Hand Back the Hand Out: 5 Tips for Effective Handouts

By in large I am not a lover of handouts. I’m one of those generation XY people that love my iPad and I still will use a good print out. I speak both languages if you will. So when it comes to handouts I am especially sensitive to the topic. I love “green” meetings and was a meeting planner for 10 years so I get the whole “save the trees” thing. I’m also an educator and I know some learners need to touch it to experience it. So, that is where the dilemma lies. And, we all know you can’t please all the people all the time.

So, with that out on paper I have seen some pretty bad handouts in my day – Here are a few of my handout rules.

Before creating a handout I ask the following:

  • Why I am creating it?
  • How will the handout be used?
  • Does the audience have a place and pen to write on it?
  • What purpose does it serve?
  • Who is the audience – are they digital note takers or more written note takers? (The meeting planner can generally tell you this.)
  • When will the audience get the handout? (on the seats, table, before or after?)

Handout Tips:

  • More is not more. Do not give us your whole talk on the handouts.
  • Don’t scream at us on the handouts. ALL CAPITOL letters does not a good handout make
  • We live in a visual world. Do not be afraid of images on your handout.
  • Put your contact information/brand on the handouts
  • Printing your PowerPoint slides does not make a good handout.

There is no one right answer in the handout debate. There is the answer that is right for you and your audience. Honor the privilege of the platform, connect to your audience show them you care and deliver what you know. These questions will help you to deliver powerful results.


[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]https://hollyduckworth.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/IMG_4927.jpg[/author_image] [author_info]Holly Duckworth, CAE, CMP is your spirit strategist, as a CEO and business consultant speaker, author, and practitioner student at Mile High Church. She works with businesses to have clear vision, authentic action, and heart centered transformational leadership. Follow her @hduckworth or at www.hollyduckworth.com[/author_info] [/author]