How to Use Handouts and Other Materials to Enhance Presentations

If you have a presentation coming up, you may want to consider using handouts or other materials to enhance and support your presentation. Whether you are presenting in a boardroom or a weekly team huddle, handouts can help supplement your points and support your overall message. That said, handouts can also distract, overwhelm, and confuse your audience if not used correctly. In this article, we will take a look at how to use handouts effectively in order to support and enhance your presentation.

1. Understand the Purpose

Slides and handouts have different functions and both support your presentation in different ways. Slides are meant to support your verbal speech while also providing visual aids that help the audience better understand the information. Handouts are meant to provide additional information and reinforce your message. Therefore, before creating slides or handouts, have a clear understanding of the purpose each will serve and be intentional about the information you provide on each handout. 

2. Make Sure They Complement Your Presentation

Make sure your slides or handouts enhance the information you are presenting. Handouts should be clear, concise, and relevant. They should also be visually appealing in order to capture the attention of your audience. They should reinforce your key points and include any graphics or charts that will help support and clarify your message. 

3. Distribute at the Right Time

You can have incredible handouts but if they are not distributed at the right time, they can be more distracting than helpful. For example, you should never pass out a handout at the beginning of a presentation. In this case, your audience may be more tempted to read the handout than listen to your presentation. Instead, distribute your handouts at strategic times such as when you are discussing complex information or at the end of your presentation. 

4. Encourage Interaction

Handouts and materials can also be used to encourage audience participation. You can do this by including interactive elements such as fill-in-the-blanks or discussion questions that require audience participation. This is a great way to keep your audience actively engaged in your presentation. 

5. Provide Additional Resources

Finally, handouts should act as an extension of your presentation. You should include additional resources in your handouts that give audience members opportunities to learn more. This might be references to books, articles, websites, or other materials that can provide more information on the topic.