Scribe visualization: Drop Dead Healthy

When I attended TEDx Warsaw conference, I noticed there a guy drawing simple pictures of every talk. They call it scribing and it’s another great way to visualize ideas:

I talked to this scribing guy and I am glad he is our guest writer today :).

I welcome Mathieu Spencer. Watch his sketching in action of interesting TedMed talk and check his simple guide to become a sketchnoter yourself:
Drop Dead Healthy Skribe from Mathieu Spencer on Vimeo.

Mathieu about How to become a sketchnoter:

First, pick the information you want to transcribe. In this example, we used a TEDMED talk of A.J. Jacobs: How healthy living nearly killed me.

Take a piece of paper, put it horizontally, it’s easier on our eyes!

Choose your favorites pens and colored pencils. An eraser and pencil sharpener can come in handy.

And we are ready to go!

Personally, I like to start with the speaker’s name and the subject of his talk. If an image comes to mind I draw it right away.

While watching the video I skribe only the important ideas:

  • using key words, written in CAPITAL LETTERS
  • simple drawings, stick figures are great (‘ideas not art’ Dan Roam)
  • when possible a diagram conveys a lot of information

When this done, I regroup the ideas with the same theme.

A line, a circle, squares,…whatever you fancy! This is usually when patterns pop out.
Arrows are great to represent them.

Our world is colorful and I’ve noticed it helps me remember, so I added color.


Last but not least a signature is always fun! 🙂

If you have any questions on starting your own sketch notes send me an email.

About Mathieu Spencer
First I am a chiropractor, specialized in Musicians’ Health. Chiropractic is a health profession that focuses on diagnosing, preventing and treating disorders of the neuro-musculoskeletal system. It is a holistic approach to restore the body’s natural balance with our using medication or surgery.
Secondly, I am a skribe, using the logical and creative aspects of my brain I transcribe ideas in a visual and communicative way.

I’m a chocolate and Cognac lover! Visit my blog www.RockYourCortex.com

Want to make similar scribe graphics in PowerPoint?

Check our Sketchnoting Symbols and Handwritten Symbols.

Further articles on presentation graphics

For more inspiration on using visuals in your presentations, or on how to implement graphics in an engaging way, check out these helpful articles:

Want to be notified when we make an announcement? Never miss out on creative presentation graphics and stay informed about our latest updates and news. We’ll also send you a Creative slide design guide with FREE hand drawn shapes for you to begin using right away!

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3 thoughts on “Scribe visualization: Drop Dead Healthy”

  1. I came to your blog while looking for good research on information visualization. That and similar key phrases always lead to data visualization, which is great… but different. The thing I like about what Mathieu is doing is that it deals on the level of idea rather than data. I guess for me the issue is: once you use a data-viz tool to make sense of data, how to you make sense of that information–how do you use it to assemble your thoughts on whatever issue or decision you had data for. I use mind mapping because it too works at the idea level, allowing you to bring your thoughts and conclusions in one view in order to construct a point of view. Whether on paper on computer screen, mapping helps make sense of all the disparate information available to us.
    Thanks. Thanks for an interesting blog, Peter!

  2. Michael, Hobie, I'm glad you like Mathieu's blog post.

    Hobie, I fully agree. Before diving into various data visualizations, one needs to have a clear "big picture" view. I use writing it down on paper first, or even later, when I design presentations, I print out the slides (2-4 on the page) and sketch over it by hand.
    The mind mapping is great for this concept mapping, too. I wanted to explore this area in the blog, hence I talked to Mathieu.
    I'll be happy to include more topics and examples of info viz methods. Let me know if you have some suggestions.

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