Taking an Experiential Learning Approach for Training

Taking an Experiential Learning Approach for Training

If you are a trainer or educator of adults, you likely already understand that training or classroom time is precious. The challenge is to get learners to appreciate that what you are delivering to them meets their needs, matches their personal learning goals, and is relevant. One means of accomplishing this is through applying brain research to your learning events.  By taking an experiential approach to learning and tying into brain-based learning research, you can help create connections in the brain and facilitate the likelihood that learning will be used once the session is over.

Taking an Experiential Learning Approach to Training

Taking an Experiential Learning Approach for Training by The Creative Trainer – Robert W. Lucas, Awarding Winning Brain-Based Adult Training Author

As adults and professionals in a given field, your learners likely already have a base knowledge of the content that you plan to share with them. For that reason, you must take the information learned from your needs analysis and create links or short-cuts between what they know and what you have planned. For example, if you are facilitating a workshop for a group of experienced supervisors, they likely have already been exposed to the basics of coaching, counseling, communicating, motivating, and providing performance feedback to employees. If these are topic areas covered in your session, you will need to think of ways to show learners how to more systematically and logically use the knowledge and skills they possess to improve their on-the-job performance.

An easy way to help learners see how to apply what they are learning is to provide the format or structure for using knowledge or skills in the classroom, perhaps in the form of a model or through a team game activity. You could then give them an opportunity to work in small groups to determine ways of applying their new knowledge and skills in their work environments. Through this technique, they actually take what you give and customize it to their individual needs while receiving feedback from their peers on how it might be improved. In this fashion, when they walk out of the room, they have real-world knowledge, skills, and strategies that can be applied immediately.

Practical application and taking an experiential learning approach for training sessions and education typically add more value to any learning experience and enhances return on investment. It can also enhance your session evaluation results.

More Information On This Topic & It’s Blogger

For activities and games to engage your learners, get a copy of Creative Learning: Games and Activities That Really Engage People.

Learn All About Robert W. ‘Bob’ Lucas Now and Understand Why He is an Authority in the Creative Training Skills Industry

Robert W. ‘Bob’ Lucas has been a trainer, presenter, customer service expert, and adult educator for over four decades. He has written hundreds of articles on training, writing, self-publishing, and workplace learning skills and issues. He is also an award-winning author. Robert W. Lucas has written thirty-seven books. The book topics included: writing, relationships, customer service, brain-based learning, and creative training strategies, interpersonal communication, diversity, and supervisory skills. Additionally, he has contributed articles, chapters, and activities to eighteen compilation books. Mr. Lucas is retired from the U.S. Marine Corps in 1991 after twenty-two years of active and reserve service.

Flip Chart Usage Basic Tip – Face Your Audience

Flip Chart Usage Basics Tip – Face Your Audience

Flip Chart Usage Basic Tip – Face Your Audience

There are many advanced creative ways to use flipcharts when working with adult learners. Even so, you should never forget one time-tested flip chart usage basic tip – face your audience.

Many trainers make the mistake of writing on a flipchart and talking at the same time. If you do that, your back will be to your learners and people will have difficulty hearing what you say. Instead, write, put your marker down (so you’re not tempted to play with it), face you learners, then speak.

For more suggestions on how to effectively use a flip chart in training, educational and team meeting settings check out The Big Book of Flip Charts: A Comprehensive Guide for Presenters, Trainers and team Facilitators.

YOUR THOUGHTS? – Please share any tips for effectively using flip charts in adult learning environments?

Learn All About Robert W. ‘Bob’ Lucas Now and Understand Why He is an Authority in the Creative Training Skills Industry

Robert W. ‘Bob’ Lucas has been a trainer, presenter, customer service expert, and adult educator for over four decades. He has written hundreds of articles on training, writing, self-publishing, and workplace learning skills and issues. He is also an award-winning author.  Robert W. Lucas has written thirty-seven books. The book topics included: writing, relationships, customer service, brain-based learning,  and creative training strategies, interpersonal communication, diversity, and supervisory skills. Additionally, he has contributed articles, chapters, and activities to eighteen compilation books. Mr. Lucas is retired from the U.S. Marine Corps in 1991 after twenty-two years of active and reserve service.

How to Make Flip Charts More Effective

How to Make Flip Charts More Effective

Flip charts are a great tool for anyone who needs to capture information and ideas on the spot. In this article, you will read how to make flip charts more effective so that you can maximize the visual impact for your learners or attendees.

If you are like me, you love to use flip charts in training and educational settings and in meetings. They are definitely low-tech but are so versatile and useful that I recommend every manager have one in his or her office to capture key ideas during meetings during mind-mapping or brainstorming and to make concepts visual and more memorable. The same applies to any learning event. You can add color, flip chart art or graphics, and virtually all sorts of effective enhancements to your charts to make them “speak” to learners.

The following are a few things I have learned about preparing effective flip charts throughout my four decades of experience as a trainer and facilitator.

Each Word Should Be Legible From the Back of the Room

How to Make Flip Charts Effective

To ensure that those at the far reaches of your room can read your text, be conscious of where you position your flip chart easel or flip chart stand and — keep the layout simple and avoid “data dump.” Too much information makes reading difficult or impossible and can frustrate or anger participants who cannot read or follow what you have written.

Remember that your goal in using a flip chart is to highlight keywords and concepts, not show your entire presentation outline on paper. Focus on enhancing the clarity of your message and reinforcing your presentation.

I can recall one business presentation that I attended recently where I am convinced the speaker did everything she could to make the information unreadable. There were no title lines used; numbers were haphazardly spread around the page; she added more in the small margins as she spoke; and, she selected only a red marker even though she had an entire box of assorted colors to choose from.

I had to keep telling myself, “Bob, don’t be so critical just because you know the ‘rules’ of flip charting.” However, after the meeting, I asked someone else what they thought of the marathon meeting we’d just attended. Her reaction was, “I have a headache from looking at all those numbers and trying to follow her meaning.”

No more than 6-8 lines per page

One of the more common mistakes I see presenters and facilitators make with flip charts is to jam too much information on a page. This cluttered look is typically ineffective and frustrating for the reader. As with overhead transparencies, I recommend limiting the number of lines per flip chart page. A good rule of thumb is six to eight words per line; using two to three-inch (appx 5-7.5 cm) lettering size, and having a maximum of six to eight lines of text per page (including your title line using approximately four-inch [appx 10cm] letters).

There are actually three good reasons for limiting the amount of information you put on each line and page:

1.  Aesthetically it looks better since you eliminate unnecessary detail and clutter.

2. It aids the reader’s flow across the page since they do not have to read as many words and can now focus their attention on what you are saying.

3. Most importantly, research shows that the human brain can effectively retain seven units or chunks of information (plus or minus two).

Like any rule, there are going to be exceptions. For example if you are writing a long list of items or capturing ideas during participant brainstorming or mind mapping, and it is obvious that you will run on to a subsequent page. In such instances, you might go to the bottom of the page, tear it off, and have someone tape it high enough on the wall where you can add a continuation when finished. You can then continue on the next page. Once finished, you can tape the second page at the bottom of the first providing a continuing list.

Limit information

Putting just one idea or concept on a page helps participants follow your presentation. When you complicate the page with too many or unrelated details efficiency is often lost. This is especially true when showing columns of numbers. Limit yourself to about 25-35 individual numbers on the page. If you have a lot of information, I suggest that you consider summarizing your flipchart, then give a handout with the details. Simpler is better, with flip charts.

How to Make Flip Charts Effective

Fixing Your Mistakes

You do not have to throw away a page or obliterate a word with a marker when you make a spelling or grammatical error on a pre-drawn page. You have a variety of options for correcting errors or misspelled words.

One technique is to quickly cut a piece of blank flipchart paper large enough to cover the error, put tape on the back of it, then attach over the mistake. You’re now ready to continue drawing, and the correction probably will not be noticeable to most people in the room.

If you are preparing a fancy flip chart for a presentation and make a mistake, place a blank sheet of flip chart paper over the mistake you’ve made. Using an artist’s Exacto knife or single-edged razor blade and cut out the misspelled word through the blank page. You now have a blank section exactly the same size as the section where the misspelled word was earlier. Place the blank piece into the opening on your original sheet, tape it from the rear with scotch tape, and even the people in the front row will have trouble seeing the correction.

How to Make Flip Charts More EffectiveThere are many other ways to enhance your flip charts, but these should get you started. For more information about creating, using, storing, and transporting flip charts, consider purchasing a copy of The Big Book of Flip Charts.

 

Using Music and Sound for Learning

Using Music and Sound for Learning

Using music and sound for learning is an easy way to contribute to a more stimulating, brain-based learning environment. Make some noise, introduce sound, and wake up your learner’s brains. You cannot share information and ideas effectively if your session participants are distracted or not focused on you or the task at hand.

To ensure that participants in training programs, classrooms, and other meeting situations are ready to gain, retain, recall and use what will be experienced, take some time to plan how you will gain, regain and hold their attention.

Using Music and Sound for Learning by The Creative Trainer – Robert W. Lucas, Awarding Winning Adult Learning & Training Author

The following are some simple techniques that tie to research on brain-based learning regarding brain stimulation and how the brain and attention works. By applying strategies such as these, you will be able to potentially get participants to stop side conversations, reading materials, daydreaming, and other distracting behaviors and focus their attention on the front of the room. Once they do that, you can share instructions or information related to the topic or task at hand.

Use your voice.

Some people are gifted with a loud, commanding voice that carries throughout any room and can be used to gain the attention of distracted learners. Others have less forceful volume and tone and must depend on alternative methods to refocus participants.  A simple “Let’s get started” or “If I can have your attention” might work for some people but there are other more creative ways to accomplish this desired outcome.

using music and sound for learning
Game Show Themes for Trainers

Use music. 

There has been quite a bit of research and numerous books on how music impacts the brain (e.g. This is Your Brain on Music) and the topic of using music in learning environments (e.g. Top Tunes for Teachers and Training with a Beat). There are even music selections designed for training (e.g. Game Show Themes for Trainers) and learning environments. Such resources tap into the fact that music can evoke emotion, set the tone for a learning environment, and connect with a training topic. The key is to select music that has a relationship to your learning objectives and that helps stimulate the brains of your attendees.

Some of the ways that you might employ music would be to have upbeat music playing as people enter the room. When ready to start your session or you want to end a break and regroup participants, simply turn it off. The silence sends an unspoken message that something just changed and participants instinctively turn their attention toward the front for the room.

You can also use music in the background as learners work in small groups and participate in visioning activities. In such instances, use music without lyrics and that matches the intended pace of the activity. Research indicates that selecting a music beat that closely matches the desired energy level of the activity is best. For example, if you want to have people on their feet and excited, use some upbeat theme song. If your goal is serenity and reflection, you might use a baroque selection.

Using music and sound for learning

Use Noisemakers.

Inexpensive noisemakers are an excellent and creative means of gaining or regaining participant attention. Simply by blowing a whistle, using a musical slide flute, ringing a school or classroom bell, striking a gong, squeezing a squawking chicken, or using some similar device, you add a bit of sound, fun, and novelty to your sessions.

Like anything you do in a learning environment, using music and sound in novel ways during your sessions or meetings is a clever means of gaining and regaining learner attention. The key is to avoid doing anything that is distracting or does not relate to your stated learning objectives.

Learn This Blogger – Robert W. Lucas

Robert W. Lucas is an internationally-known author and learning and performance expert. He specializes in workplace performance-based training and consulting services. Furthermore, he has four decades of experience in human resources development, management, and customer service in a variety of organizational environments. Robert Lucas was the 1995 and 2011 President of the Central Florida Chapter of the American Society for Training and Development (ASTD).

Robert W. Lucas has lived, traveled, and worked in 28 different countries and geographic areas. During the past 40 years, Bob has shared his knowledge with workplace professionals from hundreds of organizations, such as Webster University, AAA, Orange County Clerk of Courts, Walt Disney World, SeaWorld, Martin Marietta, all U.S. military branches, and Wachovia Bank. In addition, Bob has provided consulting and training services to numerous major organizations on a variety of workplace learning topics. To contact Bob visit his website at www.robertwlucas.com or his blog www.thecreativetrainer.com.

Applying Maslow’s Hierarchy to Workplace Learning

Applying Maslow’s Hierarchy to Workplace Learning

Creative trainers who apply brain-based learning research to design, develop, and deliver their content recognize that there is more to sharing information with adults than just being a subject matter expert. As a facilitator of adult learning (andragogy), you must also be a student of human nature and understand what motivates learners and how they best gain, retain, recall, and use what they learn. So let’s take look at the idea of Applying Maslow’s Hierarchy to Workplace Learning. Applying Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs Theory of Motivation to Workplace LearningDr. Abraham Maslow studied the workplace motivation of employees in the years following World War II. His research has been referenced and adapted many times over the years. From a workplace learning perspective, you can use the five levels of motivation that Maslow identified to focus your efforts on encouraging learners to accomplish established learning goals and to reward them for successes.

Applying Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs Theory of Motivation to Workplace Learning by The Creative Trainer

The following are the five levels of need (from lowest to highest) in Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs along with ways that you can address each level for your learners. As Maslow stressed, the basic needs must be fulfilled before any other level can be attained because the first level involves basic survival issues.

Basic/Physiological Needs

Maslow realized that people need to deal with survival needs before they move on to any other level of need. If they do not have the necessary food, clothing, water, shelter, and other crucial elements to survive, they are not likely to be concerned about learning new skills to qualify them for future jobs.

Training and development professionals typically address basic needs by providing such things as food and water throughout a session, allowing regular restroom or comfort breaks (at least every 60-90 minutes), and providing an adequate lunch period with nutritious food. They use instructional system design (ISD) strategies to create training programs and class content that add value and that will help learners maintain their current jobs and ultimately move on to higher-paying ones that will increase the amount of money they have available to satisfy basic needs.

Safety or Security

To address this level of the hierarchy, you must consider physical as well as psychological safety and security.

As a workplace learning professional you can do common sense things like making sure that the environment contains no safety hazards, such as equipment wires that are not taped down, broken furniture, boxes that can cause accidents or equipment that might fall and injure someone.

You can also provide mental security by stressing that the learning environment is a “safe” area in which they should feel free to ask questions, offer ideas, disagree, and explore issues that they have related to the topic without the feeling of intimidation, embarrassment or that someone will report back to their boss or human resources (assuming information disclosed does not violate policy or law or is not threatening). Also, explain how the material covered will assist learners to become more effective and efficient in the workplace or other situations, thereby helping to solidify their position in the organization as a knowledgeable, skilled employee or individual.

Social/Belonging

This level of Maslow’s theory deals with love, acceptance, friendship, and companionship. As a workplace learning professional or facilitator you can address the need that many people have to socialize and feel part of a group by designing programs that have a number of opportunities for participants to interact with you and other learners. You can also include a networking period before or after training or class or have a group luncheon where learners can share ideas and commune. This might even be a “working lunch” in which participants are given assignments to find out things about others in the group to solve problems.

There are literally hundreds of books and articles available to offer training activities that can help get participants actively engaged, networking, and brainstorming ideas during a learning event.

Esteem/Self-Esteem

When people are at this point of Maslow’s hierarchy, they are focused on personal ego, what others think of them, self-respect, achievement, and receiving recognition for efforts given. Most people want to be respected and appreciated by others.

In a learning environment, you can address the esteem/self-esteem need by deferring to someone’s expertise or knowledge, recognizing accomplishments, and otherwise providing an environment where learners can feel the satisfaction of having others applaud accomplishments. You can also build in little accolades during training in which participants cheer or applaud the efforts of someone who accomplishes something, offers a solution, or otherwise does something worthy or group recognition. A simple round of applause for a good response might be appropriate from time-to-time to meet this need.

Self-Actualization

This is what the old U.S. Army slogan of “Be all you can be” was all about several years ago. Their premise was “Join us and we will provide you with the tools and support to reach your maximum potential.” To this end, as a workplace learning professional, you must identify what motivates adult learners and where they hope to go as it relates to the level of achievement in your sessions. Then, help them get there. This can be done through instruction, coaching, mentoring, and providing tools and resources to allow them to succeed in implementing what they have learned in training on the job.

The key to successfully applying Maslow’s theory or any other motivation concept is to remember that what motivates one person does not necessarily motivate another. In fact, some motivators might actually de-motivate an adult learner.

Consider all learners when designing and using strategies in your sessions. Make sure that you provide a wide spectrum of rewards, incentives, and opportunities so that you appeal to all levels of learning need.

For more ideas on how to address learner needs and build in elements related to brain-based learning research, get a copy of Training Workshop Essentials: Designing, Developing, and Delivering Learning Events That Get Results and The Creative Training Idea Book: Inspired Tips and Techniques for Engaging and Effective Learning.

Flip Chart 101 – 4 Tips for Writing on Flip Chart Pages

Flip Chart 101 – 4 Tips for Writing on Flip Chart Pages

The rule of thumb that you should always keep in mind when writing information on your flip chart pages it “keep it simple.”  Adding too much data, information, and images only clutter the page and reduces viewer comprehension.

Tips for Writing on Flip Chart Pages by The Creative Trainer

Here are 4 tips for writing effectively on flip chart pages:

Flip Chart 101 - 4 Tips for Writing on Flip Chart Pages

1) Put only one idea or concept on a page.  Adding too many ideas on a page can detract from your message and confuse participants.

Flip Chart 101 - 4 Tips for Writing on Flip Chart Pages

2) When lettering, use block letters rather that cursive or custom elaborate and/or intricate style lettering. Lettering that resembles Helvetica or Sans Serif-type fonts found in word processing software work well.  These styles are straighter and aid readability and comprehension.

Flip Chart 101 - 4 Tips for Writing on Flip Chart Pages

3) Always leave two- to three-inch margins on each side of the paper to avoid crowding information.

Flip Chart 101 - 4 Tips for Writing on Flip Chart Pages

4) Avoid using the bottom one-third of the page if you are on the same height level as participants. Otherwise, they may either be forced to stand or strain to look around people in front of them or may not be able to see the flip chart at all.

For additional ideas on how to effectively design, develop, use, transport and store flip charts, get a copy of The Big Book of Flip Charts: A Comprehensive Guide for Presenters, Trainers, and Team Facilitators.

Learn This Blogger – Robert W. Lucas

Robert W. Lucas is an internationally-known author and learning and performance expert. He specializes in workplace performance-based training and consulting services. Furthermore, he has four decades of experience in human resources development, management, and customer service in a variety of organizational environments. Robert Lucas was the President of the Central Florida Chapter of the American Society for Training and Development (ASTD).

Flip Chart Use – 3 Creative Ways To Attach Flip Chart Pages to Your Walls

Flip Chart Use – 3 Creative Ways To Attach Flip Chart Pages to Your Walls

In an era where technology dominates many learning environments, flip charts can still be a powerful communication tool for sharing and gathering information.  The key to maximizing their benefit is to develop the sound design and delivery strategies and practice using the flip charts.

Here are 3 creative ways to attach flip charts pages to walls that can help make sharing information with flip charts more effective.

1) Mount a long strip of double-sided tape approximately seven feet from the floor along the wall. You can then add or remove pages to the wall as needed.

Flip Chart Use - 3 Creative Ways to Attach Flip Chart Pages to Your Walls

2) An easy way to attach paper around the perimeter of any room is to install a thin wooden strip with corkboard (similar to that found on bulletin boards) at a height of approximately seven feet. You can then use bulletin board stick pins or thumbtacks to attach your pages. These strips are usually available in office, art, and school supply stores where presentation materials are sold.

3) To protect flip chart pages that you have designed and plan to use in subsequent sessions, take them to an office supply store (e.g. Staples, Office Depot or Office Max) and have their print shop folks laminate the pages.

Once laminated, purchase a roll of Velcro and cut the “male” portion of the product (the part that has dozens of small barb devices that adhere to rough cloth surfaces) into small strips. Glue strips of the Velcro horizontally in the corners and in the top center on the back of the laminated page.

Attach your laminated sheets to the cloth walls of conference rooms, classrooms, or office cubicles. You can also drape a large piece of rough cloth (e.g. flannel) over a flip chart easel and attach the sheets there.

Flip Chart Use – 3 Creative Ways To Attach Flip Chart Pages to Your Walls by The Creative Trainer – Robert W. Lucas, Awarding Winning Author

For additional creative ideas for designing, developing, and using flip charts, get a copy of The Big Book of Flip Charts: A Comprehensive Guide for Presenters, Trainers, and team Facilitators.

The Trainer’s Role in the Adult Learning Environment

The Trainer’s Role in the Adult Learning Environment

Your role as a facilitator of knowledge exchange is to ensure that your adult learners “get it.” Anything less means that you failed to meet their learning needs. You can have all the knowledge in the world between your ears; however, if you cannot effectively communicate it in a way that allows your learners to “gain it, retain it, recognize and recall it and use it,” they will likely leave the room feeling cheated.

The Trainer's Role in the Adult Learning Environment

To ensure that there is a transfer of learning from you to learners during training, and ultimately to the workplace, you must act as a conduit in the knowledge exchange process. Your challenge is to make everything you do learner-centered since your participants are the only purpose for your being there. Without your learners, you are not needed in the learning environment. To accomplish all this, actively engage learners from the beginning of the session or workshop and continue to do so at various points throughout the session. Give them information, let them experience and apply it, and then review the information or concepts periodically.

The key to effective learning is to not only provide information but also show participants how to apply it outside the classroom. Do not assume that they will get it on their own since they might be distracted, confused by your approach or explanation, or simply may not understand a key point. Give examples, build in activities where they can discuss and process information (small group discussion, problem-solving, role-play, demonstrations, and open-ended question forums) to draw them in and verify that they grasp your meaning.

Above all, when you design and deliver information, apply brain-based learning concepts such as motion, novelty, sound/music, color, and engagement to maximize learning potential.

The Trainer’s Role in the Adult Learning Environment by The Creative Trainer – Robert W. Lucas, Awarding Winning Author, and Blogger

For additional ideas on how to effectively design brain-based learning events, actively engage learners and reinforce key concepts while helping ensure positive learning outcomes and transfer of learning, get copies of Training Workshop Essentials: Designing, Developing and Delivering Learning Events That Get Results, The Creative Training Idea Book: Inspired Tips and Techniques for Engaging and Effective Learning, and Energize Your Training: Creative Techniques to Engage Learners.

Creative Strategy for Evenly Tearing A Flip Chart Page

Creative Strategy for Evenly Tearing A Flip Chart Page 

If you’ve ever struggled to tear a sheet of flip chart paper from a pad on an easel, you know it’s no easy task. It’s the result of poor product design. Some manufacturers don’t perforate the tops of the sheets for easy removal, so it’s almost impossible to get the page to begin separating from the binding glue or to pull away evenly and in a straight tear line.

Creative Strategy for Evenly Tearing Flip Chart PagesHere’s an easy way to tear your flip chart pages from the pad…

If your flip chart pad isn’t perforated, use a craft knife or single-edged razor blade (available at Amazon, art and craft supply stores) to cut 1-inch-long slits about an inch apart across the top of each page.

If you lay the pad on a solid surface and press firmly, you can perforate several pages at a time. Depending on whether you’re left- or right-handed, be sure the first slit overlaps the edge where you’ll start to tear.

For thousands of other creative ideas for making, using, transporting, and storing your flip charts, get a copy of The Big Book of Flip Charts: A Comprehensive Guide for Presenters, Trainers, and Team Facilitators.

Creative Strategy for Evenly Tearing A Flip Chart Page by The Creative Trainer – Robert W. Lucas

About This Blogger – Robert W. Lucas

Robert W. Lucas is an internationally-known author and learning and performance expert. He specializes in workplace performance-based training and consulting services. Furthermore, he has four decades of experience in human resources development, management, and customer service in a variety of organizational environments. Further, Robert Lucas was the 1995 and 2011 President of the Central Florida Chapter of the American Society for Training and Development (ASTD).

Robert W. Lucas has lived, traveled, and worked in 28 different countries and geographic areas. During the past 40 years, Bob has shared his knowledge with workplace professionals from hundreds of organizations, such as Webster University, AAA, Orange County Clerk of Courts, Walt Disney World, SeaWorld, Martin Marietta, all U.S. military branches, and Wachovia Bank. In addition, Bob has provided consulting and training services to numerous major organizations on a variety of workplace learning topics. To contact Bob visit his website at www.robertwlucas.com or his blog www.thecreativetrainer.com.

Basic Flip Chart Tips – Setup and Usage

Basic Flip Chart Tips - Setup and Usage

Basic Flip Chart Tips – Setup and Usage

Flipcharts are inexpensive, yet effective training aids for small groups of up to twenty-five participants (depending on the training room configuration). They provide an easy way to capture key thoughts or to highlight information in small group settings.

Basic Flip Chart Tips – Setup and Usage by The Creative Trainer – Robert W. Lucas, Awarding Winning Adult Learning & Training Author

Some basic tips for using flipcharts are:

  •  Make sure the flip chart easel is locked into position and balanced.
  • Place the easel so that ceiling lighting shines onto the front of the page and does not come from behind where it can cast a shadow and make viewing difficult.
  • Don’t write on the flipchart and talk at the same time. Write first; then face learners and talk.
  • Stand to the right side of the easel as you face your audience if you’re right-handed; stand to the left side, if left-handed. This allows you to face your participants and easily turn to capture key discussion points on paper with your writing hand while turning pages with your free hand.
  • Don’t block your participants’ views when pointing to pre-printed information on the flipchart.
  • When not writing, PUT THE MARKER DOWN!!! Playing with it or using it as a flip chart pointer can be distracting and communicate nervousness.
  • Leave a sheet of blank flip chart paper between each sheet of text to prevent participants from “previewing” the next page as you discuss the current one. It also prevents damage to the next printed page should your marker “bleed” through.

The key to the effective flip charting of ideas is to ensure that your flip chart is the position for greatest participant visibility, that you position yourself to maximize its use, and that you choose the right marker and take steps to prevent ink “bleed through.”

If you liked what you just read and need additional ideas for making, storing, carrying, and effectively using this handy training aid, consider buying The Big Book of Flip Charts. For a printable copy of these tips and others on effective flip charting, click here.