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Teleseminar Handouts: Everything You Need to Know But Forgot to Ask

Copyright (c) 2008-2022

Whenever you present a teleseminar, teleclass or teleconference, the main channel of communication is auditory. After all, you are speaking to your audience on a telephone bridge line, and in many cases the audience is also talking back to you and to one another.

However, don't overlook the opportunity to provide value in written form as well, by providing a teleseminar handout. This has several advantages:

  • Persistence. I have a framed calligraphy verse in my office: "Writing abides; the spoken word takes wing and cannot be recalled." That's not precisely true when you are recording a teleseminar so that it lives on, but handouts do often have a much longer lifespan than audio files. Handouts are convenient to store and look at again in file folders, whether the tangible kind or on a computer. Great handouts also condense lots of information to the essential points, so they're more conducive to a quick review than the audio file would be.

  • Learning Styles. Everyone has an idiosyncratic set of preferences regarding how they learn best, and handouts accommodate those who prefer reading to listening. With a handout to read and review, teleseminar participants feel more confident they've learned something. Clients of mine who sign up for teleclasses even though the auditory channel is their least favorite method of learning treasure the handouts even more than those who love learning by listening and speaking.

  • Convenient Reference. When you are recommending certain resources during your call, it may be really hard for your listeners to take accurate notes. Without a handout, you'll have to repeat spellings and URLs or have to field email questions about them later. By putting them on the handout, people can more easily follow up on what they learned during the teleseminar.

  • Pass-along Potential. Someone excited about what they learned in a teleseminar might be inspired to forward your handout to someone else, either by email or by physically handing it to someone else in their office. While technically they might not have permission to do that, this can win you new customers and fans among those who did not attend the telephone session.

  • Perceived Value. What if someone feels on the fence about the value they received from your teleseminar? Your handout can make the difference between them feeling good about your offering and requesting a refund. The handout also provides value for someone who missed the live session. And even with those who greatly appreciated the live teleseminar, the handout increases the value they feel they received.

  • Formats for Teleseminar Handouts

    One style of teleseminar handout presents an outline of all the key points in the session, but with blanks for the listener to fill in while listening. By tapping into the power of curiosity, this style of handout increases the odds of someone who received the handout ahead of time attending the live session. By increasing the attendee's involvement, it probably also decreases refund requests and increases satisfaction. However, the fill-in-the-blanks style of handout might not go over well with highly educated audiences, because it can come across as somewhat childish.

    More common is a simple outline format for your handout, with subheads and numbered points or bullet points. Tell participants to print the handout ahead of time so they can take notes on it while they're listening. And leave extra-wide margins or extra space between sections so listeners have enough room to write on the handout. For easier reference during your call, number the pages.

    Most of the time, distribute handouts in PDF (Adobe Acrobat) format, because this allows everyone to see the exact same version of the material, with the same page numbers. However, if your handout is something your customer needs to manipulate or change while using it, such as a sales letter template, then provide it as a Microsoft Word document. When I present a multi-session teleseminar course, I often provide all the handouts in printed, bound format at the conclusion of the course, along with the CD recordings. Buyers love being able to place the bound course manual on their bookshelf for easy reference.

    Always, always include your complete contact information on every page of the handout, and end with a brief description of products or services you sell that are related to the teleseminar topic.

    Delivery of Teleseminar Handouts

    What's the best timing and method for getting handouts to participants? When people sign up for a live teleseminar, you may be able to load the handout into your shopping cart so they receive the file immediately. Or you can send them the handout right away by autoresponder. However, if there's more than a day or two until the teleseminar is to take place, many registrants will misplace the handout. In that case I feel it's best to distribute the handout by email no sooner than the day before the event.

    The biggest problem with teleseminar handouts comes up when the recording takes on some sort of second life, when you're inviting people to download the audio file from your web site. Many teleseminar hosts forget that they referenced a handout during the call and do not provide any obvious way for later listeners to get the handout. Solve this problem by setting up the handout to be downloaded in the same place and manner as the teleseminar recording.

    It seems like you could simply post handouts at your web site and mention the URL during the call, so those listening later could easily find them. What tends to happen then is that the handouts become accessible in web searches.

    See this for yourself by typing "teleseminar handout" or "teleclass handout" into Google. Thousands of handouts come up, some of them for courses that cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars to attend. I believe that most of those who posted those handouts did not intend them to be publicly available.

    So create handouts, but for paid teleseminars especially, take care in how you deliver them to your event participants.


    About The Author: Shop Amazon - Top Gift Ideas
    Veteran teleseminar presenter Marcia Yudkin specializes in high- ticket, high-value teleteaching courses. To find out more about your teleseminar options, download a complimentary copy of "66 Ways to Use Teleseminars to Promote Your Business or Your Cause," go to http://www.yudkin.com/teleteach.htm . Discover how to plan, promote and deliver profitable teleseminars, whether you're an entrepreneur, business or health professional, nonprofit organization or corporate marketer.

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