opinions, you’ve assessed the pros and cons of each proposal, you’ve even held a vote.

But how confident do you feel that the right decision has been made?

Did some people agree to the decision just to get out of the meeting early?

Got that niggling feeling that maybe not everyone is exactly on board?

Time to run a quick confidence check (with thanks to David Sibbet):

  • Draw a line from 0 to 10.
  • Ask each person to rate how confident they are that the decision made was a good one, with 10 being completely confident and 0 as having no confidence.
  • Everyone calls out their number and make x marks at the appropriate place.
  • The result will be a graphic picture of confidence.
  • Ask the people who provided the lower ratings to talk about what would need to happen to make them fully confident.

Try this the next time you need to make a decision and as always let me know how you get on.

How to solve problems using visual thinking

How to solve problems using visual thinking

Ever feel stuck?

Simple drawings are a powerful tool to shift us from a feeling of inertia to one of clarity and control.

If you’re grappling with a problem and haven’t been able to settle on a solution try drawing it out.

By simply drawing out the who, what, when and where of your problem you will soon start to see aspects you hadn’t considered till now. This act of putting pen to paper, of thinking visually allows for new ideas to form and solutions to emerge.

Want to take it further? Here’s your step by step guide (with thanks to David Sibbet):

1.      Focus the issue – who, what, when, where
2.      Start brainstorming solutions – one idea per post-it
3.      Group the notes and label the headings
4.      Discuss each proposal
5.      Vote on the most promising
6.      Discuss top three – pros/cons of each option.
7.      Make decision

This becomes particularly powerful when we start working as a group to solve problems and several ideas emerge.

Solving problems as a group and not sure everyone has bought into the decision? Tune in next week for a quick technique that tests this and ensures everyone is on the same page.

To tap into your creative problem solving skills don’t forget to book onto next week’s Secrets of Simple Graphics course on April 26th 2019 Book now >>

Three fun ways to colour in quickly

Three fun ways to colour in quickly

You know those colouring in books that are really popular at the moment? The mindfulness ones with the intricate designs?

Well I’ve thought about getting one.

However the truth is…everytime I think about it another part of me wants to get out my biggest fattest chunkiest marker and scribble like crazy all over the beautiful designs.

There, I’ve said it.

When it comes to graphics, and especially when it comes to working live with a group, we can’t afford the luxury of painstakingly perfect colouring in. After all, we’re there to serve the group, not our artistic egos.

Here are some fun ways to colour in quickly – with each method colouring in can be done behind or around the image (often quicker) or inside the image.

1. Crosshatching

Crosshatching is a pattern. Here are some other patterns you can try:

patterns

2. Chalk pastels  – this is messy, fast and fun.

chalk paint

3. Shading – I like to use grey for shading (think: where is the sun coming from? and then you’ll know where to shade. For example if the sun is in the top right corner your shading will be left and bottom); other colours are just as effective.

shading

I hope you enjoy these tips. Don’t forget to check out the open courses page for the next Secrets of Simple Graphics date.

Hand drawn versus, well, not hand drawn

I’m a great believer in the power of pen and paper. Give me a slightly wonky hand drawn picture over clip art any day of the week.

As Dan Roam says in The Back of The Napkin, ‘The hand is mightier than the mouse’.

But just what is it about hand drawn images that make them so great?

Firstly, the more human our communication is the more effective it is. Hand drawn images are an outward sign of that humanity.

What an insight we receive when we see how someone draws.

How refreshing, how disarming almost, to see something that like us, is not perfect.

Secondly, when we create images on a computer we often find ourselves wrestling with a piece of software* whose functionality never quite matches up to the power of our imagination.

And it’s so small, that screen, so…confined. It can make our thinking confined too.

Thirdly (and crucially), it is the physical act of putting pen to paper that is so powerful. It engages the right hand side – the creative side – of our brain. It is that creativity that stimulates and feeds idea generation.

I don’t know how many times I’ve seen delegates on my courses start with a blank sheet of paper and then think, ‘Oh hang on. Maybe we can do this. Or if we scratch that out we can do that…’ and so forth.

How powerful is it in an age where idea generation is so key to human flourishing to have a tool so cheap, so quick, so accessible.

The power is in your hands!

Emer

Do come and join me on April 26th 2019 for some in person practice. I can’t wait.

*There are software programmes which allow you to draw directly on the screen (Adobe Illustrator and SketchbookPro to name a few) which is great. Start with pen and paper though. Otherwise you’re learning how to draw and learning how to use a software programme at the same time. And despite many protests to the contrary research shows that the brain just isn’t good at multitasking!