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Handout design



Is anyone able to recommend any literature that covers guidelines for desiging effective handouts please?

Many thanks in advance.


10 Responses

  1. Handouts

    Hi Jim

    If you send me a synopsis of what you want to achieve (better still post it on here) I and I’m sure others will send you examples. Expect to be bombarded by a variety of styles…

    Whatever literature exists is subjective so this is one occasion when this message board is your best bet.

    Also touting for people to join my London Training community…see my other post!

    Looking forward to hearing from you…


  2. Handout design

    Hi Steve,

    Thank you for your response.

    I am desiging a training session on a complicated personal insurance product for a customer service department and want to provide a handout that can be taken away by the delegates and used as a desktop guide. The purpose of the handout will be to provide key information about the product.

    Key design tips I am aware of are:

    • Use colour
    • Use images
    • Ensure there is clear space on the handout

    Are there any other useful tips or things people have tried that have been effective for learners please?

    Thanks for your time.


  3. Handouts

    Hi Jim

    My immediate thoughts are that the handout "is" your training session.

    If you want your delegates to "buy in" to a new system or process then they are the best people to ask what works for them.

    Nothing works better than a blank piece of paper and some clear instructions…run through each step of the new system and encourage the delegates to make graphical notes. You could get the best one Graphically Designed and produced for everyone then they will all feel they had a part to play which is also great for staff motivation etc…

    So…my advice is to forget the fancy handouts and go back to basics…ie…blank paper and a box of pencils!

    Good luck.




  4. goes around comes around?

    Hi Jim

    I don’t know if you have tried this already but if you type "handouts" into the search function at the top right of this page you can see the past Q&A about this subject, they might be useful if you are looking for advice rather than specifically "literature"

    Rus (when you want a really sweet handout)

  5. Handouts – substance and style


    There are a host of style possibilities but first of all I’d go back to basics and ask what the handouts are for and when they will be used.

    Handouts can be used for pre-reading, in the training room, as a desk aid, as background reading or reference, as a visual reinforcement (including being copies of the visual aids), as bullet point reminders or as introductions to periferal but related subjects not directly covered in the programme. Each has a different purpose and as such may need different design criteria. In addition, I advocate providing handouts online with hard copies of those to be actively used in some way.

    Like all learning aids they need to be designed with the learner and the learning in mind, as well as complying with a degree of house-style consistency.

    No easy answers then. But I would suggest you consider these factors when making your choice rather than what simply looks good or matches your own preferences.

    Best of luck


  6. Twitter
    Hi Jim

    If you sign up for Twitter and Download Jing screen capture free software you can show us all what you are using and get much more productive comments. There are quite a few Training people on there who would be happy to provide feedback I’m sure.

    I am fairly new to twitter world and finding it quite interesting!

    Good luck.


  7. How to avoid trashy handouts…

    I think you’ll find this useful

    Also you might want to look at some webpage design info like –

    I’m hardly using paper handouts now – I distribute handouts on CD – it’s quicker, cheaper and easier all round. Also you can include lots of additional material – like useful websites – very easily. (It also stops people reading when they need to be listening, thinking or discussing).

    You don’t need to be a computer geek to create HTML pages – you can just use MS Word and select the format as web page.

    Hope that’s of some use.







  8. Nice Tips

    Some very useful tip on how to go about when you give handouts during a training session! I found all the advice and ideas here very useful and I shall certainly use them during my training sessions as well!! There were some cool suggestions like the ones where we could hand out CDs instead of paper and pencils so that we would have their “undivided attention” – absolutely true!! Excellent information!!



  9. thanks…

    Some very useful tip on how to go about when you give handouts during a training session. It’s my first time visiting here. I discovered countless intriguing stuff within your weblog especially the on-going conversation. From the tons of comments on your articles, I guess I’m not the only person relishing reading your website. Carry on the good work.

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