Flip charts are often used in conjunction with slides, handouts, and a variety of other mediums. They may not exhibit all the punch and pizzazz of PowerPoint slides, yet they can be tremendously effective. They allow you further tailor your program to the audience’s needs, and they lend an air of spontaneity. Here are 4 tips for using flip charts effectively:

  1. If you’re using a flip chart, test the markers ahead of time. If you start writing with them in front of your audience and you discover you’re almost out of ink, you won’t look prepared.
  2. Better yet, bring your own. You don’t want any last minute “surprises,” and it’s risky to assume the venue will have them.
  3. Before your program, make certain there’s enough paper left on the flip chart to last through your presentation. If you’re in the middle of a lively group discussion, you want to have room for those issues and ideas that crop up.
  4. When you flip the pages, double up two at a time. It’s easier to turn them over this way. You want every aspect of your presentation to look seamless and flawless. Like it or not, one secret to powerful and persuasive public speaking is mastering the art of the “show.”

As stated earlier, one terrific advantage of flip charts is they allow the speaker to appear spontaneous and “off the cuff.” For instance, when audience members bring up important ideas or issues, you can write thee on paper and address them for everyone to see. Flip charts give the audience the impression that this presentation was created just for them. For example, when I conduct presentation skills training, I ask my audience what their expectations are for the day. Their goals are then written on a flip chart. Using this technique, the program takes on more of a “one-on-one” feel. I want to first and foremost meet their objectives, and with this method I do! At the end of the workshop, their expectations from that morning are reviewed one by one, and check off in red. This is an excellent way to summarize for the audience what was discussed. It’s also beneficial as it points out what “new” issues cropped up to be addressed next time.

Lastly, keep it simple. In my presentation skills training, I remind my audience that the more “bells and whistles” you add to your presentation, the greater the likelihood for something to go wrong. This will only add to your nervousness about public speaking. You don’t want to create a barrier between you and your audience, and too many visuals can do that. Most importantly, stick with you’re you’re comfortable with, and with what adds value to your presentation. Be yourself. Remember, ultimately, you are your own best visual aid.

November 21, 2005

You are free to reprint or repost this article for use in your newsletters, association publications, or intranet provided Colleen Kettenhofen’s contact information (name, website, and email) is included with the article. Colleen Kettenhofen is a Phoenix, Arizona motivational speaker, trainer, & co-author of “The Masters of Success ,” featured on NBC’s Today Show, along with Ken Blanchard and Jack Canfield. For free articles, video clips, and e-newsletter, visit http://www.ColleenSpeaks.com. Colleen’s area of expertise are leadership, managing people, life balance, difficult people, presentation skills. Colleen is available for keynotes, breakout sessions and seminars.


She can be reached at contact information listed below:

Colleen Kettenhofen

(971) 212-0479

Website: http://www.ColleenSpeaks.com
email: colleen@colleenspeaks.com

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