X is for Xtras

Go the xtra mile with handouts.


Handouts enable your audience to stay with you and take you home with them.

Employing the many tips contained within this site will go a long ways to giving your audience a presentation they’ll love and remember.  Vocal Variety, Pauses, Body Language, Words, Delivery, when taken seriously and USED, will make your talk an XTRA good one for your audience.  But there is one more Xtra you can employ.  First, a story:                  

There was once a street corner apple vendor that always placed one xtra apple on top of your purchase as a measure of good will. Any question why he was the most successful in his area? People love getting more than they bargained for and will come back for more. Handouts can be your xtra apple.

[pullquote align=”right” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]Give more to your audience than they have any right to expect. – Tony  Robbins[/pullquote]


  • Bring xtra handouts– bring 10% more than you believe you will need.
  • Have handouts available to participants before the program begins.
  • If giving handouts during the presentation, wait until everyone has one before continuing.

Extra Mile with Handouts

  • In addition to handouts directly related to your presentation (such as a copy of your PowerPoint slides) go the xtra mile and give your audience additional relevant material that they can take home with them. Many professional organizations will gladly send samples of their newsletters or magazines for distribution.
  • Jack Barnard recommends going the xtra mile by using handouts with blanks for key words and phrases. .The audience is encouraged to fill in the blanks as the talk progresses.
  • Fred Pryor seminars advocate and use what is called “structured notes” to take training the xtra mile. Handouts have information relevant to the presentation, but key ideas are left blank for the audience to complete upon instruction to do so. Studies reveal that the audience retention of key ideas increases 23% via structured note taking.

An article in Los Angeles Business Journal recommends:

  • Try leaving blank spaces next to visuals so audience members can jot down their ideas. This way, your presentation becomes more interactive.
  • Instead of your handouts consisting only of “wall-to-wall words” (all text with narrow margins), try adding graphics, charts and symbols. Visuals will punch up your words and add excitement and creativity.
  • Be sure to include relevant book titles and authors, as well as names, addresses and telephone numbers of associations and organizations. This kind of information increases the value of your handouts, causing audience members to want to keep them.

Mary Ellen Drummond cautions:

  • “All handouts should be professional looking, so they reflect your high standard of excellence. Check and recheck for spelling errors and incomplete information.”

Image Source; Linnaea Mallette of Public Domain Pictures

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