Strategic visioning, planning, and brainstorming workshops all chew considerable time in the course of our busy business lives. Of constant concern to internal managers and meeting convenors is the value and practical deliverable of these sessions.

Paper Plane was borne out of the frustration of our corporate clients need to achieve tangible outcomes from meetings that command the valuable time of an organisation’s most senior executives. Through tight briefing, focused and controlled facilitation (and some necessary injections of in-flight levity), Paper Plane can achieve a quantifiable result to the benefit of all participants and stakeholders.

Nicola Bailey

I established Paper Plane July 2003 in Sydney, Australia to provide my clients facilitation services with a strong visual element. I offer Graphic Facilitation of strategic planning sessions and in-house training of Graphic Facilitation skills. I also offer Graphic Recording if you want a visual record of a presentation.
My background is largely corporate with IBM and Microsoft. I know how painful, frustrating and tedious planning workshops can be! I can make your workshops productive, memorable and inspiring. I bring a strong blend of business knowledge, creative abilities and vision to help my clients achieve their goals.
An IAF Certified™ Professional Facilitator, I trained with The Grove in San Francisco, Meeting Magic in UK, Loosetooth in Chicago and Open Space Works in Australia.

Graphic Facilitation

I manage the people in a room through a series of activities to reach their desired outcomes eg a strategic plan.
I use graphic charts to support the process

Graphic Facilitation Skills Training

Learning visual facilitation skillsequips you to run more creative meetings,training courses, and workshops.Why? People retain around 65% of what they see and only about 15% of what they hear.
The use of graphic language promotes lasting images and retention of ideas.

I teach you how to prepare visual frameworks and capture peoples’ contributions live to improve understanding, communication, decision making, and problem solving.

No PowerPoint! We ditch the projector, pull up the blinds and get people engaged using paper and coloured markers!

The classes are highly experiential; lots of practice, lots of practical techniques.I teach from experience not from theory and openly share techniques and tools thatI use in my own job as full time visual facilitator.

Day One Agenda

  • Understand the role of graphics in facilitation
  • Working with large rolls of paper, huge sticky notes andthe fundamentals of working large scale
  • Adopt visual planning models to prepare and frame workshops
  • Learn to drawbasic shapes, people and legible text
  • Centre group work around prepared templates that focus discussion

Day Two Agenda

  • Create the right environment for productive group work
  • Learn visual techniques that you can weave into your own work.
  • Live practice dynamically capturing ideas and input at the wall on large paper
  • Create graphic templates to frame breakout group work
  • Learn useful icons, shading, shadowing and bordering techniques to create beautiful charts

Graphic Recording

If you don’t require an independent facilitator, but understand the power of visual thinking, you can also arrange for Graphic Recording.
This means that a map of your conversations and discussions will be recorded, in real time and in front of everyone, so that you have a visual summary of what was said and how progress developed

Graphic Recording is a powerful visual tool that gets the “right brain” working
The brain structure and function of the mind is often described by suggesting that two different sides of the brain control two different “ways” of thinking: The right side of the brain is said to control creative thinking while the left side controls analytical thinking, and persons are considered to be left or right brain dominant.
What we all share is our preference for visual images in contrast to text or number images.

That’s why graphically recording a meeting or group session has significant benefits:

  • It fosters creativity and innovation
  • It extracts ideas and concepts
  • It makes complex issues easier to understand and visualise
  • It brings vitality, effectiveness and fun into your session
  • It encourages involvement and participation
  • It increases productivity
  • It creates better outcomes
  • It gets people to identify with the process and commitments to be kept

Frequently Asked Questions

What do you do?
When a group needs to do something very important together such as create a 5 year strategic plan, or plan a big project, or forge a strategic alliance, I am hired to facilitate the process to achieve the desired outcomes. I use large graphical charts to give a framework to the activities and to record the discussions, decisions, plan of action, next steps.With an independent facilitator managing the process the group can fully participate in the content.
What does the ‘Graphic’ part mean?
Using large hand drawn charts we focus the group, show them the shape of their work and document their accomplishments. The charts are large – about 2 metres wide by 1 metre deep. We use text and drawings to capture the discussion. (link to example on a wall showing size)

Client Testimonials

“Nicola uses great skill and finesse to enable disparate organisations to come together, listen to their colleagues and foster workable relationships that ultimately drive focussed outcomes. The special ingredient is her innate ability to support participants ‘calling out the dead moose’, critical to enabling these work-groups to engage effectively.”

Michael Fuller

“Thank you again for your session in Sydney last week. One of the most valuable training I have been to in a long time! You might see me at your future session soon.”

Karina Ward

“Nicola is a superb blend of wisdom, humour, knowledge, and professionalism with a decent dose of sass. Her training sessions to AITD members (all seasoned L&D professionals) have been wonderfully received, with attendees highly rating her delivery style and material.”

Paul Dumble

I’ve worked with Nicola at Paperplane a number of times in the last few years because I know I can be assured of a great planning outcome. Her facilitation is excellent and she can make a tiresome process fun. Furthermore I always end up with a great visual plan which we hang in the office and supporting notes in PowerPoint. I highly recommend Paperplane and will work with Nicola again I am sure.

Neil Jackson