Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Handout How-To?

Guest blogger, Rebecca (Becko) Copenhaver, ask this question for feedback:

I'm teaching a course called Philosophical Methods, which focuses on issues of writing, presentation and basic philosophical skills and concepts. My students requested that I teach them how to make handouts for their presentations. While this is a great idea, I don't quite know how to start (it's tacit knowledge for me by now). Does anyone know of any existing resources I might use?

(Note: if anyone would like to guest blog and/or has a question or issue to post about, just email it one of the full-time bloggers.)


  1. Rebecca,

    Having not thought about this question before, I'm not sure what sorts of challenges your students are facing. Are they concerned about what content to put on a handout? How to organize it? Visual appeal? The one thing I would say is that a handout should function as a guide to the presentation and should be relatively short. I've been at professional talks where I've received a six-page handout, which is ridiculous.

    An initial thought is that much of what's said about visual aids (Google the phrase "visual aid checklist") seems also to apply to handouts.

  2. I suppose the (or a) rule of writing that requires that you put yourself in the perspective of your audience would guide a handout as well.

    And they want to avoid the typical Bad Powerpoint Presentation problem, viz. the presenter just reading a bunch of text off a Powerpoint. Here's some perhaps interesting stuff on that.


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