Volume 4, Issue 10 | August 15, 2008
www.shift-it-coach.com | [email protected]


Welcome to your August SHIFT-IT e-Zine.

  1. A Note From Christina
  2. Events Calendar
  3. In Your Words
  4. Feature Article: Meeting Graphics for Beginners
  5. Recent Blog Entries
  6. More Links & Resources


Dear %$firstname$%,

It’s a nice mellow week (comparatively speaking) here in beautiful Victoria, B.C.  I’m pretty much moved into the new place – acclimatizing to a new level of elegance, fun and different gadgets (like the hot tub on the roof deck – its great but I’m not so sure about all those chemicals that are required!). 

The new place doesn’t have as much wall space as my old place (its mostly windows), so was a great excuse to invest in a piece of equipment that I’ve been wanting to get for ages – Neuland’s Graphic Wall.  This is the wall we’ll be working on when you come for a Private SHIFT-IT Retreat or Private Skills Training with me.  I’ll also be using it in the November public workshops on graphic facilitation and graphic recording skills.

Talking about the November workshops – we had a bit of a scare with them but it all turned out for the greater good.  The location which I’ve had booked for a year, was sold to new owners, who decided to give away one of our four days to someone else – yicks!  Sooooooo, we made lemons out of lemonade and upgraded the location to the beautiful Inn at Laurel Point (voted in the Top 20 for Canada by Conde Nast!). 

Also, even though this workshop is officially sold out (cause it’s the last time I’m running this popular series), there is still some shuffling of seats going on, so if you want to come, please let Launa know and she’ll put you on the waitlist (there is a good chance we’ll end up being able to get you in!)  [email protected] 

In the spirit of the graphics work that has been my roots, I’ve chosen to run an article this issue on Meeting Graphics for beginners.  Hope you enjoy!

See you next issue!

Christina Merkley,
The SHIFT-IT Coach



Sept 15-Oct 27 (Mondays, 4-5:30 pm PST by Webinar): Level 1: SHIFT-IT Virtual Coaching Group What’s the IT(s) you want to SHIFT?  Get crackin’ with this 7-week group coaching experience that guides you step-by-step through the completion of my SHIFT-IT Graphic Coaching Processâ.  Appreciate your past.  Contemplate your present. Precisely clarify what you now want to manifest and bust through the junk that is keeping you stuck.  Conducted via webinar technology with participants from around the globe.  Includes SHIFT-IT Home Retreat Kit (or dis-count if you already have it!).  Register Now to Secure Your Spot.

Sept 14-Nov 30 (Sundays, 10-11:30am by Webinar): Level 2: Merkley’s Manifestation Mastermind Got your Magnetism Map all worked out?  Ready for your next level of manifestation support? This Level Two experience is for past SHIFT-IT attendees … the next level of Law of Attraction learning, integration and community.  Learn more in-depth LOA practices plus get deep private coaching on your unique specifics.  Plus sessions on the complimentary outer world tools of internet marketing, web technology, team building, etc. Register Now to Secure Your Spot.

Nov. 5-8: Meeting Graphics 101 and The Graphic Bootcamp (level 1 and level 2 combo):  Yes, its true. This is the LAST EVER offering of my popular, inspiring and nurturing training in using interactive-graphics in group settings.  Learn the base underlying skills for graphic recording and graphic facilitation, no matter what level of artistic ability. Plus all the inside scoop on marketing, business development and personal mindset … for both internal and external consultants, facilitators, trainers, etc.  Let my over 14+ years experience live on thru you!  More Info.  Sold Out … Join Waitlist.

Ongoing: Private Mentoring and In-house Trainings: One-to-one graphic recording and graphic facilitation training for yourself or for your organization. Come to me or I come to you. Only available to the end of this year as this stream of my business is concluding on Dec. 31, 2008 – get my rare knowledge out of me and into you while you still can.  Let the skills live on!  More Info.




"I traveled from the UK to work one-on-one with Christina and it was worth every penny.  The power of seeing my life and beliefs drawn out of me --- no room to hide because I created the picture of the new direction I want.  There is a clear process and journey when you work with Christina and if you are committed to really shift your life you can expect amazing results in a short period of time.  I’ve revamped my diversity consulting business – re-designed my website, offerings and pricing structure – to serve the populations I like best.  I’ve signed up for her Manifestation Mastermind which I expect to be another life changing programme (starts after my Caribbean vacation – more time spent there was part of my visioning!). - I can’t wait.   Thanks Christina."

Sonya Welch-Moring, Diversity Coach/Consultant, London, UK

In Your Words: Have news and testimonials to share about the results of your SHIFT-IT experience?  Just send us a brief blurb with your photo to share your news with the SHIFT-IT community. 



After 14+ years I’m pulling down my shingle as a graphic facilitator and graphic recorder (using visuals in large group settings) in order to devote more time and space for my rapidly growing ‘graphic coaching’ business (using visuals in smaller settings with individuals, couples and biz partners).  November marks my last Meeting Graphics 101 training ever... so in homage to my graphic past... here’s an article about the benefits of these wonderful group skills with some tips for beginners entering the field. 

Future is Bright for Interactive-Graphics:
More and more facilitators, trainers and other meeting consultants are adding ‘Meeting Graphics’ to their toolkits.  Whether it’s through visual presentation charts, graphic recording (taking real-time visual notes), or creating or using graphic templates to facilitate conversation and decision-making.

As a seasoned graphic facilitation professional (I’ve been at it for over 14 years now) I am often asked for advice about how to develop meeting graphic skills.  Below are some of my favorite top tips:

Tip 1: Gather Your Tools / Create a Practice Space

Get a roll of large size poster paper.  Most art supply or print shops carry 20lb bond paper in varying widths and lengths or can order for you (this is the same paper used in architectural CAD machines).  Anything between a three to four foot width is good, and usually 25 yards is a normal roll length. 

While you’re at it, purchase some colorful markers (the main graphic recording colors are: blue, purple, green, brown, black, red and yellow for highlighting). 


Create a practice space by hanging some of the big poster paper on a wall in your home or office.  If space is limited, a sheet of paper on the back of a door is a start.

Tip 2: Check Out the IFVP Website

The International Forum for Visual Practitioners is a growing network of people who use graphics in varying ways: graphic recorders, facilitators, other kinds of scribes, synthesizers, etc.  Join their list serve at www.ifvp.org to get ongoing announcements, particularly about their annual conference... a great info-sharing venue. 

Tip 3: Get Some Skills Training / Find a Mentor

If you are a facilitator already, and want to add graphics to your toolkit, find a Graphic Facilitator in your area (or travel to one) who can provide you with training, mentoring or coaching on the basic skills.  Like myself, many of my colleagues offer basic training and/or are willing to create custom training for you based on your direct needs... the same goes for people interested in the Graphic Recorder role.  Check out the IFVP Directory, or the GraphicFacilitation.com’s Blog to find folks in your area.  The Grove Consultants also has regular workshop offerings.

Tip 4: Start Simple, Then Build in Complexity


Start with weaving graphics into your work by pre-preparing simple presentation charts (a welcome poster, agenda chart, diagrams of models or concepts).  Move up to recording simple lists and clusters. 

If you are gathering information in specific ways (like doing a SWOT analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) try creating a simple template.  See Grove's Graphic Guides for a full-line of helpful pre-prepared templates – the drawing is done for you so you can focus on gathering content. 


Tip 5: Find Low Risk Opportunities & Practice, Practice, Practice

Like any new skill, it can be intimidating at first to try something new.  To ease yourself into it, find small, safe and low-risk opportunities to practice your new skills.  Perhaps a regular staff meeting, a workshop you usually lead, or a volunteer engagement.  Up the ante as your confidence grows.  Purchase a few templates.  Or create your own for your own unique needs.  It is estimated that upwards of 82% of the North American population are visual thinkers --- so know that you have statistics on your side and many of your participants will appreciate your efforts to cater to their preferred learning style. 

© 2008 Christina L. Merkley

WANT TO USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR E-ZINE OR WEB SITE? You can, as long as you include this blurb with it:

Christina Merkley, "The SHIFT-IT Coach" and creator of the SHIFT-IT Method® is a Visioning and Strategic Planning Expert specializing in Graphic Facilitation and Law of Attraction techniques. Based in charming Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, she works deeply with individuals, partners and groups in defining and getting what they really, really want. For more information visit: www.shift-it-coach.com


Looking for more rich, SHIFT-IT content? Check out my blog for recent ramblings, resources and general interest features:

  • Ask Christina: How Do Your Life Maps Square With the Abraham Teachings?
  • SHIFT-IT: Meeting Graphics 101 and The Graphic Bootcamp Video
  • Six Marketing Mindset Lessons
  • Current Events Calendar
  • A Note from Christina: August
  • Ask Christina: Help, I'm Miserable and Want to Change Careers

Besides the Blog, there are plenty of articles to read in the Ezine Archives. Browse past issues here.

Click Here to Read SHIFT-IT Blog

Ask Me Your SHIFT-IT Questions

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Ask me your most pressing SHIFT-IT questions.  Most popular and interesting questions … and my answers (hopefully as interesting!) will be posted on the blog.

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Info on Coaching Options


Can't travel to me? Want to experiment with the SHIFT- IT work on your own?

Now Graphic Coaching tools right at your fingertips. Conduct your own SHIFT-IT Graphic Coaching Retreat® - from the privacy of your own home.

Your life isn't a dress rehearsal. In fact, its happening right NOW. Is it going the way you want it to? Do you know what you next want? Are you sure you can do it? Get organized and confident with the step-by-step SHIFT-IT Graphic Coaching system.

In this innovative kit, I walk you through your past, present and desired future, so you can plot out your directions and strategies. You also pinpoint and flip the negative beliefs, assumptions and mindsets that stand in your way - to stop sabotaging yourself and your dreams. SHIFT-IT has already helped hundreds live life by design, not by accident. Learn how it can help you too!

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Christina Merkley is The SHIFT-IT Coach. Creator of the SHIFT-IT Graphic Coaching Process®, she guides individuals, partners and groups in defining and getting what they really, really want.

A teacher of Law of Attraction, she is also an expert in visual meeting techniques, strategic planning and visioning: having worked for such notable companies as BBC, Readers Digest Funds, eBay and Stanford University. After a move from San Francisco, she now lives in charming Victoria, British Columbia, Canada - where she maintains a vibrant coaching, facilitation and training practice.

Full Bio

Copyright © 2004-2008 Christina L. Merkley. All rights reserved.
4-1054 Southgate Street, Victoria, British Columbia, V8V 2Z2, Canada