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Why I use Flip Charts not PPT Slides


Want to retain something you just heard - draw a doodle.

Want to engage learners - get them active.

Want to teach someone a skill - have them teach you.

Want to change some behavior - make it fun.

In all of these techniques the trick is to invert the traditional training paradigm.  The classroom was created to process children with unique talents into factory workers willing to follow directions of an authority.

Doodlers, unite! Sunni Brown on TED.com

Read Sharon Bowman's 'Training from the BACK of the Room!'.

Don't think you can doodle - come out of the closet with these techniques from Dan Roam 'Back of the Napkin'.

Maybe it all comes down to improvement, and the need to iterate - to recreate to improve.

One can not doodle on the power-point slide one the screen. One can not quickly annotate a burndown chart in that spreadsheet (a learning moment). One can not give the marker to a participant and have them draw a diagram on your slide deck. You do not get their mental model of the problem domain when you show them your perfect architectural layer model. While sitting in perfect rows and columns the students are not allowed to engage with each other - only by signaling the authority (raising a hand) may the student (receiver of info) become active in the dialogue. Is that fun?

A Brief History of Napkins, From Soft Dough to Paper by Ernie Smith.

I encourage people to mark on the charts and diagrams on the flip charts - they really are not works of art. They do not have to be treated like paintings hanging in a museum. I've gotten in "trouble" for annotating (with sticky notes) a poster hanging in the work place. Oh-my, it started a conversation about the topic, what is wrong with that?  I didn't draw a mustache on the Mona Lisa.

If the traditional paradigm is not working - try an inversion principle.


This RSAnimate video was adapted from a talk given at the RSA by Sir Ken Robinson, world-renowned education and creativity expert.

Maybe the reason this technique works has something to do with the concept of texture in architecture - why some over-designed spaces don't attract people to congregate, contrary to the designer's intent.  See "Why Glass Towers are Bad for City Life - and What We Need Instead" by Justin Davidson's TED Talk.




See Also:
Recreate to Improve
Captivate Your Audience Using Simple Illustrations by David Neal
Why I Use a Paper Kanban Board - by johanna
Why Paper is the Real Killer App - BBC


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