Tips, Videos, Handouts, and Other Stuff

How to show the big picture – Use a Handout

When we present information in a meeting we can choose to use a screen, a flip chart, or a handout. In this on-location Video Tip Craig Freshley explains the pros and cons of each and in particular, when to use a handout.

This video has captions. To see them, click CC on the video screen.

Here’s what Craig says in the video:

Hey, good morning, it’s Craig Freshley here with a little Good Group Tip about helping your group see the big picture. Now, there’s lots of ways to present information, right? You can use a screen to show information, you can use a chart to show information, but you can also use a handout. You might notice that my printer’s set up here, and it’s printing away.

Now, this is the conclusions from a discussion we had yesterday, in this meeting. And first thing this morning, I want to show the group what we concluded yesterday. And, I had a choice to show conclusions on the screen, show conclusions on the chart, I chose to show the conclusions by handout. And the reason why, is I want to show the group the big picture.

I can’t fit all of these, I don’t know, maybe 30 – 40 lines of text on the screen, in one view. Neither can I fit this much text on the charts. But I can fit it all on the handout. And so by actually giving each participant a copy, they get to see the whole picture at one time. And each participant is free to look at whatever piece of the big picture they want to. This will help them have a discussion.

Screens are great for capturing comments in real-time. Often times in meetings I take comments right on the screen as I go. But, as a practical matter, there’s only so much space on that screen. And, once we get 12 or 15 lines, my participants can’t see the first few lines anymore.

Charts are a great way to capture information, and many of you have seen this done: when you finish a chart quickly rip it off, put it on the wall, on to the next chart. Fill it up, rip it off, put it on the wall. And, that way we can have 3 – 5 – 10 charts on the wall, and we can show in one picture a list of 10 – 20 – 40 – 100 items, so that can be useful for that purpose. But, it can be difficult to see charts from a long way away.

And, as I just mentioned, the third alternative is the handout. If you have some break time between the discussion and when you want to reflect back upon it.

So, just three ways to convey information back to the group, reflect it back to them what they’ve said. And today’s Good Group Tip: When you want to show them the whole picture, consider a handout.

By the way, just in case you’re wondering, I am on location, early in the morning, setting up for a meeting here in beautiful Jamestown, RI. I’ll show you what it looks like. Here’s my meeting set up at the front of the room, but out here, it looks across to Newport, RI. This is really a nice, comfortable, relaxed setting to make good group decisions. So, I’m hoping for a really great meeting today. Yeah!

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