So last week I came out to hear the fine gents of Big Blue Gumball talk about the power of visual thinking at Liquidnet. We did many fun things – Pictionary with company names (HP is hard to draw…Apple is easy), improv to a wordless PowerPoint (like Mystery Science theater 3000)…and Sketchnotes.

We watched Dr. Martin Luther King’s “I have a Dream” Speech and drew what we were hearing.  dream1









I ran out of space! So I started on a second sheet.

Lesson 1 – choose the right pen width.

Lesson 2 – Start in the Middle! I think you run out of space pretty fast if you work on the edges inward. Just start. In fact, start anywhere.

My favorite is in my second sketch where the rock of hope is hewn from the mountain of despair, where we can all stand in brotherhood. And the bells of freedom ringing. As Dr. King said:

Let freedom ring — from the mighty mountains of New York.

Let freedom ring — from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania.

Let freedom ring — from the snow-capped Rockies of Colorado.

Let freedom ring — from the curvaceous slopes of California.

It was fun to draw those bells!

I saw some people who were doing this for the first time…they drew a series of vignettes, almost like a hieroglyphics panel…whereas others who has seen the Sketchnotes style went for the “whole page” as a story style. I felt like I was making a very odd political cartoon! But the whole panel style is so satisfying. And it sharpens your listening…it’s a fun way to experience a talk.

For sure, I’m going to be doing these exercises with my office group.