How to make handouts and tipsheets
Is this a little too meta? Maybe. But not everyone has put together training materials for their colleagues before, and we’re trying to be as helpful as possible here. So here are a few tips for making effective handouts and tipsheets:
- Name your files the way you would write an SEO headline, which is to say, name your files the way you would search for them if you had a question. This document is called Tipsheet: How to Make Handouts
- If you are explaining something technical, consider using step-by-step screenshots. You can use the tool called Skitch to easily make screenshots from the web and add arrows or text to them. For example, if someone needs to click somewhere, circle that area on the image.
- If you’re going to share a large number of examples from other newsrooms, be sure to include links in addition to screenshots so that your team can explore the examples on their own.
- Think about how people will primarily be accessing your handouts or tipsheets: are they going to be out in the field and looking on their phones? Do slides make more sense for certain topics? Are you developing more of a guide (lengthy, many pages) or a tipsheet (concise, one page)?
- Consider how you will make this resource available to people on your staff: saved to a Trello board, saved to a shared computer drive, uploaded to a company intranet/shared Google Drive or Dropbox, emailed, pinned in a key Slack channel, etc.
- At the end of each tipsheet or handout, add your name and the date that you most recently updated the document. This will help remind people that you did this work, and that you can be consulted further regarding this topic. It also helps people to know whether the document is out of date and needs to be updated.
This resource is part of the OpenNews After Party toolkit, developed by Emma Carew Grovum. It’s meant to help you get the most out of SRCCON—or any journalism event—and share what you learn with your own organization. The toolkit is licensed CC BY-SA 4.0, and we’d love to see you use or adapt it for your own event—all we need is a link back here.
We’d also be thrilled to hear how you put what you learn into practice, so please tweet us at #OpenNewsAfterParty, or if you have any questions, let us know!