Archive for the 'Workshops' Category


Flatiron Writers Workshop: Done & dusted

Sunday, February 12th, 2012

On February 11, the Flatiron Writers and Papershine co-sponsored their first workshop: Creating Your Writing Life. Despite the snowy weather, twenty brave souls joined us at the Unitarian church in Asheville for the daylong workshop. The seminar focused on helping people develop the commitments and habits necessary to realize their writing goals. It was a wonderful and productive day.

I graphically recorded the whole day. It was great fun, because that was my main role, listening and drawing. Often I am facilitating or teaching as I do my graphics, so my attention is divided. The ‘artwork’ suffers. As a group, we had used visual processes to develop the outline, and that gave me a leg up as well; I had a plan for laying out the information before the event started.

Download a printable version of the graphic notes from the workshop. (2.3 MB)

Stay tuned for our next workshop!


PowerPoint versus Slideshows

Wednesday, January 25th, 2012

In my presentations workshop, I make a distinction between PowerPoint and slideshows. The slide projector can be an incredible communication tool, sharing images, video and a host of other meaningful content. PowerPoint, as typically used, is good at creating lists. Content often ends up mashed into a hierarchy of bullet points. And God forbid the presenter reads them out loud.


New Workshop: Creating a writing life

Tuesday, January 24th, 2012

I’m partnering with the Flatiron Writers to present:

Creating Your Writing Life
This is an all-day workshop designed for those who want to make consistent and sustainable room in their lives for writing. It’s about nurturing that creative space within you, and feeding it with production and pages. Let us help you uncover the resources within to get yourself writing regularly and with purpose.

Learn more and register here: Creating a Writing Life
Learn more about the Flatiron Writers.


Presentations Workshop

Monday, January 23rd, 2012

Last Friday I led a four hour workshop on giving presentations. The audience was primarily parents who have children with disabilities. These parents are very active in the community as advocates, educators, and activists and sought new ideas for communicating their message. These are the day’s graphics.

I organized the class into three basic sections: Content, Methods, and People. Of course, these elements all overlap to create a successful presentation, but by taking each in turn, we didn’t get overwhelmed.

We discussed ways to hone in on and organize content. My guiding principles are clarity, honesty, simplicity, immediacy and impact.

We talked about four common methods for presenting information. I discussed the limitations of PowerPoint presentations and the benefits of using graphics as a way to share ideas and informations.

I divided the People section into two parts: the Audience and the Presenter. Throughout I emphasized the idea of a call-to-action. What do these people need to know right now? What do you want them to do tomorrow? I’ve worked in human services long enough to know that if you don’t provide clear instructions and a strong impetus, even the best idea will die slowly and painfully in committee.

The last section of the day was about the Presenter. At Chloe’s feet you’ll find practical ideas for making your presentations go smoothly. Arrayed around her head are many of the more conceptual ideas that guide a good presentation.

Many thanks to Darlyne Sahara, Gwenda LedBetter, Fred Lashley and Jim Johnston for their contributions to making this workshop a success.


Workshop: D.I.Y. Marketing

Saturday, October 29th, 2011


On Thursday, I led a workshop on Do-It-Yourself Marketing for Small Businesses. The image above shows the calm before the storm. This graphic would serve as the outline for the half day workshop.

Everybody had their own copy of this graphic on a large sheet of copy paper. Colored pencils were provided, to encourage people to make it their own.

Setting goals is the first step of just about every visual process. With a clear idea of where you’re going, you can figure out how to get there.
I also talk about roadblocks because so many of the self-employed people I’ve met and talked to struggle with some aspect of marketing. Some hate to take time from their chosen work, or hate the idea of selling themselves. For me, I was hung up on my primordial punk rock belief that success = failure. Getting over that was crucial to me being able to move forward.

We discussed values as being at the core of a successful small enterprise. Marketing is so much more than advertising. How you talk to customers, the speed with which you respond to calls and complaints, all of these things make up the public face of your business. This will make or break you.

Targets are generally considered to be the ideal customers. I think it’s important to consider what you want that customer to do as well. Not everyone who gets my postcards is looking for a stone mason. I want those people to keep the postcards and show them to others. That part of my marketing is built on the notion of making something worth keeping and sharing.

In the modern age there’s an endless array of media than can be used to reach potential markets. No one in business for themselves can possibly cover every angle. It’s important to choose those that help you reach your goals and that you can keep up with. Don’t start a Facebook page unless you are willing to do the work to periodically update it and keep it alive.

Good marketing is education. I use the triads as a way to figure out what to educate your customers about. As a stone mason, I lean heavily on the product. A roofer, as noted in the graphic, may lean more heavily on his personal convictions.

It’s fun to talk about, but it isn’t worth much without taking any action on it. I gave out three different templates for action planning.