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Real-Time Visuals for Better Meetings

Real-Time Visuals for Better Meetings

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Published by SmartDraw
In the business world, time is arguably the most precious commodity. And many people in business spend a lot of time in meetings, as well as planning them and performing follow up tasks. Well-run meetings can be collaborative, efficient, productive and empowering.
Unfortunately, most meetings are not well-run today because they are not planned well, they tend to get off topic, and the results are not immediately actionable. Time is wasted, and team members can lose interest and feel unengaged. The potential benefit of collaboration is lost.
In the business world, time is arguably the most precious commodity. And many people in business spend a lot of time in meetings, as well as planning them and performing follow up tasks. Well-run meetings can be collaborative, efficient, productive and empowering.
Unfortunately, most meetings are not well-run today because they are not planned well, they tend to get off topic, and the results are not immediately actionable. Time is wasted, and team members can lose interest and feel unengaged. The potential benefit of collaboration is lost.

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Categories:Types, Business/Law
Published by: SmartDraw on Feb 09, 2011
Copyright:Traditional Copyright: All rights reserved

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09/21/2013

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www.smartdraw.com
858-225-3300 ©2011 SmartDraw, LLC. All rights reserved.
 
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY 
 
Through the power of real-time visual communication, SmartDrawmakes planning and conducting meetings much more efficient andproductive
saving both time and money.
 
Reduce average meeting time by more than 25%
 
Achieve clarity and consensus faster
 
Eliminate the seemingly endless cycle of revisions andfollow-up meetingsAs a visual processor, SmartDraw makes creating
real-time
visualspossible for everyone. A visual project plan can be created andedited in a collaborative meeting environment. This allows moreactionable work to be accomplished during the meeting, eliminatingthe seemingly endless cycle of revisions and follow-up.
Introduction
In the business world, time is arguably the most preciouscommodity. And many people in business spend a lot of time inmeetings, as well as planning them and performing follow up tasks.Well-run meetings can be collaborative, efficient, productive andempowering.Unfortunately, most meetings are not well-run today because theyare not planned well, they tend to get off topic, and the results arenot immediately actionable. Time is wasted, and team members canlose interest and feel unengaged. The potential benefit of collaboration is lost.Using real-time visuals for meeting preparation, presentation,information capture and follow-up can provide significant benefits to
Real-Time Visuals for BetterMeetings
February, 2011
 
 
2
www.smartdraw.com
858-225-3300 ©2011 SmartDraw, LLC. All rights reserved.
 
managers and allow them to get the most from their team members’ valuable time.
A solution that can shortenthe length of the meeting cycle (planning and preparation, execution, and follow up) as well as capture real-timecollaborative information in an easy-to-use visual format provides real, measurable return on investment for thecompanies that adopt it throughout their organization.
Isn’t it
much more productive to have team members actually working on project tasks to achieve their goals andobjectives, rather than spending their time in meetings? Ask yourself this question: if you could make more timefor your team, how much more could be accomplished?Fortunately, today there is a solution that for the first time enables the real-time creation of visuals, whichchanges the face of meetings forever. It is called the visual processor.
What is a visual processor?
Just as a word processor enables anyone in your company to create nicely formatted written documents quicklyand easily, a visual processor allows anyone to create professional-looking, automatically formatted visuals justas quickly.
There is no “drawing” required. In fact, you can even use the keyboard to create your visuals!
With avisual processor, great looking visuals are just as quick and easy to make as great looking written documents.There is no longer any reason not to use visuals as much as written words in all business communication(documents, presentations, emails, etc),
including meetings
.There has never been a visual processor until now. Until its introduction in June 2010 by SmartDraw, traditionalgraphics software was all that existed. Graphics software requires too much time, expertise, and designexperience for it to be effective or useful for 98% of business users. It is the breakthroughs of automaticformatting and the built-
in “know
-
how” of th
e visual processor that enable anyone to create presentation-qualityvisuals in real-
time, or in other words “at the speed of thought.”
It also enables for the first time the ability inmeetings to capture collaborative information in real-time, so that everyone can get on the same page, come toagreement on topics, brainstorm ideas that are instantly documented, and have it all in a visual format (that caneven be converted into a project plan with a single click!)
 
Simply put, the visual processor reinvents business in may ways. Visuals are scientifically proven to be up to 6times
1
more effective than words alone in communicating ideas, data, information, processes, plans, projects andmore. This improved communication leads directly to increased sales, lower costs, productivity gains, andreduced errors that all add up to significant business performance enhancement.It changes everything, because the visual processor can create many different visuals
 –
all of the ones that arecommonly used in a variety of meetings:
Flowcharts
for process documentation sessions,
SWOT diagrams and balanced scorecards
for strategic planning meetings,
Venn diagrams, BCG and product positioning matrices
for marketing meetings,
Mind Maps and project charts
for project brainstorming and project planning,
Org charts
for company resource planning and optimization,
and much more.
Now, for the first time in history, the benefit of using visuals significantly outweighs the time it takes to createthem. And the visuals created by the visual processor have built-in standards called visual grammar, so that
everyone’s visuals follow rules that make understanding them much easier.
This enables widespread adoptionthroughout the organization (and even outside of it with partners, customers and suppliers), much in the same
 
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www.smartdraw.com
858-225-3300 ©2011 SmartDraw, LLC. All rights reserved.
 
way that written documents follow generally-accepted rules of grammar and punctuation so that they can beeasily understood by wide audiences.Traditional graphics software (like Microsoft Visio® and the Microsoft Office® drawing tools) are an impedimentto the widespread business use of visuals, because their lack of automatic formatting meant that it took toomuch time, hassle and ultimately, cost, to make the return on creating them worth the effort. This is why so fewbusiness users have ever created a visual
in fact, less than 3% of all business communication uses visuals. Theyalso cannot be created in real-time, causing extra cycles of transcribing, reviewing, and editing which waste timeand generate poor results.In fact, some organizations that are using the visual processor in meetings have ultimately replaced theirwhiteboards and ad hoc note-taking with real-time documentation using meeting-specific visuals. Their resultshave been higher engagement and agreement by team members, and significantly decreased follow up timerequired to produce essential meeting documents and project action plans. Capturing information visually
and at the speed of thought 
translates into immediate team action and increased productivity.
More Productive Meetings
In a survey of Microsoft® employees known as
Microsoft Office Personal Productivity Challenge (PPC),
the resultsfound that on average people spend 5.5 hours a week in meetings, and 71% feel that meetings are typicallyunproductive
2
.
 
The survey also found that the most common pitfalls are unclear objectives, lack of teamcommunication followed by unclear priorities
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.That is a staggering amount of lost time that could have been prevented by communicating visually. All three of the above pitfalls can be addressed from the proper planning of the meeting and employing the proper use of visuals to augment the overall effectiveness of the meeting. A recent study from the University of Minnesotafound that the average length of meetings in which visuals were used were 26.8% shorter (26.7 minutes vs. 18.6minutes) than meetings in which no visuals were used
4
. So, by changing how your meeting is planned and run viavisuals, the productivity and communication to the participants improves exponentially. Thus, time not wasted.How?
Let’s look at the most commonly used tool
the meeting agenda. Meeting agendas are typically lists of topicsand sub-topics for the group to discuss within the time scheduled. However, lists are limited in their ability tocommunicate. Using SmartDraw to create mind maps, the meeting planner now is able to communicate visuallyand more powerfully the topics and sub-topics, and how each is interrelated within the overall discussion.Because of the visual processor, meeting agenda mind maps also have the ability to be changed and revisedduring the course of the meeting to properly and accurately record the discussions and any notes taken fromthose discussions. Moreover, with the visual processor, a mind map can be created from SmartDraw in a fractionof the time than a list.

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