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.

 

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.

 

5 Ways to Enhance Your Presentation Flip Charts with Color, Shapes, Borders and Images

5 Ways to Enhance Your Presentation Flip Charts with Color, Shapes, Borders, and Images

There has been quite a bit of research on the impact of color, images, and other graphic additions and the effect that they have on the human brain. Unfortunately, many trainers and educators fail to consider the potential for using visual elements to stimulate brain neurons. Nor do they recognize that adding a splash of different hues to their presentation flip chart pages might actually contribute to learning. The following chart shows the emotions communicated in various colors.

COLOR

EMOTION/MESSAGE

Red Stimulates and evokes excitement, passion, power, energy,   anger, intensity.  Also, it can indicate   “stop,” negativity, financial trouble, or shortage.
Yellow Indicates caution, warmth, mellowness, positive meaning,   optimism, and cheerfulness. It can also stimulate thinking and visioning.
Dark Blue Depending on the shade, you can relax, soothe, indicate maturity, and evoke trust, and tranquility or peace.
Light Blue Cool, youthful, or masculine images can be projected.
Purple Projects assertiveness or boldness, youthfulness, and contemporary image. Often used as a sign of royalty, richness, spirituality,   or power.
Orange It can indicate high energy or enthusiasm. Emotional and sometimes stimulates positive thinking. The organic image can result.
Brown An earth-tone that creates a feeling of security,   wholesomeness, strength, support, and a lack of pretentiousness.
Green Can remind of nature, productivity, positive image, moving forward or “go,” comforting, growth, or financial success or prosperity. Also, can give a feeling of balance.
Gold/Silver Illustrates prestige, status, wealth, elegance, or conservative image.
Pink Projects a youthful, feminine, or warm image.
White Typically used to illustrate purity, cleanliness, honesty,   wholesomeness, enhance colors used, and provide visual relaxation.
Black It represents a lack of color. It creates a sense of independence, completeness, and solidarity. Often used to indicate financial success, death, seriousness, or heaviness of the situation.

Enhance Your Presentation Flip Charts by The Creative Trainer

Take advantage of what researchers have discovered about using colors and visual elements to enhance your learning environment and aid in the acquisition and retaining of information.

Consider the following presentation flip chart tips when you design your next training or presentation visual aids.

1. Use Colored Icons or Bullets in various shapes that relate to your topic in order to visually tie to written text and the program theme. Here are some examples:

• For training on telephone skills, use small telephones or headsets;
• For customer service skills, use small smiley faces or faces with various expressions;
• For travel-related training, use cars, boats, ships, airplanes, etc.
• For EEO or legal training, use justice scales; and
• For technical skills, use small computers or other equipment.

presentation flip chart tips, creative training techniques, brain based learning2. Use Colored Shapes Around Text to set off the words from the surrounding material. For example, you might use clouds, stars, circles, bursting bombs, or geometric shapes drawn in various colors to highlight a concept, word, or phrase.

3. Attach Key Concepts Written on Cut Out Shapes that you then attach to the page with either tape, Velcro, or artist’s adhesive. For example, a creative training content review activity where “bright ideas” might be elicited from learners and written on light bulb cut-outs in various colors. Learners could then come up, attach their idea to a sheet of paper, and discuss their idea. Post the pages for everyone to view and note during breaks.

4. Add Borders to flip chart pages with either colored markers or colored tape. Ypresentation flip chart tips, creative training techniques, brain based learningou can tie to program themes by adding images related to the topic. For example, if you are discussing selling or doing business in another country, choose images that relate to that country.

5. Add Images that are done in various colors. Cartoon characters, caricatures, simple stick figures, and similar figures are great. Go to Microsoft Word® toolbar to Insert/ Picture/Clip Art for ideas. If you cannot draw well and have an overhead projector still sitting around, you can make copies of images on transparency film, project it onto a flip chart page and trace it! You can also create a slide and project it on paper to trace.

By using these simple flip chart presentation tips when designing and developing your flip charts for learning events, you potentially increase the opportunities for learners to gain, retain, recall, and use what they learn.

 

 

6 Essential Flip Chart Presentation Tips

6 Essential Flip Chart Presentation Tips

Flip charts, sometimes referred to as newsprint because of the type of paper used, have been around training rooms for decades. They are a handy, versatile tool available to trainers, facilitators, and anyone else who needs a visual writing surface for ideas or information. They are great for quickly capturing participant comments, for creating prepared information and graphics and for displaying material for reference later in a session.

6 Essential Flip Chart Presentation Tips

One of the greatest aspects of a flip chart is its simplicity of use. Anyone can use them to write or draw in a session. Even so, you should take the time to plan their usage and practice your technique so that what ends up being displayed is perceived as valuable by participants.

6 Essential Flip Chart Presentation Tips by The Creative Trainer – Robert W. Lucas, Awarding Winning Adult Learning & Training Author

Learning basic flip chart presentation techniques and using flip charts effectively adds another dimension to your professional abilities. They can be used in ways that are only limited by your creativity and ability.

When designing flip chart pages for use in your sessions, consider the flip chart presentation tips included in this articles and ask yourself the following questions:

  • Are they clear (meaning)?
  • Are they concise (well written)?
  • Are they simple (creative without detracting)?
  • Are they graphic (right colors and clip art used)?
  • Do they add value (will they aid learning)?
  • Are they necessary (can points be made in other ways)?

General Tips for Use

Flipcharts are inexpensive, yet effective training aids for small groups of up to twenty-five participants (depending on room configuration). They provide an easy way to capture key thoughts or to highlight information in small group settings.6 Essential Flip Chart Presentation Tips

6 Essential Flip Chart Presentation Tips:

  • 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’ view when pointing to pre-printed information on the flipchart.
  • When not writing, PUT THE FLIP CHART MARKER DOWN!!! Playing with it or using as a pointer can be distracting and communicate nervousness.

Download this complete article PDF file here:   Flip Chart Presentation Tips

Want more flip chart presentation ideas, click here.

 

Using Flip Charts Effectively

Using Flip Charts Effectively

Flip charts have been around as a training aid for decades and continue to be a valuable resource for trainers, presenters, educators, facilitators, consultants, and anyone who leads a group meeting. 

Using Flip Charts Effectively

The key to maximizing the benefit of flip charts is to practice with them before a session or meeting and effectively use them during the event.

Using Flip Charts Effectively by The Creative Trainer – Robert W. Lucas, Awarding Winning Adult Learning & Training Author

The following are some basic flip chart strategies that can help make you look like a professional while making content visible to your attendees and learners.

  • Use large pointers made of wooden dowel rods with a black tip (available at craft, teacher, and home supply stores) or ones with plastic colored fingers attached. You can also use arrows cut out of posters or other heavy colored paper or other props.
  • If appropriate, tear-off sheets and tape them to walls for future referrals.
  • Put two-inch strips of masking tape on the side or rear of the easel for use in posting torn pages.
  • Consider putting tabs (e.g. a strip of tape attached to the back of the sheet, then folded forward attached to the front edge of the page) on pre-written pages to ease in topic identification. You can then number or label topics on the tabs for easy location when needed. The tabs allow you to quickly refer back to a page later in your presentation and to turn them. Another option is to use the clear colored stick-on strips produced by 3M. Reference the colors in your lesson plan or notes so that you can easily find the desired page.
  • Always have extra water-based flip chart markers and pads of paper available.
  • You may want to write comments or key ideas lightly in pencil in the upper corner of the pages. This allows you to unobtrusively refer to them, as you appear to be looking at the flipchart topics. Your participants will never know you “cheated” since they can’t see the remarks from a

Using Flip Charts Effectively by The Creative Trainer – Robert W. Lucas

A creative technique that has been used by experienced trainers and presenters is to use two flip charts in tandem (together) during a session. They either alternate prepared images between the two charts or they have prepared pages on one easel and use the second to capture participant comments or to add more information to a topic during the session.

If you plan to use two easels, I suggest numbering them (1 and 2) and indicating in your lesson plan or session notes which easel you will use to make a point. This can prevent embarrassing confusion during your presentation. The other key in using multiple charts is to PRACTICE with your easels before participants arrive. Additionally, I find it helpful to have the same colored markers on both easels. This prevents me from carrying a marker used to the other easel and leaving it, only to be without it when I return to the second easel later.

If you found the ideas in this article useful, consider buying The Big Book of Flip Charts that has hundreds of strategies and techniques for designing, producing, using, carrying, and storing flip charts. For a printable copy of these tips and others on effective flip charting, click here.