Five quick ways to use graphics in your training

As a trainer or facilitator you may be curious about incorporating hand drawn graphics into your training design and delivery.

Perhaps you're fed up with powerpoint, itching to try something new or have simply heard about the many benefits of using graphics and want to try them out for yourself.

At first hand drawn graphics may seem daunting, particularly if you believe you're 'no good at drawing' or 'not artistic'. Remember when it comes to using graphics in a learning setting the goal is to get a message across and draw out ideas, not to impress the group with your flair for fine art.

Here are five quick ways you can introduce hand drawn graphics into your training:

1. The Welcome Flip
You just can't beat a friendly welcome flip when you enter a room. That's right, it's simply a flip chart with the word Welcome written on it, accompanied by a graphic. What graphic represents the word welcome? A cup of coffee? A sun? A smiling face? You choose!
2. The Meeting Start Up
I love the meeting startup. It's basically a large paper template that outlines the agenda, roles, rules and outcomes for the day. The Grove Consultants in San Francisco have designed some great meeting startup templates – check them out here.
3. Burning Questions
This is one of my favourites. Draw a simple picture of a fire on a large piece of paper and stick it on the wall. At the beginning of the session invite delegates to write down their key burning questions on post it notes (flame coloured, naturally) and stick them to the template. At some point during the session allow time to openly reflect on the questions posed to ensure questions and concerns are being met.
4. Reflection in Action sheet
Generally speaking at training events, delegates are often provided with blank sheets of paper to make notes on. Why not create a simple Reflection in Action template for delegates to jot down insights, ideas and suggestions as they emerge? Here's the one I use. Feel free to create a template of your own - use lightbulbs, flipchart stands, target symbols, any outline you like to allow delegates to capture their learning in a unique and memorable way.
5. Head, Heart, Feet Finishing Exercise
I'm always looking for different ways to round off a training session and this is particular favourite.

Start off by drawing a person on a piece of flip chart paper (a stick man is absolutely fine!) and give the group some post-it notes.

Ask the group to jot down what they've learned (head), how they're feeling (heart) and what actions they're going to put in place (feet), and invite them to put their post-it notes on the appropriate place on the person you've drawn. (If, like me, you have a penchant for post-its you can even get some head, heart, feet shaped ones. Yes, I do get excited about such things...)

So there you have it, three quick ways to introduce hand drawn graphics into your training design and delivery. Have a go with one or more of the above suggestions and do let me know how you get on.

© Emer O'Leary Studios Ltd 2022

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