Create impressive hand-outs for your presentation

Good preparation is essential for a good presentation. And no presentation should be without hand-outs. These are printouts of your presentation that you distribute to the audience. They contain the content that you’re going to talk about. Giving a presentation offers you the opportunity to share your knowledge and personal views on a certain topic. In order to effectively convey the content of your presentation to your listeners, you should let them keep the hand-outs.

Hand-outs before or after

Should you give the hand-outs before or after the presentation? Opinions differ on this. Some presenters choose to provide the information up front. In that case the listener can review the information together with you as you speak. It will be easier for your audience to remember the information. Other presenters, by contrast, prefer giving the hand-outs after-the-fact. That way, the listener won’t be distracted by the hand-outs. Both ways have their advantages and disadvantages.

Keeping everyone interested with your hand-outs

In order to ensure that the content of what you have to say is well translated in your hand-outs, keep in mind these tips:

  • Vary the information on the slides visually: text, charts and illustrations.
  • The hand-outs should not simply be a printout of your presentation. It’s better to specially design the hand-outs. After all, you don’t have to include every slide in the hand-outs.
  • Make a selection of the content of your presentation keeping in mind that your listener will return to this hand-out later to refresh his memory. You’ll notice that these custom-made hand-outs will look different than the presentation itself.
  • Also in your hand-outs remember to vary text and images.
  • Ask questions in the hand-outs. In your presentation you are offering your own vision, but in the hand-out you can perfectly well ask the listener’s opinion. That will get him thinking about the subject you have chosen.
  • Also dare to think about different forms than the traditional folder with printed pages. What about cards, a fan, a booklet, a picture frame, a cube or other original shapes in cardboard? Packaging your content in such a different way in the hand-out will help people remember what you’ve said. You’re bound to make an impression.
  • Also provide your audience with digital versions of your presentations and hand-outs. Either by including a USB stick or sending a mail afterwards.
  • You can always put your presentation on SlideShare.