How to Design a Training Handout

by Judi Light Hopson; Updated September 26, 2017
Business Seminar

Creating a leaflet or brochure to describe training requires gaining an employee's interest. Strong words and visual images can help, although having text to back up the selling points of the training is needed. In planning the handout, it's important to think as the recipient of the handout. Figure out how the training itself can fill certain emotional or practical needs in order to select phrases and images that work. In addition, use colors to design the handout that are pleasing to the eye.

Items you will need

  • Text of written training objectives
  • Visual images
  • Credentials of training instructor
  • Choices of leaflet and brochure designs
  • Paper samples/colors
Step 1

Assemble descriptive text about the training session or seminar. Include a list of training objectives and sell the training itself from the perspective of skills and knowledge employees will gain. Look for ways to convince employees that the learning experience will help bring solutions to existing problems.

Step 2

Find visual images to make the handout noticeable. Search online for free downloadable graphics or photos. Consider using a picture of a worried individual if the training is about reducing office tension, for example. Or, use an outdoor picture of a pleasing nature scene if the training is about finding balance to offset stress.

Step 3

List the educational or professional credentials of the subject matter expert who is authoring or delivering the training. Design the handout text to emphasize the background of this individual. Consider including one or more photos of any expert involved.

Step 4

Review the printing options for the handouts in brochure or leaflet formatting. Decide whether to make the brochure a bifold or trifold, for example. Also, select paper textures and colors that might be used.

Step 5

Talk with a printing expert about choices for more complex handout designs. Consider, for example, binding a multiple-paged handout with a title cover page.

Step 6

Investigate costs to make multiple printings fit a given budget. Require a printing company to offer one or two samples for further study and review before many printings are completed. Edit the initial draft thoroughly to ensure there are no typos.

Tips

  • Create a handout that has memorable language. State, for example, that a training session will show employees how to save time. Then, use short sound bites on the front cover related to saving time. Don't launch into selling key points until readers understand what the seminar is all about.

Warnings

  • Avoid mistakes by having friends and co-workers review a handout. Even senior-level editors at top publishing houses do "round robin" editing, whereby many study a given document. By looking at the same document over time, most editors can repeatedly overlook a small typo.

About the Author

Judi Light Hopson is a national columnist for McClatchy Newspapers. She is founder of Hopson Global Education and Training and co-author of the college textbook, Burnout to Balance: EMS Stress. She holds a degree in psychology from East Tennessee State University, and has been a professional writer for 25 years.

Photo Credits

  • Robert Churchill/iStock/Getty Images