The benefits of using a flip chart
Flip charts are perfect to use as a static display tool for presentation slides. This makes them the perfect aid for business meetings, yes, but beyond that, they can also be used for many other situations. For example, a teacher may use them during lessons to creatively show a lesson plan or the day’s objective.
Writing or drawing on a flip chart is easy and engaging. It’s easy to prepare a set of pages in advance, but it’s even better to use a flip chart as you’re speaking to draw more attention to the subject you’re lecturing on. Alternatively, there’s a great halfway point where you can draw up most of your presentation, and then add to it while you’re speaking to your audience. This act, whichever version you choose, is extremely energising for the speaker.
During a flip chart presentation, audiences can ask more questions. Artwork or drawings add a sense of informality to a meeting, which allows those listening to you to feel that they can politely interrupt and add more dialogue to the meeting. It’s also much easier for those in attendance to ask questions because drawing on a flip chart takes time, which adds open space to a meeting and provides healthy pauses for you to get your thoughts together.
Flip charts are also perfect for brainstorming, allowing the person using the chart to take ideas from everyone in the room and have tonnes of space for all of their thoughts. Brainstorming is a great technique to use in a business meeting because the flow of ideas happens much more naturally when a larger group of people are working together to create them. It’s a more easy-going technique to use, which allows everyone to shout out their ideas without feeling like anything they come out with is a bad idea to begin with. Even the most basic ideas can then be built on by the rest of the team attending the same meeting.
There’s no tech involved in using a flip chart, either. Anyone can use them, they don’t need any special extras. Just some colourful pens and a flip pad with its chart! This makes them the ideal piece of equipment to keep around the office or the home. Wherever you decide to use your flip chart, be prepared, and remember to bring the right equipment with you. Flip chart pads use standard paper, but where possible, try to use pens that don’t bleed through the paper too much.
You should also try to stick to darker and more saturated pen colours, as these will help people at the back of the room see what you’re writing on the board, rather than forcing them to squint or move closer during a meeting. Yellows and pastel colours should be avoided. Finally, remember to write in a larger size font that you usually would; this also ensures everyone in the room can clearly see and read the words you’ve written.
The different types of flip charts
There are many variations of flip chart available from a range of suppliers. From Red17, we offer over 20 different flip charts.
Portable flip charts
Portable flip charts offer a better range of mobility, allowing the user to take their flip chart with them anywhere. These are great for classrooms and meeting rooms that don’t have the space or storage to keep a flip chart around for a long amount of time. They’re lightweight, meaning that anyone could push the flip chart into a room with minimal effort.
Children can also benefit from portable flip charts; these boards are perfect for art, school work, and presentations.
Mobile flip charts are available with a few different options. There are glass whiteboard versions, which come with the usual flip chart paper pad, as well as standard whiteboard versions, and even board with pull-out sections for extra space.
Easel flip charts
The most common kind of flip chart is the easel flip chart. These flip charts are designed with three legs for great stability. With a similar set-up to a standard art easel, this flip chart does exactly what you need it to do.
It doesn’t have as many features as other flip charts, but it’s an inexpensive product to purchase if you happen to need multiple flip charts.
Adjustable flip charts
These charts have adjustable height, with the Ultimate Mobile Flip Chart Easel having a height that can be adjusted by 250mm. This particular flip chart has a magnetic surface that is perfect for dry wipe pens and markers. It’s also available in six saturated colours, with a professional finish.
Loop leg flip charts
The Loop Leg Flip Chart Easel is an A1 size double-sided flipchart whiteboard easel, that has a steady foot bar for extra stability when its user is writing. Unlike many other flip charts, this loop leg flip chart can be folded completely in half and stored in an optional carry bag. This chart is portable in a different kind of way than the mobile flip charts; rather than being wheeled from place to place, simply pick this chart up and carry it to your new location.
Junior flip charts
Flip charts that are purposefully made for a younger audience, the junior flip charts are the perfect height for children to use at home or at school. Red17 offers a Junior Mobile Writing Board Easel. Though this board is, technically, a normal board, you can easily add a flip chart to it. The Junior Mobile Writing Board Easel is available as a whiteboard, a chalkboard, or a magnetic whiteboard.
The height of this product is also adjustable, which makes it a great addition to any child’s study area or playroom. The frame of the board is full of fun primary colours, too; it’s bold, easy to see, and will fit in with any colour scheme.
Flip charts for meetings
Looking to go the extra mile for your next meeting? The Flip Chart Easel – Conference Pro is the best flip chart around for meetings and business dealings. This board has tonnes of features to give your presentation a little more wow than the other presentations going on around you. Impress potential clients and partners by having the best tools for the job at hand!
The Flip Chart Easel – Conference Pro is mobile, thanks to its interlocking legs with added wheels. The height of the board can be adjusted to suit the user, whether they’re sitting or standing. At its tallest, this board is 1920mm.
And for something that you’ve always needed but never had, there’s also an integral side arm with added paper clips that can be mounted to the left or right of the board. Hang all of your completed work or keep important flip pad sheets on display while you finish your presentation for your audience. Make sure no one ever misses another note!
5 Good practices when using flip charts
There are a few taboos when it comes to using flip charts in an effective way. Flip charts don’t have to be used in every meeting, but there are ways to use them in a way that can make you more competent as a meeting holder when you are using this type of tool.
- Use the right pens
- Be careful with your writing style
- Position your flip chart well
- Don’t stand directly in front of your chart
- Keep it short and sweet
Some pens, like heavily coloured and dark felt tip pens, can badly bleed through flip chart paper. Test your pens before your meetings to make sure that you aren’t going to have any incidences where the things you draw or write start seeping onto the next page.
You will also want to use darker colours instead of lighter ones. Yellow rarely shows up well, but orange would be fine. Pink is usually okay, but a very light colour may be hard for those at the back of a meeting room to see. Blues, reds, greens, purples, and blacks would all work very well. You don’t need to use completely dark colours, but mid to dark tones are better.
Be consistent with the colours you choose to use. Don’t keep switching pens or use multiple pen colours on the same page unless you are purposefully colour-coding everything.
A fancy calligraphy style has very little place on a flip chart pad. Block writing or text that is written using a simplified style is easier to read than writing that curls and joins together. It’s better to separate the letters in the words you write and write larger than you would normally.
Everyone in the meeting room should be able to see you and the flip chart you’re writing on. The best way to do this is to position the flip chart in the centre of the room, in the middle of everyone attending. Long meeting room tables actually make it quite difficult for everyone in the room to see a flip chart that is placed at the other end, even if there’s more space there.
It’s better to use a flip chart in a room that don’t have a table in it. This makes the meeting more informal, and takes away the separation that a table causes.
It’s advised that you don’t stand in the way of what you’re writing. That may feel awkward, depending on where you’re currently writing on the board, but it does mean that you aren’t covering up the board.
Stand to the side of the board to ensure that everyone can still see the board while you’re writing. Some meeting attendees may be taking notes, and covering the board will make it so that they can’t keep up with the meeting.
For our last point, ensure that you only use your flip chart for quick, short sentences. Notes are better on flip charts because longer sentences take up too much room and take too long to write.