One of the mistakes I watch many trainers and speakers make is the thought that everything needs to be passed out before a session begins.  While that does often simplify logistics, it also promotes distractions, premature conclusions, and often disinterest.  To confirm this fact, watch any audience as they enter a listening environment where a full complement of materials is already distributed.  They will invariably begin to thumb through them, already drawing conclusions about what is interesting and what is not.  The speaker/trainer should be the focus that makes or breaks this conclusion, not the materials (if a communication event could stand on the materials alone, why is the speaker even there?).A better method is to use materials in the sequence and time they are needed.  This may require some creative manners to distribute them, especially as the audience size becomes large.  But this helps an audience to build their knowledge and participation, instead of trying to digest or conclude about the entire event up front.  In addition, most training events pass out too much material, and not too little.  While it’s often good to provide that “little extra” in the session materials, overload causes the central message to become diluted.

Materials are there to SUPPORT the message.  Use them appropriately and timely.

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