While everyone else is jumping on the high-tech bandwagon, you can make a great impression in a low-tech way. All you need is a flip chart, some markers and tape—and these tips:
- Test your tripod. Make sure that wherever you will rest the flip chart is sturdy. When you are writing in a hurry, you may press down harder than normal, and you want the tripod to hold steady.
- Plan to use more than one color. You will need to plan and practice in advance, but you can add impact with color. For example, you might write ideas in blue, with red bullets to set them apart. Action items might appear in a contrasting color, like dark purple. Just be consistent with color when you use it, or your chart will end up looking like a preschool art project.
- Practice tearing off pages and taping them to the wall. The key to flip chart use is the ability you gain to save thoughts and brilliant ideas to inspire participants later. You may want to start your tearing before the session or to prepare strips of masking tape and place them ready to use on the wall. You will speed the process and look more polished too.
- Write large and legibly. Everyone in the room should be able to read your writing. That means you will need to print neatly. If you cannot write both quickly and neatly, recruit a participant to write ideas while you lead the session.
— Adapted from The First-Time Trainer: A Step-By-Step Quick Guide for Managers, Supervisors, and New Training Professionals, Tom Goad, AMACOM, http://www.amacombooks.org