The overlooked discussion about handouts…

Public Speaking and Presentation Skills

The overlooked discussion about handouts…

Clients will ask me if they should pass out their PowerPoint as a handout so that their audience can take it home to have the information from their talk in hand. I have a few thoughts about this question: 

One: Your PowerPoint presentation should only be used to enhance your message and not to be used as a TelePrompter. In other words, the information you share with your audience should not dominate your slides. Keep it simple. I have found the book, Presentation Zen by Garr Reynolds incredibly helpful for how to create simple slides that support your message.

Two: You should design a separate handout with the information you feel is important for them to have and to remember. I would also keep it simple and it should follow the same storyline that you presented.

Three: And this is debatable depending on who your audience is and the objectives of your talk. If you insist on a handout, I would wait to pass this out at the end of your talk so your audience can stay present with you rather than flipping through pages of information. If you have access to email addresses, a digital copy might be a nice alternative and an eco-friendly alternative, at that!


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