I'm putting together a slideshow for an upcoming talk (I'm in a field where slideshows are slowly becoming common, and these colloquia are always good opportunities to get used to things like this). The talk itself only runs to slide 20 or so, but after that I'm going to have another 20-25 slides to help me deal with a number of questions that I anticipate might arise during Q&A. I'm going to make a printout of the slideshow and distribute it as a handout.

The question is, should I include the non-talk slides in the handout? The way I see it:


  • helps audience members understand my answers to their questions.
  • provides a more detailed overview of certain areas where an efficient presentation requires simplification of the content.


  • paper cost (ecologically, not financially): we are talking about 3-4 extra sheets of paper per handout.
  • people who are interested in the content of these slides will probably go and ask me for the paper instead; people who aren't interested in that level of detail will probably not even look at them.
  • 7
    What is this thing called paper? Apr 4, 2015 at 10:13
  • I think the second bullet of Con pretty much answer your question: Give the print-out of the non-talk slides when requested. You can tell the audience who ask questions that you have print-outs ready if they are interested.
    – Nobody
    Apr 4, 2015 at 10:29
  • 1
    You can also ask them to give you e-mail addresses so that you can send them more info later.
    – Nobody
    Apr 4, 2015 at 10:33

2 Answers 2


I think that if you are going to prepare a handout, you might as well add all of the material in the handout, including your backup slides. After all, you've put them in there for a reason, and since you might share them during the talk, you might as well share them in the handout as well.


If you feel the need to have a printout just include the ones you are going to use in your presentation and even those I would not give out until after your presentation. You want your audience listening to you and watching your talk related slide not thumbing through printouts of other things you have given them.

The non talk slides will be useful if required for the question and answer part but not all people will necessarily be interested in someone else's question and therefore the slide.

I would subsequently make available all slides either via a website if possible or via emailing or dropbox or some other form of electronic modality.

Good luck with the presentation

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .