Creating Handouts for Conferences


Creating Handouts for Conferences



Handouts can be a valuable addition to your research presentation. The following module discusses the guidelines that should be used to create an effective handout.

Learning Objectives

  • Describe the benefits of providing handouts to supplement your presentation
  • List key guidelines that should be followed when preparing handouts

 

The typical academic presentation at a conference consists of you (the presenter), the content of what you have to say, your PowerPoint slides, and your audience.  Handouts can serve a very effective tool that can supplement your presentation and add to the total presentation experience for the audience. The benefits of providing handouts to supplement presentations include:

  • Allows the presenter to cut down on the information in the presentation.
  • Serves as an outline or guide, keeping the presenter on track.
  • Allows the audience to "take home" the key points of your presentation or research.
  • Provides the audience with further reading suggestions and your contact information.
  • Gives the audience a potential place to take notes.


The following YouTube video (Effective Presentations - Handouts) further discusses the benefits of using handouts and how they help enhance your presentation and ensure that the information stays with the audience.


Tips for Creating Effective Presentation Handouts

  • Take the time to create a quality handout that mirrors the quality of the presentation. The audience will take this home and it will be a reflection of the quality of your work.
  • Do not print out your PowerPoint slides! The slides are not a readable document.  They do not provide a sufficient summary of the work or provide other important information, such as your contact information.
  • It is best if the handout is contained to fit on one page.
  • The handout should stand alone and contain the main points of your presentation.  If someone pulls it out later, it should make sense to them and serve as a reminder.
  • The handout should have a professional, appealing look.  See the Visual Design Resource Link on this page for tips on how to create a visually effective handout.
  •  Feel free to include additional information not covered in the presentation. However, be careful not to overload t  the handout with too much detail. Some white space is good - and may be helpful for taking notes!
  •  Use graphics to increase visual appeal and to summarize or represent data or other information.
  •  Bulleted or numbered lists may be helpful in summarizing text and organizing content.
  •  May be useful to many to provide a listing of suggested or further readings for those that want to learn more.
  •  Include references used in your presentation.  This provides an additional list of sources for potentially gaining more information.
  •  Always provide your contact information.  This is especially important for those that may have further questions at a later date or those that may want to collaborate with you in the future.


Following is a sample of a potential presentation handout that follows the guidelines above:

sample handout.bmp

Taken from "Rethink Presentations" by Oliver Adria.  http://www.rethinkpresentations.com/presentation-handout-sample/

 

Suggested Readings

Day, R. A. (1998). How to write and publish scientific papers
Devlin A. (2006)  Research Methods.  Thompson Wadsworth.
Miracle, V. A., & King, K. C. (1994). Presenting research: Effective paper presentations and impressive poster presentations. Applied Nursing Research, 7(3), 147-151.

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