As a graphic facilitator I love using visuals during my training and coaching sessions. One of my favorite tools is the flip chart. It’s engaging, versatile and fairly inexpensive.
But frankly, a lot of flip charts are uninspiring, boring or even illegible! Here are 7 easy tips to make your flipcharts stand out.
First, the tools that you use make all the difference. I use markers from neuland. They come in great colors and are re-fillable so you can use them over and over again. The website is www.neuland.com and they ship all over the world.
Secondly, I prepare my flipcharts beforehand by writing down the headings and the graphics. This cuts down on the time I have to spend writing in class, and then I can focus on capturing and facilitating. It saves me a lot of stress. Another clever tip is to write on the chart with pencil. The audience won’t be able to see it, but you can then just write over it in the moment and look like a genius!
Another great tip is to make your heading stand out. Write big and bold and give it a border, like a block or a cloud. Just by adding a couple of circles on the corners it looks like it’s been nailed to the chart.
Write big and legibly. This might take some practice but it is well worth it. A good “cheat” is to create a template from flip chart paper with bold lines drawn with a ruler. Place this behind the flip chart page you’re working on and practice writing in straight lines. You will see an improvement almost immediately!
Add some graphics to make the content more memorable. Even a simple stick man will add interest and engage your audience. There are lots of references online for icons that are easy to draw.
Next, use color. Even if it is just one more color it already adds more interest. Try to keep the writing in one or two colors only, but add pictures or shading with different colors. Look for wax blocks at your local stationery store. They come in different colors and work very well on flip charts.
Lastly, give your flipchart a border. It really finishes it off nicely and adds a professional touch. If you’re worried about being able to draw straight lines, use clouds or draw in corners. Remember, that practice makes perfect!