Your presentation is not a hand-out!


You might think your presentation looks fantastic in hand-out format. Maybe it does, if someone were to read it. Unfortunately, to present it, is a different scenario. Indeed, a presentation which comprises diligently compiled information, is one of the dullest things on earth to actually sit through.

A presentation is a chance for you to engage with your audience. For this to happen you need to speak to and connect with them. Your presentation should provide guidance and clarification. It’s not a substitute for you, your words and your interaction with those listening.

The best way for your presentation to support your spoken words, is through one short message per slide and a relevant, supporting visual. Your narrative can then bring the presentation to life using the terminology and examples which your audience relate to.

presentation blog illustration - Your presentation is not a hand-out

Your reams of wonderful notes need not be lost, but can be hidden on the notes page (in PowerPoint) for you to glance at while speaking.

These notes can also be shared with the audience in the form of a hand-out at the end. Do you remember receiving party-bags as a kid? Well, you can provide the equivalent to your audience in the form of clear, structured notes for them to take away with them…but only once you’ve finished!

Let your audience know that the notes will be coming and they’ll be less tempted to scribble their own notes while you speak. Less scribbing = better concentration.

So don’t take a shortcut and force your presentation to double as hand-out notes: present your presentation and then hand out your notes. The extra effort will be well worth in terms of audience attention and understanding.

The notes area can also be styled and formatted to look professional. There is a Notes Master area in PowerPoint that will do half the work for you if properly set up. Trust us, it’s well worth it spending an extra hour getting your notes pages looking great. You’ll look great too.

For more information on using the Notes View, read this blog.