Messy handwriting? No drawing skills? Don’t worry; you can still use a whiteboard for effective meeting presentations, says Rex Hammock in his series on mastering whiteboard use.
Follow his tips, he advises, and you’ll not only make your presentations easier to follow, you’ll also get through meetings faster.
His approach came to mind one day, when, he says, “I realized I could do everything I needed to do on a whiteboard with just 5 things I learned in the first grade, before I was a washed-up illustrator at 7.”
His tips include keeping it simple, starting with the use of block letters — the kind you learned in first grade.
1) Print In Block Letters — Printing block letters is a better skill for writing on a whiteboard than script, Hammock advises. “Never use cursive on a whiteboard. Instead, remember how you printed in the first grade and practice remastering it.”
2) Don’t Shout —Use uppercase letters very sparingly, he says. “Like in an email, using ALL CAPs on a whiteboard is SHOUTING.”
3) Make It Meaningful – “If you use ALL CAPs words sparingly, they will come in handy when you REALLY, REALLY want to emphasize something,” Hammock notes.
4) Try Outlining Letters – Outlined letters also add emphasis, Hammock says, but he adds that some letters can take a bit of practice to master. “Ns” “Ms” and “Ws” take the most practice, according to Hammock.
5) Let Drawings Speak for Themselves – “Don’t use words to label drawings, unless you have to,” Hammock suggests. “Some whiteboard ‘how-tos’ suggest you print words next to certain drawings. I think that’s like telling people they’re idiots for not knowing that something that is the shape of a horse is a horse,” he says.
See more at Hammock’s advice on mastering whiteboard use.
Jim Muth is general manager of EVERWhite, a US manufacturer and seller of whiteboards and tack boards used for teaching, coaching, planning, collaboration and tracking. Along with his expertise in the use of whiteboards, Jim excels in leadership, new product development, business operations, lean manufacturing, continuous improvement and product marketing. He holds a bachelor of science degree in Industrial Technology, with a focus on Product Development and Design, from the University of Wisconsin-Stout.