Flip charts are so common that we all think we can use them. But how often have you sat in presentations wondering what all the scribble was really about? Like many people you have probably seen flip charts that make no sense, that you can't read from the back of the room and that look like a spider has crawled over them. You don't want your flip charts to look like that, do you? Just follow these ten simple steps and you will have flip charts that look truly professional.
1. Try, if you can, to prepare your flip chart pages in advance. This means your audience does not have to wait while you try to draw things on the page.
2. Leave one blank page, at least, between each prepared page. That way you can add extra detail or jot down audience comments without having to flick through several pages to reach a blank sheet.
3. If you need to draw diagrams or charts as you deliver your talk create light pencil outlines on the page in advance. The audience will not be able to see your pre-drawn illustrations ? but you will and your finished drawing will look more professional as you can copy the marks.
4. Make sure you have a conclusion page at the end of the flip chart. You can then turn to this at the end of your presentation and summarise what you have said.
5. Your first page should either be blank or have a 'title page', such as the subject of your presentation. In this way, your first page of text will not distract your audience.
6. On each page that you have written some key points leave plenty of space. This means you can add in comments from the audience (in a different colour) as you go through your talk.
7. Use big letters (but not capitals) so that your audience can read your writing. Each character should be at least three inches tall.
8. Reserve bright colours for charts and diagrams. Text should be in a dark colour, such as black or blue, so it can be easily seen.
9. If you write on the flip chart as you go through your talk, stand to one side so people can see what you have written.
10. After your presentation has finished go back through your flip chart pages and prepare some notes based on what was added during the talk. You can then give this information to the people who were present so they have a record of the event.
Graham Jones runs The Presentation Business at http://www.presentationbiz.com to help you make great presentations.