Creatively Using Images on Flip Charts
People have preferences in the way they gain and process information. This is known as learning modalities or styles (e.g. visual, auditory, and kinesthetic). You can capitalize on their needs and expectations by including visual images on your flip charts and other visual aids in the classroom. This is especially important since various studies indicate that the majority of a given population prefers the visual modality. Thus, if you place images such as clip art, photos, graphics, or drawings on your flip charts, you can potentially better attract learner attention and help them better comprehend your written and spoken messages.
Creatively Using Images on Flip Charts by The Creative Trainer – Robert W. Lucas, Awarding Winning Adult Learning & Training Author
Like all other aspects of your training program design, images, and everything else you use should be directly related to session content and help facilitate the accomplishment of the stated learning objectives for the event. Otherwise, you waste time and potentially distract learners from the key concepts of the session.
When using an image on your flip chart pages, consider that the further an image (or word) appears from the center of your page, the more it seems to draw attention in that direction. For that reason, there are two common design formats to consider when displaying your material on a page — formal and informal balance.
Formal balance means that items are equally matched or displayed in a symmetrical pattern so that the participant’s attention is not pulled in one direction or the other.
On the other hand, an informal balance shows objects that are asymmetrical or includes objects that are not equal in size, shape or pattern. This technique attracts attention to one area or another and can add contrast.
Care must be given not to distract from your intended objective when using this method. This can occur when the informal balance is too extreme.
To get the feel of formal and informal balance and what the concepts look like on your flipchart, draw and cut out a variety of images and shapes that you may want to continually use in the future (e.g. smiley faces, boxes, rectangles, simple people figures, or whatever). Spray them with repositionable artist’s adhesive and then practice placing them at various locations on your page. Next, try adding some lettering and move your images around.
For more creative ideas 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.