Don’t just build slide decks – build documents and PDFs for your participants for your presentations

Welcome to the “What NOT to Do When Building an Online Community!”  In this article, we talk about a very simple concept, but one that seems to come up way too often because it’s way too easy to fall into the trap of doing it:
Don’t just build slide decks – build documents and PDFs for your participants for your presentations.
Before we start, let’s be clear on one major point: there is no condemnation or embarrassment for anyone who has done this for their courses.  Yes, this material is based on real-life situations and existing courses, and there are real people who have either tried to do it, or have done it.  We won’t give names and we won’t cause them to be embarrassed.  With that in mind, please don’t share names of people or companies who have made this decision, and please don’t ask who we know have done this kind of work.
You may wonder why we talk about what NOT to do.  If you’ve played sports, or worked on a hobby, or have tried to master a skill, sometimes it’s more instructive to see how NOT to do something before you attempt to do it the right way.  It’s an effective approach to eliminate a poorly executed skill before you even start to try to do it.  And that’s why we talk about what NOT to do – because we don’t want you to even consider doing it in the first place!
When you’re building an online course, most students want to walk away from the course with plenty of knowledge, but also reference materials.  Many instructors build slide decks, thinking that the decks are enough for their participants.  To deal with the hassle of looking for something in the slide decks is something that no participant wants to deal with.
Instead, do your participants a favor and build documents and PDFs.  They’ll thank you later.
There’s nothing wrong with sharing your slide deck presentation.  In fact, there are some people who like going through them again and again. But you can always convert your slide deck presentation into PDF format so that they can either view it electronically or print out the individual slides.  This is a handy way to review the material and it’s easier to save for the participants on their computers.
While you’re at it, though, why not give them a PDF of additional material which will help them further understand what you presented to them?  You can also place key contact information in that PDF, along with a free or discounted offer.  Whatever you choose to do, it allows you to be in front of that participant, and it encourages that person to keep in contact with your brand.
Yes, it may take a little bit of time, but it’s worth it.  And having that material saved and positioned to be distributed in the future isn’t a bad thing.  With some good strategy, you can repurpose these documents and PDFs for other events.  Not only do you not have to build new material, you also have something that you didn’t have to rush to build it, either.
Want to know more?  Check out our other articles and videos.  And email us with your questions at by writing them in the “topic” field.  We’re here to help!

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