How many times have you been asked, after giving a presentation, to give someone a copy of your slides? It happens to me all the time. I’m not really opposed to sharing my slides, but regular readers of the blog will know, my slides are not my presentation. I use slides to complement what I am saying, and I certainly don’t put every word of my presentation on my slides. In fact, my slides contain very few words at all. I just reviewed a recent presentation that I gave, and just 4 or the 46 slides that I used had any words at all! So a copy of my slides consisted of 42 random looking images with no context!
If you use the presenter notes feature of Keynote or Powerpoint, you have a simple solution. Make sure that your presenter notes are complete, well formatted, and grammar and spell checked, and you can print your slides to include the presenter notes. Then you can share your slides in a way that may be useful to your audience.
An even better way of sharing your content is to create a separate handout that summarizes or even expands on your presentation. This can be quite time-consuming, but it does add significant value to your presentation. If the presentation is sufficiently important, it may well be worth taking the time to make a top-notch handout.
A third option is to create a self running version of the same presentation. You might use your existing presentation and record a custom sound track, or you may design a unique presentation with additional text slides to explain the content. This third option is also quite time-consuming, but it has several advantages. A self running presentation can be used in a kiosk or a trade show booth. It can be posted on your website, or on sharing sites like YouTube or SlideShare. While an in person presentation may reach an audience of a few dozen, a self running presentation on-line may be viewed by thousands!
Only you can decide which approach is best for your application and your audience, but do be prepared for the next time someone asks for a copy of your slides!