Challenge: Sketchnoting

Everything started with two exceptional persons. I have been following Zeger Van Hese (check out his twitter and blog) for some time now. Needless to say – during his talk at Testing Cup 2016 he gave me some inspirations for my first talk ever. I was aware of his art of sketchnoting – his pieces of art allowed me a glimpse at what are testers talking about during presentations at foreign conferences. I looked at this with admiration “Oh, he has so many talents!” and did nothing more.

But later on, during Romanian Testing Conference, I met Marianne Duijst (I highly recommend following her on twitter and her blog). She is a warm, passionate and highly multi-tasking person. I was happy enough to see her at Testing Cup, but due to my multiple roles, I was not able to talk with her ( 😦 ).

But it was after this conference when I saw her first ever sketchnote:

And I was like “Whoah, that is nice!”. And again did nothing more than silent admiration. Five months later take a look at her amazing sketchnotes from Agile Testing Days:

This was a time I decided to give it a shot and see how I will feel about it. Test Warez became my experimental training. During 10 sessions I prepared 10 pieces of papers filled with my notes and drawings:

Summary

After two days of Test Warez conference, I have many thoughts in my head. Mainly they are the benefits of sketchnoting:

  • I am more focused on presentation (instead of looking at phone I am drawing, so my thoughts are still “around the topic”),
  • I can translate instantly from Polish to English for sake of notes,
  • I have more notes than ever,
  • I have better memory of what was said,
  • It is easier for me to look at them and remember what was the topic about,
  • It is easy to share my sketchnote and give others the idea about what was the presentation about,
  • It is the perfect feedback for the speaker – what parts stayed with me, how I understood that.

I still need some practice and improvements. I found out that :

  • Pen isn’t the best tool (marks on my hand and around the paper)
  • I would love to have some more colors on my sketchnotes. Not too much, just some. At least two.
  • Include creators twitter 😉

I know that sketchnoting isn’t for everyone, but I would recommend everyone to try this out and see how it feels 🙂

Bonus

Best ideas usually come to me when I am going to sleep. This was no other. So while trying to get some sleep before “The Big Day” I thought to myself:

“What I would like for my attendees to have on their sketchnotes?”

So I prepared one:

20171118_143100

This little thing allowed me to:

  • Summarise the key takeaways from the discussion panel,
  • Put everything in some order and reference,
  • Have a piece of paper to verify if I stood up to my promises.

I think I will do that with my every presentation from now on.

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