A pencil and flip chart are an unlikely – but powerful – combination and I want to share three great tips which involve this unlikely pairing. Each tip is based on the fact that a pre-pencilled flip chart sheet looks – to your audience – like a normal blank sheet of paper. It’s only when you consciously look for the pencil markings that you notice it’s been ‘doctored’.
Tip No. 1: Prepare diagrams and other illustrations. It’s great when a presenter takes a break from a succession of slides and uses another medium to get their message across. That’s why I occasionally prefer to use a flip chart sheet and draw the diagram for my audience as I go along. Using my trusty pencil, I will not only neatly draw the diagram beforehand, but also pencil in any words that will populate the sheet as well. This saves putting pressure on myself having to remember everything – and all looks rather slick as I effortlessly ‘recall’ the labels and names as I add them in.
Tip No. 2: Wow them with your drawing skills. Stand the flip chart in front of your laptop projector and project the image you want to draw during the session. For example, if I want to use a map of the UK to show various locations or regions, then I just project a map of Great Britain onto a flip chart sheet and then lightly follow the line with my pencil. During the presentation I can casually say, “Let’s show the locations on a map.” I then take my flip chart pen and follow the pencil outline which will be quite invisible to my audience, who watch me draw, apparently from memory, a perfect outline of the UK.
Tip No. 3: Keep your flip chart writing level. Take the bottom edge of the flip chart sheet and bring it almost to the top. Now use the edge as a simple guide to draw a straight line across the page with the pencil. Don’t press too hard, just enough so that you can easily see it as you turn to the flip chart sheet to write on it. Go down the page, using the bottom of the page each time, to pencil in straight lines which can act as guides to make sure that your writing never slants or ‘tails off’.