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5 Super Tips For Enhancing Flip Charts

©copyright by Robert (Bob) W. Lucas

1.  Use Colored Icons or Bullets in various shapes that relate to your topic in order to visually tie to written text and the program theme. Here are some examples:

  • For training on telephone skills, use small telephones or headsets;
  • For customer service skills, use small smile faces or faces with various expressions;
  • For travel related training, use cars, boats, ships, airplanes, etc.
  • For EEO or legal training, use justice scales; and
  • For technical skills, use small computers or other equipment.

2.   Use Colored Shapes Around Text to set off the words from surrounding material. For examples, you might use clouds, stars, circles, bursting bombs, or geometric shapes drawn in various colors to highlight a concept, word or phrase.

3.   Attach Key Concepts Written on Cut Out Shapes that you then attach to the page with either tape, Velcro, or artist’s adhesive. For example, “bright ideas” might be elicited from learners and written on light bulb cut outs in various colors. Learners could then come up, attach their idea to a sheet of paper and discuss their idea. Post the pages for everyone to view and note during breaks.

4.   Add Borders to Pages with either colored markers or colored tape. You can tie to program themes by adding images related to the topic. For example, if you are discussing selling or doing business in another country, choose images that relate to that country.

5.   Add Images that are done in various colors. Cartoon characters, caricatures, simple stick figures and similar figures are great. Go to Microsoft Word® toolbar to Insert/ Picture/Clip Art for ideas. If you cannot draw well, and have an overhead projector still sitting around, you can make copies of images on transparency film, project it onto a flip chart page and trace it!  You can also create a slide and project it on paper to trace.


The Emotion of Color




Stimulates and evokes excitement, passion, power, energy, anger, intensity.  Also, can indicate "stop," negativity, financial trouble or shortage.


Indicates caution, warmth, mellowness, positive meaning, optimism and cheerfulness. It can also stimulate thinking and visioning.

Dark Blue

Depending on shade, can relax, soothe, indicate maturity, and evoke trust, and tranquility or peace.

Light Blue

Cool, youthful, or masculine image can be projected.


Projects assertiveness or boldness, youthfulness and contemporary image. Often used as a sign of royalty, richness, spirituality, or power.


Can indicate high energy or enthusiasm. Emotional and sometimes stimulates positive thinking. Organic image can result.


An earth tone that creates a feeling of security, wholesomeness, strength, support, and a lack of pretentiousness.


Can remind of nature, productivity, positive image, moving forward or "go," comforting, growth, or financial success or prosperity. Also, can give a feeling of balance.


Illustrates prestige, status, wealth, elegance, or conservative image.


Projects a youthful, feminine, or warm image.


Typically used to illustrate purity, cleanliness, honesty, wholesomeness, enhance colors used and provide visual relaxation.


Represents a lack of color. Creates sense of independence, completeness and solidarity. Often used to indicate financial success, death, seriousness or heaviness of situation.

Chart source: Lucas, R. W., The Big Book of Flip Charts, McGraw-Hill, New York, NY (1999)


Bob Lucas, B.S., M.A., M.A, CPLP is an internationally-known author and learning and performance professional. He has written and contributed to thirty-seven books and compilations. He regularly conducts creative training, train-the-trainer, customer service, interpersonal communication and management and supervisory skills workshops. Bob can be reached at

or through his website Follow his creative training blog at and like him at

©2019 ATD of Chattanooga

Chattanooga Area Chapter of ATD
P.O. Box 28214
Chattanooga, TN 37424

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