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Visual Notetaking: A Beginner's Guide to Sketchnotes

Lesson 13 of 15

Practice: What Do You Hear?

Giselle Chow

Visual Notetaking: A Beginner's Guide to Sketchnotes

Giselle Chow

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Lesson Info

13. Practice: What Do You Hear?

Lesson Info

Practice: What Do You Hear?

We're going to continue to listen to portions of the alex bloomberg's creative live workshop power your podcast with storytelling it is a video that is uh it's about seventeen minutes long I'm gonna posit at several points um and I'm going to stop and ask you okay, so what did you hear? Um what were the main ideas? You have some options so your options are for the first two rounds and it's like a few minutes each you can just put that in quotes because it's not easily but you can just listen right? Listen for those big ideas you do that whatever way makes you feel comfortable in close your eyes, okay? You could jot down those phrases if you want, so listen for those big ideas um you can write three to seven word phrases that you pick up on okay don't worry about it sketching formatting don't worry about color all that's just write them down, okay? Or you can practice sketch noting okay, um if you feel like you're up to the task, you'd like to do that or you can jump around do a combo b...

ut those are just sort of three different things you khun d'oh okay ah, what will do for the last two rounds? I'll ask everyone to do the sketch noting right so everybody will sketch in the last two sections and we'll do that together I might do a little bit with you two and then we will have some time to look at your work and talk about it a bit as well on get some support and feedback from each other knowing this is a kind group a loving group and that really this is a really special opportunity like you're all here I'm here we have all this stuff it's all set up you know um and you get tohave feedback on what you do so please I invite you to take advantage of it okay? All right, so going to cue up the video so whatever you would like to dio we're gonna be talking about er in this segment is the art of the interview um and what I'm gonna be covering today what I'm going to cover in this in this section is first of all like sort of the most basic question which is what what are you going for when you're interviewing somebody? What are you trying to get out of it? What is the thing that you want? What is a what is a good interview looked like right? What does it feel like when it's happening um uh and as part of that I'm going to go through what to ask how do you come up with the questions to ask and uh we were talking a little bit about the power of the right question um er and then I'm also gonna be talking about nuts and bolts so that's coming up um so uh what are you going for um so the first thing that you're that you're going for uh is what we what we talked about in the last section which is authentic moments of you know, sort of authentic moments of authentic emotion, authentic sort of realization, authentic moments of humor something that feels like a really emotion like those those air golden moments in an interview and that sort of that's one of the things that you're absolutely want to go for it we talked a little bit about that before and I'm gonna talk about that a little bit later um but the thing that I want to focus on now is the other thing that we're talking about is stories um and this and and I am I have a um I have a sort of a very specific meaning when I when I say what an actual story is um but I'm gonna, um but I think the first thing to do is to is to sorry sorry uh I think the first thing to do is, uh to play you a little bit of what I'm talking about when I'm talking about a story so I'm gonna play you a little piece of tape so this is a story that we're on this american life a while ago and the setup is that is this actor tate donovan um and tate donovan is it was a sort of a character actor he'd been, you know, sort of on a couple of different shows but don't get recognized very much and then he had a like a stint on friends and others said he was going to get recognized and it was really exciting for him to be recognised because he finally got to be the celebrity that he always wished that he could be the celebrity that he would have wanted to meet before he was famous. Uh so when he got recognized and so one and and this story happens when one night he was out at this broadway show and a lot of people were coming up too and be like, hey, I saw you and he was able to, like, talk to people and be very magnanimous and say thank you so much it really means a lot and he was like posing for pictures for people and it was at the show it was happening over and over and over again. Okay, so well, first off, what do you notice about the speaker about how alex one word speaks? Just what do you just notice about his speaking quickly? And he often does not link pause between thoughts, right? So yeah, so he's not pausing really yeah you also give alternate wording was killed the same thing but like in three different ways and like that was good no that one's better no I want the s o the same concept three different ways toe to say this very similar information yeah what else did you notice um was there yeah do you have something example a lot of examples right and it's a little it's it's it's interesting is tempting because the examples are like oh that's cool example I could like wit but wait is that a big idea does that really help serve this other purpose how helpful is it for me to include this example if I do I include this one and not the other one right so were some of you having that kind internal dialogue within yeah a lot did you feel that what he said had a um had a structure or in order to it did have it yeah it did okay so that was easy to follow okay good all right so the next segment we're gonna listen to is a couple minutes longer what were the big some of the big ideas that you picked up just just call them out from phrases that you picked up on him he said he read he's going to talk about what to ask the power of the right question and nuts and bolts right and did you see he had that up on a slide right? Do you have some of that up on the slide? Some of you noticed. So if you were ever doing this and someone actually does have that information it's helpful to be in a place where you can see it because it can help you if you didn't see it visually and not just hear it, you know, it could be a little check for you. Okay, what else? Other big ideas that you heard? Yeah, authentic moments, right? Which is what lead into that story. Right? So we're gonna talk about authentic moment. That was what we're going for. Write anything else? How did you handle the tate donovan transition moment to some of you? Start. Did anyone write down tate donovan it's okay, if you did, do they wanna write that down? Yeah, some of you did some of you didn't. Maybe some of you were holding back to see where it was going to go. Okay. Missed his name completely. I was like on something else. Like who's that right? So that's a that's, a post it note moment like, oh, that's ah, what fat and stick it on your page from to remind you and you might find when you get to the end, you actually don't need to know the name right, but you can track it on the way. Ok, let's, keep going. So same thing you khun, listen, you could write down some mean ideas you could do some sketching, eating whatever you liked pictures for people and it was at the show, it was happening over and over and over again I was I was I was exactly how I wanted to say I was doing I was doing great and then the kid with the camera came along thiss nervous kid, I must beat sixteen years old he's in a rented tuxedo, unbelievably, like shy and awkward and he's got acne and he's got a camera in his hand and underneath a marquis is his date who is literally like a prom dress on she's got a massage and she's really, you know, nervous and sort of clutching her hands and he sort of comes up to me and he sort of mumbles, you know, something like, you know something about a picture and I'm like, I just feel for him, so I'm like absolutely my gosh, sure, no problem like god, you poor thing and and I go up to his his girlfriend, I wrap my arms around her and I'm okay where you're from fantastic going to see the play it's great and the guys sort of not taking the photograph very quickly he's just sort of staring at me and he's got his cameras hands and is down by his like chin you know and she's very stiff and awkward and you know I don't know what to do so I just lean across and I kiss her on the cheek and I'm like all right, come on take the picture hurry up you want to find out what happens next okay, so that's the second segment so that was a big narrative within this other structure of the story okay, so I'm wondering what did was there anyone who didn't write down anything which is the choice which is what is anyone who didn't actually write down anything right? So you're waiting okay? So for people who did jot down something what what did you include or what did you what what were some of the main points? Um I just wrote down a kid with prom date asked for a picture. Okay. Yeah that's great that's great. And the others I see yeah read anything but I felt like if I was going to try something I decide not to do anything that time but if I was going to draw something that would have been easier for me to represent visually then inwards maybe I could see how I would draw over writing it point which was interesting, right? So take donovan is really painting a very a very visceral, very real picture a vision of what's happening but maybe from some of your perspectives you think I'm gonna hang back a little bit and wait for like there's like there might be something else coming right? So you're kind of holding it all okay? Great all those traces are great it's just good to be aware of where your thought processes were going ok, so there are three more rounds um they get a little bit longer actually the next one there's a little bit there's like a short one and then like a minute longer and then we're going to go about like three or four minutes in about seven minutes, so if you haven't started sketch noting let's, do that now so some of you might need a fresh page or else continue what you're doing let's continue to listen do you want to find out what happens next? That's a story uh when you want, but so what? That is the power of a good narrative. So when I talk about I'm talking about like those two basic things, you're going for emotion and narrative we as humans are hardwired, I believe, to listen to narrative and it's a very simple sort of the mechanics of narrative are very simple there's like a sequence of actions and there's sort of rising action and its culminating in something um and you were in the middle of that sequence of actions and you're about to get to the culmination and I stopped it and it's frustrating and you really want to know what happens next and you would never if you were listening to this have turned off that podcast or that radio story at that moment and that is a good story and that's why you want to operate in stories that's why you when you're interviewing people you want to get their stories out of them on you want to get them talking in stories because stories are what we want to hear um and so when you're working in an audio format, you need to operate in stories um the other thing we want to hear as we heard before is emotion so those are the two things you're going for it in a good interview okay, that was a short that didn't take up that much time but there's a lot of content in there, right? So what are some of the things that people heard that you decided to write down or to draw? Yeah, they're hardwired for the narratives yeah humans are hardwired for narratives right that stuffy one did anyone else choose that one or some version of that? What what are some other big ideas you heard? Yeah well it was another version stories or what we want to hear, huh? Oh, yeah, thank you. Yeah, I've had two words, emotion and narrative and then I finally got a picture of, like someone around a campfire telling the story about that that's a great image for that for those ideas. Okay, good. All right, so I also know people who were watching online. Also, we're probably doing this along with us and recording, sketch moaning and sketchbook on a piece of paper with the things you have at home. That's awesome. So let us continue well, dio two more rounds a little bit longer and then we'll ask people to share some of their work and we'll give some feedback and I have a little structure for you for that going for it in a good interview. Um, so moving on actually do want to hear what happens next, alright, I'll rewind it again and then we'll have a player, you know, I don't know what to do, so I just leaned across and I kiss her on the cheek and I'm like, all right, come on, take the picture area and finally he's sort of like, snaps it and I'm like, okay is really wonderful to meet you, and he just, like, stammered over to me and was like, um, could you take a picture of us? On the whole time he just wanted me to take a picture of him and his girlfriend underneath the awning of the play he didn't want a picture of me and no idea who I wass ee oh god, I've got a little emotion in there too yeah um so that is what I'm talking about when the story so it very, very simply we're gonna be talking a lot more about what story is and in the next session but but very, very simply it is that it is a sequence of actions that culminates in something comes some sort of revelation some sort of punch lines, some sort of joke some sort of like realization and mohr to the point that something that you don't want to turn off that you don't want to stop listening to um and so when so that is the thing that's in your mind when you're going out and doing an interview with anybody, you want to ask questions of the interview subjects that are going to either illicit an honest emotional reaction or they're going to elicit them telling you a story um so and there's a lot of things that you can ask that that well, so let's let's talk about that so don't forget to write down the main I sketched morning now if you're trying to ask questions that that well, you know, listen this story um first what you don't want to ask ever really yes or no questions I mean, you got to get some facts out of the way but you don't want to ask a yes or no question because that is not that's the end of a story right and s o u how you phrase the questions is very, very important you want to sort of ask questions I often sort of say tell me about the time when write something you know you were just like you want them to tell you to use words like tell me um so there are automatically started to talk to you in story language um tell me about the time tell me about the day when you blah blah blah tell me about the moment when you realized that this was what was gonna happen tell me about the time in your life when you were going through this thing um uh another question that works really well, tell me the story of just asked him straight up, right? You know, some of the story of this, how did this happen? Come of the story you know, sometimes that works um uh another thing that you when you thatyou when you're on the right track, you know, when you're on the right track is when people are actually sort of like talking to in dialogue if somebody's saying well, first I said and then she said and then I said uh that's really that you know, you're on the right track here so often I will tell people you know, described the conversation where blah blah blah and because if you get people sort of telling you like he said that she said that he said that she said that's great you know you're on the right track that somebody's telling you a story right that, um because they're quoting dialogue teo um again tell me about the often what you're going for is a moment of realization so a story has to culminate in something often this often the thing it's culminating in is a moment of realization uh so you want to say tell me about the day that you realize whatever it is that we're talking about here um another thing that really works well um is if people can sort of talk through a process of, you know there's this often steps that lead from one situation to the other situation what were the steps that got you from one thing to another? What were the steps that got you from you know, your career and the offer army to your career a zoo celebrity florist or whatever, right, so, uh anybody here have that create trajectory bythe um so uh so you want to ask that like, sort of what were the steps if you can get people breaking that down into steps and often each step is its own story so often step one will be well, I was you know, I was I was I was I was no, I have my career in the in the army and this one thing happened when I was you know, in the army this day happened that I wanted that made me want to change and so they'll tell you that and that's a story each step could be its own story, but that sequence of steps is also a story um, so these are all sort of questions that will that will elicit stories you want to have people back up, you want to do all that stuff, all right? So that's one whole set of questions ok, so what I'd like you to do right now is just take a break, put your markers down and look at what you've done so far, okay, just really take a break look at what you've done sometimes actually when you're doing this work it's difficult actually track and remember what you've done because you're filtering your kind of filtering stuff through so take a break and just you might have to flip back a page or two, so look at what you've created so far okay and think for a moment and I'm going to give you a time a moment to respond but think about like one thing that you feel really good about right now like what's one thing that you did really well okay and um also you can also talk about one thing you might change or do differently next time okay and also feel frito hold up your work and show us you just prop it up in front of the table okay um and hold it up for a while so we can really get a good look so one thing that you're feeling really good about at this point one thing that you might change let's be sure to start with like what really works right now so what's working for you what worked well yeah I think that um this time the listening was working well but I didn't didn't have the multiple markers in my hand so I wasn't able to like call out stuff or have titles or anything I was just writing frantically without changing the markers but I think the layout and the listening was a lot better great and we're gonna have another round so you'll have more time to listen and create more so something you felt you did really well was the listening portion and then something you might change would be having me one or two markers in your hands you can change the cars were quickly great thank you that's wonderful all right oh yeah jake let's take a look okay? A couple things I'm happy with I got the tile nice and center billboard style like a film I'm also happy that I pulled out some of the big key words like stories and culmination what I'm not thrilled about is the tangent story that he went on about the awkwardness that the play opening I try to capture too much of that in retrospect it should have been like a polaroid photograph just one image with awkward written underneath but that's it but that's the great you know that's actually really creates way to treat that is to say oh yeah it was that snapshot moment because then you're also addressing it was a photo so you're showing that's a photo and you're showing the scene but sometimes is difficult to know that until the end right so that's something you would change but yeah definitely you've got some big words were called out really clearly some main ideas so good that's great let's work all right one more yeah kevin let's see what do you happy with what really works so I'm happy with the story progression yeah I have like filled in over time so I did the bubbles to try to represent like steps of the story they talked about steps of a story I just wrote one to three and it goes to this like top moment s o. I liked how it kind of unfolded, and I tried to do is an icon for the storybooks, so it's, easier to interpret as a like a book. Someone's book, yeah, someone's story. Yeah, but I realized that I haven't been recording in too many details, aside from those core pictures. So I'm trying to practice now, filling in more in the middle of the smaller details to sub themes. Perfect, great.

Class Description

Graphic facilitation uses attention-grabbing images, colors, and words to represent ideas shared during meetings, conferences, and events. Learn how it is done in Visual Notetaking: A Beginner's Guide to Sketchnotes with Giselle Chow.

In this beginner-friendly class, you’ll learn how to actively listen and illustrate ideas in a whole new way. 

Giselle will teach you how to: 

  • Listen for relevant information
  • Represent ideas in text and graphics
  • Build an icon bank 
  • Use color and size for emphasis

Giselle is a consultant with The Grove and in this class, she’ll teach you how to make ideas leap off a page. Giselle will cover everything from preparation to execution and you’ll learn how to make a visual compendium of an event that can be shared with attendees and social audiences.

You’ll also learn about drawing connections in a way that makes information easier to retain and helps visual thinkers grasp new concepts and ideas.

If you want to add an exciting new skills to your design repertoire and learn how to make engaging, share-worthy visual notes, don’t miss Visual Notetaking: A Beginner's Guide to Sketchnotes with Giselle Chow. 



Wonderful overview of sketch noting with tons of opportunities to practice, learn, and refine skills! Appreciated the side benefits of recognizing sketchnoting involves active listening and the opportunity to practice that too. Thank you! 110% recommend this course.

Tran Phuong

Great fundamental skills for effective notetaking! I love Gisele and all her lessons! They are super easy to follow and understand. Would recommend it of course!

Lisa Houghton

I really enjoyed this class. I am a beginner sketchnoter and found it very helpful. Great pace and delivery by instructor. Every minute was worth it. Thank you!