Such a pretty handout…now I don’t have to listen!

Here is your handout!

Here is your handout!


For many speakers, handouts are a necessary evil. There are two prominent types of handouts.

The first type commonly given to an audience is a single or multiple sheets with all the information printed on the handout. Many speakers like this arrangement because the audience will not miss what the speaker has to say. The speaker can go through their speech and they know the audience has all the information they need. Of course once the audience has all the information needed there is no reason for them to listen to any speaker 100% of the time.  They can use their smartphone or tablet and every once in a while stop and listen to the speaker.

The second type of handout has a key word or a phrase of information missing and left as a blank. As the speaker speaks they can instruct the audience to fill in the blanks. Studies have shown that the very act of writing in these bits of information causes the brain to remember this information more. Of course the main problem is when members of the audience miss hearing this information. Then these audience members begin to start asking their neighbors for this information. This can be a distraction to everyone around this area. The solution is to supply the answers in the handout, preferably at the bottom of the last page. Of course you as a speaker must tell your audience that if they miss the information of one of the blanks not to worry because you have included the answers.

Now give me your handout!

How true!

How true!


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