What is a whiteboarding session?
A whiteboarding session is a collaborative working approach utilized in various office settings. During meetings, one or more individuals can draw, modify, annotate, and erase content on the board by using marker pens and sticky notes. Nowadays, many digital whiteboarding tools offers powerful features to facilitate remote activities, including:
- Video conferencing
- Whiteboards sharing and editing
- Split screen
- Infinite whiteboard space
- Saving team ideas for future use
How whiteboarding promotes collaboration?
Interactive whiteboards are helping the upgrade of office presentations and enhancing learning in institutions and organizations. They have proven to be an effective way to collaborate during meetings than static slides, because a whiteboard can adjust to the conversation of the room. It can help tackle with the indecision and disagreement and optimize decision-making.
The use of a whiteboard, whether in person or digitally, can improve team morale by demonstrating the importance of each member's thoughts and viewpoints. Utilizing a whiteboard encourages teamwork in finding solutions and enhancing efficiency. When every member feels acknowledged and respected, collaboration becomes more successful.
What should I use a whiteboarding session for?
Visual thinking: visual thinking has been found to aid in understanding ideas on a deeper level, and that’s why many businesses use visual thinking to illustrate workflows and design products.
Collaborative learning: whiteboards facilitate collaborative learning by offering a learning environment which advocates participation, problem-solving, and experimentation.
Brain storming: the infinite canvas of a whiteboard application is a great tool for ideation. The board can easily be modified, edited, and categorized to allow free-thinking and collaboration.
Collecting real-time feedback: online whiteboards can be used to gather real-time feedback and constructive evaluations on concepts, documents, or products.
6 Tips for a successful whiteboarding session
Running an effective whiteboarding session is not easy, and here are some tips for you.
- Focus on your goal
The most effective sessions always have a clearly defined meeting agenda and purpose. To set the tone of the session, write out the goal, purpose of the session and issues to be resolved on the top of the whiteboard to keep everyone on track. As you use the whiteboard, leave the meeting goal at the top of the board as a constant reminder to help keep the meeting focused and on topic.
- Write clearly
To reduce visual clutter and keep meeting participants focused, it's important to start the whiteboarding session by erasing any irrelevant content on the board. Throughout the session, continue to erase content that is no longer useful. Additionally, take the time to write content on the board in a clear and neat manner to avoid illegible messes that can distract participants.
- Use templates
When you are using digital whiteboards, you are able to create a template which organizes and structures your session to focus on an issue ot working towards a common goal. Templates are huge time savers and can help every participant work more efficiently.
You can create your own templates or you can use a built-in templates. You can choose your templates according to your needs, whether it’s brainstorming, workflow, strategy planning, or product development.
- Organize your whiteboard
When ideas start flowing, the whiteboard may become cluttered and disorganized. To make the content easy to understand, it's important to organize ideas into logical categories, columns, or sections. Here are concrete steps.
Firstly, use headlines to guide your audience and prioritize information. Secondly, emphasize big ideas by writing them in a larger font size and sub-points in a smaller font size. Plan the format of your meeting beforehand and ensure it progresses logically towards the end goal. Assign owners and deadlines to action items to avoid any confusion or uncertainty.
- Set up a “parking lot”
During a whiteboarding session, it's common for great ideas to come up that may not be relevant to the current project at hand. To avoid losing momentum, it's important to create a 'parking lot' where these unrelated points or topics can be jotted down.
To make a parking lot, draw a square in the corner of the whiteboard and explain to everyone that it is where all tangential ideas live. At the end of the meeting, set aside 5-10 minutes to review and address the issues in the parking lot. Delete any irrelevant items and defer any relevant but in-depth discussions to a separate meeting or the next agenda. If any points are only relevant to some members of the group, delegate them to a subgroup to save time for team members who don't have expertise in that area.
- Use Visuals as Well as Text
In order to keep everyone engaged during a whiteboard session, it is important to incorporate visuals along with text. Studies show that over 60% of Generation X and Millennials prefer collaboration through visual means. Visual representations help to make content more appealing and easier to absorb and remember. There are various ways to use visuals during a whiteboard session such as drawing simple icons or using mind maps.
Digital whiteboards offer added features to create multimedia mind maps with no limitations. Adding visual communication provides several benefits including delivering information more directly, being more flexible than verbal communication, being attention-grabbing and engaging, making an impact on the audience, and improving the credibility of the message. Therefore, utilizing the power of visual elements is crucial for any successful whiteboard session.
Generally, whiteboarding sessions are a great tool to promote active contribution and collaboration. When leading a whiteboard session, make sure to keep it on track. Use visuals to keep people engaged and encourage participation from all involved.
NearHub is an all-in-one solution for meeting rooms, webinars and classrooms. NearHub possesses an interactive digital whiteboard with cutting-edge smart software. You can also use Zoom on our board. By combining your favorite programs with video conferencing, powerful templates and an unlimited, mess-free writing canvas, you can improve your interaction and productivity in the meetings. Click here to view more on NearHub.