Training Tip: When You Can’t Tape Things To The Wall

Some hotels and other meeting space venues don’t allow you to use tape on the walls, which generally rules out the ability to post flipcharts around the room.  Several years ago I stumbled upon a solution to this.

Plastic Sheets

Flipchart-sized plastic sheets that can serve as a cross between a white board and a flipchart have been a savior for me on several occasions.  They stick to the wall using the power of static cling – no tape, no irritated conference facility staff.

As much as I love Mr. Sketch markers, they actually are one of the worst things you can use when you write on these plastic sheets.  You’ll need to use either dry erase markers or something extremely permanent (like chisel-tipped Sharpies).

Bringing a package of these along takes a little extra space in the suitcase, but they’ve helped me look prepared on several occasions.  I’ve used these sheets in training sessions and with team members and executives during last-minute strategy meetings while on the road.

The Train Like A Champion blog is published on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.  These brief “Training Tip” posts are a series of quick reference tips that are published while your beloved Train Like A Champion blogger is currently enjoying a little vacation.  The more in-depth posts will resume again in August.

Flip Chart Examples: The Art of the Flip Chart

Before you read this, you may want to check out 9 tips for better flip charts. This is a great introduction to improving your flip charts and also includes some great flip chart examples.

As I wrapped up a day-long training session, a participant came up to me and said: “I don’t know why we don’t do more of this kind of thing.  Such little changes make a world of difference.”

She was talking about my flip charts.

I like using flip charts because they can stay on the wall for an entire session (with PowerPoint I lose my image as soon as I advance a slide), I can add to them at any point (with PowerPoint, I’m mostly stuck with the slides I’ve created in advance) and anyone else in the room can add to them at any time. Here are three major factors I’ve found to good flip chart design:

Advanced Preparation

When participants walk into the room and see flipcharts prepared and hung in advance it sends the message that I’ve invested some time in preparing for the session.  I find that my handwriting is much neater when I can take my time, so preparing the flipcharts I plan to use in advance creates a better visual experience and just seems more professional than last-minute, ad hoc creation of flipcharts.  In addition, having flipcharts prepared in advance allows me to go right into the next topic without having to use valuable class time to (sloppily) create the next flipchart.

As a participant, which kind of visual imagery would you prefer to have hanging around the room?

flip chart created on the fly

Flipchart created in the moment

flip chart prepared in advance

Flip chart example prepared in advance

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