International City Toastmasters Open House - 5/21/2013
Steering Committee Meeting - 5/22/2013
JusticeMasters Coffee & Conversation Speak-a-thon - 5/25/2013
by Maria Markosov
1) When planning your flyer think about who is looking at it. People like it light, easy to read and simple. Number 3 in the CC manual--Get to the Point.
2) You can use Word, Publisher, Powerpoint, Illustrator, Quark, Photoshop and any other graphics program to "create" the flyer, but after it's designed, you want to make sure you can save or convert it to PDF format, which is nowadays universally available on anyone's computer to see text/picture files.
3) Choose a program you are most comfortable with. Think major elements to small elements. What are the most important things we need to see?
What it is (i.e. Area Contest) - Primary element
When it is (Date and Time) - Main element
Where it is (Location/Parking/Map) - Main element
Cost (preregistration info and at the door info). If it's free, make sure to mention that as well. - Main element
Who to contact for info (email and phone--keep it to one person, we're not choosing favorites here) - Main element
Then there are the more minor things you might want to include:
Specifics of the program, Who should come...
So now you know you prioritized the sections of info you have: 1 primary element and 4 main elements and a couple of minor elements. So format the page according to that hierarchy of importance.
4) Space space space. Don't jam-pack your flyer. Better to reduce font size and create more space between elements than cram everything together. Space allows the eye to see everything more clearly. It's cleaner.
5) My opinion is only include a map if it's absolutely necessary like it's hard to find using any other method, or if parking is not obvious. See Tip 10 for further discussion on this.
6) Use a theme to make it all come together. If your theme is beach, use a couple of beach images, but keep it simple, neat, uncluttered. A little goes a long way. If you use too many graphics or pictures, you'll distract people from seeing the important info in the flyer.
7) Sometimes it's helpful to look in magazines at advertisements and how they are laid out. You can get ideas there especially if you want to stand out and be original or you just want it to look nice. Try not to use dark or edgy colors for the background unless you really know what you are doing. There are also a lot of nice design sites out there to get ideas on backgrounds and layouts. Look at wedding invitations and other announcement type stuff. You can get a lot of ideas, pretty much everywhere you look, restaurant menus, posters, movie ads, billboards... pay special attention to space in relation to font size. An outstanding resource is The Non-Designer's Design Book.
8) To keep the pdf file size down, and if you are using any Microsoft program to create the flyer, click on any image in your document, the picture toolbar should come up. If not, try the View menu, toolbars, picture. Click on the compress pictures icon, then click on the options to crop and compress all pics in the document. Then save. Then print, convert or save to PDF depending on your operating system.
9) Don't forget about the wonderful world of googling. You can google things like "Reduce my file size in Microsoft Word", "Compress my pictures in ...", and you'll come up with lots of good advice. A file size of more than 300-400kb for a flyer is too much.
10) Try to keep your flyer to 1 page--with the possible exception of conferences, but then you are getting into brochure territory. There's really no need to make it two pages, just to add a map or add parking info. Think about it. When you see major announcements for events in a magazine or newspaper, do they feel the need to add maps and parking info on a whole new page most of the time? No, not really. They believe in our ability to find things in this world. I've never used the maps on the toastmasters flyers I've seen, and yet, I've still managed to find my way to that community center.
And with that, happy flyering.
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