Video: A future visioning tool

Video: A future visioning tool

I’ve made another video – this time it’s one where you actually see my face! I hope you like it. I’m on a mission to get more comfortable with creating videos (I find it strange not having an audience!) so I’d love to hear what you think and what tips you have for improvement.

Today I’m sharing a future visioning technique. If you have difficulty imagining what your future may look like give this technique a try – click on the image below to watch the video. Let me know in the comments how you get on.

If you enjoyed that you may be excited to know that the pilot of the brand new programme Draw Out Your Future is now open for enrolment. The 6-week programme kicks off on Tuesday, January 12th 7pm GMT and I can’t wait to meet everyone.

This programme has been designed so that we can all feel excited about our future regardless of what else is going on in the world.

Over the course of 6 weeks we will:

  • Learn a clear process for drawing out your future (no artistic skills required) that you can reuse time and time again, using visual goal setting and action planning
  • Gain focus, clarity and direction in your life so that you feel calm and in control of your destiny
  • Feel excited about your future and use that excitement to propel you forward
  • Boost your self-esteem so that you feel more resilient when dealing with life’s obstacles
  • Harness the power of the collective and be part of a unique supportive community

We’ll be using digital visual templates which you will get copies of to use and reuse at will 😊.  Let’s start 2021 as we mean to go on – with creativity, flair and purpose.

And as this is a pilot programme, places are going for around half the price of what I intend to sell them for.  There will be a maximum of 12 people on the programme so be sure to act quickly to secure your place!  You can also sign-up for a bundle package which includes three 1:1 coaching sessions alongside the 6-week programme.


Did you like this?  If you would like to be the first to hear about courses we are running, as well as receive regular visual thinking tips, then sign up to our newsletter.

Video: Meditative Drawing

Video: Meditative Drawing

Yesterday saw the last session of Secrets of Simple Graphics for 2020 and as we munched on our (non-virtual) cupcakes at the Afterparty Elevenses, the discussion shifted to the benefits drawing brings to our mental health, a topic I touched on previously.

As such, I thought I would share with you today a very simple technique I often use at the beginning of training or coaching sessions which really helps to ground and focus me before I begin – and I think the participants like it too!

Click on the video below to see how it’s done:

Meditative drawing

Give it a try the next time you need to centre your energy and let me know in the comments how you got on.


Did you like this? Sign up to our newsletter for regular visual thinking tips plus exclusive events and offers.

2021 dates for Secrets of Simple Graphics online and the new programme Draw Out Your Future have now been confirmed.  Take a look >> 

How drawing helps with stress

How drawing helps with stress

Sometimes, when feeling stressed, the last thing you want is someone handing you a set of coloured pencils and a notebook, urging you to channel your stress in a creative manner.

Yet creative pursuits are generally seen to be a helpful antidote to feelings of stress and anxiety.

Recently I started to do some digging into the connection between creativity (drawing in particular) and the alleviation of stress.

Research led by Jennifer Drake, Ph.D., an assistant professor of psychology at Brooklyn College explored whether drawing reduces stress levels because it helps us to process emotions or because it helps us to escape from the thoughts and events that are contributing to our stress levels.

The answer? It’s all about the escape.How drawing can help with stress blog

Yes, we can sit and sketch out the pain of 2020, the argument we just had with our partner, our worries about the future and this may help us to process our emotions.

However, the true value is in the escape drawing provides. It takes us out of ourselves, out of our head where stressful thoughts lie.

The act of drawing something requires us to concentrate on what we are doing, to focus on what is emerging on the page. It is this level of concentration that provides the escape from stressful thoughts.

Start with a blank page and draw an item that is in your eye line. A cup, a biro, a piece of paper. Keep going, keep drawing until you feel calmer.

It’s important to pick an emotionally neutral object (so if the cup sitting in front of you is a gift from your partner whom you’re currently furious with, perhaps pick something else..)

I would love to know how this works for you. Give it a go and let me know how you get on in the comments below.


Did you like this? Sign up to our newsletter for regular visual thinking tips plus exclusive events and offers.

2021 dates for Secrets of Simple Graphics online and the new programme Draw Out Your Future have now been confirmed.  Take a look >> 

More flipchart borders: get those markers out!

More flipchart borders: get those markers out!

I recently published a blog with border ideas for flipcharts.

It’s been my second most popular blog this year (following ‘Free visual coaching template’) so I thought I’d share a few more ideas here.

Thanks to those of you who get in touch. I always love hearing about how people are getting on using the tips and ideas I share.

So here we go, six more border ideas for you.

Border ideas for flipcharts

Which ones do you like best? Which ones will work best in your training room? And if you’ve got some of your own that you’d like to see featured in a future email do let me know.

Icebreakers with a twist

Icebreakers are sometimes overlooked as a non essential, flippant or even embarrassing way to kick off a facilitation or training session.

If these thoughts ever pop into my mind I soon recall the one or two training events I ran where I decided not to use an icebreaker, and how disastrous they were.

Used correctly, icebreakers are a great way for a group to get to know one another, to relax and to get into an optimum mindset for learning.

Here are some of my favourite icebreakers; all with a visual twist.

1. Truth or Lie
A classic icebreaker. Each person calls out two statements about themselves, one is true, one is false. The group have to guess which is which.
Add a visual twist by asking for a volunteer to draw the first person’s two statements on a flip chart or virtual whiteboard. (Once they have finished someone else takes a turn drawing their two statements, and so on.) Guessing can be tracked by drawing True False columns on the page and adding a tick under the column when someone guesses. If done virtually people can add their guesses using Annotation. 
The volunteer has absolutely no idea what the person is going to say, and although at first the thought of drawing on the spot may seem horrifying, in my experience everyone really enjoys this game. The drawings make it a hilarious and memorable experience for everyone.

2. Animal Alphabet Game
Start by drawing an animal beginning with the letter A, again using a flipchart or online whiteboard. Whoever is first to guess what the animal is (if running thison Zoom for example, you can invite people to add their guesses into the chatbox or type them on the screen using annotation – set the annotation function so that names are visible – this makes the process quicker) gets up to draw an animal beginning with B and so on. I have used this with groups of children and adults alike and everyone loves it, despite often getting stuck on N, Y, W…

3. Pictionary
Who doesn’t love Pictionary? Not just for Christmas, it’s also a fun and engaging way to open a session. People take turns drawings words, sayings or topic specific phrases whilst others guess at what is being depicted. What could possibly go wrong?!

Despite some initial resistance, once the games get started everyone will want to have a go.

If you are doing this virtually and have never drawn on a virtual whiteboard before then this is the perfect way to start! It will feel odd to use your mouse or tracker to draw on the screen, and the drawings probably will come out all wobbly and a bit strange looking, and that’s kind of the point 🙂

Bonus tip: Get your creative thinking hat on and consider how you can tie in one or more of the above icebreakers with the content you then discussing.


Have you used any of these icebreakers? Have you got any more ideas for fun icebreakers? I’d love to hear from you. Share your comments in the box below.