Thursday, 18 October 2007

Should you be giving handouts?

Handouts have two roles in a presentation, the first is to reinforce the learning points in more detail, for example, if you need to present data that is too detailed for the slides, and secondly, to provide a summary of the whole presentation for those arriving late, didnt attend or need to communicate the key messages to secondary audiences. Presentation handouts are not copies of the slides, this is the lazy presenters version of handouts, and correctly designed slides will make little sense without the verbal input of the presenter.

A word of caution, as soon as you hand out any form of written material, the audience will automatically skim through it to the end eliminating any effect your hard hitting conclusion or startling statistics that you may have had. Hand them out at an appropriate time, either during or at the end to help alleviate this.