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.

Using Flip Charts Like a Pro

Using Flip Charts Like a Pro

Here are three techniques that will add to your confidence level in using flip charts before any group:

Using Flip Charts Like a Pro1.   Prepare flip charts in advance and take time to design your pages on a paper pad or piece of copy paper before transferring them to sheets of flip chart paper. This will help you picture how they will look and will save you a lot of money in wasted flip chart paper…which is not cheap.

2.  When you start transferring your designs to flip chart paper, use a yardstick or straight edge to get the lines of text straight if you are not investing in the more expensive lined or graph type flip chart pads.

3.  Use three different colored water-based markers for your font to add visual variety and tie to brain-based learning research. Some research suggests that color in the learning environment stimulates brain neurons and can aid learning.

Using Flip Charts Like a Pro by The Creative Trainer – Robert W. Lucas, Awarding Winning Author, and Adult Learning Blogger

Stick to darker colors (black, brown, dark blue, and dark green) since these are more easily visible from a distance. Only use lighter pastel colors to highlight and add colorful graphics to enhance your text. Create all your header or title lines in one color and alternate sequentially with two other colors (e.g. blue, green, blue, green, etc) for lines of text.

BONUS TIP: Use the same colors for titles and text throughout all your pages during a session. This potentially helps learners mentally “tune in” and know what to expect. Otherwise, they may have to mentally pause and scan a subsequent page when it first appears in order to focus attention instead of listening to your initial comments about the page topic.

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

Preparing for Effective Flip Charts Use

Preparing for Effective Flip Charts Use

The beauty of flip charts as a training aid is that with a bit of planning and practice most people can deliver and record information like a professional with them.

Preparing for Effective Flip Charts Use by The Creative Trainer – Robert W. Lucas, Awarding Winning Creative Training Author

Here are three flip chart tips that will help you in your quest to look like a flip chart expert:

Preparing for Effective Flip Charts Use

1.  Create a colorful cover sheet that introduces your topic and have it showing as participants walk into the room.

2.  Place 2-3 inch strips of masking tape along the edge of your flip chart easel before learners arrive so that it is ready when you are to post pages on the wall with minimum effort and lost time.

3.  Put tabs made of 1-2 inch masking tape (this works better than the blue or green painters tape for visibility) or sticky note paper strips on each page and write the flip chart page topics on them. This allows you to quickly identify content on-page that you want to flip to during your session.

BONUS TIP: When using tip number 3, print the content topic on both the front and back of each tab so that you can read them whether the page has been turned or not.

Flip Charts Are STILL Valuable Training Aids

Flip Charts Are STILL Valuable Training Aids

Flip Charts Are STILL Valuable Training Aids

Flip charts have been around for decades as a staple visual aid for educators, trainers, and presenters. Team leaders and supervisors also use them to facilitate the exchange of ideas and make key points visible for smaller rooms and groups.

Flip Charts Are STILL Valuable Training Aids by The Creative Trainer – Robert W. Lucas, Awarding Winning Adult Learning & Training Author

While many new technologies purport to be “better” than flip charts. However, none can match the simplicity, flexibility, and ease of transport for their size. They are excellent support visuals in instances where you want to share key points or to quickly capture ideas, comments, and other information from participants or meeting attendees. There are even devices available where you can capture images of your pages and transfer those to computers and other storage devices.

Like any other training aid tool used in the classroom, make sure that you plan its usage and think about where and how you will effectively employ it. While it looks simple, turning pages, writing on it, and otherwise using it as your facilitate takes a bit of practice so that you appear polished and professional.

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.

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.

Flip Chart Usage Basics – Three Planning Tips

Flip Chart Usage Basics – Three Planning Tips

Flipcharts have been a standard in adult learning classrooms for decades. They provide an inexpensive and efficient means of gathering and posting information to make ideas and concepts useful for visual learners. To avoid a potential hit to your reputation and credibility, always use a checklist and consider what flip chart content you will need to accomplish your learning objectives. This means preparing your flip charts in advance and being ready to use blank pages to capture ideas as the session proceeds. By applying the following flip chart usage basics when planning your session, you can better ensure a more positive outcome.

Flip Chart Usage Basics – Three Planning Tips by The Creative Trainer – Robert W. Lucas, Awarding Winning Adult Learning & Training Author

Flip Chart Usage Basics - Three Planning Tips

1. Gather and organize all materials you will need before the participants arrive. Make sure that you bring a facilitators Tool Kit with you that contains commonly needed items, such as tape, markers, stapler and staples, a ruler, and other things you normally use.

2. Always ensure you have an extra pad of paper available. Before starting a session, make sure that you have several backup flip chart paper pads on hand. This is especially true if you are facilitating a brainstorming, strategic planning, or another meeting where you anticipate gathering a lot of ideas.

3. Ensure that you have a room large enough to post completed flipchart pages. Also, ensure that posting pages to the walls is okay. Some hotel and facility managers will not allow you to adhere to pages on walls out of fear of damaging the surfaces. This paranoia usually results from some careless predecessor of yours who did not use the right type of tape or acted unprofessionally. To prevent damage use a good quality of the blue “painters” tape available in most hardware and home and office products stores.

Like any other aspect of training and education, it is the little things that often mean success or failure. Take the time to plan ahead and you will likely be viewed as more professional in the classroom.

For more ideas on effectively designing, using, storing, and transporting flip charts, 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?

Using Sticky Notes in Brainstorming Energizer Activities

Using Sticky Notes in Brainstorming Energizer Activities

Sticky-notes (e.g. Post-It Notes) are useful in several ways when groups are brainstorming or problem-solving. A pad or two of sticky notes and pencils placed on every table make it easy for each person to jot down ideas, suggestions, or potential solutions to problems (one per note) as they arise.

Using Sticky Notes in Brainstorming Energizer Activities by The Creative Trainer 

Here are two ways to use sticky notes in an energizer activity:

Have participants capture their ideas on sticky notes and then post their notes on a wall, dry erase board, flip chart, or blackboard during an icebreaker or group team building activity. Once the notes are there, they can be arranged or rearranged into various categories or prioritized as learners are instructed or choose.

Using Sticky Notes in Brainstorming Energizer Activities

Sticky notes can also be used to vote through a nominal group process for problem-solving and decision making. To do this, conduct a facilitator-led brainstorming session where you collect ideas, issues, problems, possible problem solutions, or other pertinent session related information.

Sticky Notes Can A Tough Subject Easier To Understand

Capture learner input on a flip chart page and post that page on the wall with painters tape.

Next, give each participant three blank sticky notes and have them go one at a time to vote on what they believe is the most important item(s) or viable suggestions or solutions on the posted list. Participants can put one note next to three different items or can choose to put multiple notes next to individual items.  The top three items could then be addressed as action items.

For more creative energizer activities and suggestions for 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 All About Robert C. ‘Bob’ Lucas Now and Understand Why He is an Authority in the Creative Training Skills Industry

Robert C. ‘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.

Those Who Made A Difference – A Coaching and Mentoring Energizer Activity

Those Who Made A Difference – A Coaching and Mentoring Energizer Activity

Adult learning theory and brain-based learning research both suggest that by getting your trainees actively engaged in the learning process, you can increase enthusiasm for the material and potentially improve the chances that what was covered will be retained and used later. Further, by integrating energizer activities into your program design, you also help learners assume responsibility and ownership for learning outcomes since they were part of content development.

Those Who Made A Difference – A Coaching and Mentoring Energizer Activity by The Creative Trainer – Robert W. Lucas, Awarding Winning Author

The following activity can be used in supervisory, management, or volunteer training sessions where you want learners to reflect on the power of coaching, mentoring or helping others.

Those Who Made A Difference – A Coaching and Mentoring Energizer Activity

Purpose: To help prompt thinking about characteristics that make people successful in a given environment or situation.

Objectives: By reflecting on past personal experiences and identifying characteristics of people they have known, participants will be able to:

  • Pinpoint specific traits for successful people that they can emulate.
  • Recognize what they value as successful.

Process:

  • Tell participants they have five minutes to take out a sheet of paper and write the name of someone they think was successful in a given environment or situation (i.e., managing others, giving feedback, listening, organizing their time, dealing with change).
  • Next, have them take another five minutes to list 2-3 traits or characteristic behavior that these people exhibited that made them successful.
  • After five minutes, go around the room and have each person share the traits they wrote and why they think these are important. List the traits on a flip chart page.
  • Once all participants have shared their traits, look for commonalities and discuss as a group.
  • Suggest that they may want to think about how they too can use these traits for their own improvement.

Materials Needed:

  • Flip chart pad with easel.
  • Assorted colored markers.
  • Paper and pencils for participants.

Time Required: Approximately 20-30 minutes, depending on group size.

Those Who Made A Difference – A Coaching and Mentoring Energizer ActivitySource: Lucas, R. W., The Big Book of Flip Charts: A Comprehensive Guide for Presenters, Trainers and Team Facilitators.

What is a Flip Chart – Common Uses for a Trusted Training Aid

What is a Flip Chart – Common Uses for a Trusted Training Aid

Flip charts are sometimes labeled and antiques and some people question their value in today’s electronic world and learning environments. Even so, there are still many purposes that creative trainers, educators, presenters, and meeting facilitators have for using flip charts. These simple yet effective tools can still be invaluable in creatively delivering messages and gathering information.

What is a Flip Chart – Common Uses for a Trusted Training Aid

The following are some of the more common uses for flip charts:

  • To augment verbal communication in classrooms, meeting venues, and offices.
  • To help focus and hold participant attention.
  • To provide a visual stimulus and aid participant understanding.
  • To assist participants who are “visual learners,” and who benefits from having information left before them as they take notes.
  • Capture ideas and responses during meetings, learning events, or brainstorming sessions.
  • To show sequenced items or processes simultaneously while taped to a wall.
  • To create a mindmap image of a concept.
  • Serve as a roadmap by visually presenting agenda items and information.
  • Provide and inexpensive tool for learning enhancement.
  • To allow participants who arrive late or daydream an opportunity to “catch up” without embarrassing themselves or disturbing others.
  • To provide written instructions for activities and learning experiences.
  • As a vehicle for reviewing key points discussed in a session.
  • As a written record of issues to be addressed later.
  • To provide an accurate listing of points addressed that can be later transcribed onto the computer and distributed, if necessary.
  • To involve participants in capturing key ideas and information.
  • A simple palette for trainers, educators, artists, or others who want to capture drawn images.

What is a Flip Chart - Common Uses for a Trusted Training AidFor other 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.

What is a Flip Chart – Common Uses for a Trusted Training Aid by The Creative Trainer – Robert W. Lucas, Awarding Winning Author

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).

Mr. 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.