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 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.
Did you like this? If you would like to be the first to hear about courses we are running, as well as receive regular visual thinking tips, then sign up to our newsletter.
The first time I saw one of my Dad’s drawings was last September. We were visiting my brother’s house and my niece was gently encouraging (i.e. pestering) him to draw on her blackboard.
He drew a tree and a boat. At that moment I realised I had never seen my Dad draw before. It was quite a strange feeling. Much like when you see a friend’s handwriting for the first time, it was a curious insight into his personality, his uniqueness.
This human element, this insight into someone’s personality is one of the key reasons I love hand drawn graphics so much.
You just don’t get that with those stock images you see in many PowerPoint presentations and websites. (My personal bugbear are the photos of glossy ‘office people’ with big teeth and headsets. Who looks like that? Not many folk in Scotland anyway!)
The human element is just one of many advantages of using hand drawn graphics. Yet despite the multiple benefits people often resist picking up the marker and giving it a go. Why is this?
That’s right, it’s because people believe they can’t draw. They don’t see themselves as artistic.
Do you know what response you would get if you asked a child of 4 whether they think they can draw?
They look at you like you’re mad (I’ve tried it.) ‘Of course!’, is the typical response.
What happens when you ask a child of 7 the same question?
They don’t immediately say yes. It’s often ‘maybe’ or ‘sometimes.’
Is this because a child’s drawing ability has dramatically changed between the ages of 4 and 7?
No, it’s because by the age of 7 early conditioning will have set in. By this age we’ve often been labelled as either ‘good at maths’, ‘sporty’, ‘artistic’, ‘musical’ etc. It often becomes a label for life.
So perhaps you can draw? Perhaps it’s time to revisit your confident 4 year old self.
The truth is if you can draw a line, a circle and a squiggle then you can draw. It’s all about building on key elements.
After all research has shown that a drawing only needs 30% of reality for it to be recognisable.
Kinda takes the pressure off!
So it really doesn’t matter if your house is a square with a triangle on top, or your stick man looks like he’s had one too many. People will get it. That’s the main thing. It doesn’t have to be perfect to get the message across.
Graphics isn’t art. In fact people with a background in art often struggle with graphics because it is so quick, so simple, so in the moment. There is no room for egos when you’re working live with a group of people. Thank goodness for that.
At the end of every graphics course I run I ask the delegates for some feedback. At the back of my office door I stick up all my favourite comments. This is currently number one:
Join me for Secrets of Simple Graphics in Edinburgh on September 5th 2017 and discover what you can do.