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Former Member
Last week, I was lucky to attend a half day Visual Facilitation Practice Workshop with Thomas Weis at the SAPsv Dublin office.

Wikipedia describes graphic facilitation as “the use of large scale imagery to lead groups and individuals towards a goal. The method is used in meetings, seminars, workshops and conferences."

Thomas told us a story about how Sam Yen got up in front of an audience to talk.  Sam Yen is the expert in UI/UX design.  In his presentation, he drew simple diagrams.  He had everyone’s attention in the audience. The next presenter got up with his PowerPoint slides.  The slides were busy-full of facts and information. Within minutes many in the audience had opened up their laptops, were staring at their phone screens or busy doing other things while listening to the presentation.

It just makes sense if you are trying to communicate to find a way to get across your ideas, get people to listen, people to think about your ideas and most importantly to feel connected, involved and contribute.  Using visual graphics is a way to do this.

In the class we learned how to create titles, flow charts, task lists, bubble dialog boxes, people, and use simple images to tell a story. We were each given a large pad of white paper, and some really cool pens to use for drawing and shading/highlighting on our pictures.  We went through a few simple drawing exercises to learn the techniques.

As we all talk about “simplifying” SAP, one of the things you really want to add to your repertoire of skills is visual presentation.  You may want to experiment at your next meeting and rather than putting up a PowerPoint, plan ahead and draw out the facts. 

For those or you were not able to attend, here are a few photo’s I took for the class exercises.  I hope it is enough to get you to want to learn more about this or even better to use it at your next meeting. 

The banner

The secret to the banner ribbons on the sides is to draw the letter M.  Then to connect the lines.

The title box.

We did 3 simple designs.  Using pins in the corners, or screws, or tape.

Notice the shading underneath the box.

It makes the box almost jump out at you.

Task list

Notice how the task list is made to look like a clip board.

I know that I would rather see my list of tasks in this drawing format rather than a bullet-ed pointed list on a PowerPoint slide.


Stick figures actually take time to draw.

The simple rounded people are much faster.

And if you do not like the rounded people, Thomas gave us other examples of how to draw stick figures.

We learned how to make expressions on the faces of the images as well to represent emotions.

Bubble Dialog Boxes.

Use cloud, circle, square shapes.  All meant to draw your attention to the word.

See how under the common sense bubble box you have several people as well.

And notice how in the angry dialog box, just by making the box edges jagged it gives off the feeling as well as being an angry statement.


And then we spend time writing out letters.  Letters should be large, clear, easy to read.

It is good to put some type of paper behind your white paper that gives you lines that make it easier to keep the lettering straight and clean.

Live the message

Simplify your presentations

Present with drawings