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.

 

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.

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.

Presentation Tips – Using a Flipchart Effectively

Presentation Tips - Using a Flipchart Effectively

Presentation Tips – Using a Flipchart Effectively

Flip charts are proven, versatile, effective, and easy to use training aids that have been used in adult learning environments for decades. While they are relatively easy to set up and use, you need to practice with them just like you would any other learning tool.

The following are some issues that trainers and others who deal with adult learners encounter if they are unprepared or take their flipchart for granted.

If you have been delivering information to groups for any period of time, you have probably had one of those embarrassing moments. You know, like when you are writing on a flip chart pad and the easel tumbles over because one of the legs isn’t locked into position.

Presentation Tips – Using a Flipchart Effectively by The Creative Trainer

Another common problem occurs when a tripod frame and the legs slowly start getting shorter. Why? Because the locking nuts were either not securely tightened or have worn out allowing the weight of the flip chart pad to pull the whole frame slowly toward your knees!

To avoid these types of embarrassing moments, make sure that you use sturdy (solid backed) flip chart easels. Many organizations buy the cheap three-legged portable easels with retractable legs and two pegs at the top to mount a pad of paper. Unfortunately, the legs get bent over time and will not extend or retract. Further, the pegs often do not fit the hole size of your pads, they wobble when used, and there is no place to put your markers. This not a professional image.

Another point to consider when using a flip chart is where to position it (see figure).  If you place the easel so that the light shines directly on the front of the paper, there will be no shadows. Placing it with lighting behind it can cast shadows and make information difficult to read from a distance.

Extracted from Training Workshop Essentials: Designing, Developing and Delivering Learning Events That Get Results. For additional ideas on designing, developing, using, and storing flip charts, get a copy of The Big Book of Flip Charts: A Comprehensive Guide for Presenters, Trainers and Team Facilitators.

 

The Power of Flip Charts in Problem Solving Activities

The Power of Flip Charts in Problem Solving Activities

The Power of Flip Charts in Problem Solving Activities

Whether you are a trainer, facilitator, adult educator, team leader and manager you likely face a common issue when trying to conduct problem-solving and decision-making activities and training sessions… you need an effective means for capturing ideas and planning.

The Power of Flip Charts in Problem Solving Activities by The Creative Trainer – Robert W. Lucas, Awarding Winning Author, and Blogger

This is where classic flip charts come in handy. They are the perfect inexpensive, flexible, and easy-to-use piece of equipment. On them, you can make ideas and issues visual and capture thoughts and potential solutions from group participants.

Flipcharts encourage objectivity when groups brainstorm ideas or discuss issues. Points made can be captured for further evaluation and prioritizing once the input has been provided. Unlike whiteboards or similar writing surfaces, the capabilities of a flip chart are unlimited.

As long as you have flip chart paper, you can write on them, post them for reference and review, move them around the room and modify as needed. Further, after a session is over, flip chart content can be captured onto a computer or in another form and/or the sheets can be stored for future reference or documentation.

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

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 Flipchart Ideas That Address The Visual Learning Style

Creative Flipchart Ideas That Address The Visual Learning Style

Creative Flipchart Ideas That Address The Visual Learning Style

Adult learning professionals and educators who conduct training sessions are often challenged with discovering ways to attract and hold the attention of their participants. Since the majority of people in any group primarily have a visual learning style preference, using flip charts is a good way to share information with them.

Creative Flipchart Ideas That Address The Visual Learning Style by The Creative Trainer – Robert W. Lucas, Awarding Winning Author, and Blogger

I thoroughly enjoy the opportunity to prepare flip charts for a training session or presentation. Even though it can be time-consuming, I can express my personality and ideas on paper. Unlike computer programs where you are limited to the graphic and text images included in the program (unless you are a computer wizard and can create your own stuff), with flipcharts, you can be as creative as you like. You are limited only by your imagination (and the time and resources you have available).

For example, one of the most creative techniques I’ve discovered in a while came from an acquaintance (Linda Wells of Lubbock, Texas). Her idea involves preparing flipchart pages before a scheduled session. She uses large cotton balls to coat a flip chart page with food coloring. She then uses a large cotton tip swab dipped in household chlorine bleach to draw letters and images on the colored paper. In effect, Linda creates a “reverse image” that is truly eye-catching and unique.

To enhance your own flip chart skills, I encourage you to take opportunities to practice whenever possible. Pick a couple of clip art images or characters you like from books, the Internet, or another source. Once you have a few ideas…doodle whenever you have time. This means to draw the images on scraps of paper, restaurant napkins, or wherever you have access to a writing surface. Pretty soon, you’ll be able to replicate the images on your flip chart pages with little effort. And remember, your participants are not art critics (well… most are not).

For additional ideas and strategies on making, and using flipcharts in your training or adult learning events, get copies of The Big Book of Flip Charts: A Comprehensive Guide for Presenters, Trainers and Team Facilitators and The Creative Training Idea Book: Inspired Tips and Techniques for Engaging and Effective Learning.

Quotation About Flip Charts – Robert W. Lucas

Quotation About Flip Charts – Robert W. Lucas

For creative ideas and tips of designing, developing, 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.

Quotation About Flip Charts by The Creative Trainer – Robert W. Lucas, Awarding Winning Author, and Creative Training Blogger – “Flip charts are still an effective, economical and practical way to make your message visual when you are training adults.”

Quotation About Flip Charts - 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. 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.

A Simple Way to Increase Flip Chart Readability

A Simple Way to Increase Flip Chart Readability

One of the more common mistakes I see presenters and facilitators make when writing on flip charts is that they jam too much information on a page. This cluttered look is typically ineffective and frustrating for the reader.

As with projected slides, 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 lettering size and having a maximum of six to eight lines of text per page (including your title line using approximately four-inch letters).

A Simple Way to Increase Flip Chart ReadabilityThere 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) in short-term memory. Thus few lines and words enhance memory potential.

Like any rule, there are going to be exceptions. For example, if you are writing a long list of items or capturing ideas presented from participants, 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.

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