Last weekend I was in Lausanne (Switzerland) live scribing (taking big visual notes) for a conference about dog food. The teams were discussing new ideas of what kind of products can be created in order to take their brand to the next level. Since I had already done some preliminary sketches I was familiar with the concepts they were about to discuss. I was a bit nervous before they started as I wasn’t used to drawing directly in pen. I felt more comfortable as I went along though, and just took it as a large way to take notes with fun drawings in it.
Here are some important lessons I learnt from this event..
1. Listen carefully and be selective
Don’t draw everything single thing that is being discussed. It is important to to know what is important and what is just side chatter. Familiarity and preliminary reading help with this. Also what's useful is to take small notes before you do the bigger drawing. Once you are sure that something is of importance then you can proceed to draw it.
2. Maintain a hierarchy
It’s vital that for the sake of design and clarity, some things are clearly bigger and more important then others. These include key words, and iconic images. Scribing is like taking visual notes, but to the next level and designing things well, more sophisticated.
3. Choose YOUR medium
Use a medium you are comfortable with and feel comes most naturally to you. You’ll see in most youtube videos and most events scribers use Felt tip markers in various colours. That’s the norm, but if you are comforatable with coloured crayons or watercolours, by all means do that.
4. Have fun, be spontaneous!
The whole purpose of you being there and doing this is that you keep the audience awake and stimulated. Have a sense of humour, play with words, extract funny meanings and take it to another level.
5. Remember the purpose
At the end of the conference, the speaker might use your drawings to summarize the event. Make sure that they are organized, easy to read and are truly representative of the talks. If you’re not sure you should talk to someone who is familiar with the proceedings and let them guide you!