A handout is a document passed out to give information. Handouts are commonly given by a teacher to students during classes; however, students might also make handouts for presentation purposes. Teachers or school officials might give handouts to parents and they are also useful for school speeches. When making a handout, include key features to make it the most effective handout possible.

Type out the key points of the presentation or information in outline or bullet form. A handout gives a brief summary of information as a reminder to the information given in the presentation rather than telling every detail.

Include the information that students, parents or anyone in the audience will need to know for future reference. Never leave out the key points you want the audience to remember. The handout is a reminder, so if you run out of space, remove unnecessary points and keep the reminder points.

Put information about further study sources. For example, if there is a book you prefer the students read to find out more about the subject, type in the author, book title and bibliographical information so the students can find the information from a source you prefer or use for class. This helps avoid contradictory information that might confuse students.

Write a few activity directions or questions on the bottom of the handout. A handout should not only include facts and points, but also illustrations, activities or questions to get the audience thinking.

Add any charts, graphs or illustrations as necessary for the handout. Pictures are not required, but images can help students, especially if they are graphs or charts. Charts, graphs or illustrations are placed in appropriate locations among the outlined information.

Italicize or bold any section titles to separate them from the rest of the handout. Since the handout is written in bullet or outline form, creating a distinction between titles or separate sections avoids confusion.

Keep the handout to one page if possible, but ensure there is plenty of white space. Do not overcrowd the paper, but try making it only a page. The handout should only have the most vital information while the speech or lecture should fill in further information. If it is not possible to keep it down to a single page, staple the handout pages together so students do not lose the second page.