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Color Handouts, or B&W?

Anne Baber

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Are other speakers adding more color to handouts (going from B&W to color accents or full color)? Are clients balking at printing full-color handouts? Are speakers charging extra for printing full-color handouts for clients?

— Jane Sanders

I’ve used color for 2 years, less than 1% of my clients have insisted on black and white. Most of my clients are Fortune 100, maybe that’s why.

— Helen Wilkie

When I supply PDF files of my handouts to clients they do have some color in them. However, I make sure they also look good in black and white. I tell the client they can choose which way to print them, and usually they do them in color anyway.

— Bill Conerly

I tell clients that I prepare handouts for b/w, but will do color on request. I’m getting a few more requests for color now than in the past.

Most of my handouts are charts of economic data. I’m now creating them in colors that will print out well in b/w. That took a little experimentation. Imagine two lines on a chart. They should be colorful in color charts, but different-looking when printed out in b/w. Once you have your colors figured out, though, I create all my handouts in color, and client can print either way.

— Rita Risser Chai

First, I never let clients reproduce handouts. I want mine to look good and clients rarely do that.

Second, I was told years ago by a client that she was paying another trainer triple for course materials because they were color. We immediately switched to color covers and tripled our price. We use a black binder with clear sleeves and insert the color sheets into the sleeves.

If I am doing just a handout, I reproduce with black ink on my letterhead which has a color photo of a seascape on it. I usually also attach my full-color one-page for each audience member.

— Sharon Breay

This reply is from a very small speaker — frequent speaker, but getting only $100–600 per engagement, in the same city as I reside. I do not use colored printing for my handouts, as there may be several. (Advice given me: informational speakers should give lots of valuable handouts). However, I ALWAYS use colored paper, a different color for each handout. Easier for the user, and papers don’t get lost in their paper pile when they go back home or to the office. The most important handout (marketing info) is always in goldenrod.

— Bobbe White

I’ve never asked a client to print color for me. If I’ve ever done color then I’ve printed the handouts myself. One trick I’ve done to keep costs down is to make it a mini-handout: 1/4 of a page. They’re small, yes, but concise, and very portable if traveling.

— Kelley Robertson

I only use full-color workbooks in my presentations. Clients seldom balk at the price because I position the value in my proposal and I also create a package of materials for participants.

— Michael Benidt & Sheryl Kay

Handouts of any color are quickly going bye-bye.

The green movement has caused many groups to limit handouts to one-page, insist that handouts be posted on the Web, or other “green” solutions. Conventions and meeting planners have to be aware that their audiences are much more attuned now to wasteful practices. If they print color copies they risk the ire of informed attendees.

Here’s one of the bullets from the Green Meetings Council Convention Report — Reduce paper usage as much as possible by using the Web and e-mail to promote the event, offering electronic registration, and providing the event itinerary and proceedings on-line (including speaker notes and handouts).

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