Presentation Handouts

12 Tips to Prepare Handouts in a Presentation

A presentation handout is a presentation aid given to people attending a lecture, conference presentation, or talk. It helps them understand the main points and remember what was said. It’s not just an executive summary of the slides; it can include more details about each topic. This makes it easier for the audience to grasp the essential ideas and refer back to them later. 

A good handout adds extra value to a PowerPoint presentation by expanding on what was discussed and keeping the slides tidy. It can include dense facts and figures that might clutter the slides, making the presentation look clean and professional. 

Creating a presentation handout make it easier for the audience to follow along and remember the key points. They’re also handy for people who couldn’t attend the presentation but still want to know what was discussed. So, an effective presentation handout isn’t just helpful for the presenter, it’s useful for everyone involved.

Key Takeaways

  • Reinforce Memory: Creating a handout helps people remember key points from your presentation by allowing them to review the information later.
  • Detailed Information: Handouts enable you to delve deeper into topics without overwhelming your audience during the presentation, especially useful for complex subjects.
  • Enhanced Calls to Action: Including contact information or action prompts in handouts can facilitate follow-up actions, particularly beneficial in sales pitches or business presentations.
  • Potential Distractions: Handouts might distract attendees, draw attention away from your verbal presentation, and potentially spoil surprises if read ahead.
  • Information Security: Distributing sensitive information via handouts carries risks of unauthorized dissemination, potentially compromising confidentiality.
  • Strategic Distribution: Deciding when to distribute handouts depends on factors such as presentation style and audience dynamics, with options including before, during, or at the end of your presentation. Sharing beforehand can enhance focus and convenience for note-taking, while delaying distribution may seem punitive.

Pros and Cons of Using Presentation Handouts

Pros And Cons Of Handouts Presentation

Handouts in a presentation have advantages and disadvantages. Here’s a breakdown of the arguments for and against them.

Arguments for using handouts –  

Helps remember and reinforces points: Handouts are handy because they help people remember what you talked about. After your presentation, folks can take the papers home, review them again, and remember the important stuff. It keeps your presentation alive in their minds even after you’re done talking. 

Allows more details: You can’t cover every tiny detail during presentations. You want to keep it lively and engaging. Handouts come to the rescue here. They let you go into more depth without overwhelming your audience. You can explain technical stuff, timelines, and numbers better. This can be helpful, especially for internal company presentations where you must cover all bases. 

Strengthens the call to action: A good call to action make it easy for people to do what you want them to do. Handouts can make this happen. For example, in sales presentations, you can leave behind papers with all the info prospects need to contact you later. It simplifies things, especially if they need to talk it over with others first. 

Arguments against using handouts –  

Can be distracting: Some folks argue that handouts steal the show. Instead of paying attention to you, people might end up reading what’s on paper. It’s like having a side attraction that detracts from your central performance. Some even say it’s like shooting yourself in the foot because you’re giving people something else to focus on before you start.

Audience might read ahead: Presentations are all about building suspense and excitement. But if people read ahead, it spoils the surprise. Imagine you’re about to reveal a big secret, but everyone already knows what it is. It’s like the plot twist in a movie being spoiled before you even watch it. That’s not cool. 

Loses control over information: Your information is precious, especially sensitive company information. Handing out papers with essential data can be risky. What if they get copied or end up in the wrong hands? It’s like giving away the keys to the kingdom. You want to keep your information safe and sound, not let it wander off where it shouldn’t.

Tips for Creating Effective Handouts in a Presentation

Tips For Creating Handouts. In A  Presentation

Creating a presentation with handouts is as crucial as planning your speech and slides. These tangible takeaways can reinforce your message, provide additional information, and serve as a lasting reference for your audience. Here are some key considerations to keep in mind when you create effective presentation handouts – 

1. Plan Ahead: Don’t leave handout creation as a last-minute task. Allocate enough time to make your handout alongside your speech and slides. Rushing to put something together moments before your presentation can result in an ineffective and hastily made handout.

2. Avoid Printing Slides: Resist the temptation to simply  go to print option with your slides. This approach lacks effectiveness and may only make sense to readers with additional context. Instead, create your handout by typing out the content in the Notes pane of your ppt software to create more informative handouts.

3. Reflect Your Presentation: Ensure that your handout mirrors the structure and content of your presentation. This cohesion allows audience members to easily connect them with the key information presented during the talk, enhancing comprehension and retention.

4. Add Extra Information: Use handouts to provide supplementary information your presentation couldn’t cover. This additional content can inspire further exploration of the topic and cater to audiences seeking more in-depth knowledge.

5. Include References: Include citations in your handout if you reference research or external sources during your presentation. This enables interested individuals to delve deeper into the subject matter and validates your claims.

6. Create Action Sheets: Consider including action-oriented content in your handouts to encourage audience members to apply the insights gained from your presentation. Action sheets or worksheets engage your audience and help reinforce critical takeaways.

7. Ensure Stand-Alone Clarity: Your handout should be understandable even to those who didn’t attend your presentation or revisit it later. Provide brief background information about yourself for context, ensuring that the content can stand alone as a valuable resource.

8. Provide White Space: Leave ample white space for notes pages on your presentation handout design so attendees can take notes. This encourages active engagement during the presentation and consolidates all relevant information in one accessible document.

9. Maintain Professionalism: Your handout represents you and your presentation slides, so it should reflect professionalism. Proofread diligently, maintain a consistent brand identity, and ensure the layout is visually appealing.

10. Offer Additional Resources: Explore alternative handout templates for sharing supplementary materials, such as DVDs, websites, or online platforms. Providing diverse resources caters to different preferences and extends the conversation beyond the confines of the presentation.

11. Consider Digital Options: Consider creating digital alternatives like webpages or social media pages besides Microsoft Word printed handouts. These platforms facilitate ongoing engagement, allowing audience members to comment, ask questions, and access additional resources.

12. Communicate Limitations: If certain information discussed during the presentation is not included in the handout, clarify it to your audience. This transparency prevents confusion and encourages direct engagement for further clarification.

Adhering to these guidelines ensures that your presentation handouts serve as valuable assets that complement your verbal delivery and contribute to a memorable and informative audience experience.

The Best Time to Distribute Handouts in a Presentation

Deciding when to distribute your handout isn’t about finding a perfect moment. To help you figure out what’s best for your situation, it’s good to know how timing can affect your audience – 

Handout before the presentation: If you share your handout beforehand, some of your audience might peek ahead, which could split their attention during your talk. Think carefully if this suits your presentation style.

Handout during the presentation: Give out handouts when they can support what you’re saying visually or emphasize your points.

Handout after the presentation: If you choose this option, your handout should include your contact information. If you’re sending it electronically, PDF works well. Adding a copyright notice might be smart, depending on who’s getting it.

Tip – Sharing the reading material before the actual presentation can be helpful. Some worry it might make the audience fidgety or distract them, but experience often shows it doesn’t hurt their focus. Many appreciate not having to jot down everything, allowing them to focus better on your words. Plus, they can make their own notes right on the handout. Waiting until the end of the presentation to give it out might make it seem like a punishment.

Crafting Effective Handouts in a Presentation

Handouts serve as invaluable presentation aids in reinforcing key messages, offering additional insights, and providing lasting references for your audience. They extend the reach of your engaging presentations beyond the confines of the spoken word, offering tangible takeaways that enhance understanding and retention.

Planning ahead is essential when preparing handouts, avoiding last-minute rushes that can result in ineffective materials. Resist the urge to simply print out your slides; instead, craft reading material that reflect the structure and content of your presentation while providing supplementary information and references for further exploration.

Consider incorporating action-oriented content to encourage audience engagement and maintain professionalism through diligent proofreading and consistent branding. Offering diverse resources and digital alternatives ensures accessibility and caters to various preferences.

Deciding when to distribute handouts depends on your presentation style and audience dynamics. While sharing them beforehand may seem counterintuitive, it enhances focus and allows for note-taking convenience. Adhering to these guidelines ensures that the distributed content effectively complement your verbal delivery, contributing to a memorable and informative audience experience.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. Why are handouts necessary in a presentation?

Handouts help people remember key points and provide extra details not covered in slides, making it easy for the audience to grasp information.

2. How do handouts benefit both the speaker and the audience?

Handouts reinforce the speaker’s message and serve as a lasting reference for the audience. They allow them to review the material at their own pace, even if they can’t attend the presentation.

3. What are the advantages of using handouts during a presentation?

Handouts aid in memory retention, allow for more in-depth explanations and strengthen calls to action, such as providing contact information for follow-up purposes.

4. What are the possible drawbacks of using handouts in a presentation?

Handouts may distract from the speaker, spoil surprises in the presentation, and pose risks of information leakage, especially with sensitive data.

5. How should handouts be prepared effectively?

Handouts should be planned alongside the presentation, reflect its structure and content, include supplementary information and references, and encourage audience engagement through action-oriented content.

6. When is the best time to distribute handouts during a presentation?

The timing of handout distribution depends on the entire presentation style and audience dynamics. However, sharing them beforehand can enhance focus and convenience for note-taking, while distributing them afterward ensures accessibility for further reference.

Craft Stellar Handouts with Prezentium: Your Key to Memorable Presentations!

Are you looking to make better presentations? Prezentium offers expert assistance in crafting stellar handouts that reinforce your message and captivate your audience. With our AI-powered services, we ensure that the reading material are not just summaries of slides but comprehensive documents that add value to your presentation.

Our overnight presentation service guarantees timely delivery, providing you with meticulously designed handouts by the next business day. Need help transforming ideas into exquisite presentations? Our team of specialists is here to assist, offering header design and template creation expertise.

But that’s not all – our Zenith Learning program comprising presentation trainers combine structured problem-solving with interactive communication training workshops, ensuring that your handouts engage and resonate with your audience.

Don’t settle for ordinary handouts. Elevate your presentations with Prezentium and leave a lasting impression on your clients. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you craft exceptional handouts that amplify the impact of your presentations.

Why wait? Avail a complimentary 1-on-1 session with our presentation expert.
See how other enterprise leaders are creating impactful presentations with us.

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