Handouts and Slides
post # 354 — April 13, 2007 — a Client Relations post
For a long time, when I do a speech, seminar or consultation meeting, I have handed out many more pages of slides / handouts than I plan to cover.
The theory is that (a) if someone asks a question, I can say “Yes, l’ve got something on that, let’s look at page 26″ and (b) handing out more pages than I actually plan to cover gives people “takeaway” value – extra material that they can review after the meeting.
In recent years, I’ve noticed something interesting – this approach is becoming MORE effective. In the old days, when I handed out the paper copies to everyone, they rarely got used. With the best intentions in the world, people stuffed paper into their briefcase and never looked at it again. or they abandoned it so they don’t have to carry it home.
Many meeting organizers responded to that by handing out CDs of the handout material, but even that is now old-hat. What’s really working well is to post the slides and handout material on the web. Obvious, but incredibly effective.
I am now finding that people are REALLY following up and using the material, and apart from the “noble” cause of providing more value, it’s helping to introduce my work to new people as those who met / heard me forward the material on to their friends.
I use two approaches at the moment. My standard set of handouts is on my website and I place the customized ones in a private area (“landing page”) for each client. It might be interesting to note that I still hand out the paper copies. If there are none, and I just say “Go to the private landing page for more,” fewer people go, because tey don’t know what’s there and they don’t bother. However, if I hand out the paper and say “If you see anything here that interests you, you can find it on the landing page,” then the follow-up percentage is much higher.
I have two questions for you to react to, if you wish to join in:
(a) Who else has an interesting set of handouts available for download? Tom Peters posts his slides, but maybe we can make a list here, so that everyone who reads this blog can be made aware of other interesting resources out there. Any nominations?
(b) Has anyone evolved to different strategies on using and disseminating their slides / handouts? What are you doing?