Spice Up Your Meetings

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

This week’s blog is from Brittany Curry, a homegrown entrepreneur with a mission to eliminate boring meetings throughout the world (starting with Georgia).  Brittany is a breath of fresh air for meeting attendees and everyone she meets.  She gives off such a positive vibe you can’t help but have a better day after meeting her.  Read on as Brittany shares her entrepreneurial story and encourages others on their journey to success. FYI – The Creative Coast’s blogspot is Savannah’s sounding board for local thinkers, innovators, wanderers and wonders. Guest bloggers share their thoughts, opinions and creative noodling from all over the map…

How many times have you sat through a meeting or conference struggling to stay engaged with the speaker or conversation at hand? For most of us, that probably happens several times every month. Unfortunately, it seems to be the norm these days. That’s where I saw an opportunity and my adventures as an entrepreneur began.

Launching My Idea

In 2015, I launched a business as a graphic recorder. I travel to workshops, meetings, retreats, and speaking events to create live illustrations summarizing the main points of the meeting. Taped to the wall on large sheets of paper, these illustrations keep people’s attention and helps them have better recall of the information being presented. After all, that’s the point of the meeting, right? I don’t lead the meetings, but rather act as the silent partner in the room who is listening for the themes and key quotations that emerge as the group moves through its process.

People really like to see a picture of themselves in a doodle that brings their idea or statement to life on the paper. But so many are quick to say…

It’s Not About the Art….

Graphic recording is not about art, it’s about communication. It’s about deep listening and trying to express the information in quick visual “memes” instead of paragraphs and pages.

     

So many people are visual thinkers and learners, but the methods used to evaluate and test throughout school and college years force us into formal academic writing that takes a toll on one’s creativity. We are not given the permission by our evaluators –or, most critically, ourselves—to use pictures and symbols as a legitimate way of showing what we know.

I learned about graphic recording from a group of folks who developed a method called person-centered planning to support people with disabilities back in the 80s. They discovered that using hand-drawn graphic pictures could help people who don’t use words or language to become fully self-determined agents of their own future and life path. This is what first encouraged me to tap back into something I always loved to do which is doodle and make sketchnotes. It wasn’t a degree or any training in art, but finally silencing the self-judgment that helped me find my voice through the power of imagery.

Take Off Your Seatbelt

Taking off the seatbelt of self-doubt is the starting place for anyone dreaming of bringing a vision into reality. It takes more than a little courage to quiet that voice in the mind that says…

Give yourself permission to do what you love and what comes instinctively. Your bravery will inspire others to do the same.

Now that you have learned a little about graphic recording, stop having bad meetings! Contact me at inkybrittany@gmail.com or visit www.InkyBrittany.com before your next workshop, conference or training session to make sure participants aren’t texting or falling asleep and missing important information.

 

Brittany

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Brittany Curry grew up in Savannah and moved to Milledgeville in 2005, where she attended Georgia College and earned a Bachelor’s degree in Liberal Studies. In 2012, she became the coordinator of Oconee Area Citizen Advocacy, a grassroots community organization that brings together a person with a disability and a fellow citizen who acts as a spokesperson and social ally. Also in 2012, she attended a workshop at the Toronto Summer Institute for Inclusion where she learned about graphic recording—the practice of documenting meetings with visual note taking using colorful pictures and text on large sheets of paper. She began trying out the skill of documenting meetings using graphics for businesses and organizations throughout Georgia. The network of people and groups requesting this service grew into the creation of a full-time business, InkyBrittany. Brittany can be reached at inkbrittany@gmail.com or visit her website at www.inkybrittany.com

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