Debbie Wood – graphic recording analog style at the wall

I don’t know about you, but sometimes I cry at work. Mostly in my work I’m helping teams with their strategy, and the feeling in the room is one of energy and positivity… but sometimes it’s not.

These stories come to mind.

A couple of years ago I was at a workshop where the speaker had me in tears. She told a story of struggle and family, of hope against the odds to a room full of marginalised young people. It was incredibly powerful. I wont share the story here because there was a sense of Chattam House Rules about that forum. I remember looking up from my wall that day at the front of the room and making eye contact with her. There were tears. I blinked a few times and I kept on working.

Recently at a board workshop for a not for profit, we had a guest speaker join us to share her experience with how the NFP had helped her over the years. She was young, she had two kids. The support she received replaced a family who’d never been there for her. It was just so moving to see how some people must fight against the odds – and what’s possible with a little bit of help and encouragement.

A few years ago while graphic recording a leadership workshop that I often support I was listening while the amazing facilitator worked with her group around the room to get to the heart of each of their outcomes, or their WHY. There was a truly powerful moment one morning where the facilitator was trying to get to the bottom of why a woman, middle aged, with family and work commitments coming at her from every side, would make time for a netball game, but not to go to the gym. It all came down to this deep belief that she couldn’t do anything that was just for her… because from the moment she woke, til the moment she slept, she was living in service of others. And when she said it out loud, she cried. Every woman in that room cried that session, including the graphic recorder.

I guess part of the role I have as a graphic recorder is to FEEL. It’s a privilege to do what I do. I get to be in the room as a guest and observer, often capturing the important stories of community members who are marginalized, but sometimes it’s the stories of everyday people making their way in the world that really get to me, and capturing that – helping those people be heard – is why I love what I do.

Graphic Recording for Hugh Mackay at Communities in Control conference
Graphic recording of Grace Tame's powerful keynote at Communities in Control conference