Preparation is key. And while we'll be focusing on the use of flip charts as this is what we tend to find most useful at CPI, and we know our Certified Instructors tend to use them, this guidance applies for other display methods too.
Preparing a flip chart
The heading page of your flip chart should have course name, duration, the instructor name/s, then the bottom half of the flip chart page can be divided down the middle.
One one side of that you can document any housekeeping elements such as covid rules, where the toilets are, first aid, what to do in the event of a fire and what the expectations are around phones etc. Parking and smoking could also be covered if that level of specific information is required.
The other side can be about course timings. You should identify start time, any breaks, lunch but also make clear that the timings will be kept flexible so breaks fit naturally within the content of the training programme
Also, you should inform attendees of a finish time, though as this time may vary depending on information sent out to participants ensure expectations are managed and that there is some sort of agreement with the group. Finish time will be dependent on time keeping throughout the day (trainees returning from breaks on time etc) and the focus will be to ensure the amount of necessary training for that day is completed.
Having flip charts prepared has mulitple advantages including helping to refamiliarise yourself with the course content, especially if you’ve been doing other things and maybe haven’t trained for a while.
And for the activities it enables you to plan how the day/s will go and will enable you to make effective use of the time allowed. Checking how many participants you’ll be expecting beforehand will help decide how many groups you will have and even if that number varies when people start to turn up, you can still put the preparations for the activities in place.
By using and preparing your flip charts you can move from module to module considerably easier than without them. It also helps keep activity timings on track, as we know the days are often filled, so time is of the essence. If your day is on track we find we get better engagement and feedback from the activities which enhance learner knowledge and skills.
Having flip charts for physical skills
is also beneficial, as it shows what is going to be covered and can mitigate some of the questions that might be asked. Participants sometimes want to get ahead of themselves with all the various scenarios or the ‘what if’ type of questions.
The list of skills is also useful to help in the practice of them, as some people really engage with the physical skills, perhaps more than the theoretical component of the programme, and we may need to remind participants there is a lot to cover.
All in all, taking time to prepare your flip charts - or whatever diaply tool you use - is well worth it and it takes some of the pressure off you, as a trainer, during the programme.
If you'd like to become a Certified Instructor for one of our programmes so you can train back to those within your organisation, see our Find Training
page for dates and venues near you.