When it comes to teaching aids, flipcharts are an excellent option. They are simple, low-tech and easy to use. However, there are those who feel apprehensive about using flipcharts. They think it’s a bit too low-tech.
These are the same people who often end up going overboard with digital teaching aids, trying out all sorts of sound and motion enhancements. This is completely unnecessary when flipcharts can achieve the same objective of getting the message through.
The trick is to follow a few effective and established techniques. Here are a few you can try and implement right away.
Graphics play a key role in making a presentation or lecture more effective and also, palatable. So, don’t hesitate to use graphics or artwork as part of your flipchart presentations. Images are known to help with information retention and also boost concentration.
In fact, if you’ve got a little artist hiding in there somewhere, you can probably use your own illustrations to help get the point across. Plenty of teachers who use flipcharts already do this. In some cases, you don’t even have to be skilled at drawing stuff. As long as you can illustrate using simple stick figures or basic shapes, you should be good.
You can also try tracing out images onto the flipchart paper. This is easier than you think. Just find the appropriate image or set of images and tape them behind the page you plan to draw on. The tape serves as an anchor. Once you’ve got the original image anchored and straightened, the next step is to trace over it. It’s that simple.
Some instructors and presenters even use cutouts from magazines and books, which is probably the easiest method. You just need to apply glue on the back and stick the cutout onto the flipchart sheet.
If you want people to pay attention, make sure you’re writing using large letters. This is especially necessary for presentations that are being carried out in large spaces. If you're writing too small, the people sitting at the back won’t be able to see what you’re writing. This obviously ruins the whole objective of a presentation.
So, make sure you’re writing in a manner that’s legible and noticeable.
Use post-it notes
If you’re participating in an interactive session, there’s obviously going to be an exchange of ideas and even updates to the existing content. So, how can you highlight all of that on a flipchart? Well, it’s easy. All you have to do is use post-it notes.
Just ask the group to note down key points or suggestions and stick them on the flipchart sheet.
One page per topic
In order to avoid wastage, most presenters and instructors try to dump as much info as possible into one flipchart sheet. This might be economical in terms of saving paper, but, highly counter-productive in terms of disseminating information.
Placing everything on one page can appear chaotic and confusing. The general strategy is to have one topic per page. This helps with better learning.