flip chart

Flip Chart


Solid Elements


What is a Flip Chart?

A flip chart is poster-sized paper that can be prepared in advance and hung on the wall around a training room or posted on an easel and used in the moment to highlight or emphasize key learning points.

Other Common Names for Flip Charts

You wouldn’t really call a flip chart by one of these names, but they are all in the same category of tools you can use to write on in front of a group.

  • White board
  • Chalk board

What to look for when Buying a Flip Chart

Flip charts are a wonderful tool for groupwork and teaching all sorts of concepts. They are better than your average chalk board or whiteboard if you want to have some artifact from the training session. There are some key features to look for when buying a flip chart. While it is tempting to find the cheapest, you will find that your training session deserves higher quality. When buying flip chart pads, look for:
  • Quality paper that is less likely to bleed through (paired with high quality markers like Mr. Sketch)
  • Perforated edges so you can easily move individual pieces of flip chart paper to a wall or window
  • Nice sticky edge that will stay on the wall
  • Optional: If you don’t have a flip chart stand or need a tablet for each table, consider the type that stand on their own.

If you have a stand, these flip chart tablets are hard to beat. Post It brand are the best we’ve found for sticking these to the wall.

The challenge with table top flip charts is that they just never stand up as well. We won’t claim these do a great job at that, but the smaller size makes these ideal for group work. Even laying flat on the table they work well.

Key Properties of a Good Flipchart

  • Pad of oversized paper
  • Flexibility allows for sheets to remain on the easel, be torn off and used by individuals or groups
  • A high quality sticky backing allows a flipchart to be posted on the wall of a training room
flip chart for training

Substitute a Flip Chart for these Overused elements

With some of these helpful hints and ideas for how best to use a flipchart in mind, you can use this element as a substitute for several other commonly (over)used elements on our periodic table, including:

audience response systemsAudience Response

If you want to know how your participants feel about something, how much they know about something, or if you simply want them to cast a vote during your session, then giving them small, round voting dot stickers and asking them to place them on a flipchart can be a quick, analogue alternative to audience response software.

powerpointMicrosoft PowerPoint

I’ve delivered multi-day train-the-trainer and presentation skills courses without the use of a single PowerPoint slide to illustrate that you don’t need to use PowerPoint to have an effective, engaging session. While you don’t need to take things to my extreme on a regular basis, being able to add a visual element using flipcharts in the front of the room or posted around the room can keep key concepts in front of your learners for the duration of your training session.


There are times when key points are distributed to your learners in the form of pre-printed handouts. If your participants won’t need those key points after the session, you can save some trees by eliminating some that handout and simply using a prepared flipchart page.

Flip chart advice that brian would prefer to write on a flip chart

Whats Your Formula book
Order your copy to learn more about flip charts and all of the related elements.

Elements closely related to flip charts

When you’ve chosen to bring flipcharts into a training session, you may wish to forge bonds with one or more of the following elements:

lesson planLesson Plan

Clearly marking which activities require a flipchart will ensure you know when and how to use this element when the time comes during your session.


One way to make a traditional lecture more dynamic is to write key points on a flipchart as they are brought up, helping focus participant attention on the salient information.

adult learningAdult Learning

Allowing participants the opportunity to discuss concepts in small groups, capture a summary of those discussions on a flipchart, and then present back to the larger group is one way to honor the autonomous nature of adult learners.

mr. sketch markersMr. Sketch Markers

Be sure you have the correct writing instrument to create vivid imagery and bold print on your flipchart so your learners take away your key points.

visual designVisual Design

While you don’t have to be an artist to use a flipchart, it doesn’t mean you should scribble your way through the use of this element. Carefully laying out key points, content, and images will help your learners process the information more easily.


Any time you generate a training session using Soapbox, you’ll want to have a tablet of flipchart paper available. Soapbox takes some basic information about your presentation and quickly generates activities designed to engage your audience, such as small group discussions or group brainstorming. Other Soapbox-generated activities, such as the gallery walk or a poster session, will ask that the trainer or the participants generate content on a flipchart page and post it on the wall. Then everyone will be asked to file past the series of exhibits or posters around the room, noting key concepts or content.


Download the Element Sanity Check

Even if you haven’t yet purchased the book (what are you waiting for?!) you can get access to worksheets that will help guide you through the use of the elements of amazing learning experiences.