Visual Facilitation: a great tool for Product Managers

Adrienne Tan

Visual Facilitation, brainmates

A few months ago, I had the opportunity to learn a little bit about Visual Facilitation in a two-hour session with Marcel van Hove at the LAST Conference in Sydney. Apart from really enjoying it, I thought Visual Facilitation has great application for Product Managers.

Because, as Product Managers, we spend a lot of time communicating and engaging with many audiences. It’s important to be able to deliver a clear message, but also record input from all participants, and work through conflicts in an effective manner.

So What is Visual Facilitation?

Also known as Graphic Facilitation, Visual Facilitation is all about sketching images in meetings and workshops to help build a clearer joint understanding of what was discussed and agreed.

When tracing the history of Visual Facilitation, many reference cave artists as the first Visual Facilitators.

Marcel says:

“Drawing and storytelling is an ancient culture technique to pass on knowledge from generation to generation. It makes knowledge tangible and enables the listener to have a real experience while listening. In this way it becomes their experience and keeps the knowledge alive.”

How do I get started?

Marcel van Hove runs Visual Facilitation training sessions across Australia.

I can’t draw… will this work for me?

Absolutely no drawing skills are required to get started in Visual Facilitation.

Some of the topics covered in day one are:

  • how to draw a straight line
  • how to write fast and legible
  • drawing figures and icons
  • how to set out a flip chart

Once you’ve got the basics down, you’ll extend yourself by learning how to apply your new skills in the workplace, including how to facilitate groups, capture conversations, and engage others in drawing productively.

For any Product Manager that is looking to find ways to continuous improve themselves then this course could be just the ticket.  Anything that enhances your ability to communicate and align stakeholders is definitely worth a look-into.

Adrienne Tan

Adrienne Tan | Author

Adrienne is Co-Founder and CEO of Brainmates and Co-Founder of Leading the Product. She has been championing Product Management since 2000, earning international recognition for raising the profile of the Product Management profession. In this capacity she regularly consults to the Asia-Pacific's top businesses and speaks at business and Product events around the world.

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