- I use Keynote to build my presentations and I have yet to deliver a presentation where the host agency or conference centre uses a Mac product as their main computer. As a result I always run my presentations off my MacBook Pro. The presentation in Keynote would be of little or no use to them.
- I tweak and refine my presentation up to the night before, or the morning of the presentation. These last minute tweaks are usually small things, although on at least one occasion I made wholesale changes to my presentation the morning of as I felt it would better serve the audience. There is little value in the host having an outdated copy of my presentation.
- I do not want the host to provide a handout with all my slides to the attendees. There are reasons for this:
- My experience is that if participants have a copy of the presentation some of them are busy looking ahead to see what you are going to talk about and not actually listening to what you are talking about.
- If you have an effective PowerPoint / Keynote presentation it should be mainly images with a few words and therefore that handout is of little value to the attendees.
- The participants having a copy of the presentation creates a mental barrier for trainers where they feel they have to follow that exact order as people are trying to follow along. There are times when I will jump ahead to a point I was going to cover later in the presentation because a question from a participant or a discussion with the audience makes it more effective to cover it at that point rather than waiting.
- If participants have a copy of your presentation they expect you will follow it and expect you will cover everything in their version. I have seen participants get very frustrated when they are having to jump around in the handout as the presenter is not following it. I have also been at a multiple day event where one of the presenters provided a copy of their PowerPoint then used a completely different one and did not cover the material in the version the participants had. This resulted in some frustrated and unhappy people in the class.
- I sometimes have to skip slides for a variety of reasons (I had too many slides to begin with, the presenter ahead of me went over his or her time cutting my presentation short, the meeting planner asked me to finish early, there are some great class discussions that take more time than expected, activities took more time that I planned, etc). I use breaks throughout the day and the lunch break to hide slides if necessary and the participants never know. If you are using Presenter View you can easily jump ahead a number of slides without the audience knowing it (Please do not scroll through slides while saying, “I don’t have time to cover this.”)
- These are the same reasons I would not give out handouts that are simply a printout of the slides from the PowerPoint to participants.
Usually when participants ask for a copy of the PowerPoint what they actually want is the pdf handout with all the slides. As I have already stated, I never give these out. What most of them really want are the quotes I use during my presentations and a list of the books I talk about. I let participants know early on in my presentations that I will provide them the opportunity to give me their email address and I will email them a document with all the quotes along with a recommended reading list, an e-book and some articles that go into more detail about the topics covered during the day.
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