Visual Training

Visual Training (none currently scheduled)


Benefits of Acquiring these Skills:
Here is a short (partial) list of the benefits of being able to think and speak in pictures:

  1. Organizing your thoughts, schedules, priorities – seeing and drawing out the bigger picture
  2. Synthesizing and communicating complex information and ideas
  3. Engaging the right side of your brain: whole brain thinking
  4. Enhancing group memory – we can remember more when we take a mental picture and link it back to what we remember hearing
  5. Improving shared understanding as group members link what they are hearing with what they are seeing
  6. Reinforcing the main ideas and themes, minimizing misunderstanding
  7. Attracting and maintaining attention and focus, saving time
  8. Increases engagement, enjoyment and participation

“There was a lot of practical teaching through experiential activities that led to immense learning. The activities were dynamic, and complimented each other and the content. She is a seasoned professional who can troubleshoot and respond to any question you have. She also knows the field very well, and recommended endless resources to use. ” ~ Student

“If you facilitate meetings or engage others in the work you do, this course could greatly improve your effectiveness.” ~ Student

cropped-stina-facil-artstarts1.jpgArtStarts Gallery

Course Description:
The  Vancouver training is designed to help individuals to literally “speak in pictures” – to learn and practice skills concerning making thoughts, dialogue, systems and concepts visual. Stina will work with the group to build understanding regardless of where each student is entering this practice.

Students will also develop skills around visual systems and design thinking and determine new ways of visually representing information for the purposes of communicating, teaching, facilitating, engagement, thinking and planning.

Cost is based on a sliding scale for students, non-profits or professionals. Feel free to send Stina a note through the form at the bottom of this page.

Learning Outcomes:

  1. A unique visual alphabet/lexicon of symbols to use in your work – the basics of Graphic Recording
  2. Improved meeting design with graphics and graphic elements, customizing and creating graphic templates
  3. Deeper listening and concentration skills
  4. Tips and tricks to make meetings more effective with creativity and visual elements
  5. Subtle sense development: ability to draw the energy beneath your symbols
  6. Self Knowledge: exploring assumptions, biases, abilities and beliefs to know who exactly is “present” and what influences we have on the meetings we lead
  7. Using visual language in space: designing the learning environment


“I expanded my toolkit with skills I’ll be able to use for a very long time – forever?” ~ Student

The main goals of the SPEAKING IN PICTURES training are centered around two themes:

  1. Creative Potential
    • To optimize the creative potential of students as communicators, thinkers and facilitators through helping them acquire new levels of proficiency in visual literacy: being able to think and speak using space, color, size, composition, structure, movement and energy.
    • To shift from linear and sequential lines of communication (speaking and hearing, reading and thinking) to a way of hearing and seeing content in relationship – “the whole picture”: synthesizing, organizing and making connections between aspects of the content can add new dimensions of understanding, and create new ways to share complex matter with others.
    • To become familiar with the “creative process” and to benefit from skillful use of divergent/convergent processeslistening
  1. Exceptional Meeting/Process Design & Facilitation
    How do you incorporate these skills (above) in the context of leading groups? Teaching targets are based on the specific priorities of the group and shift with each class. Teaching goals could include:
  • Building community and shared culture
  • Improving power dynamics and equality in meeting environments
  • Increasing trust and shared understanding in groups
  • Creative collaboration and innovation activities
  • Visual strategy and planning methods
  • Creating vibrant records of important meetings

“Highly valuable skills learned today. I can use it anywhere and everywhere. It’s not limited to meetings/ conferences. – 2015 Student

Speaking in Pictures Participants 2016


  1. Building visual vocabulary/alphabet through numerous methods and practices
  2. “Picturing” non-thought as the basis for infusing your visual language with energy and meaning
  3. Becoming familiar with “Visual Grammar” and other models to visually structure conversations and concepts
  4. Self-Knowledge: values and vision (reflection, worksheet, dialogue, working with images)
  5. Listening: the ability to direct your focus and expand your levels of awareness leading or supporting great meetings and events: scribing, graphic recording, after-the-fact graphics, and practice
  6. Establishing shared group culture: creating group agreements
  7. Scoping specific projects through the visual process and design lens
    • Ask the right questions to design for outcomes (worksheet with questions)
    • Synthesize, organize and translate information into visual templates or processes
      (template examples and practices)
  8. The role of memory in learning from and communicating with images
  9. Exploring process frameworks and visual learning models
    (for example:)

    • World Café
    • Open Space
    • Drawing in meetings
    • Working with post-its
    • Creating your own templates

Custom Training for Teams and Organizations
The length of the training depends on the needs of the client/group. Intensives can range from 6 hours to 2 days, depending how much your group wants to work with the material, practice and develop their own visual language.

For example, some groups come to Stina to help them design a visual language – a set of images to represent common or complex language they work with – for their company, organization or initiative. Visual language is a fantastic way to engage more people in a conversation, explore and create common understanding, and visual language gives everyone a voice regardless of their language proficiency. It is also an excellent community or audience engagement tool. Contact Stina directly for details on how she can bring these skills in-house for your team or organization.


The Philosophy of Stina’s Approach:

  • Whole brain, whole person, whole group engagement
  • Building rapport, relationships, dynamic, dialogic
  • Incubation: intentional process of growth, together
  • Shared awareness and responsibility: the materials, this process, this group
  • Divergent to convergent – teacher presenting information, using open space to self-organize, prioritize and practice
  • Self-regulating, Self-actualizing: the group will take responsibility for the learning, getting what they need
  • Collaborative outcomes – some pre-set and some emergent


  1. Teaching: presentations on topics and skills
  2. Dialogue: using what we know and asking questions to make connections, find new knowledge and experiences together
  3. Interpersonal and collaborative learning: pairs, triads, quads and small groups: sharing experiences, ideas, practices
  4. Creativity: setting the stage for people to access vision, imagination, illumination and insight
  5. Drawing: creating visual symbols, “intuitive” images and visual frameworks for dialogue
  6. Experiential: Learning by doing, bringing examples of your work to play with new knowledge and skill
  7. Reflective: Developing in-sight, the ability to see using introspection and reflection
  8. Equity Lens: offering various means of participation, with no pressure for students to be at the “same level”
  9. Handbook/reading material: a physical binder to collect materials, visual maps and templates


Why LEARN Visual Thinking and Facilitation Skills?
It is believed that people gain 75% of what they know visually. We work with ever-increasing complexity and need skills to filter, organize and synthesize information. With this skill set, you will develop your ability to translate inputs into meaningful visual hierarchies, make your meetings more creative and effective, use experiential learning techniques to amplify your ability to use both sides of your brain.

We all, to some extent, think in pictures – but we hardly ever speak in pictures. This course sets the stage to change that.

This experiential course is designed with multiple learning and social styles in mind. It helps to have some facilitation training and a basic understanding of working with complex ideas. There is no artistic ability pre-requisite for the course and you will leave with significant skills improvement regardless of your past training.

What is the VALUE of Stina’s Visual Skills Intensives?
(according to her students)

“Speaking in Pictures was informative and inspiring. It allowed me to explore ideas around how drawing might enhance a discussion or support learning initiatives. Having a chance to get our pens to play with some of these ideas ourselves, with the support of Stina and fellow students, was a great experience.”

“Highly valuable skills learned today. I can use it anywhere and everywhere. It’s not limited to meetings/ conferences. It can be great for brainstorms, reflective journals, and helpful for analyzing and dissecting problems and conflicts.”

“This intensive helps put complex ideas/words into simple diagrams, recognize diverse perspectives.”

“I learned how to visually represent information.”

“I found it exciting and freeing to think of so many images.”

“Democratic. Creative. Efficient. Inclusive. Awesome.”

“This course validates and celebrates our creative and artistic abilities.”

“A very good intro to what Graphic Recording is and the basic techniques and principles.”

“It helped me develop my interpersonal skills and team work.”

“Breaks the habit of judgement and offers new tools for engagement and dialogue.”

“This course is about being open minded, and teaches us to actively listen and engage in the lessons.”

“Inspiration~! Creative Clarity~!”


Drawing on the wall for a group is all about professional listening.
What is created, remains intact and tactile at the end of a long day of conversation. A silent supportive medium with bright expressive spacial relationships, artistic visual symbols: in essence, what unfolds in your meeting can become a visual language you ALL now speak. You can interact with it’s words and drawings as you like.

Graphic recordings give ideas a place to LAND.

Gerald Harris says it best:
“All of a sudden, aha! Someone gets a new idea, is able to express a new demand or desire, or sees a possibility previously unseen. The invisible is now on its way to becoming visible. Something from the mind can now begin to crystallize… This is the beginning of the creative process.” ~ p.126 The Art of Quantum Planning ©2009

Get in touch with Stina to explore Visual Facilitation Training:



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