Top Tips for Using Flip Charts

flip charts man drawing on dry-erase board

Flip charts are an excellent tool for presenting information, training/teaching, and sharing ideas. Flip charts are extremely simple to use, and you can optimize the experience with our top tips.

Display as you go

While flip charts can be prepared before your class or meeting, it is more engaging to draw and write information as you go – highlighting what you are saying and taking feedback/answering questions. This will help your audience to better understand and retain the information – whether you are talking to students, potential clients, or business leaders.

Brainstorming

Flip charts people sitting at the tableWhen it comes to brainstorming sessions, professional flip-charts are unmatched. While they have the same interactivity and ease-of-use as a standard whiteboard, the humble flip chart stands apart as you can easily keep and re-display your pages as and when required. Brainstorming, by its very nature, is designed to be an outpouring of ideas and discussions – great for classes to discuss topics and formulate critical thinking skills, and excellent for office meetings to discuss goals and strategies.

Choose your pen

It might seem a simple thing, but many presentations have gone awry because of a poor pen choice. Lighter pastel colors might look nice, but people at the back of the class, conference room, or office will struggle to make out the information clearly. Choose bold, darker colors, with thicker tips to ensure that everyone can clearly see and absorb what you are presenting. Lastly, make sure your pen is suitable for your paper – bleeding through or ink-spreading can be a huge distraction for your audience, as well as ruining/wasting subsequent pages.

Concise messaging

Your flip chart should provide a boost to your verbal presentation – it shouldn’t be a verbatim record of every single word you speak. Use it to summarise or emphasize key points or support your speech with diagrams. Writing out lengthy sentences is time-consuming, wastes paper, and distracts your class/colleagues. Write punchy, concise points and elaborate through speech.

Location, location, location

Man flip chartYour flip chart should be positioned so that everyone in your class, meeting, or conference can clearly see it. Often, flip charts are height adjustable – set it to a height that you can draw and write at easily and comfortably, with the maximum field of vision for your audience. Think about lighting as well – you don’t need a professional spotlight but people should be able to see what is being written without straining.

Putting the flip chart in front of a window facing the sun is also bad practice – you’ll be able to see your audience with no issues, but they will be blinded by the background lighting.

Penciling

If you are nervous or concerned you might get distracted or forget a key point, you can pre-fill your pages with pencil outlines of what you want to say, draw or highlight. Done correctly, the people you are teaching or presenting to will never know, and your presentation or class will be smooth and confident.

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