Visual Facilitation - Conference Recording

Capturing Participant Input With Words (all rights reserved) 
I have a couple of degrees - one pre-digital, the other mid-digital.  Many changes happened in the intervening years.  The most prominent of these was probably the journal repository.  I spent weeks, maybe months, cumulatively in the dungeons (the basement journal stacks at the Baillieu Library at Melbourne University) in the late 1980's.  When I studied in the 2000's in Rockhampton, a small regional city, I did not crack open a single physical journal in 6 years of study.  But I referenced and quoted from hundreds of journals, all available online in password controlled databases.

When I studied the first time I could put the complete notes from a 2 hour lecture onto the front and back of an A4 sheet of paper.  I did not summarise.  Instead I shrank my writing to about 6 point, and scrawly.  I had a great group of study partners, and none of them ever asked to borrow my lecture notes more than once.  I seldom drew a picture, and I am pretty sure I did not link 'related ideas'.  I certainly did not use more than one colour - blue biro.

When I returned to Uni for my second degree, I hoped to use mind-maps to record lectures.  I found my spatial capabilities lacking.  After many years of computing, I was unable to write more than a short paragraph without my hand cramping up.  So I took to typing notes from the 'posted Powerpoint slides' (another new development) and the textbook.

Enough about my study methods...

I am not a practitioner of visual facilitation, conference-style, but I am fascinated by it.  You might be able to see why.  There is an obvious link between me and the visual facilitators who post their work on the Web.  We both use a rectangular white surface to record presentations.  In the past I did this for lectures, now I do it for facilitated sessions; and I have moved from paper to whiteboard and butcher's paper. And I aspire to use images in place of words especially to communicate the links between ideas and to make ideas more concrete.  I do this a bit, and am working on doing it more.
Better - A Long Red Arrow & a Light Bulb (all rights reserved)
There are others who do an awesome job of matching images and words to bring content alive.  If you are interested in their work try some of these sites:

There appears to be a lot of different terms for similar things.  When I talk about 'visual facilitation' in my own work, I mean that I am capturing input from the participants, and sharing my own ideas through (mainly) a whiteboard.  I think that most of the beautiful business art you can see at the links above is primarily people recording a presentation by someone else.  I love their work, and am sure I can be a better visual facilitator by emulating some of their practices.