Tag Archives: cartoon-blogging

Use sketchnotes and graphic recording to spread your speech’s message

A social speech has the power to extend your message’s reach beyond the audience in attendance. And one of the most powerful ways you can do that is by encapsulating that message in a self-contained, easily-shared piece of content: a social object.

Think of it as a spur to conversation: something that people will share and talk about online. (Jyri Engeström first coined the term, but cartoonist Hugh Macleod has done a lot to put it into practical terms.) For your speech, that social object could take many forms: A great clip of the key moment from your speech. An infographic illustrating and supporting your argument. A striking and relevant image, captioned with a text quotation from your speech.

Or it could take the form of graphic recording: an increasingly popular way of capturing the essence of speeches and conversations as illustrations, usually drawn live and in the moment.

Innovative workshop facilitators have been using graphic recording now for years. (Here’s Nancy White doing her marvellous graphic take on my Northern Voice talk from 2009.) And now it’s hitting the mainstream with everything from RSA’s now-famous whiteboard animations to sketchnotes at events like SXSW and (cough) the Nonprofit Technology Conference.

The folks at Duarte Design created a series of illustrations from last month’s TED 2013 talks – garnering more than 100,000 views on Slideshare. Here’s how one of them, capturing seven different talks, came together:

You don’t have to be nearly as ambitious in scope and scale, of course. But even a few simple sketches along with explanatory text can help your message spread – and inspire conversations that can lead to connection, action and impact.

And those sketches don’t require any special artistic training or cartooning skill. Books like The Sketchnote Handbook and The Back of the Napkin set out simple techniques you (or someone in your organization) can use to illustrate a message with clarity and power, even if you haven’t dared to doodle since grade school. And the Sketchnote Army website offers inspiration on demand, with tons of examples to learn from.

Add some identifying information — the speaker’s name, the event and date, an URL and a Twitter ID — and you’re ready to release your sketchnote into the wild as a social object. There are countless ways to do it:

  • post the image to your blog
  • post the image to Flickr
  • tweet it out after the speech
  • add it to the slide deck you post on Slideshare
  • turn it into a Prezi
  • animate it a little and post it to YouTube

Whichever way you share it (and any other social object you create), follow and join the conversations it triggers, and engage with the networks it helps you build.

P.S. – I’m convinced the current popularity of hand-drawn live notes owes no small debt to the impact of Common Craft‘s fantastic explanatory videos. So it’s no accident that I’ll also heartily recommend Lee LeFever’s The Art of Explanation, which is great on images and can help you add sound and video to the mix.

Cartoon-blogging Cory Doctorow and William Gibson

Here are my notes from Saturday’s event with Cory Doctorow in conversation with William Gibson. (I attended with Dave Eaves, which meant I got to experience two terrific conversations that afternoon.) The hour and a half ranged over everything from the First-World problems of book tours to American gun culture — and of course intellectual property and those who use it to stifle the exchange of ideas and creativity.

The full-size version is 1,600 glorious pixels wide. Just click this smaller one to see the whole thing:

Sketchnotes from Cory Doctorow and William Gibson in conversation at the Vancouver Writers Festival

Quick footnotes:

  1. Many thanks to the Vancouver Writers Fest, one of the great things about living in this city.
  2. Leading with big faces is a bold move for a man who can’t actually caricature. Any resemblance to the actual individuals is purely fortuitous.
  3. July 1982: I bought a copy of Omni Magazine and read “Burning Chrome,” and I don’t think I’ve really recovered from it, nor do I want to. Thirty years ago.
  4. Cory Doctorow’s latest book is Pirate Cinema, and it’s part of the amazing Humble Bundle of e-books. It’s a staggering good value. I’m off to buy it.

Cartoon-blogging at Google Engage Vancouver

Google Engage for Agencies came to Canada a year ago, training agencies in AdWords and other Google products so they can then offer those products to their clients. Yesterday Google celebrated the program’s first Canuck birthday with a four-city conference, connected by Google Hangout, looking at marketing trends facing digital agencies and their clients.

Speakers included the host, Google’s Deepak Anand, and local digital mavens Doug Jasinski of Skunkworks, Chris Breikss of 6S Marketing, and Nasser Sahlool of DAC Group.

My iPad and stylus were there, too. Here are my notes:

Google Engage cartoon-blog notes

Cartoon-blogging at Google Engage Vancouver

Google Engage for Agencies came to Canada a year ago, training agencies in AdWords and other Google products so they can then offer those products to their clients. Yesterday Google celebrated the program’s first Canuck birthday with a four-city conference, connected by Google Hangout, looking at marketing trends facing digital agencies and their clients.

Speakers included the host, Google’s Deepak Anand, and local digital mavens Doug Jasinski of Skunkworks, Chris Breikss of 6S Marketing, and Nasser Sahlool of DAC Group.

My iPad and stylus were there, too. Here are my notes:

Google Engage cartoon-blog notes

Cartoon-blogging at NTC 2012

It was another great Nonprofit Technology Conference, my second in San Francisco… and my second cartoon-blogging outing for my friends at NTEN.

This time around, the good folks at Rally – a social fundraising platform, and the folks behind a very cool workspace – sponsored the graphic recording effort.

Which meant there were not one but two pens flying during various keynotes and breakout sessions. My colleague was the amazing Kate Rutter, who manages to combine detail, structure and composition in ways that amaze me. You can see the results of our work here.

I’m pulling together the last of my cartoon-blog images, and I’ll post them here soon. But in the meantime, here are the cartoons I drew from the floor of the conference. They include my notes from the session on social media policy, led by Idealware’s Andrea Berry and Darim’s Lisa Colton and centered around their free social media policy workbook.

Cartoon-blogging at NTC 2012

Session notes from Dr. Changelove at #12NTCIt was another great Nonprofit Technology Conference, my second in San Francisco… and my second cartoon-blogging outing for my friends at NTEN.

This time around, the good folks at Rally – a social fundraising platform, and the folks behind a very cool workspace – sponsored the graphic recording effort.

Which meant there were not one but two pens flying during various keynotes and breakout sessions. My colleague was the amazing Kate Rutter, who manages to combine detail, structure and composition in ways that amaze me. You can see the results of our work here.

I’m pulling together the last of my cartoon-blog images, and I’ll post them here soon. But in the meantime, here are the cartoons I drew from the floor of the conference. They include my notes from the session on social media policy, led by Idealware’s Andrea Berry and Darim’s Lisa Colton and centered around their free social media policy workbook.

Cartoon-blogging at the Nonprofit Technology Conference in DC

I’ll be heading to sunny (if the forecasts are correct) Washington, DC later this week to toonblog the Nonprofit Technology Conference. It’s an annual gathering of nonprofit tech practitioners who work with organizations large and small. I’ve been to previous NTCs in Seattle and San Francisco, and they were terrific.

I’m especially looking forward to toonblogging the session Beth Kanter is convening, I Found My Free Agent, Now What? That’s partly because Beth’s a good friend, a genuine expert and a fantastic facilitator, and partly because my mandate is to whip off cartoons as fast as humanly possible.

This will be only my third time in DC. I love it there; for a politics junkie, this is Disneyland. (They even have a 1:1 scale model of the White House!) If you’re coming to NTC too, please look me up. And if not, you can follow it on #11ntc on Twitter.

Vegas, bébé

In a few short hours, I’ll touch down in Las Vegas, New Mexico, armed only with my iPad, stylus, two sketchbooks, pencil, five Pigma Micron markers, a Cintiq, a digital SLR and a MacBook Pro. I travel light, my friend.

The destination: BlogWorld, the planet’s (and, as far as we know, the entire universe’s) largest new media gathering. I’m their official cartoon-blogger, or toonblogger. Heading from session to session, keynote to keynote, glittering nightclub to glittering nightclub, I’ll be capturing moments and whipping up cartoons. You can follow them on the BlogWorld blog.

In case you’re interested, here’s a quick video clip of what I’m bringing with me (thanks, free YVR broadband!).

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