Just like you can read stories into clouds and music, you can read into color, shapes, line, textures, and direction. For example, curved lines moving up on a page tell a different story from jagged lines splitting a page in two like a bolt of lightning.
I found that abstract art can communicate the jazz improv of a conference, meeting, or keynote better for some people, myself included, than the cartoon-style driven traditional graphic recording.
So I turned to Modernist art, or non-objective art, such as Kandinsky, Rebay, and Miro to show a flow of a meeting, the sparks that fly, or the drilling down into a subject. Like all non-objective art some people like it and others don't. However, it's my preferred way of recording an event.
I can do the more traditional type of illustrations, but I've moved happily to the abstract side because we are in a very abstracted age of conceptualization. You can see patterns before you name them. My job as an artist covering a conference is to see patterns not just in one panel or keynote, but over a whole conference.
Examples of Abstract Graphic Recording http://www.slideshare.net/honoria
References for Graphic Recording:
A Whole Mew Mind by Daniel Pink talks about why right-brainers will rule the future.
Identifies 6 wits/senses for the future: Design, Story, Symphony, Empathy, Play, Meaning
Information age is moving into the conceptual age for creators and empathizers.
Back of the napkin by Dan Roam is one mode of thinking - direct illustrations of common business problems, problem solving, and communications.
Beyond Words by Milly R. Sonneman is a how-to book with lots of samples of graphical symbols.