These days most schoolchildren have mobile phones that can do all manner of weird and wonderful tricks - and they can even use them to make phone calls. Back in my childhood there was no such thing; the best we could do was to use two empty tin cans and a length of string.

As we set about creating our rudimentary telephone, I for one used to picture myself hiding in the long grass, whispering into my tin can and every word being heard at the other end. The reality fell way short of this and every attempt ended in major disappointment.

When the cans were ready and the cord stretched to maximum tautness, the test transmission would begin. I would say something into my can while my friend held his to his ear. Having not heard what I said he would shout 'speak up' and I would say the same thing, only louder. His face lit up as he heard what I had said, but it was my raised voice travelling through the air he'd heard and nothing to do with the home made telephone. After a few more attempts the string would usually snap and we would go back to playing football.

But for now I would like you to imagine that those tin can telephones did actually work and that they were a popular way for kids to keep in touch. For we can draw a diagram in Visio to show how the bedrooms of three such users were connected.

To do this, select a new page and pull out a basic rectangle by clicking that shape on the toolbar. This rectangle will represent one of the houses so adjust the size until you ate happy with it and then copy it (Ctrl+C) and paste it twice (Ctrl+V). Drag these three 'houses' around the page until you are happy with their relative positions. It doesn't really matter how they look but for the purposes of this demonstration it would be good to have a decent amount of space between them. The first thing to do is to insert connection points and then join these points up. So select the first house you want to put a connection point into.

Now select the Connection Point Tool from the toolbar. This will either be in the shape of an x or two short horizontal lines connected by a longer vertical one. There is an arrow next to this button that opens a drop down menu of Connector Tool and Connection Point Tool. As you want to insert connection points you should select the latter. You need to insert two insertion points in each rectangle, as each boy has two telephones. Hold down the Ctrl key and you will see the cursor change to a plus sign. Move the cursor to inside your selected rectangle and, when you are happy with the positioning of it click and an x will mark the spot. Click again and a second x will appear. These are your connection points. Select the next two rectangles and repeat the process.

When all the houses have their connection points inserted go back to the toolbar and this time select the Connector Tool. Click on the first of your connection points and move the cursor towards your target point in one of the other rectangles. You will notice that as you go a dotted line appears. When you reach your target connection point click and a solid line will now connect the two points. Repeat this process twice more so that each rectangle is connected to the other two. The connection is now complete and the boys can begin communicating.

Reselect the Pointer Tool and drag the connector lines about until you are happy with how they look. You will notice that where lines cross over a small bridge will appear to show you that they are not connected. You can also format your lines to change the colour, weight, pattern etc. Select the line you wish to format and right click. From the menu select Format/Lines and choose what you want for that line.

Experiment a little with connections. Drag the houses around the screen and note how the connections move but are never lost. Try adding more houses or more connections.

Visio is a superb application for creating diagrams and technical drawings and it is in ever increasing demand. What you create in Visio can be a great aid to communication and a good presentation with clear, well laid out graphics will get your message across far better than with words alone.

And by way of irony it probably won't be long before a youngster can draw the above tin can telephone diagram on his or her mobile.