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Seb Anthony

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Flip Charts-Am I the only one?


Am I the only one to loathe flip charts hung on rail racks!
They are usually so distant from the delegates, invariably rip when being turned over and are useless removed and propped on a desk .In short, of limited use.A small break out group can cluster round one but that seems it!

My heart sank when I ran a course yesterday on equal opportunities,and the rail was there! And of course no easel alternative?

Any case for their defence?


[email protected]
William Chadwick

11 Responses

  1. I agree flipcharts on walls don’t work
    I’m glad you also have a fear of rails and charts on walls. I agree with you I have a lovely training room which for some reason the landlord has decked out with all sorts of charts and screens on rails. Looks lovely but totally impractical. I love my freestanding flipchart and sure it cost 1/2 the price.

  2. Not a problem
    Take the pages off once they’ve been written on and stick them up round the room. This also means they are always visible, rather than making the easy mistake of having the good points that have been written down diappear as you turn over the pages.
    Small groups can write on blank pages on the floor, on the table tops, wherever and stick them on the wall to present. It forces the training session to be a bit more active rather than dying by flip chart overdose.

  3. Still using flip charts
    I had the opportunity to be on the “design” team for our new meeting rooms. One of the people had a great idea. All of the old conference rooms had the chair rails on the walls so the chairs don’t scuff the walls. We put in a chart rail. It was about 2 meters from the floor. When you got done with a chart you tear off the sheet from easel and taped it to the rail. It has worked great. It also keeps people from pulling off the paint off the walls when the clean up the room.

    Just as a side note. As I prep the room for the session I make up a bunch of masking tape rolls and put them on the leg of the easel. Then I don’t have to spend session time messing with the big masking tape roll trying to get the end of the tape off the roll.

  4. i know how you feel
    I too love my flip chart – but – sshhhhhh ! – the wife doesn`t know about us

  5. Could this be the end of flip chart rails….
    I never have liked them….even the concept. The problem is that you end up with flips stuck at the same level around the room…and they never slip into the rail rack (as shown on tv), sometimes you want them to be stuck at different levels to highlight or draw attention to a particulr key theme etc…. I now purchase post-it note flips. These can prove expensive but the benefits far out-weigh the cost, with the beauty of ripping off a flip and placing it anywhere in the room….plus the ability of moving a flip hundreds of times without the fear of leaving masking tape, blue-tack etc behind!

  6. A shared view
    Bill I’m not able to offer a posititive about these flips but please don’t go off the rails. I also find the a safety hazard if you knock against them they are very easy to derail. Working in a Holiday Inn conference centre recently I had the conference manager proudly demonstrating the newly refurbished rooms – yes with track rails! Fortunately they still had easels and took the feedback on the rails very positively. I think I may have been in time to get them to review their policy and provide both styles. Would you believe they were going to dump the easels.
    As for a good thing about them – I can only guess the non-trainer that designed them thought they looked neat!

  7. Interactive Whiteboards
    I agree with what all of you have said. Try looking into an interactive white board and you’ll never go back to using flips, the best thing is that you never run out of paper as you can create and import items directly into any MS Office applicaton. The information can be recalled at any time during your sessions to add or edit sugestions as you go. Also if the board is conected to a PC via your companys email system you can email everything you have done on the board to the delegates desks. The technology used is plug & play so it can be used as a portable system with a laptop for more remote situations. You can present information using the web, Powerpoint or conected to your mainframe.

    They cost between £1500-£4000 depends on the size of the board.

    Does this help, any more qusetions you have just email.

  8. Flipcharts!
    I rarely have time to read the training zone mailing (even thotugh it is very useful. This question for some reason caught my imagination.

    Q: Where do you get post it note flipchart pads seems a great idea.

    I have just purchased an interactive whiteboard from Sahara using Minimo technology I bought this with an SVGA projector the package cost less than £2500 (no financial advantage for me in providing this info. Just a satisfied customer. Works great no more writing up flips!

    Instead of using the rails and tape, why not place metal strips around the room, buy some magnets and use these to stick posters and flips on. Low cost and useful.

  9. I hate them too
    In addition to all the problems you outline, it’s impossible to write on them without turning your back on the audience. I don’t know of a single trainer who likes them, and yet every conference/training centre has them. Clearly a case of the designers not consulting the customer.

  10. I know of on person
    I feel the same way as Jacqueline when I have to use a flip chart.

    I do know of a person who does write on a flip chart and still looks at the participants during her presentation. It had such an impact that I talked to her on a break. She felt the same way and so she practiced writing from the side. She would put a flip chart in her living room and practice writing things from the TV. She said it took some time, but she got good. She said it has made a bing difference when she does presentations.

    So it can be done, I’ve seen it.


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