Our certified facilitators know that the key to pulling off a corporate meeting is being adequately prepared. This includes creating a structured outline, rehearsing the information multiple times, and determining the best way to deliver the message to your staff.
Every project manager, corporate executive, and business owner should strive to perfect their communication skills. Regardless of the substance of the content, if you are unable to transmit it in an easy-to-understand way, the likelihood that your employees will retain the information, much less utilize it, is slim.
One invaluable resource that has been helped teachers, students, and corporate meeting planners alike is the handout. Please note that these are not intended to be replacement materials – although many employees tend to perceive them as such. Make it very clear that meeting attendance is crucial and that a mere scan-through of the day’s handouts is not sufficient. With that in mind, there are a few ways to make the most of this material, especially when attempting to maintain your staff’s interest.
How To Use Handouts in Your Business Meetings
Handouts are best suited for subject matter that is complex and/or technical. You cannot expect your employees to memorize a bunch of new terms and concepts inside of a 30-minute to one-hour window, which is why having access to a resource that one can review later on is very important.
This is also a great place to include supporting and supplementary data that you did not have time to address during the presentation. Corporate meetings must be structured around a central topic or theme and delivered in a concise manner. Thus, any and all additional information should be reserved for later.
A common question our group facilitators and certified master facilitators are asked when working with clients is whether handouts should be given out at the beginning or end of the meeting. Does waiting until the end increase the chances your employees will pay attention and remain focused, or would having the material in front of them help maintain their focus?
We recommend waiting since people have a natural tendency to get distracted. While they may indeed be interested in the material, you do not want your audience disengaging from your presentation or missing the key details discussed.