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Why is visual practice useful? (GPT-4 says so!)

I was preparing for a meeting with student interns where I was going to introduce visual methods for their summer program. I asked GPT-4 (artificial intelligence) a simple question and got an interesting answer. Phil Guo, Roy Blumenthal and I are doing a zoom call on May 31 to talk about our experiences with AI. Here's the answer I got...

Why is visual practice useful?

Visual practice, or visual thinking, is useful for a variety of reasons in different contexts, whether it be in education, business, or personal growth. Here are some reasons why it is beneficial:

1. Enhanced Understanding and Retention: People generally remember visual information better than written or spoken information. By presenting ideas visually, people are more likely to understand and retain the information.

2. Simplifies Complex Ideas: Visuals can distill complex ideas or information into simpler, more digestible content. This can be especially useful in fields where complex concepts are common, like in science, technology, or project management.

3. Increased Engagement: Visual content is often more engaging than text-based content. This can lead to increased participation in discussions and more effective communication, especially in team settings or presentations.

4. Encourages Creativity: Visual practice encourages out-of-the-box thinking and can stimulate more creative solutions to problems.

5. Improves Collaboration: In a team setting, visual practice can promote collaboration. When ideas are mapped out visually, team members can more easily understand each other's perspectives, leading to more productive discussions and better collective decision-making.

6. Efficient Communication: Visuals can convey information quickly and clearly. In a world where time is often of the essence, being able to communicate efficiently is a major advantage.

7. Universal Language: Visuals transcend language barriers. Diagrams, infographics, and symbols can be understood by people who speak different languages, making visual practice a universal language of sorts.

These benefits underline the power of visual practice and explain why it's used in a variety of fields and contexts, from classrooms to boardrooms. Whether you're teaching a concept, leading a team, or trying to communicate a complex idea, visual practice can be a valuable tool


Where can I get training in this?

There are several places where you can get training in visual thinking and practices. Here are a few notable ones:

1. Bikablo: This organization offers training in their specific method of visual facilitation. They have different training levels available, from beginner to advanced. The training can be in-person or online. More details are available on their official website.

2. The Grove Consultants International: Founded by David Sibbet, this organization offers training in Graphic Facilitation and Graphic Recording. They have both in-person workshops (usually in San Francisco, CA) and online training options.

3. Dan Roam's Napkin Academy: This online academy provides training based on Dan Roam's 'Back of the Napkin' principles of solving problems and selling ideas with pictures.

4. Coursera and Udemy: These online learning platforms offer a variety of courses on visual thinking and related topics. Just search for 'visual thinking', 'graphic facilitation', or 'visual communication' to see the options.

5. Local Universities and Colleges: Some universities and colleges offer courses in visual thinking or graphic facilitation as part of their design or communication programs. You can check the offerings of local educational institutions.

6. IFVP (International Forum of Visual Practitioners): IFVP is a professional association dedicated to the growth and development of the field of graphic recording and graphic facilitation. They host an annual conference and provide resources and networking opportunities for practitioners.

7. Books: There are several books available that offer self-guided training in visual practices. These include 'The Back of the Napkin' by Dan Roam, 'Visual Meetings' and 'Visual Teams' by David Sibbet, and 'The Doodle Revolution' by Sunni Brown.

Remember, learning visual practices isn't about becoming an artist, it's about learning to communicate ideas more effectively. It's definitely a skill that can be developed with practice and training.