Lighting Talks Demand Lightning Sketchnotes

Sharing is good

Lightning Talks

Lightning talks are are very short presentations given one after another. The good thing about this format for presenters is that it enables them to practice their presentation skills in a safe place. The audience gets a the benefit of a smorgasbord of information on varying topics

ScrumRVA Lightning Talk Meet-up

On November 28, 2017 ScrumRVA held its final meet up of the year. The format was lightning talks. ScrumRVA is an organization whose goal is to provide and engaging and safe place for  scrum practitioners to get together to talk and learn scrum.

There were five presenters and six lightning talks, each lasting ten minutes. The topics ranged from “What can Agilists Learn from Wonder Woman?” to a presentation by a high school student on how he used scrum to help him quickly build out a video game.

Sketchnoting Lightning Talks

Lightning talks present a unique challenge when sketchnoting. Preparation time is minimal at best, with some presenters being last minute additions. Topics are random (within the theme) and not likely to be in an order which enables information flow on the page.

Information moves extra fast, so my approach was to get into the “pen & ink” mindset while using digital media. This mindset is to only move forward – no using the undo button. The only prep work I did was to put five big containers on the page to keep visuals for each talk fairly bound.

I spent the presentation time listening hard for the most useful visual metaphors and only sketching them and filling in the space with some key phrases and quotes.

Provide Feedback

Part of the value of Lightning Talk format is that presenters receive feedback on how effectively they presented. What better way to provide that feedback than a sketchnote! A sketchnote is easier to create if the talk is engaging and effective. Talk with the presented and give them backbrief on what you heard and what resonated.

Tips for Sketching Lightning Talks

  • Arrive early and find the right seat for you
  • Look at the program and prepare your drawing space accordingly
  • Listen for only one or two visual metaphors in the talk and only sketch them
  • Be flexible
  • Share your sketchnote