You provide valuable information to your audience through your presentations.
Sometimes, they barely scratch the surface. Certain topics need detailed explanations which can’t be covered in slides. Text or data dense slide decks lead to a mentally fatigued audience that barely recalls your message or points.
Handouts provide your audience with essential material to review later.
But, how do know when to create handouts and when to avoid them?
You cover a topic with lots of details. This could mean case studies, complex statistics, estimates, marketing or product literature and other material. These can’t be included in your presentation for various reasons such as lack of time.
Handouts allow you to pass on this useful information to audience members.
Certain topics are complex for your average audience. Your presentation often provides them with an overview, but they want to analyze in-depth information at their own pace.
Handouts with relevant data help them better understand the topic and clarify certain points. Reference material encourages them to learn more about your topic.
Training and eDucation
The very nature of these presentations makes handouts a necessity. Training handouts can take many forms from workbooks to learning resources. Follow the same structure in distributed material as your presentation. This enables users to relate this info with relevant points from your slides.
You don’t need handouts in certain scenarios.
You’re often asked to present on a project’s progress, budget forecasts, or for proposal approvals. You don’t require handouts unless you have complex data that can’t be explained through slides alone.
Pitching to iNvestors
Your pitch deck contains vital facts required by a client and handouts are not required. If prospectors want to study your proposal in greater detail, including financial and technical aspects of a project, provide them with the necessary data.
Selling to cUstomers
Customer presentations cover the basics needed to inspire them, inform them and close a sale. When product or service specifics are important for decision making, provide them in handouts covering related facts or data.
SeminarS and cOnferences
You’re expected to entertain audience members and motivate them with your message. Avoid handouts unless you have material for further reading or action sheets that enable them to follow your roadmap.
Do you provide handouts? Are they useful to you as a member of the audience?