Peter Urs Bender   Previous Page  |  Next Page

Because handouts last long after you finish your presentation,
they must have a very polished look. Unlike the words you
utter, a mistake made in print is there for life! Be sure the
typing is neat and that your grammar and spelling are flawless.
     Space the type neatly for easy reading. Be certain that the
copies are clean and clear. Have a first class print shop do them
to be on the safe side. Use an off-colour paper so that your
handouts stand out and look different.

When to Distribute Your Handouts

If you can avoid it, do not present any printed material before
you begin your presentation, unless you absolutely must have
your audience read along as you speak. Handouts can distract
the listeners from paying attention to you.
     Explain your ideas first, then the printed material later
to reinforce your message. You may want to show the material
on an overhead transparency or slide, then pass the handout
at the end of your presentation. Be sure to tell the audience
that they will receive a copy later.
     However, there is no rule of thumb for handouts. You
might want to give the audience a printed outline of your main
points at the beginning so they can follow along. Other times
you will want to present your points orally and visually and
provide a detailed, printed summary at the end.
     Realize that handouts can distract the audience so use
them with care. If you distribute them during your presenta-
tion, do it quickly and efficiently. Organize your pages in
advance. When giving them out, pass several piles at once from
different points in the room.
     When you distribute your handouts, always say, "I hope
I have enough". This dramatically increases the perceived
value of the material. Everyone will want a copy if there seems
to be a shortage. Tell your audience what they should retain
from your handouts. Help them focus on the most important

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