I did a 2-day presentation to a group in Virginia Beach last week. The topic is a rather dry one – how to stay in compliance with environmental laws andregulations. Instead of giving the audience a copy of the presentation material at the beginning, I gave each attendee a 4-page summary containing 3 key points to remember for each of the 11 sessions. There is room on the handout for them to take their own notes and to add more points to remember. At the end of the 2-day conference, I gave each participant a copy of a CD that contains a 400-page PDF document that is both searchable and printable. This document has all the topics that I covered in technical detail.
The arrangement worked out remarkably well. The attendees were able to take notes AND pay attention to the presentation. There was nothing for them to read ahead of my presentation so they focused on the presentation.
By the way – no one fell asleep. Many just noticed the presentation was “more refreshing” than the usual presentations they had been exposed to. They just enjoyed it. They didn’t even noticed there were no bullet points until I pointed that out to them.