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.

Seven Good Reasons to Use Flip Charts in Training

Seven Good Reasons to Use Flip Charts in Training

Flip charts have been a staple piece of equipment in schools and adult learning classrooms for decades. Even with the advent of continually developing audio-visual technology used to reinforce the information shared in such environments the classic flip chart still provides a valuable and convenient resource.

Seven Good Reasons to Use Flip Charts in Training

Here are seven reasons for the staying power of flip charts:

  1. Convenience. They are easy to set up and move around in the learning environment. Unlike projected visual aids that have to remain stationary and are limited in their location, especially if projection screens are permanently mounted in a room, you can move flip charts at will.
  2. Cost. Flip Charts are relatively inexpensive once you purchase them. The only standard materials required are pads of paper, markers, and painters/masking tape to position pages on walls.
  3. No special considerations needed. Since they do not require electricity and you are not at the mercy of where electrical outlets are located to position them.  You also do not have to worry whether there is an extension cord available or have to carry one as a backup, and there are no expensive bulbs to replace.
  4. It can be customized. They can be customized by the user. Depending on your graphic ability, you can draw images, to accent the written message and add visual variety to the pages. This can be done in advance or if you are a talented artist, as you write on the pages.
  5. Displaying pages continually is simple. By using painters tape (so that you do not damage painted surfaces), you can easily display what is written on walls for later referral and reviews. This is good for your visual learners or for people who missed a key point and need to catch up (e.g. they took a mental side trip as you spoke, are slow note-takers or arrived late). Unlike projected visuals that do not allow previous information to be displayed, this is a helpful alternative.
  6. Color can be added. By using water-based markers, you can easily add visual emphasis to your pages. Use a variety of colors (maximum of three) to create your written message. Start with one color (black, brown, navy blue, red, or forest green) for your title lines on pages, then pick two additional colors and alternate back and forth for each bulleted point on the page. Follow the same color scheme on all pages for continuity and avoid “shocking” your learner’s brains with each new page displayed.  You can even add an additional sensory experience by using scented markers like Mr. Sketch that are fruit-flavored. Additionally, you can bring in pastel coloring to brighten up the page by adding graphics in different colors.
  7. Spontaneity is possible. Unlike projected counterparts, flip charts allow you to pause and capture ideas, thoughts, concerns, or other information offered by learners or to take an unplanned side trip to share or illustrate related topic points that arise during a session.  You can also provide them with small groups to capture information during activities or discussions. They can then share these with all other attendees during a debrief of the activity.

For additional creative ideas for designing, developing, transporting, storing, and using clip charts get a copy 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. by Robert W. Lucas.

Capturing Flip Chart Notes in Meetings and Adult Learning Sessions

Capturing Notes in Meetings and Adult Learning Sessions with Flip Charts

Capturing Flip Chart Notes in Meetings and Adult Learning Sessions

In situations where you are participating in an ongoing project or series of meetings, I have found it helpful to capture information on flip charts. This provides participants attending the subsequent meetings with a visual reminder of what they did in previous sessions.

Capturing Flip Chart Notes in Meetings and Adult Learning Sessions by The Creative Trainer – Robert W. Lucas, Awarding Winning Brain-Based Training Author

Tied to this idea, you may want to facilitate the creation of a list of meeting rules that will be posted in each session to remind participants of agreed-upon behavior or rules for listening to others. This technique can sometimes help ensure that agenda and meeting objectives are met. By referring to the “rules” that the participants created, you can help maintain focus.

Additionally, if you have ever wished that you had an 8 1/2 X 11-inch (approximately 21.2 X 28cm) copy of your flip chart pages for yourself or participants, there are products on the market that allow a connection to your computer printer. By scanning your flip chart page through the machine, you can produce as many small copies as you need. Of course, you can always do this the old-fashioned way and enter the flip charted ideas from a brainstorming session into your computer for later distribution.

As a reverse approach, there are also printers that allow you to enlarge documents created in your PC and print them in flip chart size.

For more creative ideas on using flip charts in adult learning events, get a copy of The Big Book of Flip Charts: A Comprehensive Guide for Presenters, Trainers and Team Facilitators by Robert W. Lucas.

Use Flip Chart Icebreakers to Engage Your Adult Learners

Use Flip Chart Icebreakers to Engage Your Adult Learners

As learning and performance professional for over four decades, I have found that in most learning environments I have to give adult learners a reason for listening and participating in the program. To do this early in a program, I have to help tune their internal “radio station,” from which they get their life experiences, into station AVAR FM — Channel 1. AVARFM stands for Added Value And Results For Me — #1. In other words, I have to give them a reason to listen by showing what they will gain or how they will benefit from participating.

Use Flip Chart Icebreakers to Engage Your Adult Learners

One of the easiest ways to show value is to get participants involved as soon as possible in their learning. There are numerous ways to accomplish this. And, with each, you can have them flip chart their responses or ideas to share with the group. Here are two simple techniques you may have seen or wish to consider:

  1. Pair participants and have them interview each other. Give them a list of things to find out about each other and have them flip chart the responses using a “T” chart format. This type of simple activity allows participants an opportunity to network and learn about their peers through active involvement. It also ties into brain-based research by getting them actively engaged and tapping into past experiences as they generate their lists.
  2. Group people and have them develop a list of questions that they have heard or want to be answered related to the program topic on a flip chart? For example, in a program on interpersonal communication, they might ask, “Why do people sometimes read into the non-verbal cues of others?” Once each group is finished, review the questions and either answer them at that time or state that as you go through the program you will be discussing the topics raised (assuming you plan to do so). By using this activity, you can uncover the needs of your group while determining what is important to them while getting them involved in the program.

For additional ideas on creative ways to 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.

Basic Flip Chart Layout and Design

Basic Flip Chart Layout and Design

A simple way to approach your flip chart design is to think of a phrase summarizing your topic that will grab the audience’s attention.  Next, condense the details of that concept down to the fewest words necessary to convey the thought. Finally, decide on a graphic image that will complement the words and enhance the message.

Basic Flip Chart Layout and Design by The Creative Trainer – Robert W. Lucas, Awarding Winning Author, and Adult Training Blogger

For example, in a session on employment law that I delivered to employees years ago, I was trying to convey the fact that a 1997 study by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) on Employment Litigation found the following:

  • 4,900 HR professionals were surveyed.
  • Six of ten surveyed reported lawsuits in their organization within the past five years.
  • Fifty-seven percent said that their organization has been sued at least one lawsuit during that period.
  • Of the lawsuits, eleven percent involved sexual discrimination or equal pay disputes.

To flip chart this, I selected a title line and then decided how I was going to condense and succinctly lay the information out visually to aid understanding, The chart below was the result.

Basic Flip Chart Layout and Design

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.

One Minute of Praise – Training Feedback Activity

One Minute of Praise - Training Feedback Activity

One Minute of Praise – Training Feedback Activity

PURPOSE: To provide each member in a day-long training session or meeting with positive feedback on their performance at the end of the program. It can also be used to encourage participation during training or meeting.

LEARNING OBJECTIVES: At the end of this activity, participants will:

  • Feel good about their performance during the training session or meeting.
  • Be able to practice their feedback skills with their peers.

One Minute of Praise – Training Feedback Activity by The Creative Trainer 

PROCESS:

  • Prior to participant arrival, create a flip chart page with each participant’s name at the top in large colorful letters.
  • Post the pages on the wall with painters or masking tape in the back of the room. To prevent bleed through onto the walls, make sure to use water-based flip chart markers and put an extra sheet of paper under each of the pages.
  • Point out that everyone has a sheet with their name at the top for use during breaks and at the end of the session. Explain that they are encouraged to provide feedback on something they liked about each person’s performance.  For example, “I appreciated the fact that you arrived on time and returned punctually from breaks,” or “I liked the way you didn’t back down when _____________ said . . .”
  • At the beginning of the session/meeting, stress that each person’s input is crucial during the day. Explain that to encourage participation in the session, each person will receive feedback on their pages throughout the day.
  • Throughout the day, before breaks and lunch, remind everyone to go to the easel and comment on each sheet.
  • At the end of the day, give sheets with comments to each person.

NOTE:      To ensure that everyone gets at least one positive “stroke,” the facilitator should also write comments on the pages throughout the day.

MATERIALS NEEDED:   

TIME REQUIRED: No extra time needed since comments are added during breaks and lunch.

HOW IT RELATES TO BRAIN BASED AND ADULT LEARNING (ANDRAGOGY):

  • Actively engages learners.
  • Engages visual and kinesthetic learning modalities.
  • It causes a review of the day’s events.

For more creative ideas, strategies, and activities get a copy of The Creative Training Idea Book: Inspired Tips and Techniques for Engaging and Effective Learning. For ways to energize learning events Check out Energize Your Training: Creative Techniques to Engage Learners and for additional activities using flip charts, get The Big Book of Flip Charts: A Comprehensive Guide for Presenters, Trainers, and Team Facilitators.

Creative Strategy for Evenly Tearing Flip Chart Pages

Creative Strategy for Evenly Tearing Flip Chart Pages

If you have ever struggled to tear a sheet of flip chart paper from a pad on an easel during a training session, you know it is sometimes not an easy task. When you struggle, it is often the result of poor product design. Some manufacturers do not perforate the tops of the sheets for easy removal. Most often, this occurs on less expensive products with the thinner paper quality. Such designs can make it almost impossible to get the paper to begin separating from the binding glue or to pull away evenly and in a straight tear line.

Creative Strategy for Evenly Tearing Flip Chart Pages

Evenly Tearing Flip Chart Pages by The Creative Trainer

When the flip chart paper pad you purchase is not perforated (small cuts along the top edge), use a craft knife or single-edged razor blade to cut 1-inch-long slits about an inch apart across the top of each page. You can do this by placing the pad on a solid surface and carefully pressing firmly into the paper in a straight line all along the top edge of the pad.  In this manner, you can perforate several pages at a time. Depending on whether you are left or right-handed, be sure the first slit overlaps the edge where you will start to tear. This will allow you can to evenly start a tear when ready to remove a sheet of paper.

Meet the Blog Article Author

Robert W. ‘Bob’ Lucas – 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.