Difficulties of Challenges

Every challenge we face has some level of difficulty. Some are gradual and modestly challenging, while others take us to the brink of self-destruction. So ask yourself ‘how was my day, week or project?’ What did it look like? Now, here comes the tool of visual thinking. Rate them by using simple images like the ones below.  Record these little images on a calendar, small corner of the project notes or on anywhere that will help you to remember and possibly prepare for the next challenge.

The simple images below which reflect the levels of difficulties in challenges were inspired by a fellow sketchnotes enthusiast Patricia Kambitsch of Playthink and Redesign. Feel free to use them as needed. You may even want to print the image out and attach them to your project notes, then circle the related image.

Uphill BattleBy using such images as indicators, we are visually connecting the image to the event and later, using the image to trigger the memories of that challenge and similar challenges with the same level of difficulty. You train your brain to create unconscious connections between challenges. The connection also create warnings as well as possible solutions to be used in new challenges.

So, look back on your day, week or challenges and use the images to make mental filings for future use. Good luck and keep (th)INKing visually.

Tattooing the Brain

What visual does this title bring into focus?Tattoing Brain

As practitioners of visual communications, we all are performing this task of tattooing on the brains of the participants, viewers and even ourselves at times. We are, in essences, tattooing information and ideas for clarity, collective vision and retention. We become tattoo artist on the cerebrum once we begin putting ideas to paper for all to see.

Visuals play an important role in memory retention and information recall, but why? As a visual translator and graphic facilitator, the question of the impact that graphics have on learning, retention and recall always slips into the conversation, especially when a potential client, who may have never experienced visual thinking before, is trying to assess the value and benefits of graphic facilitation, graphic recording or visual translation. The very question can stop the flow of the conversation dead in its tracks if you’re not ready to respond appropriately.

To aide myself as well as others, I went searching for empirical results from research as well as articles by leading researchers in neuroscience, education and psychology. Here are some of my search findings. I hope they help you as much as they have assisted me in my preparedness to present the power visuals have on retention and learning.

Research and Articles:

Learning Through Visuals in Psychology Today by Haig Kouyoumdjian, Ph.D.

Effectiveness of Visual Imagery Versus Rule-based Strategies in Teaching Spelling to Learning Disabled Students by Craig Darch & Robert G. Simpson at Auburn University

Presentation Skills 1. Use Visual Aids from online Presentation Magazine

Improve Retention of Your Complex Learning Material By J. Jones

BrainRules by John Medina