A few easy-to-adopt techniques can greatly improve your whiteboard presentations and, thus, make your business meetings or your classroom lessons more effective. Author and trainer Yuri Malishenko says you need just two simple techniques to master effective use of a whiteboard. Those are:
1) Fast and legible handwriting,
2) Fast and simple drawings.
For handwriting, don’t use cursive or calligraphy style of writing, Malishenko cautions.
He also advises always writing in black color – making sure your dry erase marker has sufficient ink or that you have spare markers available.
For writing, Malisheko, like other whiteboard observers, promotes use of block letters. It will take some time to learn to write in that manner, but the learning curve is not great. Start with all capital letters. Keep the letters simple, with no serifs or other decorative elements that can slow down writing and can make the letters harder to see.
With your block letter writing style determined, you’ll need to get a sense of how that lettering will fill the board, so you don’t run out of space and start writing smaller and smaller.
For drawings, Malishenko says to focus on learning about 50 visual elements “that are slightly more complex than written letters.”
Some drawings are common and could be used in any environment, while others will be more specific to your business sector or to the classes you teach. “Don’t be shy to show people and emotions in your diagrams.,” he writes. “When you put a person into a diagram, the discussion becomes less abstract as participants will imagine themselves in the context of the discussed situation.”
Use color markers for these icons only if appropriate, so you don’t distract from the topic.
Malishenko show examples of common drawings at his blog on the Medium platform.
Don’t wait for the next presentation – practice now, he concludes. “Just remember the rule of 3P — Practice, Practice, and Practice. Visual thinking is a skill, and just like sports, it can only get better when practiced.”
Dan Griffin 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, Dan excels in leadership, product development, business operations, continuous improvement and product marketing. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, with a focus on Marketing, from Temple University.