Problems With Charts and Handouts? Advice to Avoid the Dilemma

The first thing that every speaker needs to know about problems with charts and handouts is that they never have to be a problem.

That’s because a speaker’s presentation shouldn’t be prepared in such a way that they are essential for effectively delivering his remarks, but only compliment what he is sharing. Thus, a speaker should remember that he can do without them when absolutely necessary.


But there are still considerations that a speaker should remember when it comes to problems with charts and handouts, both as it relates to their preparation and assuring that they will in fact be available.


How can problems with charts and handouts occur before a speaker even leaves for his speaking engagement? Simply put, the situation may be troublesome because of material that has no relevance, is difficult to interpret, filled with errors, etc.


Among the considerations that have to be remembered in assuring charts and handouts are a plus to a presentation, rather than distracting from it are:

· Making sure that charts are easy to understand by using large lettering, neutral colors and placing them in a location where they can be easily viewed by an audience

· Charts should also be easy to interpret based on a speaker’s comments, rather an audience expected to draw conclusions solely from information in the charts

· Handouts should be easy to read, neat in appearance, and free of grammatical or spelling errors

· A speaker should also make sure that his handouts are not wrinkled, dirty or contain any other blemishes that may be distracting


Problems with charts and handouts also includes making sure they are available. There’s nothing wrong with the aids when they enhance a speaker’s comments but, as mentioned earlier, they should never be intended to fill gaps.


But charts and handouts also cannot be effective if a speaker is unable to access the information. That’s why avoiding problems with charts and handouts include taking proactive precautions that include:

· When possible, always taking the material with you to assure they reach their destination

· In situations in which charts and handouts must be mailed, a speaker should have all tracking information to determine their location if they have not arrived on time

· A speaker should make the material is placed in the right location if someone assists in unloading it


Regardless of how a speaker is traveling, he should also carry a draft of his handouts with him at all times. This allows him to make additional copies of handouts if needed, along with new ones if those he had planned to use are not delivered, lost or damaged.