Torstai, 28.2.2019

All the TEDx TampereUniversity sketchnotes and some tips on doing digital graphic recording at a TEDx event

This week there was a TEDx event in Tampere, Finland. TEDx is a global concept that brings various talks on different topics to the community. TEDx events are independently organized events that derive from the idea of the first TED (Technology, Education, Design) conference dating back to 1984. All the speakers of a TEDx event follow the TEDx content guidelines. The overall theme of the  TEDx TampereUniversity was Realizing Utopias. They offered an all female speaker line-up and speeches on topics such as equality, emotions and immigrant life.

I think that a TEDx event is a fine occasion to test one’s skills as a graphic recorder so I signed up to do the sketchnoting for the event. As a special guest I was sitting in the audience together with my iPad ready to capture the main points of the presentations.

Be fast – and even faster!

As said, a TEDx event is a kind of a test for a graphic recorder: how fast can you be? How well prepared do you need to be before the event? How well will you handle your equipment and the technology in the heat of the event? According to my experience you need to:

  • be fast, superfast and even faster to keep up with the short presentations
  • be very well prepared so that you have time to make a swift move from one presentation to another
  • know your tools well enough so that you don’t get in trouble during the fast-paced event

The speakers at TEDx events usually start with a story. As a sketchnoter I need to decide how detailed I capture those stories. Because many of the speakers start with a story, it gives you a slow start. So in case you’re still working on the picture from the previous presentation, just have your ears open and let the next speaker begin. There’s no need to panic since the speaker is probably just taking the audience into the mood of her story.

After the intro story the speakers start throwing in facts. Quite often the TEDx speakers have three important points or key take-aways in their presentation but it’s clear that their speech always has one BIG idea, one big thought they want us to remember afterwards.

As a graphic recorder, I also need to be wide awake in the end of each presentation because that’s when they sum the story and the theme up with a conclusion.

How to prepare as a digital sketchnoter?

It helps you out if you…

  • create a Dropbox folder to share your work and give the organizers the link to the folder
  • prepare a template with the event logo
  • create a color chart in advance
  • copy the template and use it to create a canvas for each of the presentation
  • write the titles and the names of the speakers on each canvas
  • check out the Twitter handles of each speaker

If you’re into doing caricatures on speakers, prepare also them well in advance.

When the presentations are on, just take it easy and listen closely to the one, big idea. Capture that and you’re done!


Linda Saukko-Rauta

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