What is Visual Facilitation, and Why Bother?

What is Visual Facilitation, and Why Bother?

Our Intern Terence sheds light on the difference between the Graphic Recording and Graphic Facilitation, and why you should seriously consider that for your next meeting.

Graphic Recording and Visual Facilitation, sometimes you may hear them being used interchangeably. However, there is a difference between the two. Knowing which service you require will help avoid any confusion when discussing the details for your project. In the previous post, we talked about what is Graphic Recording. This time, I will attempt to explain what is visual facilitation and why bother.

What is Visual Facilitation? 
by Terence Tee

To facilitate is to make easy. Hence, the role of a Visual Facilitator is to assist the process of a group meeting. In so doing, making it more focused and productive. Yay!

“Visual” means that the facilitation process is done using visual tools. Not just simply writing and drawing on flipcharts and big boards, but to make the connections and arrive at the big picture.

How is that different from Graphic Recording?

Sounds like Graphic Recording? Well, same same but different!

Both Graphic Recording and Visual Facilitation are visual practices. While Graphic Recording emphasises live capture of content during the meeting, Visual Facilitation is more focused on driving the discussion process and outcomes. Hence, compared to the Graphic Recorder who often works silently at the side of the meeting, the Visual Facilitator is more akin to an encouraging coach spurring the conversation.

The Visual Facilitator’s Role

In meetings where a Visual Facilitator is involved, he/she may either double up as the Process Facilitator (who designs and facilitates the processes for the group to get their desired shared outcome), or work with the Process Facilitator.

As the Process Facilitator has to guide the discussion, he/she needs at least a working understanding of the subject matter. However, though he/she is the expert on the process, the subject matter experts remain the client and participants. Hence, the Facilitator would work with the client prior to co-create an agenda for the event.

During the meeting, the Process Facilitator guides the discussion. The Visual Facilitator may support in capturing the content visually, develop visual tools and processes for use at the meeting, or work with/ work as a Graphic Recorder on how the output can be captured in a useful way.

Similar to Graphic Recording, the client gets to keep the visual output after the meting. Depending on the nature of the work, the Visual Facilitator may further advise the client on how to make use of the visuals and future steps to achieve their goals.

Are you looking for a Graphic Recorder or Visual Facilitator? Have a no-obligations consultation with our compliments. Contact us at hello@picturepeopleplan.com

p.s. Check out other articles in our Ask Our Intern series here: