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Handouts for Seminars

What do you want the crowd to do as a result of your presentation? Your handouts or take-aways should reflect your purpose.

Take-aways
One thing I've noticed at most presentations where the presenter isn't trying to sell something (like a mission work presentation), is the lack of ways to contact the presenter or at least the company (or mission team) contact information. Most put the basic contact information on a slide at the end of the presentation, but having a simple contact card or handout is easy and cheap nowadays. Most people are trying to pay attention and do not have something to write with. Great way to make your blog or website a gateway into your world is to put that as your primary contact, if it has a way to contact you on the site.

Hand-outs
The jury is still out for me on whether or not I like having note pages printed for me where the slides are mini and have blanks along side of it. I lean towards not liking it. To be honest, I'd rather have the PowerPoint or presentation available for download ready-to-go in case I want to reference it again. Something colorful or different that has a few main points would be more appreciated than black and white copies of what I just viewed. I was there, I saw it. It's like you're rewarding me for not paying attention or sending a confusing message for paying attention. I throw away most of those note sheets, so it's a big waste of paper for me. This is just an opinion.

One better than giving something, would be to take in information, like an email address, on a sign-up sheet for your e-newsletter or mailing list. Take care here and make it quite clear as to why you're asking and what you're planning on doing with those email addresses to avoid complications and false email addresses. Don't have an e-newsletter? It's easy and a great way to form a following or support base for whatever it is you do. Services like Mail Chimp or others allow you to quickly make a polished newsletter to send. I'm going to emphasize quality here and honesty in sending out newsletters - would you want to read it or even open up what you're sending out?

Get with it, man!
This is where social networks can work for you as well. Offer people a non-threatening and non-intrusive way of keeping in-touch with you or your company/organization. Handing out your Twitter name comes to my mind as a great way to making contact again with people. This is assuming that you 'tweet' about things along the same lines as your presentation or that are at least related. Same rule applies to other networks like Facebook - if you help people connect to you in places where they already frequent, it's easy for them to become part of your network. The social networks take care of the messy, hard stuff. All you have to do is become friends on Facebook, or have someone follow you on Twitter! There are many other social networks that work great, so take a look around and educate yourself if you have questions. For a good example, check out the WELS Tech blog along the side or at the bottom for ways you can contact them. Make technology work for you...
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