Anyone who has ever written on a whiteboard(dry erase board) knows that the skill is a little different than regular writing, and the final result might be disappointing if you're lacking in actionable strategies on how to improve your whiteboard writing. If you're looking for some easy ways to make your handwriting more legible and even attractive on dry erase boards, take a look at these tips.
Use Black Marker Is Always Clear and Easy to Read
When you enter a classroom or work meeting room, you might find dry-erase markers in a rainbow of colors, making it easy to get sidetracked with color selection. But don't forget that just as black is the classic tuxedo color, it's also ideal as your dry-erase marker color. Black and white look clean and classic together, making even slightly sloppy writing look a little easier to look at, and black has an optimal ability to contrast against a white background, so it's easier to read even from far away. You can still use other colors as accents, especially if you're trying to draw attention to important words.
It's especially effective to use accent colors if you plan on setting up your whiteboard before your audience arrives. So that you don't have to spend as much mental effort deciding which colors to use when you're trying to focus on your presentation and answering questions.
Adjust your letter size proportionately
While the "bigger-is-better" maxim isn't always true, when it comes to whiteboard writing, you should know that bigger writing can make understanding your message that much easier for your audience. Larger writing is easier to see even from the back row. You can use your hand as a guide to knowing how large you should go with the text size, using two to four fingers width for the height of the font. This size will ensure that people in the back row of the average-size classroom or meeting room can see your text, assuming that they have good eyesight or are wearing corrective lenses for poor eyesight. If you are using a large size whiteboard in a bigger room, make sure to adjust your letter size proportionately.
Make Sure Your Whiteboard Markers Write Well
There's nothing more frustrating than being in the audience and trying to follow what someone is saying when you're distracted by the fact that you can't see the faint writing on the board and the person giving the presentation hasn't seemed to notice that the marker that they're using is dead. Whether you're a teacher or a boss, investing in a new pack of whiteboard markers once every few months can make it a lot easier for your audience to be able to see what you're writing.
Markers lose their ability to write clear lines when they get old, causing the ink to dry out, and when they get used a lot, which means that you've run out of all available ink. You should increase your markers' writing ability by storing them vertically on the whiteboard if they have a magnet instead of leaving them in the tray at the bottom. Additionally, don’t forget to put the cap on after using them, which helps to avoid the markers drying out. For best results, use a Maxtek marker.
Plan Structure of Your Whiteboard Space
If you've ever been writing on a whiteboard and realized that you're nearing the far right end of the whiteboard, your writing size might have become smaller, or you might have used some sloppy techniques to fit it all in the space. Additionally, if you're lacking structure on your whiteboard, it's more difficult for your audience to make sense of the overall main points of what you're saying. That's why you should plan out your whiteboard space, especially if you are using a Maxtek rolling whiteboard which offers you double space to output information.
One way to make your whiteboard look more organized is to split it up into sections before you even begin writing. For instance, you could have a sidebar about off-topic points, a header section about the overall goals, and a footer section about any references that your audience can look into to further understand the topics that you're discussing. When you break your whiteboard into familiar formats that people are already used to seeing in books and on websites, you're making it easier for your audience to understand the overall aims of your presentation.
Add In Special Jazzed-Up Symbols
You can make your whiteboard writing a lot more aesthetically appealing by spicing it up with some extra-bold symbols. For instance, rather than adding a simple line arrow, make it stand out by drawing a bolder block arrow shape and adding in some highlighting with a distinctive color and some shading. You can also add hatching, squiggles, and dots to make the symbols stand out more.
Learn to Draw Less Common Symbols
A well-placed symbol can add functionality and visual relief to a whiteboard writing, especially if you have time to draw the symbols ahead of time and will be referencing them throughout a longer talk. For instance, some common symbols for business presentations are phones, cars, factories, emails, documents, and many more. You can find ideas for how to create symbols by searching through online databases of symbols and by using Google Image Search and typing in "icon".
Lefties Should Be Prepared
If it feels like the world was created for right-handed individuals, you're right. Many things are more challenging for lefties, but there are some things that you can do about the challenges that come with writing on the whiteboard as a left-handed person. For instance, your grip on the marker and overall posture can affect how often you smudge your own writing. You can reduce the amount of smudging that occurs by using a smudge-resistant glove, too.
Use All Caps as Emphasis
Be wise about when you use all caps. It can be tempting to use them a lot when you want to be able to make your lettering clear by making it larger, but when you use all caps, it can be overwhelming on the eyes, and you lose an extra bit of variation that you can add into your overall whiteboard design. Instead, use all caps to add emphasis on a particular phrase.
Slow Down Your Writing
If you step back and look at your whiteboard writing only to realize that it's a sloppy mess, you need to look into what's causing this sloppiness. You might reflect and realize that it's your hurried pace. Lots of people worry about losing their train of thought and forgetting what they're writing, so they try to hurry through it. Unfortunately, this often leads to nearly illegible writing. Slowing down your writing will improve your lettering, and it will improve your ability to plan out space and any special techniques that you want to incorporate to make the board look better.
Throw Out the Cursive
Not only is cursive no longer taught in classrooms, making it near-impossible for many younger people to read, but it's not the easiest type of writing for people who have been using cursive for decades to read on a whiteboard. Standard print tends to be simpler to read because it's, well, standard. A lot of people who were taught cursive have also created their own unique amalgamations of cursive and print, which aren't always as familiar to others. Give your audience a break and keep it simple with print.
Include Non-Marker Elements
No, we're not saying that you should write on a whiteboard with anything other than a dry-erase marker. But you can add in a non-marker element, such as post-it notes, which can be used to increase audience participation without greatly increasing the amount of time that you spend. For instance, you can pose a question, ask each audience member or student to write down a response, and tell them to put their response within a quadrant on the board. You could make quadrants based on the degree to which they're committed to their answer. You can get creative, but the point is that there are a number of non-marker tools that you can incorporate into a lesson or presentation. if you are using whiteboards with magnetic buttons, then just stick whatever you want to show on the board. We recommend using a Maxtek Whiteboard which offers you magnets for free.
Become Adept at Other Types of Text
While regular line print and even block lettering can be useful, you might decide that you actually like outline text or another less common type of text. While you shouldn't make bubble letters all over the board, you might find that it tonally fits well for certain topics and presentations. For instance, if you work for a toy company that makes figurines, a pop of bubble letters in the header section of your whiteboard writing might be tonally right. You might also use special fonts if you're making a whiteboard to display to passersby rather than for a presentation, such as what might be outside the door at a conference where you're giving a presentation.
When you have a classroom or boardroom presentation to give, having clear and attractive whiteboard writing can make your overall ideas pop even better. Whiteboards are essential tools in the classroom and in business, and taking some time to learn more whiteboard writing skills can make you stand out in your job or even as a student. Incorporate just a few of the tips that most resonate with you the next time that you need to make a presentation as a way of slowly finding the techniques that will best work for you and your audience.
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