Improve Your Meetings – Make Them Visual

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People have different ways of learning and perceiving things. Some people process information based on what they’ve heard and others on what they’ve seen. Thus, it is quite important that you don’t illuminate your content just by talking but also by visualizing.

On one hand, visual aids help people to explain things more concretely. On the other hand, they help people to understand better what you are saying. Furthermore, activating people by asking them to visualize their thoughts decreases passivity while increasing productivity. Another advantage of using visual presentation is that it increases creativity.

There are quite a many tools one can use to visualize. These are e.g.

  • Visual maps
  • Sticky notes
  • Graphics

Mindmeister is an excellent social media tool for creating mind maps and idea maps. Unfortunately it doesn’t allow you to draw things, at least not yet, but it helps meeting participants to understand the big picture and connections between various things.

Sticky notes work well for categorizing things. Use different colors for different categories; for example use green color for ‘go’ decisions and red color for ‘no go’ decisions. Sticky notes work also pretty well for building taskboards. There are also some web-based services for creating taskboards online. If you use an online taskboard, remember to share the link to the taskboard via Meetin.gs.

Have graphics accompany your numbers instead of presenting bare numbers. Graphics are good when you need to visualize financial development, changes in business, or the current situation.

To learn more about visual meetings, check out David Sibbet’s book:
http://www.grove.com/site/vm_book.html

Other useful links:

About mindmaps
http://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newISS_01.htm
http://graphicdesignblender.com/empower-design-mind-maps
http://mac.appstorm.net/roundups/graphics-roundups/9-mind-mapping-tools-for-mac/
http://allblogs.raptivity-presenter.com/2011/06/the-art-of-visualization-through-mind-map/

About taskboard design
http://www.xqa.com.ar/visualmanagement/elements-of-taskboard-design/

About graphics
http://www.wholepicturethinking.com/why-use-meeting-visuals

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