Lack of Paper Leads to Slides?

I am preparing for two sessions I am presenting at ASAE’s Great Ideas conference in Orlando. One is about new models for book publishing that leverage the Web and the other is on taking risks with technology.

ASAE has gone paperless for their conferences in the last few years, to save money and a few trees. All the handouts are available for download via their web site. I just noticed how this is impacting how I design my sessions, however.

I like to present visual models for some of my ideas and walk participants through using them in their own work. This keeps everything very practical and helps to translate the material I am sharing into tangible results for the people in the session. If I could distribute a workbook or set of handouts, I could do without slides completely. But I can’t count on anyone actually having the handout in front of them. So, I have to do slides.

It’s a bit counter-intuitive but I think that banning all paper handouts can actually counter another change ASAE has been encouraging, which are more interactive sessions that rely less on slide decks. What do you think?

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One thought on “Lack of Paper Leads to Slides?

  1. David, I think you are right. We recently went paper-less, and instead of eliminating paper completely, we told speakers they had the option of doing a one-page handout to accompany their presentation – which accommodates the learner that needs paper. We provided them with training on how to do that effectively (along with some other tips). And I’m happy to say that attendees and our volunteer leadership really appreciated it. They lugged less paper home, but had a reference sheet to refer to before and after the session. We saved trees and money on copying. I haven’t run numbers yet, but we had projected that we would reduce our paper consumption by 2/3, which is great, I think. I have maintained, though I don’t promote it actively, that we would be willing to photocopy meaningful handouts, but no more slides. However, attendees can download those from our web site. It worked well for us!

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