September 29, 2007

To read or not to read - handouts

I watched a video yesterday of a speaker who gave a handout during his talk. As he pointed out content in the handout, he asked for the audience's attention and said, "I hate to have people reading while I'm speaking . . . "

Well, if you hate to have people reading while you're speaking, either:

1) give the handout and stop speaking while they read it


2) don't give the handout until the end.

You can't have it both ways. When a piece of paper is in front of a person, she is going to read it. You cannot give a handout and then say, "don't read this." Human nature is to be curious - people are going to want to read the piece of paper. That's just the way we are.

So make a choice and stick with it. And don't blame your audience for your own mistake.

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