While most presenters focus on making effective PowerPoint presentations, handouts are also essential tools for clearly understanding topics.
Handouts aren’t suited for all situations like inspirational talks, for example. Business presentations, however, require more complex information and data. In this case, provide your audience with hard copies that summarize your message.
Handouts should reflect your overall business presentation, but don’t print out all your slides. Include only what is relevant—plan what your handouts should contain and only include keywords which drive your main points.
Explaining everything in one sitting might lose your audience’s interest because they’re burdened with too much information.
At the same time, presentation trainer Olivia Mitchell encourages the use of white space in handouts to let audience members write down any important questions or ideas they have while you deliver.
Instead of separating you from them, it actually helps you engage them more.
How Is It Important?
Handouts are great for business presentations that demand detailed explanations, especially when you’re maximizing your time while presenting your ideas.
While this isn’t a prerequisite when you do a presentation, it’s one way of making it more memorable for your audience.
Though practice and preparation prevent you from forgetting some of your key points, it’s still significant to give time for making your handout to avoid leaving your audience hanging.
When Should You Give Handouts?
Give them out before, during, or after your presentation. Each time period has its pros and cons.
Providing handouts beforehand might make them think they don’t need to listen to your presentation since they already have the information. They can also be distracted reading your handouts instead of paying attention to your speech.
But if you do choose to distribute before the presentation, let your handouts serve as a guide, not a distraction.
On the other hand, giving handouts during the presentation lets you interact with your audience and makes them feel involved. People can write down their ideas and notes on these interactive handouts, making them feel more invested in what you have to say.
If you choose to distribute handouts after the presentation, advise your audience before you begin. Inform them that you’ll provide a summary, so they won’t be distracted by listing down complex data or facts.
It’s not an issue at what point in your presentation you distribute your handouts. What’s important is that you engage and capture your audience’s attention.
Knowing your handouts’ benefits makes your presentation more memorable. They can be kept for future reference since they’re printed materials, helping your audiences remember your company after your presentation.
Giving your audience something to review lets them recall your presentation’s key message. SlideGenius can help you craft printed materials containing stand-out texts and visuals.
Take a look at our portfolio, or contact us. All it takes is fifteen minutes.
Download free PowerPoint templates now.
Get professionally designed PowerPoint slides weekly.Sign Up Now
“13 Best Practice Tips for Effective Presentation Handouts.” Speaking about Presenting. Accessed June 5, 2015.
“A Quick Guide to Presentation Handouts.” SlideGenius PowerPoint Design & Presentation Experts. 2014. Accessed June 5, 2015.
“Presentation Tips: 5 Quick Steps to Audience Engagement.” SlideGenius, Inc. December 16, 2014. Accessed June 5, 2015.
“Using Handouts.” Total Communication. Accessed June 5, 2015.