Presentation Handouts that Wow

An extremely common mistake that presenters make is to pack their slides full of text so they can also be used as a leave-behind. (One of our heroes, Garr Reynolds of Presentation Zen, calls this messy mashup of slides and a document a slideument.)

The problem with this? Your audience can either listen to you, or read your slides, but they can’t do both — and honestly, they don’t want to do both. In fact, the #1 complaint about presentations, according to Dave Paradi’s fascinating Annoying PowerPoint Survey (here’s a fun Haiku Deck summarizing the results), is when presenters read slides aloud — and putting everything you’re going to say right up there on the screen is pretty much guaranteed to bore your audience to death.

Your audience can either listen to you, or read your slides, but they can’t do both.

The solution? Most presentation experts recommend creating two separate things: well-designed presentation slides, which engage your audience’s attention with minimal text and evocative imagery (hint, hint), and presentation handouts, which complete the package with key talking points and other supporting information.

This, of course, sounds like a lot of extra work — but if you’re using Haiku Deck to create your slides, beautiful presentation handouts are a snap.

How to Create Presentation Handouts with Haiku Deck

1. Create your killer slides, using either the iPad App or the Web App, and publish your deck to the web.

2. Add the supplemental text you’d like to appear on your presentation handouts using the Public Notes feature. (Tip: You can add or edit Public Notes from either the Web App or the iPad App. Just be sure to PUBLISH or UPDATE when you’re finished.)

3. Pull the deck up online, either by signing in to and heading to MY DECKS or by emailing yourself a link.

4. Hover over the + icon on the left side of the deck (beneath the social sharing icons).

5. Click the download arrow icon that appears at the bottom of the grey icons.

Presentation Handouts: Adding public notes and downloading a PDF in Haiku Deck

Hover over the +, then click the download arrow

5. Choose Download an Adobe Acrobat PDF copy of your Haiku Deck. (Patience, grasshopper…This may take a couple minutes.)

6. Look for your PDF handout in your Downloads folder. You can print them out (or share online to save paper).

Here’s a page from my presentation handouts for “Crafting a Winning Story,” a talk I gave recently at AMA Houston MarketingEdge. Note that the attribution for any Creative Commons images you have selected using the Haiku Deck image search is automatically displayed at the bottom.

Presentation Handouts: Sample Haiku Deck PDF Handout

Sample Haiku Deck PDF handout page

By making my presentation handouts separate, I could keep my actual slides clean and uncluttered:

Created with Haiku Deck, presentation software that’s simple, beautiful and fun.

Tip: The Public Notes do double-duty — they also provide additional context for online viewing. Click here to view the full Haiku Deck with my Public Notes.

More Help

Have more questions about presentations handouts, or tips to share? Let us know in the comments!