by Terence Baker | September 01, 2006

Martha McGinnis"I believe it is easier to grasp what goes on at a meeting in visuals than it is in words."

Martha McGinnis is president of Visual Logic (www.visual-logic.net), an independent company that uses graphics -- drawings, sketches, voice bubbles, etc. -- to record the minutes, debates and decisions at approximately 50 to 60 meetings each year. She lives and works in Atlanta, where she started the company in early 2003.

What do you do at the meetings you attend? I lay out a huge roll of paper and record, highlight and illuminate an event’s key elements with color, words and drawings. I record meetings and provide in visuals a summary of what went on, what is discussed, what the moods and concerns were and what, perhaps, is decided upon. Written minutes do not encapsulate meetings in a way that people can see quickly what went on and what needs to be done after the meeting is over. I believe it is easier to grasp what goes on at a meeting in visuals than it is in words.

Does anyone criticize what you record? Not really. But if someone makes a valid point, that is an excellent way of fostering further discussion.

How did you get into this business? I have an MBA from the University of Kansas, and I worked for 20 years at Atlanta-based Colonial Pipeline Co., a fuel company. I discovered I loved facilitating, organizing and improving systems in what is a hazardous industry. I sat in on hundreds of meetings in different areas, such as finance, development, training and safety. In the last 10 years, I have helped design events always while asking myself the question: What is the bigger goal?