You’re a professional speaker and you’ll always provide some sort of take-away for your audience when you present content. Most often your take-away will be handouts distributed for your audience to follow and notate as you discuss particular points.
When you’re on top of your game and fully prepared well in advance you’ll have your handouts prepped and ready to go. They’ll be in your briefcase or porter’s case, in a folder or envelope to protect them. You always want your handout looking crisp and sharp when you distribute them.
There are occasions when you’ll find yourself at the office supply store before your presentation – or picking up the documents from your assistant as you walk out the door. Invariably, there may be changes to make, content to add or a new direction to take after you talk with your meeting planner – yet again.
In these instances, you will find it handy to have your content with you and ready for quick access. Always carry a hard copy with you so you can make notes, jot ideas, list questions or additional topics for future presentations. Here are several ways to do that effectively:
Save info on a compact disc and carry in envelope or folder with the handouts or worksheets if you printed them. If all copies are not yet printed, include one hard copy with compact disc in folder or envelope.
Save info to a jump drive or USB compatible plug-in device. Print out a hard copy to carry with you.
Send your documents to yourself via email and access them via your remote mail or webmail. Again, carry a hard copy with you. Always!
Bonus suggestion – saving your document in multiple formats before you leave the office can make retrieval or revision speedier. It could also reduce your frustration and distress when your latest software version isn’t compatible with your meeting planner’s or printer’s technology. Documents saved and stored in additional formats will allow you to move to Plan B, Plan C or Plan D, if necessary.
Additional formats to consider are pdf, Word 2003, 2007 and 2010, txt and rtf. Remember, each format has individual considerations. Publisher and PowerPoint are also formats you can use…keep in mind they may not be industry -standard.
Using these tips will help you maintain your focus, perspective and good sense of humor in a pinch!