I love whiteboards! They offer so much scope for getting ideas out of one’s head and onto something tangible, and they are much more easily shared that way too. And as I sat in a meeting this morning it occurred to me that one of the strongest ways any of us can improve our ability to communicate, is not by speaking our message, or writing great content, sometimes it’s about being able to quickly draw a diagram that helps to explain something.
Just think about it – if you are trying to explain how to get from point A to B, or the best way to circumnavigate the world of ‘anything’, don’t you want to do it quickly and in a way that makes immediate sense to someone without them having to read a lot of description? Being able to convert anything into a simple diagram can drastically reduce the amount of head-space required to understand most things. Not to mention the amount of paper used by some people!
The ability to create a meaningful slide share presentation is always best enhanced by being able to draft out the slides on a single sheet of paper. And being able to ‘properly draw’ is not a big deal if you can’t do that, so long as the concept is shared well. Using a whiteboard effectively is about getting things out of your head and into a share-able, explain-able format.
Next time you are thinking about how best to communicate a good idea, instead of sitting and writing a lot of information about it, start with one piece of paper – or a clean white board – and play with ways to break it into a simple ‘one drawing’ explanation first. You’ll be surprised at how easily this can help you be succinct and creative in your presentation.
How can you get better at this?
Simply get back to those old school days of doodling. Let your pen and your imagination go wild. Learn how to get what’s in your head, even in the roughest form possible, onto a surface, and then practice your technique for sucking the images out of your head.
Of course when it comes to using a whiteboard effectively I do wish I could do more than stick figure men when I’m drawing on a white board, but you know the best part about this? People don’t mind simple stick figures if that’s the best you can do on a whiteboard so long as they ‘get’ that you are talking about people. No one cares that you are not Picasso – just think of yourself as describing with lines, circles, arrows and creative colours.