Speaker presentation handouts are a physical printout of either bullet points from their speech or a printout of the power point slides with room for notes next to it.

Speakers will often be asked if they want to give presentation handouts to the audience. Sometimes it’s a requirement from the meeting planner. I’ve seen it both ways and have done both.┬áBut now that many people are going as paperless as possible, which one should you use?

If the meeting planner requires a physical handouts they will usually do the printing themselves, which can really add up, depending on how many power point slides you have and how many people are in the audience.

Another way to handle the situation is to get everyone’s email and email them the handout. If you’re hired by a meeting planner, make sure you run it by them first to determine which way they prefer. The good thing about doing it this way is that you have everyone’s email. But only use it for that one handout unless they agree to be put on your mailing list.

Having a handout to give your audience gives you another chance to connect with them, whether you send it by email or with a physical handout. Make sure all of your information like email, website, and phone number are on it, so if they like what you do they can either contact you directly or pass your info on to someone else who can hire you.

I’ve noticed that some events will post the handouts on their website. I would personally have a problem with that, and it looks like other speakers have objected to it too.

As a speaker, what is your feeling about presentation handouts? If you’re a meeting planner, how do you handle the issue of presentation handouts?






2 Responses to “Should Speakers Use Presentation Handouts?”

  1. GL McClendon says:

    There are times I use them(handouts), but not often. Each tub must sit on its own bottom and from one speech to another things change.

  2. Gerry Seymour says:

    I think handouts – in most cases – should be neither of the types mentioned in the article.

    PowerPoint slides are designed (or should be) to support and reinforce what is being said at that moment. If slides serve as good handouts, they are too wordy for most presentations.

    And simply providing major bullet points from the speech may be somewhat helpful, but most attendees could capture that level of detail themselves.

    My recommendation is to either provide note-taking sheets (which include the bullet points, above, plus room for notes), or give some fill-in exercises. The third option would be to hand out supporting information that expands upon areas discussed, without directly repeating what was said.

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