When to Distribute Handouts at your Presentation

Best practices for creating and sharing handouts during presentations

You just prepared everything for your presentation tomorrow morning. The notebook is checked, all slides look fancy, the presentation converted to a PDF to avoid layout problems. Only one last question is on your mind: should I print handouts for the audience?

Should you provide handouts?

The question if you should consider providing handouts for your audience or not depends on the format of your presentation. If you use less than three slides and only two bullet points per slide, it does not really make sense to share your presentation with your audience, or? Well, it depends. It could still be beneficial to include a last slide with your contact details and distribute it to your viewers to make it possible for them to get in touch with you afterwards. In most situations you will have informative slides with interesting facts for the audience. In that case you should definitely enable your listeners to have a second look on your presentation after your speech. Even though it is a little bit work to create handouts for your audience and to distribute them, it is worth the effort and increases the chance that your audience remembers your presentation, contacts you afterwards and invites you to present again at another event.

Should you exclude sensitive information from the handout?

The most important thing your handout has to fulfill is simple: it has to be awesome! If somebody looks afterwards into your handout, he has to remember your speech and feel good about it. Many speakers deal with the annoyance of creating a second handout for the audience. While one slide deck is used for the presentation, another slide deck is used for the handout. This is a lot of work and your audience maybe wonders why you forgot to include an interesting slide in the handout. Our recommendation: use the same slide deck for your presentation and the handout. This makes it possible for your audience to recap your speech afterwards and to glean deeper into interesting slides which you only presented superficially. We often hear that somebody wants to present sensitive information on the beamer but does not want to share it in the digital handout. Fair enough. But if this information is interesting for your audience, they will simply make a picture of the slide during your presentation anyways. Hence, we strongly recommend to create one interesting slide deck with legitimate information and to share the same slide deck totally with your audience.

Best practices for sharing handouts

In former times, printed handouts were the norm. Printed handouts are a bad idea for two reasons. First, you need to print them and bring the heavy paper with you. Second, your audience has to carry them home and will often throw them away after some days. Nowadays, there are better ways to distribute your handouts. Sharing digital handouts with your audience is not only more convenient for both of you, it is also more innovative. Distributing digital handouts with Beamium by simply uploading your slides on www.beamium.com and asking your viewers to download the presentation from the same website with a secure 8-digit presentation ID makes your distribution efforts more efficient and saves you time. Beamium enables you to share handouts with the audience before, during or immediately after your presentation in a very simple way. Create your presentation as usual and Beamium will help you to make your handout remarkable!

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Author: beamium