Telford, PA (PressExposure) January 05, 2010 -- Every presentation and speech you ever give should be accompanied by supporting material for people to look at. Unless your speech is below five minutes, in which case I would make an exception to this rule, but how often are you giving presentations that short?
There are two reasons why you need to have supporting material. The first is that people are not always going to be able to follow everything you say, and having information right in front of them helps them to understand. This is the way I am, at least, and I have talked to plenty of others who are the same.
The second reason is that you want to give them something to take home with them. This way you know they will be able to look back over what was said and use it as a reference point in the future. Of course, along with this material you also need to get some presentation folder printing done as well. You do not want to hand people a bunch of loose, or just paper clipped pages. Give them the information in a good folder so they can easily keep it all together.
However, let me say more about what should go in this material. I do need something to help me follow along with what is being said, yes, but I do not just want to be handed what amounts to the speech on paper. You can supply this as well, but this should not be the extent of what you are providing people.
Take your points and build upon them. If you are presenting a lot of evidence in your speech, then go over this evidence in greater detail. Use this as your supporting material. A speech is naturally going to be a combination of information and a bit of showmanship in order to keep people entertained. You cannot just go into a lot of specific details or else you might lose a lot of people in the crowd. However, using your supporting materials can give you a chance to provide other specific details while still holding your audience's interest.
Your speech gets people interested, increasing the odds of them looking over that extra information you provided and learning more than just what the speech can provide. After all, you want people to walk away fully informed, and you should also give them access to the names of everything you researched, helping them to do the same kind of research if they really want to.
The next time you are planning a presentation, you need to consider a few essential things beforehand. First, you need to get that presentation folder printing done and design a folder that looks good and can tie everything together. Next, consider what kind of supporting material you plan on using, and how much information you can put in them. Do this with the idea that people are going to be taking this home with them. Make sure that between your speech and the supporting text, people will know everything they need to know.