Friday, September 26, 2008

Presenting when you are not allowed to use a handout

A participant in one of my workshops recently presented me with a new challenge. In his position as a sales professional, he has now encountered two large organizations who have stated that when he presents to them, he is forbidden from bringing handouts for the audience. This ban is part of their environmental efforts.

Research has shown that people remember better when they can concentrate on what the speaker is saying and take down key points relevant to their situation instead of madly writing notes of what is being said. The challenge is how to deal with the potential downside of this policy – decisions being made on poorly recalled ideas and facts.

Let me suggest an approach to designing and delivering your presentation that has a high potential to get the key messages remembered and acted upon in this no-handout scenario. It involves planning in a slightly different way and delivering your presentation in a somewhat more direct manner.

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