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.

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.

Flip Chart 101 – Using the Revelation Technique with Flip Charts

Flip Chart 101 – Using the Revelation Technique with Flip Charts

Rather than displaying prepared flipcharts before you are ready to discuss them, try using the “revelation” technique. As when showing one line of PowerPoint text at a time, you can use a similar technique with flip charts.

Flip Chart 101 - Using the Revelation Technique with Flip Charts

Using the Revelation Technique with Flip Charts

To use the revelation technique, form a small circle of masking tape and attach it to the bottom corners of the page you are displaying — so that the sticky part faces out away from the wall or easel.  Next, bring the taped area up and attach it just below the title line of your page so that the rest of the text remains covered. Thus, you are using the bottom portion of the page as its own cover.

As you are ready to discuss a point, move the taped edge down to display the next line.

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.

Meet Robert W. Lucas, Awarding Winning Brain-Based Adult Training Author

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.

Four Tips for Creating Text-Only Flip Charts

Four Tips for Creating Text-Only Flip Charts

In an ideal world, you should create flip charts that have graphic images (e.g. simple drawings, clip art, graphs, or other visually stimulating items) to enhance the written message.  However, in a training session or classroom, you may just be capturing information or quickly creating a page as a result of some point that was brought up or addressed in the session. If you are artistically challenged and typically project images on paper to trace when you prepare in advance, adding images freehand may not be an option at the spur-of-the-moment.Four Tips for Creating Text-Only Flip Charts

Four Tips for Creating Text-Only Flip Charts by The Creative Trainer – Robert W. Lucas, Awarding Winning Author, and Training Blogger

When creating text-only pages, consider the following points:

Leave plenty of white space with a border around the edges to prevent content from appearing crowded, and so that learners can effectively read what you have written. Generally 2 inches (appx 2.5-5 cm) is adequate.

Provide approximately 1 inch (appx 2.5 cm) or more of white space between lines for the same reasons stated above.

Avoid using the bottom one-third of the page since it typically requires you to stoop down to write and people in the back parts of the room have to strain to see what you write because of others sitting in front of them.

Try to balance words with a fairly equal amount of space on either side.  With lists of items consisting of only one to three words, you may want to center each line on the page.

For additional creative ideas on 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.

Flip Chart Use Secrets

Flip Chart Use Secrets

Any trainer, presenter or facilitator who has been using flip charts long has likely developed a few tips that they could share with others on how to effectively use a flip chart.

Flip Chart Use Secrets

Flip Chart Use Secrets by The Creative Trainer

The following are three tips that I often share in train-the-trainer programs when participants ask for some basic flip chart usage strategies.

1.   If you create flip charts in advance. Plus, if you have prepared key concepts that you will discuss as you display a page. It can make small lightly penciled notes in the upper corner of each flip chart page.

These comments should be key points that you want to make about your topic. As you turn to each new page, briefly glance at these notes to remind you what you planned to say.

From a distance, participants will not see these small notes and will think you are a master facilitator!

2.   Rather than having to deal with a large roll of masking or painters tape each time you want to tear a flip chart page and have it posted on the wall, wrap a small amount of tape around one of the markers that you place in the flip chart tray at the bottom of the easel. You can then simply unroll a small amount of tape each time it is required.

3.  An alternative to the last tip is to tear off several pieces of tape and place them along the edge of the flip chart easel so that when you are ready to post a page, you simply grab a couple and hang the sheet.

Avoid Problems When Writing on Flip Charts

Avoid Problems When Writing on Flip Charts by The Creative Trainer

Flip charts are incredibly handy for posting content and graphics to make information and data available in classrooms and meetings. You can share and gather ideas, comments, and other important content as needed by simply having a flip chart pad, easel, and markers available during a presentation, training session or group meeting.

To ensure that you maximize the benefits of flip charts without wasting time or money, consider these two simple tips:

Avoid Problems When Writing on Flip Charts

Always use water-based markers specifically designed for flip charts since the ink in them is less likely to “bleed” or soak through the paper and ruin the next sheet of paper. This is especially important if you are preparing charts in advance. Since the flip chart paper is expensive, you likely do not want to waste every other sheet because of ink spots coming through a page.

To prevent ink bleed through your flip chart paper, either put a second sheet of paper underneath the one you plan to write on (especially if you have a sheet posted on a wall that you plan to write on) or tear off a sheet that you are preparing, flip the pad over and use the cardboard backing as a writing surface to absorb any leakage.

Avoid Problems When Writing on Flip Charts by The Creative Trainer – Robert W. Lucas, Awarding Winning Author, and Training Industry Expert

For additional ideas on effectively 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.

Storing and Protecting Prepared Flip Charts

Storing and Protecting Prepared Flip Charts

You spend a lot of time and effort in creating flip charts to support your training sessions and presentations. It just makes sense that you should give thought to how to store and protect them between uses. This consideration falls under the category of planning and design when you are considering what your program will include and the materials that you will need to deliver the session.

There are numerous ways to store your flip chart pads so they are protected from damage while not being used for a presentation. The biggest challenge most people find is where to put the storage units!

Some commercial ideas for storage that can be found in office, teacher, and graphic art supply stores. Since these storage units are often used to hold artwork and drafting blueprints or maps, stores that sell products related to those industries are also possible sources to get your storage units.

Storing and Protecting Prepared Flip Charts by The Creative Trainer – Robert W. Lucas, Awarding Winning Brain-Based Adult Training Author

Some common storage types include:

Storing and Protecting Prepared Flip Charts

  • Flat drawer storage unit

You can purchase large flat file cabinets specifically made for storage in commercial art departments or for storage of architectural blueprints or maps. These come in metal, plastic, pressed wood, and heavy-duty cardboard.

  • Mobile or Wallhanging pad unit

An effective means of storing prepared pads vertically is to hang them on a commercially available hanging unit. There are two types – one is attached to a wall while the other is a mobile, frame unit with wheels. The pads simply drape across moveable “arms” similar to trouser hangers found in many men’s clothing stores or home clothes closets.

Storing and Protecting Prepared Flip Charts

  • Compartmentalized cardboard storage boxes

These commercially produced products are a space-saving way to store rolled flipchart pads or loose pages and charts. You can store your charts in cardboard shipping canisters for added protection, then insert them into the storage unit, or roll them into approximately a four-inch roll. If stored without a canister, put a rubber band at either end of the pad to keep them securely rolled. This will also help prevent damage when placing them into or removing them from the storage unit.

For easy identification, write the name of the course for which the flip chart is used on the cardboard backings of each pad so that it can be read without unrolling them. An alternative for identifying loose pages is to number each storage compartment, then create a wall-mounted diagram that shows what charts are stored in each compartment.

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

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.

Three Tips for Writing Effectively on Flip Charts

Three Tips for Writing Effectively on Flip Charts

Three Tips for Writing Effectively on Flip Charts

Some trainers and educators struggle when writing on flip chart paper mounted on an easel. With a bit of planning and practice, most people can quickly master this classic visual aid for gathering and presenting information to a group.

Three Tips for Writing Effectively on Flip Charts by The Creative Trainer – Robert W. Lucas, Awarding Winning Adult Training Author

The following are three tips that can help you become master flip chart use in no time.

  • Choose your words carefully.  Limit the use of jargon, which may not be familiar to all participants, and when using acronyms and abbreviations, be sure to fully explain any unfamiliar terms applied.
  • Always write across the pages in a level horizontal line.  If you tend to have difficulty with this, consider buying flipchart paper with lines or grids on them or drawing faint lines on the pages with a ruler and pencil at three to five-inch intervals.
  • Ensure that your lettering is large enough to be read. One and one-half to two-inch letters are usually visible for most people. A rule of thumb is that by increasing the height of your lettering size 1/4 inch, you will be increasing visibility by approximately 8-10 feet. See the following chart to get an idea of how this can increase visibility for attendees.

Added Height of Lettering

¼”                    ½”                    ¾”                    1”                     1 ¼”                1 ½”

Viewing Distance in Feet

8-10ft              16-20ft            24-30ft            32-40ft            40-50ft           48-60ft

Flip charts continue to be a viable low-tech form of visual aid for gathering and presenting information in virtually any group setting if they are used effectively.  Like any tool, you should become proficient in its use before participants arrive in your sessions.