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 Charts Remain a Creative Value-Added Tool for Learning

Flip Charts Remain a Creative Value-Added Tool for Learning

Flip Charts Remain a Creative Value-Added Tool for Learning

Some trainers have abandoned the venerable flip chart in favor of technology-based tools in the classroom. My personal belief, and that of many other learning and performance professionals who still cherish this training aid, is that the simplicity and ease of flip chart use make it a perfect tool for capturing information. With a few strokes of the marker, you can add graphics, charts, and text to a blank page in order to present a concept or document discussions.

Flip Charts Remain a Creative Value-Added Tool for Learning by The Creative Trainer – Robert W. Lucas

The value of using visual aids, such as flip charts, cannot be understated. The following excerpt from a recent article on the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) website points out the value of using flip charts and other visual aids:

“People tend to eye-minded, and the impacts visual aids bring to a presentation are, indeed, significant. The studies, below, reveal interesting statistics that support these findings:

  • In many studies, experimental psychologists and educators have found that retention of information three days after a meeting or other event is six times greater when information is presented by visual and oral means than when the information is presented by the spoken word alone.
  • Studies by educational researchers suggest that approximately 83% of human learning occurs visually, and the remaining 17% through the other senses – 11% through hearing, 3.5% through smell, 1% through taste, and 1.5% through touch.
  • The studies suggest that three days after an event, people retain 10% of what they heard from an oral presentation, 35% from a visual presentation, and 65% from a visual and oral presentation.”

For more information and creative ideas on how to effectively create, 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.

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.

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 Creative Borders for Flip Charts

Using Creative Borders for Flip Charts

Using creative borders for flip charts is a unique and stimulating way to segment information and complement written messages.  These can range from simple combinations of colored lines (single, double, or combination), patterns, shapes,  and graphic images to the various themed styles available in graphics software.

Using Creative Borders for Flip Charts

Using borders related to your program themes can add color and creativity.  For example, if your session topic is expanding your international sales into an additional foreign market, you might border the page or separate sections of data with a border of that nation’s flag or one of its famous landmarks. For a session related to computer software or other technology, use incorporate images of a computer, cell phone, or other appropriate items into the borders. In sessions on customer service, use smiley faces or other simple characters.

Using Creative Borders for Flip Charts

Clipart images are available online through copyright free sites and on various clipart software packages. You can also create your images own in advance or on the spot if you are artistic.

Using Creative Borders for Flip Charts

Do you say you’re still creatively challenged?  Then cheat! If you want to use a graphic image on your flip chart that needs to be larger or smaller than ones you have created, copied, or printed from a computer, simply make a copy and scan it into your computer. Next, create a slide and project that onto a flip chart page, then lightly trace with a pencil. You can then go over the traced line with a colored marker. If you still have access to an overhead projector, you can also copy your image onto a sheet of transparency film and project it onto the page for tracing.

For more creative training ideas, get copies of The Big Book of Flip Charts or The Creative Training Idea Book.

Energizer Problem Solving Flip Chart Activity for Training – “Please Help Me Out”

Energizer Problem Solving Flip Chart Activity for Training 

“Please Help Me Out”

Brain research on learning indicates that one way to maximize effectiveness and have participants better gain, retain, recall, and use what they learn in a training program is to actively engage them in the learning process.

Finding interesting and effective ways to extract ideas or solve problems during training can be challenging. By getting learners actively involved in the solution process, you tap their broad reservoir of knowledge and ideas while encouraging them to take ownership of the ultimate solution. Using flip charts to capture ideas during the problem-solving process is a great way to ensure the transfer of learning and make ideas visual and memorable.

Energizer Problem Solving Flip Chart Activity for Training – “Please Help Me Out”

 

Energizer Problem Solving Flip Chart Activity for Training – “Please Help Me Out” by The Creative Trainer – Robert W. Lucas, Awarding Winning Author

The following activity, titled “Please Help Me Out” is a creative and easy means of engaging learners to identify solutions to workplace situations or problems.

PURPOSE:

To provide an action-oriented means of generating solutions to questions or issues from the group.

OBJECTIVES:

Through a process of shared problem solving, participants will:

  • Play an active role in problem-solving.
  • Contribute potential solutions to peer issues, concerns, or problems.

PROCESS:

Post one blank flipchart page per participant around the room.

Explain to participants that they have five minutes to think of an issue, problem, or question they have related to a given topic, such as enhancing teamwork.  For example, someone might come up with, “How do I get peers to buy into my ideas more often?” or “What techniques could I use to better organize my time on team projects?”

After everyone has an issue, give them 2-3 minutes to select a blank flipchart page and print their item on paper.

Once all ideas are written, go around the room and have the author of each item explain briefly (in less than one minute) what they mean.

After all, statements are clarified, give each person a marker, and instruct participants to go to the flipchart page posted to the right of theirs and stand.

Once in place, tell participants they are to rotate clockwise, writing one idea or suggestion for improvement related to the page topic on each page.

When they finish, they should move to the next sheet of paper.

Repeat this process for 20 minutes or until everyone seems to be running out of ideas.  The reason for continuing to go back to the same sheet numerous times is that reading someone else’s comment may give a participant another idea or suggestion.

Add additional flipchart pages that are necessary if one fills up.

NOTE: 

You may want to put an extra sheet of paper under each posted sheet to prevent possible damage to the wall by ink saturation or “bleeding” through the paper.

MATERIALS NEEDED:

TIME REQUIRED:

Approximately 45-60 minutes.

For additional creative activities using flip charts in training, consider getting a copy of The Big Book of Flip Charts: A Comprehensive Guide for Facilitators, Trainers, and Presenters.