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  • Writer's pictureSilent James

What Are Visual Notes? What Makes a Great Visual Note Taker?

"What Do You Call This?"

At events, attendees love to approach me in-between talks and tell me their positive reactions to the work... yet, they don't always know what to call it. There are many different terms, the most popular are:

  • Visual Notes

  • Live Illustration

  • Graphic Recording

"Visual Notes" is the most accurate description, and the one I use to refer to my work. I like "Live Illustration" as well. The term "Graphic Recording" means nothing to most people outside of my industry (try saying that to someone you meet at a networking event haha), and is the one I like the least.

"What Are Visual Notes?"

Now that we have the term, how do I define it? Visual Notes are illustrated summaries of content. Keynotes, panel discussions, strategy sessions, brainstorms, Q and A; all spoken content could become Visual Notes. These are created either in-person (typically using markers on boards) or virtually (I use Photoshop), and aid in retention, engagement, and productivity.

"What Makes a Great Visual Note Taker?"

I chose the name "Silent James" because "silent" is an anagram of the word "listen". To truly listen, you need to be silent. I've honed my listening skills so I'm able to listen, synthesize, write, draw, listen for the next point, watch my spacing, and show how the ideas connect... all in real-time (and a bow-tie!). I also have a background in illustration, making my notes so much more VISUAL than other people in my field. You won't be getting a bunch of stick figures and messy compositions when you hire Silent James! You don't have to chose between ideas or art... you get it all.

"What is the Value?"

The beauty of my live visual notes service is the value it brings before, during, and after your event.

Before: I've supported over 300 events from Fortune 500 companies, to nonprofits. This expertise makes me an asset while you're planning your event. We'll go over your goals and objectives, collaborate on how I'll best support, and I'll personalize my approach to your specific event.

During: I call myself a professional smile-maker because attendees in any industry are delighted and engaged by my work. I communicate complex ideas into insightful imagery, immortalizing your words as they are spoken.

After: Put yourself in your audience's shoes: it's overwhelming to try and retain every insight when it's talk after talk (sometimes across multiple days). The physical boards I create may be displayed throughout your event, creating a branded space for reflection. I also take photos of the work, giving you easily shareable ways to keep your content conversation going.

"How Do I Hire You For My Event?"

Call 415-917-6779 or email to discuss your next event, it's that simple. I'm your first, last, and only point of contact (no sleazy salespeople here!). It's important to contact me as early as possible, so I may confirm availability (my calendar fills up quick!). Thank you for learning a bit more about my live visual notes service for events, let's make a memory together!

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