Thursday, April 18th, 2013
Get Stingy with Presentation Handouts!
What’s the first thing you do when you walk into a workshop or meeting and see there are handouts? You flip through them right?
So does everyone else. So you might be asking “what’s the big deal?” The big deal is that if they’re flipping ahead of you, instead of listening to you, you’ll have to work twice as hard to keep their attention and have them remember what you’re trying to say. I always recommend getting stingy with your handouts. It doesn’t mean avoid having them, it just means get creative about how you use them. Here are some ideas that I share with my clients:
- Give them at the end as a “leave behind” so they can review your presentation again at a later time.
- Hand them out at the first specific chart or graph that needs additional explanation. FYI, if you just said to yourself, “I never use charts and graphs” then you certainly don’t need handouts, and you should come see me about how you can add them in the future!
- Give a slimmed down version to your audience, so they need you to help them through the slide. This will prevent them from “reading ahead.”
It’s always best to get feedback about how you’ve used your handouts in the past, so you can get a sense of how well you’re balancing them, your PowerPoint, other visual aids an audience interaction. Self-awareness is key for every presenter, no matter how big or small the audience.
Give these options a try, so you can communicate and connect!
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