Monday, March 11, 2019

Tools for Writers & Speakers, How Writers & Speakers Can Use a Flip Chart Effectively, Part 2

by Yvonne Ortega @YvonneOrtega1

If you haven’t read How Writers and Speakers Can Use a Flip Chart Effectively Part 1, it appeared in the Write Conversation on Monday, February 11, 2019. Here are the main points from it:
  • Find an adjustable flip chart stand with a case.
  • Adjust the height of the flip chart yourself.
  • Make sure the flip chart stand has wheels that lock.
  • Buy a flip chart with lined paper.
  • Use a flip chart that comes with adhesive sheets.

Now let’s go into Part 2. 

Write first. Then talk.
Most people who write on a flip chart tend to have their back to the audience. You don’t want to have your back to the audience any more than you want them to have their back to you. If you must write, stand sideways, write a little, and then talk. 

Write the main points on the flip chart ahead of time.
To help you maintain eye contact with your audience, write out the main points ahead of time. I find it easier to have a minimum of the main points or key words filled in before the presentation. If that’s what you decide to do, allow enough time to complete that process.

Like many things, it takes longer to do something than we allotted for. If you’re in a hurry, count on Murphy’s Law, “If anything can go wrong, it will,” to kick in. If I think a project will take half an hour to complete, I allow double or triple that amount of time. 

Make sure the writing is legible.
If your printing is difficult to read, find someone else to write on the flip chart for you. You can usually find a willing person with beautiful printing, who will rescue you and the audience from illegible printing.

Notice that I mention printing. Clear, simple printing ensures that your audience can read the flip chart. Cursive proves more of a challenge.

Work with one or two colors of markers.
The use of too many colors may distract or overstimulate your audience. Therefore, limit yourself to one or two colors of markers.

Avoid the combination of red and green. It is the most common form of color blindness with blue-yellow next. 

Some teachers believe that the red-green combination could also distract participants with thoughts of the Christmas season. They also believe the orange-black combo could steal the focus of others with visions of Halloween.

On the other hand, I taught students from elementary school through college for several years. I took advantage of each of the holidays or seasons to enhance the discussion and make my points. I still do that with an adult audience.

Orange, yellow, and red can be difficult to see. However, you can use orange and red if they are deep, vibrant colors. 

The audience can more easily see black and a deep vibrant green. 

Make sure the markers don’t bleed on the following pages.
 Sometimes I prepare pages at home on the kitchen counter. I place paper bags from the grocery store split in two under them. That way, I don’t ruin the counter.

I don’t use newspapers under the pages because newsprint leaves smudges of black newsprint on my counter.

For your presentation, you can use sticky notes to signal where your next prepared adhesive sheet is. 
To wrap up, here are the main points:
  • Write first. Then talk.
  • Write the main points on the flip chart ahead of time.
  • Make sure the writing is legible.
  • Work with one or two colors of markers.
  • Make sure the markers don’t bleed on the following pages.

Tools for Writers & Speakers, How Writers & Speakers Can Use a Flip Chart Effectively, Part 2 - @YvonneOrtega1 on @EdieMelson (Click to Tweet)

Tips for using a flip chart when you speak - @YvonneOrtega1 on @EdieMelson (Click to Tweet)

Yvonne Ortega speaks with honesty and humor as she shares her life and struggles through presentations that help women find comfort, peace, and purpose. Her background as a licensed professional counselor gives her a unique perspective into the heart of women. Her counseling experiences in jails, prisons, and outpatient services add depth and humor to her presentations, as do her years of teaching mostly high school and college Spanish. Her presentations are interactive and down-to- earth with application for the audience from God’s Word and his promises. 

Yvonne is also a speaking and writing coach and the owner of Moving from Broken to Beautiful®, LLC. She is the author of four books: Finding Hope for Your Journey through Breast Cancer, Moving from Broken to Beautiful: 9 Life Lessons to Help You Move Forward, Moving from Broken to Beautiful® through Forgiveness, and Moving from Broken to Beautiful® through Grief

Yvonne is a member of the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA), the Christian Authors Network (CAN), the National Speakers Association (NSA), and Toastmasters International. 


  1. Very helpful and practical advice in both of these posts. Thank you!

  2. Thank you for the great ideas Yvonne. :-)

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    Just wanted to say keep up the great work!