Presenting, selling and training with a whiteboard is on the rise. But are your whiteboard presentations truly helping your cause—or hurting your credibility? Use this 10-point quiz to see. Score your skills to find out how you rate.

We all dread business meetings with tons of bulleted PowerPoints, boring briefs and dull demos. But when you jump to the whiteboard and scratch out a solution, are you really helping or hurting your results?

In many of the training classes I’ve taught, top executives and sales professionals alike share the same concerns. Here’s how it sounds:

“I swear I can’t draw a straight line.”
“I flunked out of art class.”
“I’m the one you can’t teach.”

It’s quite common. A lot of smart people believe they have zero artistic talent. Frankly, many people may be correct in this self-assessment. But it doesn’t have to stay that way.

Artistic talent is not, and I repeat, not required to be effective at a whiteboard. Shocking, right? Instead, what is needed is a commitment to learn the steps, use the principles, practice and get personal coaching. With a disciplined approach, you can learn precisely how to give whiteboard presentations that win results.

1. I never plan my whiteboard. I work best when I get into ‘the zone’ and ‘wing it.’
True False
2. I never practice lettering. I just apologize for chicken scratch and keep going.
True False

3. I never use anything besides stick figures. I couldn’t draw anything else if I tried.
True False

4. I believe the research stands on it’s own. I just whiteboard because that’s the trend these days.
True False

5. I avoid the whiteboard. I only use it if the power goes out and I can’t show my PowerPoints.
True False

6. I prefer to use a demo. The whiteboard takes too long and requires expert skills.
True False

7. I’m the expert. Whiteboard presenting is beneath me.
True False

8. I don’t see why whiteboards are so important. I provide briefs, data charts and handouts just like I’ve always done.
True False

9. I wrote a dissertation on this topic. I find that whiteboards oversimplify complex issues. I never use them.
True False

10. I will write an agenda on the whiteboard. But after that, I think it’s overrated as a collaboration tool.
True False

Where do you stand? Tally up your scores. For every ‘true’ give yourself a score of -10 points. For every ‘false’ score, give yourself a score of +10.

If you have any minus points, get some training. If you have serious scores such as -30, -60, and beyond, get help immediately. And on the other side of the spectrum, aim for the top score of +100. After all, you’re at the top of your game in every other way, why settle for less than a perfect 100?

But remember this: no matter how you score, you can learn these skills. Yes, even if you have a brain for numbers and not a single artistic bone in your body. Whiteboard success comes down to a simple set of rules and steps to follow.

If you want to be successful, learn the skills of visual language. It’s the only language you need for powerful whiteboard presentations.

Author's Bio: 

Milly Sonneman is a recognized expert in visual language. She is the co-director of Presentation Storyboarding, a leading presentation training firm, and author of the popular guides: Beyond Words and Rainmaker Stories available on Amazon. Milly helps business professionals give winning presentations, through Email Marketing skills trainings at Presentation Storyboarding. You can find out more about our courses or contact Milly through our website at: