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how to create a handoutHave you ever spent a lot of time creating a handout for your talk only to find 100 copies strewn all over the room at the end of the event? Other than being a huge waste of paper, creating handouts that people don't take with them is a waste of effort for you.

These days, attention spans are short and the amount of information people have to deal with is ever increasing.  It is easy enough to leave a flyer at an event when you feel overwhelmed.  But, that is a huge loss of opportunity both for you and your audience because they never get a chance to actually start to implement what you've taught.  They won't have the ability to see how you can help them.  They won't take the first step to being a client with you.

The other issue I see with handouts is that they either summarize the whole presentation (and absolve people of paying attention) or they just don't add value after the presentation is over.

Download my free handout template
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So, how do you create a “wow” handout that is useful enough not to be abandoned at the end of the presentation?  Click here to download my speaker handout template.

  • Don't give away the farm.  I can't tell you how many speakers have handed me the text of the presentation before they start to speak. While this is useful – it absolves me of any responsibility for actually getting the information.  I like to give out fill in the blank templates – so that people know what is important.  They need to listen to find the answers. Some people were *very* well trained in school – and will work very hard to complete the worksheet!
  • Make it colorful and branded. Black and white handouts are not going to stand out.  Make your handout stand out.  Add color, nice paper, and, make sure your brand is represented.
  • Give people something to do.  Give your an audience an assignment to do on the handout.  Go just a bit further than you did in your presentation. Tell your audience that they can “finish” at home with the handout.  People love to complete things.
  • Offer them the next step.  Your handout should give them information on taking the next step with you.  That could be downloading a free report – or maybe signing up for a strategy session with you.
  • Create the handout just for your audience.   Take your generic handout and tweak it just a bit for your audience on that day.

The next time you do a presentation, use the five steps above to create something that will make it home from the conference so that your clients will be reminded to follow up with you.

Download the Speaker Handout Template Here