Five Tips for Using Flip Charts

Five Tips for Using Flip Charts

Flip charts continue to be a valuable tool for any learning environment or team meeting with less than 30 attendees. Since they are portable, easy to use, economical, and easy to create, flip charts can provide an excellent resource for capturing, displaying and, collecting, and sharing information when working with a group.

Five Tips for Using Flip Charts

Here are five basic tips for creating and using flip charts effectively:

1.  Rather than waste paper when preparing your flip charts in advance, plan what will go on the page on a sheet of writing or computer paper with a pencil. This will allow you to visualize where to place images and text before transferring it to a sheet of flip chart paper.

2.  Select water-based markers specifically designed for flip charts. They will not “bleed through” the page and damage the one behind it. There is no strong offensive odor found with permanent ink markers. You can even buy scented fruit-flavored markets (e.g. Mr. Sketch).

3.  Buy a paper that is already lined to eliminate having to use a straight edge tool to ensure your text does not slant down or up the page.

4.  If you prepare pages in advance, use the 6-8 rule – no more than 6-8 words per line and 6-8 lines per page).

5.  Use dark-colored markers (e.g. black, brown, navy blue, forest green, and red) to make text stand out. Only use lighter colors (e.g. orange, light blue, light green, yellow, or pink) to add emphasis or create images that complement the text.

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

 

Five Tips for Safely Transporting Flip Charts

Five Tips for Safely Transporting Flip Charts

Visual aids are an important element of the learning process since the majority of learners in a given group prefer visual learning modality. To help complement verbal session content, many trainers, facilitators, and adult educators develop creative flip chart pages to help reinforce session content.

Five Tips for Safely Transporting Flip Charts by The Creative Trainer – Robert W. Lucas

Since you put a lot of time and effort into preparing creative flip charts for your learning event, you likely want to get as much use from them as possible.  This may be difficult if you take your training on the road to various geographic locations.

To help prolong the life of your flip chart creations, and to help minimize wear and tear during shipping and transporting try, the following strategies:

Five Tips for Safely Transporting Flip Charts1.  Use large leather artists’ portfolio cases that are available at arts and crafts stores.  These have carrying handles and zippers.

2.  Cut all but 2-3 inches of the cardboard backing from the pad, toll it and insert into plastic or paper tubes used for shipping or carrying rolled pads or sheets. Tubes are available through many sources (e.g. packing and shipping stores, post office, UPS, FedEx, and office supply stores).

When your tub is longer than the pad width, wad paper or cloth and stuff it into the end of the tub once you have inserted the rolled pad. This will help prevent damage to the edges of the pad during transport by filling the empty space and keeping the pad from sliding up and down, banging against the end of the tub.

3.  Place pads between two pieces of stapled (heavy-duty staples) or taped cardboard. Then close the edges with plastic shipping tape or using a heavy-duty stapler around the sides to form a protective container.

4.  When transporting pads on a flip chart easel, turn the pad over so that the cardboard backing faces out. Then, wrap a piece of heavy string, rope, or an elastic bungee cord around the bottom of the pad and easel. This can help prevent damage by the wind or objects that might be encountered.

5.  Keep the original box that the pad came packaged in when you bought it for easier transport and storage.

For additional creative ideas for creating, transporting, and storing flip charts, get a copy of The Big Book of Flip Charts: A Comprehensive Guide for Presenters, Trainers and Team Facilitators by Robert W. Lucas.

Flip Chart 101 – Designing Professional Looking Flip Chart Pages

Flip Chart 101 – Designing Professional Looking Flip Chart Pages

If you are going to spend time creatively drawing flip charts before the session begins, give some thought to what you will include on them. Find a large flat writing surface and spend some time writing out key points and adding any illustrations you would like on a writing tablet first. This will save wasting expensive flip chart pads when you make errors or decide to change something.Flip Chart 101 - Designing Professional Looking Flip Chart Pages

Designing Professional Looking Flip Chart Pages

The following strategies can assist in making your flip chart pages more effective and project a polished, professional image:

  • Use a straight edge of some sort.  If the paper is not lined, find a yard/meter stick, ruler or another straight-edged tool to ensure that lines of text are evenly spaced and are not at distracting angles.
  • Make sure that you use block lettering that is at least one to two inches high. Visibility is important if you want learners to grasp concepts and refer to your written materials. To help ensure that everyone can see what is on your flip charts from about 30-40 feet use block type font that has straight lines without fancy curls at the ends. This type and size of the lettering will allow a clean image and make reading easier for learners.
  • Use upper case letters or larger font size for title lines and upper and lower case for text lines. In order to help emphasize the words and help visually define the topic. This approach to writing will allow a more natural reading format. Consider the design of books and other publications. They have bold headers followed by text that is in upper and lower case letters. Extensive amounts of text in all capital letters are difficult to read and not normally used.
  • Limit the number of words to six to eight per line and the number of lines of text to six to eight (“six-by-eight rule”). This will provide a less cluttered look, and allow more lines of text to fit onto a sheet of paper.
  • Use horizontal lettering that runs across the page as opposed to vertical lettering that runs down the page from top to bottom. The exception would be if you are discussing an acronym, such as ADDIE (Assessment, Design, Development, Implementation, and Evaluation), and wanted to the letters down the left side of the page and add a line of text for each letter.
  • Use no more than three columns per page. If you are going to use vertical columns of information leave a slight space between each column. Generally, you would only use this format for lists of words, numerical figures, or shorts points rather than sentences.
  • Limit yourself to one topic per page. This will prevent cramming irrelevant information onto the page — it will only confuse your participants.
  • Avoid using the bottom one-third of the page since some participants in the rear of the room will have difficulty seeing it over the heads of others.

For more useful and creative tips and strategies for making, using transporting and storing flip charts get a copy of The Big Book of Flip Charts: A Comprehensive Guide for Presenters, Trainers and Team Facilitators.

Arranging Information Effectively on Flip Charts

Arranging Information Effectively on Flip Charts

When arranging information on your flip charts, remember that there are typically more visual learners (as much as 65% of the population according to some research) in a group than auditory or kinesthetic learners.  For that reason, when preparing flip charts you might want to consider using graphic images, pictures, charts, and other visual elements to complement the written words and make the page more appealing to learners.

Arranging Information Effectively on Flip Charts Arranging Information Effectively on Flip Charts The Creative Trainer Reduce Stress with Flip Charts Information on Flip Charts Arranging Information Effectively

Information arrangement refers to the visual pattern you select to attract and hold your participant’s attention and interest. Simplicity is the key when flip charting ideas.

Here are three simple strategies for creating and designing flip charts that are functional and memorable:

  • Do not clutter your page with too much information, color, or image.
  • Leave plenty of white space so that your participant’s attention is not being pulled in conflicting directions.
  • When laying out material on your page, select a pattern that resembles one of these letters:   C, O, S, Z, L, or T.

By doing applying these simple techniques and adding graphics to your flip chart pages, you will better appeal to people who favor the visual learning style or modality.

Arranging Information Effectively on Flip Charts by The Creative Trainer – Robert W. Lucas, Awarding Winning Author, and Blogger. For additional ideas and suggestions on designing, using, transporting, and storing 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 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.

Creative Way to Add Images To Your Flip Charts

Creative Way to Add Images To Your Flip Charts

If you want to add creative bullet points that tie to a session theme, add novelty, or provide visual enhancement to your written messages, take the time to gather a few tools for your trainer’s toolbox.

Creative Way to Add Images To Your Flip Charts

Go to art, craft, or another store in your area or on the Internet that sells wooden or cloth craft shapes.  There are literally hundreds of items used by artists and craft enthusiasts that can be used to enhance your presentation. For example, plastic or wooden figures of flowers, clothing shapes, furniture, people, equipment, or whatever can be used to trace graphic icons or images. Simply put on a blank flip chart page and trace the shape as you prepare your flip chart pages in advance of a learning event. If you still have access to an overhead projector, project the image to enlarge it on your flipchart paper and trace.

Creative Way to Add Images To Your Flip Charts by The Creative Trainer – Robert W. Lucas, Awarding Winning Adult Learning & Training Author

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.