Drawing Your Way to High-Impact Training

This post is the fourth post in a five part series. For more posts on this theme, check out Short Series: Drawing in Ministry

Can you teach people to do what you do?

I struggle with this so deeply. So much of what I do is intuitive. I stumble as I try to transfer my skills to others. And so I've had a lot to learn.

The practice of drawing has helped me recently. It forces me to focus my training, helps the people I'm training understand the concepts and ... if that wasn't enough ... drawing makes it possible for the people I train to train others.

Mentoring Training
Here's a diagram I use for Mentoring Training

Here's how it works ...


Do you always have too much material? For us Learners, our horizons keep on expanding and this makes it tough to know what to pass along. Much of ministry is intuitive. We've synthesized concepts from a bunch of places and lose track of where the ideas came from. This is a recipe for confusion.

The process of choosing illustrations forces me to focus. Drawing a picture serves as an anchor. The drawing grabs hold a solid, stable place and helps me train one thing well (rather than 100 things poorly).

And if you can't communicate your concept in a picture, it might be too fuzzy.

Choose a few images, no more than 3 or 4.
Choose images that focus the conversation.
Choose images that you can draw quickly and confidently.


The trainer's best insights often fall on deaf ears. People nod and smile and forget. Some even take notes before they forget.

Don't take it personally. But don't ignore it.

Drawing pictures is one way to work around the deaf ears. Drawing pictures engages the eyes. And for those who take notes, drawing pictures in their journals or notebooks engages their imagination.

Images will help with memory ... sure. But it goes deeper than that. Verbal training is great for teaching scripts. But if your training requires people to adapt, problem solve or think with any complexity ...you're going to need a bigger boat. The translation from words to images stands as a solid symbol for the bigger work of translating from the training space to the real world.

Choose images that you can draw while talking.
Choose images that they can draw while listening.
Choose images that spark some imagination.


I love it when the people I train can pass the training on.

Drawing pictures makes this possible. A training element that is simple and understood (concentrated and comprehended) can be transmitted again and again. Your anchors become buoys that people can return to time and time again. 

Think about the example of evangelistic diagrams from a few posts back. I was taught these diagrams years ago. And I teach them to my students. They are easy to transfer. I was taught lots of other ways of talking about the gospel (the Romans' Road, for example), but the pictures are just easier to remember, easier to use, easier to learn and easier to teach.

Choose images that are easy to remember.
Choose images that are easy to draw.
Choose images that clearly connect with the core concepts.

Have you ever tried using pictures to increase the impact of your training?

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