Guide on the Side - Why and How to Avoid Trashy HandoutsBy Marie Wallace, Published on April 30, 1999
(Archived June 1, 1999)
Marie Wallace has enjoyed a fulfilling career as a librarian, beginning in 1951 in academia with the University of California and transitioning in 1971 into the private law library world until her 1995 retirement from O'Melveny & Myers. She is the 1997 recipient of the American Association of Law Libraries' highest honor, the Marian Gould Gallagher Distinguished Service Award. Throughout her professional life, Marie has been a guiding force in the Southern California Association of Law Libraries, Practising Law Institute's programs for law librarians and Teaching Legal Research in Private Law Libraries (TRIPLL).
Today, Marie has commenced on a new path she terms "Life in Progress," which enables her to pursue a diversity of interests as a master swimmer, law librarian, trainer, storyboarder and designer of wearable art. She continues to be a dynamic speaker and prolific writer on such topics as private law library management, presentations and training. She is a member of Toastmasters Internationaland is active with the American Society for Training Development (ASTD) and in continuing education for private law librarians. She devotes her "free" time to various non-profit and civic activities. Always open to new ideas, Marie can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
|Too many presenters treat handouts like an afterthought or
even forget them altogether, justifying their action with "They will just get trashed
anyway." That kind of thinking becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. When
handouts are not designed well, they do get trashed. By contrast, quality handouts are
used and ensure that your presentation is remembered favorably.
Why Good Handouts Stay out of the Trash
Why poor handouts get tossed.
|Basic principles of good handout design
Handout formats fall into two categories. Pick the type that best supports your objective.
Design features to make handouts useful
Examples of handouts to accompany different types of presentations.
Handouts enable presenters to
Handouts enable the audience to
Hand out the handouts as the audience arrives to
If you catch yourself saying "I don't want to distribute my handout in advance of my presentation because the audience will be reading ahead of what I am saying," go back to the drawing board. Something is wrong with the design of your presentation or handouts. A good handout makes the audience want to pay attention to the speaker.