Be More Helpful Than a Handout

One of the best parts of presenting and teaching is reading the evaluations.  If you listen to what is said, the insight and suggestions from the participants can help refine both the content and the style.  It is not always positive, but learning from feedback can help you become great.

The other day, I read the best comment ever.

“Carl is more helpful than handouts.” 

Maybe that should always be our goal.  If we are not “more helpful” why are we even there?  Wouldn’t the handouts be enough?

Here are a few tips:

1.  Be Authentic: Be yourself.  You are not perfect and that is okay.  Admit the areas that you are still wrestling with.  If you are talking about leadership, describe a time you made a mistake, what you learned, and how you recovered.

2.  Use Stories:  Facts, data, and bullets on slides are one thing, but linking the information together through a story engages the listener to apply the information in a real world situation.  Stories move us, inspire us, and motivate us.

3.  Be More Helpful Than a Handout:  Don’t read your PowerPoint or other materials.  Know your stuff, engage your audience, and leave them better informed, better able to address the issues at hand, and perhaps even a little inspired.

Good luck out there, you can do it.

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