What Great Trainers Do: The Ultimate Guide to Delivering Engaging and Effective Learning

By Robert Bolton; Dorothy Grover Bolton | Go to book overview

8
Creating and Using Flip Charts

Even though we live in a world of multimedia, PowerPoint and webinar meetings, the basic flip
chart is so useful you cannot get rid of it! …

——Graham Jones1

In previous chapters we focused on the verbal aspects of presenting. In this and the following chapter we’ll suggest ways to enhance your presentations with two visual aids that are frequently used by trainers:
Flip charts (also called easel charts) created prior to the workshop.
Trainer-built charts created by the trainer while conducting the session.

Here’s a bit of history for you. John Patterson, the founder of National Cash Register Company (NCR) and the creator of the first sales training school, was one of the first executives to grasp the importance of visual aids in the workplace.2 His early sales experience led him to believe that the eye is more impacted upon than the ear. After reviewing the research of the day, Patterson found that the optic nerve is twenty-two times stronger than the nerve controlling hearing. On the basis of that information, he bolstered his sales presentations with blackboards and easel charts. His use of these simple visuals was enormously successful. Knowing a good thing when he saw it, Patterson put easel pads and charts in all NCR showrooms, factories, and offices to support selling, manufacturing, and training. His firm’s mastery of presenting with flip charts was a significant contributor to NCR’s early success.

In the following years, the humble flip chart became one of the training field’s most frequently used visual aids. With the advent of slideware, however, trainers downplayed the role of flip charts as an aid to learning. Although flip charts are about as low

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