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Ebook Extracts - Presentation Handouts

Business Presentations - Handouts

Some people like to provide copies of their slides to everyone before they start, my advice is not to hand them out.

You want people to pay attention to what you are saying. If you give them copies of the slides, as presentation handouts, beforehand, they will scan through them and know what you are going to be saying before you say it. This is a sure fire way of letting the audience get ahead of you.

The only time I would allow presentation handouts to go out before a presentation is when I know people will otherwise want to take notes and I am confident that the visual aids that I am using will not give away the main thrust of my presentation. Even then, it is better to provide a copy of the slides with your own notes at the end of the presentation.

Handoouts need to be stand alone documents which people can read on their own. Giving out copies of slides not only provides a distraction so that people are less likely to listen to you, knowing that you plan to give them out will make you want to add extra information into the slides so they are readable on their own. Slides should be designed to accompany what you are saying not to replace it.

If you are presenting and there is some detailed artwork or plans that you would like people to look at, my advice is scan them in to the computer and show them as slides. Split the artwork on to multiple slides so that the specific areas of interest are visible on each slide. If they are too detailed or too large to be scanned in, then leave them until the end of the presentation and display them on a separate table.

Giving something out, in the middle of a presentation, to be passed round the table for everyone to look at, is definitely not recommended. While they are looking at it they will not be listening to you. They will also not be listening while they are waiting for it to reach them or while they are looking at the expressions on the other people’s faces when they are looking at it.

There is no point in trying to carry on a presentation while something of interest is circulating round a room.

Visual aids, speaker notes and handouts are three different things, each of which has it's own purpose and place in a presentation. One set of slides can not be used for all three purposes! I strongly recommend creating three different representations of your presentation for these three different items.

You will find lots more presentation advice in:

"The A to Z of Effective Business Presentations"

Only £5.99 (ex VAT) or $9.99

Click on the book to buy it as a paperback or in PDF format.

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