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Primary education teacher

Primary education teacher

Primary education teacher

Ilse Nievaart is a Primary Education teacher and sent us the following message with an amazing drawing as an example during the COVID-19 pandemic about the lectures she gives.

“Dear artists of Draw your message,

Thanks to the inspiration from your image library and Draw your message, I draw all my presentations myself. I am a Primary Education teacher at the University of Applied Sciences, and I start all my lectures, which are now reluctantly online, with a collaborative drawing (thanks to the technique of using an extra camera!).
 

The students draw along, partly to clear their minds after the previous lecture, and each drawing is also intended as coaching for their study trajectory, related to the topic of the lecture. It gives them something to think about every week. I find it a very nice way to start the class, calm and a break from overthinking, followed by space for discussion. 

Of course, I don’t see what they do with it afterwards, but I hope it inspires them to start drawing themselves, both with and for the children they will teach in the future.  

Thank you for your inspiration! 
Sunny regards,”

Ilse Nievaart 

What a nice message and what a beautiful visual. I can imagine it being useful in many other settings too! It’s wonderful and valuable to share. Thank you on behalf of everyone reading this!

Draw your message teaches you to enhance the impact of your communication. With expressive and simple drawings, you can visually convey your message. This method is known as visual business drawing or visual communication. 

Take a training in business drawing or attend a workshop to learn how to say more than a thousand words with a single picture. If you prefer books, check out our book “Conversations visualized”. 

Five reasons to incorporate drawing into your presentations

Five reasons to incorporate drawing into your presentations

Five reasons to incoporate drawing into your presentations

By now, we all know that drawing can bring great value to presentations, lessons, and conversations. To my surprise, there hadn’t been a blog written yet summarizing the key benefits of drawing in a presentation! Quite handy, of course! So, we got to work and here it is!

1. Drawing provides an overview and offers structure

A drawing can provide structure to the layout of a presentation as well as the content of a theme. Research has shown that not only what is drawn, but also WHERE it is drawn is stored in memory. A picture can be recalled (remembered) by the vast majority of people, making it easier for us to remember the overall picture.

2. Drawing makes a presentation clear and to the point

In a drawing, there is little room for unnecessary details. Not only because creating them takes time, but also because they simply don’t fit into a single image. Drawing naturally selects between main and supporting points.

3. Information is better retained

Both the left and right hemispheres of the brain are activated by combining words and images. Both hemispheres are stimulated and engaged to process the information at a deeper level. This means not only that it is remembered longer, but also that it can be understood or interpreted at a deeper level.

4. Drawing engages the audience

When drawing is incorporated into a presentation, it automatically grabs attention. Participants become curious, stimulated, and actively involved. Participants who draw and actively engage with the material are also less likely to be distracted from what they’re doing.

5. Drawing increases energy

Drawing is a playful and refreshing way to engage with sometimes mundane topics. By drawing, even dry subject matter comes to life; it becomes colorful, quite literally. Participants are activated, and even a serious training session gains a pleasant, light-hearted atmosphere. The material doesn’t go in one ear and out the other; participants are captivated by the visuals. Whether people laugh at the images or are moved in some other way, a visual presentation resonates with the audience! 

Business drawing at Draw your message

Draw your message helps you to increase the impact of your communication. Simple, expressive drawings visually convey what you communicate. Many people refer to this as business drawing or visual communication. Draw your message teaches you how to say more than a thousand words with one picture through our business drawing training and workshops. If you prefer having a book in hand, check out our book Conversations visualized.

Five tips to make progress

Five tips to make progress

Five tips to make progress

Were you super excited and full of good intentions to apply what you learned in practice at work after attending the training? Then you belong to the group of about 99% of our former participants who found the training very inspiring and valuable. Unfortunately, we also hear that participants find it difficult to make enough progress so that drawing can effortlessly and naturally become part of communication with clients/customers and colleagues. We would like to give you some tips on how to approach this.

1. Challenge your colleagues

Looking for a practical and applicable symbol?! Just hang a flipchart in the office, write the word you want to visualize at the top, and stick sticky notes on the flipchart so that everyone can easily draw their version of the symbol! This way, you inspire yourself and challenge your colleagues to keep drawing actively!

2. Choose your moments

Don’t put too much pressure on yourself. Don’t force yourself to visualize complete coaching conversations from day one. Take small steps and choose “safe” moments. Keep it fun for yourself as well. Practice symbols outside of customer or client conversations, practice first during meetings or conversations with colleagues. Keep it simple and gradually expand your visual library.

3. Three times a day

Draw three symbols every day. Take a maximum of one and a half minutes each time. Make it a game with your colleagues. Draw the three symbols of the day for each other.

4. Share your templates

You probably regularly follow standardized procedures, protocols, and action plans at work. Your colleagues most likely follow the same routine in their work as you do! It’s unnecessary for everyone to reinvent the wheel! Inspire each other and for example, add an agenda item for “templates” during meetings. Share the visual templates that have been created or even assign someone each time to develop a commonly used protocol into a valuable and applicable visual template for everyone.

5. Practice makes perfect

Remember, it’s not a beauty contest! The message is more important than the aesthetic image. Do you remember the blog we wrote earlier this year about how moved we were by the story of a care provider!? In this blog, you can see what we mean: the image should support the message, the drawings don’t have to be beautiful… they speak for themselves! Less is often more, and the more you practice, the larger your visual library becomes!

Have fun drawing!!

Draw your message teaches you how to increase the impact of your communication with expressive and simple drawings, you can visually convey what you want to communicate. This method is known as business drawing or visual communication. Take a business drawing training or workshop to learn how to say more than a thousand words with one picture. If you prefer books, Have a look at our book on Business drawing: Conversations visualized.

Five benefits of Process drawing

Five benefits of Process drawing

Benefits of Process drawing

In our masterclass Process Drawing, we use Tom Wujec’s “toaster process” as a simple way to explain the method of process drawing. The idea is to visualize the steps of a process. One person may draw the process of toasting bread in one image, while another may use ten images. By drawing different processes as a team or within organizations, we gain insight into the steps involved and how different people experience the process. You can watch a video of Tom Wujec describing this process here.

In this blog, I will discuss 5 benefits of process drawing.

1. A shared vision

Process drawings are created by having all stakeholders draw the steps of the same process, from A to Z. One of the first things you’ll notice is that everyone experiences the process and its steps differently! By working together to create a shared chronological visual story, you create a shared vision. The level of detail in the steps of the process is determined by the participants, and they need to make a collective decision in this regard.

2. Simplifying complex realities

By visualizing complex processes, they automatically become clearer and simplified as unnecessary details are removed, and the steps are presented in a concrete and concise manner.

3. Visibility for the organization

Process drawings provide organizations with a clear understanding of their internal and/or external processes. As a manager or leader, you don’t have to know every detail from the inside out, but with process drawings, everyone can see the different steps involved. This allows everyone to know which step is taken by whom.

4. Visualizing the lived experience

When a process is described from a higher-level perspective, it creates a different image than when it is drawn from within. Process drawing allows for a representation of the internal experience of the process. Which steps does the team see? How long do the steps take? Who is responsible for each part of the process? All these aspects are covered.

5. People and collaboration in focus

Often, processes are described in a task-oriented manner, such as in a flowchart, without considering the people and collaboration involved. Drawing a process provides room for this. The starting point of process drawing is the personal vision of the steps each person takes in the process. This creates a simplified yet more comprehensive description of the process. 

The future organization is organized horizontally, emphasizing the importance of connecting the “players” in the process. Process drawing aligns perfectly with this approach.

In conclusion, there are many important benefits of process drawing!

Interested in an engaging exercise? Draw the process of your morning routine with your household members! Then, compare and discuss the similarities and differences that become visible. You’ll be amazed by what emerges when you lay out the steps from each person’s perspective! 

Business drawing at Draw your message

Draw your message helps you to amplify the impact of your communication. Simple, expressive drawings visually convey your message. Many people refer to this as business drawing or visual communication. Draw your message teaches you how to say more than a thousand words with just one image. We provide training sessions and workshops on business drawing. If you prefer a book, take a look at our book on business drawing: Conversations visualized

Five reasons to use drawing in the classroom

Five reasons to use drawing in the classroom

Five reasons to use drawing in the classroom

In addition to making education fun and engaging, there are many more reasons to use drawing in the classroom. In this blog, I will highlight some of these reasons. 

1. A Drawing provides structure for teachers and students

A drawing can serve as a framework to hang new knowledge on. It can provide structure to the lesson, as well as to the content of a specific theme or topic. 

2. Drawing makes lessons clear and to the point

In a drawing, there is little space for unnecessary details. Only what is essential (what the teacher wants to convey or what the student picks up) is included in the image. This selection happens naturally when drawing “on the spot” during the lesson. It creates a clear distinction between the main points and secondary information. Additionally, it allows the teacher to gain a clear understanding of the student’s knowledge (whether the student’s image is complete or overly detailed). 

3. Drawing provides an overview

Imagine a history teacher saying, “Create a large visual of ‘The Arab Spring’ depicting everything that happened.” This forces students to actively engage with the learned information and create a logical overview of what they have learned. Research has shown that not only what is drawn but also WHERE it is drawn is stored in memory. Most people can easily recall a visual, making it easier to remember the overall overview. 

4. Information is better retained

There are several reasons why information is better retained through drawing, and I will describe a few of them: 

  • Combining words and images activates both the left and right hemispheres of the brain, engaging both sides in processing the information. 
  • People have different learning styles determined by their preferred modalities, as described by NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming). Modalities refer to the way information is filtered, processed, and stored. Five basic modalities are recognized: visual (sight), auditory (sound), kinesthetic (touch), olfactory (smell), and gustatory (taste). In classroom learning, three modalities are particularly relevant: visual, auditory, and kinesthetic. By presenting information verbally and visually, you engage two important modalities that reinforce each other. When students also draw themselves, they involve the third significant modality: kinesthetic, processing and storing information through movement and touch. 
  • When a student translates verbal information from a teacher into their own visual representation, they connect new information to existing mental images. This connection between the new and familiar acts as a bridge to the long-term memory, making it easier for the new information to stick. 

5. Drawing stimulates students

A teacher who draws captures attention, piques curiosity, and actively involves students. Students who draw and actively engage with the material are less likely to be distracted from what they are working on. Additionally, drawing is a playful and refreshing way to approach sometimes dull subjects. Dry material comes to life, gains color, and immediately forms an image. 

Draw your message helps you to increase the impact of your communication. Simple, expressive drawings visually convey what you communicate. Many people refer to this as ‘business drawing’ or ‘visual communication’. Draw your message teaches you how to say more than a thousand words with a single picture. We do this by providing training and workshops in business drawing. If you prefer a book in your hands, check out our book Conversations visualized. 

Five reasons to use drawing in therapy and coaching

Five reasons to use drawing in therapy and coaching

Five reasons to use drawing in therapy and coaching

I have over ten years of work experience as an art therapist with various target groups in mental health care. I use this experience in the trainings I give at Draw Your Message. From my perspective, I describe below five important reasons to use drawing in therapy and coaching.

1. Overview

Using drawings from a bird’s-eye view, lifelines, and schematic representations can help a client to take a step back from a situation or event. This can be helpful when a client is overwhelmed by emotion, providing distance and perspective. It allows you and the client to look at the problem together. It creates a sense of distance and often brings about calmness and stability. 

2. Insight

Just as drawing assignments can create distance, they can also increase insight. You can zoom in on lifelines, asking questions like, “Okay, at what exact moment in your childhood did you experience that intense situation? Which moment was the most difficult? What were your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors at that moment?” This way of working is very therapeutic, and I have used it extensively in trauma processing, for example, after abuse or war. Zooming in, again and again, helps regain control (learning to look instead of avoiding thoughts) and smooth out the sharpest edges. 

You can also zoom in on emotions. “If you feel anger, what does that look like for you (your anger is different from mine), and how does your mother see your anger? You can give anger a color, a texture, a rhythm, a certain pressure, a material, a size. Is the anger you say you feel in your stomach round or sharp? Does it have a color? Does your anger move? Is it light or heavy?” By giving shape to anger, it becomes concrete, and the client can feel validated and seen. By the way, these types of assignments are not only for children! Parents or adults can also benefit from them. I have asked a father, as an art therapist, to represent his anger in a similar way because I knew his son perceived it as something very big and scary. By placing the two different images side by side and discussing them with the father and son, insight and a meaningful conversation emerged.

3. Looking forward

We all know that having a clear picture of goals can be immensely helpful. By creating a drawing or collage of where someone ultimately wants to be, it becomes even clearer which aspects need to change to get there. Moreover, it helps to focus on something positive. The more a positively formulated goal lives, the more it motivates.

4. Clarifying Situations, Steps, and Phases

Through storytelling, lifelines, or visual life stories, you bring clarity to the sequence of events. Situations are put back in their place. Something still has an influence, but it is already in the past and that’s where it belongs! 

 For example, “Both of you, create a comic book of the morning as you experienced it. I’m curious about what caused the anxiety to suddenly escalate so quickly. For instance, on such a comic book, you can already see that while the mother was still in bed, she was checking her work emails and immediately became stressed. The son was already angry because the mother hadn’t prepared his lunchbox (as agreed), and then when the little sister dropped the jar of peanut butter, the brother started screaming, then the mother shouted at the son, and in response, the son shouted back at the mother. “Aha… so a lot is happening on both sides?!” This way of working can increase mutual understanding and clarify which agreements need to be made to prevent similar situations in the future. By placing events and processes in a pattern, the pattern becomes very visible to the client, and you can indicate in the drawing where the possibilities for change lie, thereby breaking the pattern.

5. Visual Report

By giving the client the drawing at the end of the session or taking a photo of it, you provide a kind of minutes. The drawing can serve as a tool for the client at home when discussing the session with someone else, such as parents who want to know what was discussed. 

Furthermore, repeatedly looking back at the drawing can enhance the impact of the session as the client can better absorb what was said and done. It can also help to ask the client to review the drawing just before the next session. How often does it happen that a client has no idea what was discussed last time? By having the client review the drawing, you can pick up right where you left off. 

Discover the power of visual communication with Draw your message!

By using simple, expressive drawings, you too can effectively convey your message. Business drawing, also known as visual communication, is a method that is becoming increasingly popular. Draw your message offers workshops and training in business drawing to teach you how to say more with just one image than with a thousand words. See dates of upcoming workshops here or check out our book Conversations visualized specifically for Counselors, practitioners and other care providers.