Creatively Using Images on Flip Charts

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

Creatively Using Images on Flip Charts

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.

Informal Balance

Creatively Using Images on Flip Charts

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.

PowerPoint® Power Strategies: Designing Slides That Get Your Message Across

PowerPoint® Power Strategies: Designing Slides That Get Your Message Across

When designing a learning event in which you will be using slides, PowerPoint® software offers a flexible vehicle for creating training aids that can grab and hold your participant’s attention while making your message visually effective.  This is important since brain research indicates that when someone experiences data through a variety of senses, they are more likely to be able to gain, retain, recall, and use the information effectively.

PowerPoint® – Designing Slides That Get Your Message Across

Making content visuals can also help learners better comprehend your meaning, especially in instances where learners have a hearing deficit, speak another native language, or have a preference for visual learning modality.

The challenge for many workplace learning professionals, educators, presenters, and meeting facilitators is that they attempt to use too many of the special animation enhancement features (e.g. transitions, sound, and inserted video). As a result, they overwhelm their learners and audience members or in some cases irritate them. Either way, learning, and retention suffers.

PowerPoint® Power Strategies: Designing Slides That Get Your Message Across

PowerPoint® Slides That Get Your Message Across

The following five tips can help ensure that your slides are designed to enhance rather than detract from your intended message.

  1. Make your title lines slightly larger than your text. For example, if your text is a 16-point font, use 20-22 point fonts for the headers.
  2. Use all capital letters to make your title line stand out from the text.
  3. Use the same theme throughout so that you are not continually changing color and format between slides. The latter can distract learners as they mentally try to adjust and search for information.
  4. Add graphics or visuals (e.g. clipart, photos, graphs, charts, or borders) to emphasize your written message and appeal to your visual learners. Just ensure that whatever you use is professional and relates to the written words. Do not use images just because you like them or they are aesthetically appealing.  For example, if you are talking about accounting, do not include a photo of a sporty looking car unless you are making a point (e.g. if you properly account for revenue and generate savings, you might be able to afford a sporty new car).

Note: Make sure that if you did not create the image yourself that you have permission from the copyright owner.

5.  Only address one topic or issue per slide.

For additional suggestions on adding pizzazz to your slides, get a copy of Energize Your Training: Creative Techniques to Engage Learners.