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Handouts

Handouts are visual aids the audience can manipulate, so it's important to manage their presentation in a way that keeps you in control. Make it clear what you expect your audience to do with your handouts. Don't give them out without first talking about the ideas they contain, or people will start to read ahead of where you are and you'll lose control.

Audience members are a lot more likely to remember things when they write them down, even if they never go back and look at their notes again. That's why handouts with questions and fill-in-the-blanks can be a good way to help an audience retain your information and message.

Save time and confusion and create a polished impression by counting handouts ahead of time. You'll need to know the number of rows and the number of people in each row. Try to be creative with your handouts. Avoid using typed lists, use drawings or other artwork where appropriate. The cardinal rule for visual aids also applies to handouts: They must have a clear purpose and contribute something you could not convey verbally.


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