Some of the questions I’m frequently asked…

You’ve got questions, I’ve got answers. Here are some of the questions I’ve been asked about my work. If you don’t see yours, please send me an email and I’ll do my best to answer it for you.

This sounds interesting but I’ve never used a graphic facilitator before.

I hear you. This is the kind of thing that once you see it in action you totally get it and until then it’s hard to imagine. I can tell you that every meeting, conference or event I’ve been involved with, people are blown away by how interesting, integral and valuable graphic facilitation is. They vow never to have a meeting without me again.

I think I’d like to work with you, how do I hire you?

Shoot me an email with your dates so I can make sure my calendar is open. Then we’ll have a short conversation on the phone about your meeting and how I can help you achieve your goals.

Once we decide that we’re going to work together I’ll send you my contract to sign and return with a 50% deposit to secure the date. I don’t hold the date until I get a deposit.

Is graphic facilitation distracting?

It is a live performance as I’m writing and drawing the conversation in real time, but it’s actually enhancing and captivating rather than distracting because most people learn better by hearing and seeing at the same time. Looking back at the images you’ll be able to recall the thoughts you were having.

I’m also providing structure and context, showing connections between thoughts, helping people anchor themselves within the conversation. It’s an additional layer of sensorial learning that is very useful in absorbing more information.

As Dan Roam, Mr. Back of the Napkin, says, “The combination of simultaneous creation and narration is magic.”

Do you do this work on the computer?

No. Even though you are viewing it in digital form on my website, the original map was done live during an important conversation on a big piece of paper (4×8 feet) hanging on the wall. I photograph the mural once it’s done and reproduce it digitally so you can use it in follow-up communications — your website, newsletter, report, email, etc.

I can help you figure out the best way to get more mileage out of your mural(s) once the meeting is over so the ideas live on beyond the meeting.

How can you come into our situation and know enough to visually map it?

I listen like a reporter would for the “story”–the key points, thoughts, ideas, themes, and highlight those. You’ll see the story start to emerge and connections being made through the structure I create. I need a short description of your goals — where you want to be — to help you get there in the meeting.

Do you bring your own supplies or do we provide them for you?

I bring my own. I have my own particular markers I prefer. I also supply my own paper which I ship to the site. I charge a supply fee and shipping costs.

I captured a high level panel discussion with directors from the CDC and World Health Organization about the future of public health in light of the new priorities of the Obama administration.

What kind of a meeting room do you need to do your work?

Two words: smooth walls. This important part most people overlook until the last minute. Don’t wait to start thinking about the meeting room.

Ideally, I need about 20 feet of wall space where I can be seen by everyone in the room. At the very least, 10 feet of wall space will work. The walls need to be smooth. Again for those in the back: SMOOTH WALLS.

I suggest that people visit the room and run their hands along the walls to see how they feel. Notice if there are any chair rails, paneling or pictures hanging. It also helps if you can shoot a few pictures of the room and send them to me.

You’re not going to damage the walls, are you?

I am very protective about the surfaces I work on because I always want to be invited back. I use an artist’s/painter’s tape that doesn’t damage the wall and I put up a protective sheet of paper to ensure the markers won’t bleed through. I haven’t damaged a wall yet. Knock on wood.

We don’t have any good walls in the room we’re meeting?

Uh oh, then we’re screwed. Just kidding!! We can look into renting portable walls. These will work just as well. No worries!

Do you travel?

Absolutely! I’m based in Atlanta and Delta can deliver me almost anywhere in the country or the world (Hello Amsterdam! Hello Brazil! Hello Africa! Hello island in the tropics!) non-stop.  I prefer to arrive the day before an event to set up, assess the situation and get plenty of rest before the meeting.

How do you charge for your services?

I charge a day rate plus travel expenses: airfare, hotel, parking, meals, supplies, shipping. I receive 50% of my fee to secure the date up front and the remaining 50% within 30 days of your meeting.

What deliverables do we get?

Well for one, my fabulous self at your meeting helping you deliver a powerhouse of an event. Oh, you mean the physical product stuff? At the end of the meeting, I hand off to you the original drawings in a roll (plan for this, you may need to arrange for shipping) plus a CD of the murals in digital format ready to be used on the web.

Note: many people fail to make use of the digital images right away. You should post them to your site post haste. Participants ask me all the time, “What are they going to do with these great murals?” because they want to be able to reference them after the meeting. Make the murals available.

We can talk further about how I can help you with a plan to utilize these valuable documents so that they become a living archive of your important conversation.

I would also encourage you to use the originals. Put them up in your workplace so people can refer to them. Make a war room. Tons of great ideas were captured that can generate additional conversations.

We want to reproduce this as a print or poster, how do we do that?

I recommend a company in California called Landau Chartworks, that can do a full-sized scan, and print reproductions at whatever size you need for a very reasonable amount of money. And they’re fast. They can do a 24-hour turnaround.