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Chick-fil-A Leadercast Sketchnotes

Chick-fil-A Leadercast Sketchnotes

ON MAY 6TH, I had an amazing opportunity to sketchnote the Chick-fil-A Leadercast in Atlanta, Georgia. In April I wrote about being commissioned to sketchnote the event. Now that my work is done, I'd say the Leadercast exceeded my expectations.

Giant Impact, organizers of Chick-fil-A Leadercast were superb. On Thursday, I was flown to Atlanta, provided a room at the Omni and invited to the speaker dinner. On Friday I captured live sketchnotes at the Georgia Word Congress Center from a VIP lounge chair.

The extreme lighting which made the stage look great, made my sketchnoting task challenging. However, I found a pop light on a table near my white Don Draper lounge chair, which perfectly illuminated my Moleskine sketchbook for most of the day.

Here's the full collection of sketchnotes captured live at Chick-fil-A Leadercast:

Chick-Fil-A Leadercast Sketchnotes 01-02 - Title Page
Chick-Fil-A Leadercast Sketchnotes 03-04 - John Maxwell
Chick-Fil-A Leadercast Sketchnotes 05-06 - John Maxwell / Seth Godin
Chick-Fil-A Leadercast Sketchnotes 07-08 - Seth Godin
Chick-Fil-A Leadercast Sketchnotes 09-10 - Seth Godin / Mack Brown
Chick-Fil-A Leadercast Sketchnotes 11-12 - Mack Brown
Chick-Fil-A Leadercast Sketchnotes 13-14 - Sir Ken Robinson
Chick-Fil-A Leadercast Sketchnotes 15-16 - Sir Ken Robinson / Erin Gruwell
Chick-Fil-A Leadercast Sketchnotes 17-18 - Erin Gruwell
Chick-Fil-A Leadercast Sketchnotes 19-20 - Frans Johansson
Chick-Fil-A Leadercast Sketchnotes 21-22 - Frans Johansson / Suzy Welch
Chick-Fil-A Leadercast Sketchnotes 23-24 - Suzy Welch
Chick-Fil-A Leadercast Sketchnotes 25-26 - Alison Levine
Chick-Fil-A Leadercast Sketchnotes 27-28 - Alison Levine / Dan Cathy & Muhtar Kent
Chick-Fil-A Leadercast Sketchnotes 29-30 - Can Cathy & Muhtar Kent
Chick-Fil-A Leadercast Sketchnotes 31-32 - Dan Cathy & Muhtar Kent / Dave Ramsey
Chick-Fil-A Leadercast Sketchnotes 33-34 - Dave Ramsey
Chick-Fil-A Leadercast Sketchnotes 35-36 - Dave Ramsey

It was fascinating to hear all eleven speakers in a single, one-day track. Every speaker had a unique way of presenting and a unique, thought-provoking perspective on leadership.

Sketchnoting Field Tips & Notes

There were several new approaches I tried with these sketchnotes which worked quite well that I'd like to record for myself and share with you:

Pre-created Speaker Title Pages - Thursday evening before the event, I took time to create title pages for each of the speakers, with 8 blank pages between each title page.

I this way, I made sure names were spelled correctly in the calm environment of my hotel. Pre-creating title pages provided an orderly structure when I started working on Friday, freeing me to focus on capturing ideas rather than sweating those details during the event.

A Portable Light Source - Finding a pop light for a portable light source was a happy accident. I should have brought my little book light, but forgot it at home. Fortunately, the pop light's diffused glow worked well, even though I had to hold it with my left hand.

An iPad & iPhone - I decided to travel without a laptop, carrying only my iPad 2 and iPhone 3GS. Besides being lighter than a MacBook, he iPad came in handy as a portable table for my Moleskine while sitting in the lounge chair and as a laptop replacement.

Unfortunately, Flickr isn't well optimized for touch, so editing my sketchnote photos with the iPad was less than ideal. I'm investigating iOS tools like Flickr Studio and hope to find an app that allows me to manage my Flickr images on the road.

The iPhone worked great for capturing photos of the sketchnotes in progress. During breaks I found decent lighting backstage to take shots of each page with Camera+. On each shot, I applied the flash filter for contrast, converted the color images to black and white, posted them to a new set on Flickr and announced some on Twitter.

Nomadic CB-1 Wise Walker Backpack - The Wise Walker backpack is gem — the perfect travel companion. It worked great for traveling around Washington DC, and perfectly in Atlanta too. It'ss the perfect size for my iPad, several sketchbooks, pens, water, snacks and a rain jacket with plenty of compartments for all sorts of items. Not too big, not too small.

Thank You

Thanks go to Jeff Shinabager for making the initial connection; to Dan Cathy at Chick-fil-A for his graciousness; to Jeremie Kubicek, David Hoyt, Rachel Christopher, Stephanie Holcombe, Kevin Lee and Craig Johnson on the Giant Impact Leadercast team for their organization and care for me in Atlanta. I had a great time.

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    “What are the stories people are telling about you & what are the stories you tell about yourself.”

Reader Comments (6)


What an amazing experience and an amazing job you did. I will check back often at these notes for continued inspiration. WOW!

May 12, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterNeille

Thanks Nellie! It was great to experience the event and capture what I heard and thought about.

I'm also pleased to see people outside of the design community where I typically sketchnote, enjoying these so enthusiastically.

May 12, 2011 | Registered CommenterMike Rohde


As always you did a fantastic job and you never cease to amaze me (and inspire me). I am glad to have gotten to know you and I REALLY do hope we can work on some collaborations in the very near future!

Keep up the great work. - James

May 14, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJames Dalman

Thanks James - I appreciate your encouraging words!

May 14, 2011 | Registered CommenterMike Rohde


these are great. I'm wondering exactly how exactly Chick-fil-A used them after the event-- were they made available online or printed?

Thanks, Phil

October 5, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterPhil Evans

Phil - there was a PDF I created for the Leadercast team - you can find them here:

October 6, 2011 | Registered CommenterMike Rohde

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