What is a fill-in-the-blank worksheet?
While it might be obvious, a fill-in-the-blank worksheet is simply a single or multi-page handout with designated spaces that your audience can fill in during your presentation. A fill-in-the-blank worksheet is designed to help your listeners follow your presentation while enhancing learning retention!
Now, you can easily create these fill-in-the-blank worksheets on your computer using any word processor software program, like Microsoft® Word, Microsoft® Publisher, Adobe® InDesign or WordPad®. In this lesson, I’m going to teach you (1) where you can use fill-in-the-blank worksheets, (2) the benefits for using them, (3) how to create them and how to use them!
Where can you use fill-in-the-blank worksheets?
Fill-in-the-blank worksheets ensure that your audience members stay on track throughout your presentation and retain what you teach them:
- Seminars, Presentations, Boot Camps & Workshops — If you want your audience members to remember what you teach them when you give a live presentation, don’t expect them to read your PowerPoint® slides on the big screen and “follow along!” Slides should only serve as a reference for them. With fill-in-the-blank worksheets in their hands, they are encouraged to listen to you and take notes that they can refer to later.
- Tele-Seminars, Tele-Calls, Coaching Calls, etc. — The object of making any presentation is for your audience to listen and learn and that depends on how well you present your material. By using fill-in-the-blank worksheets to follow your tele-seminars, your callers have more than an excellent chance of learning the nuggets of what you are teaching – because they are writing it down.
- Webinars, Video Tutorials, etc. — There is something inspiring about writing things down. Again, supply your audience a fill-in-the-blank worksheets. It forces them to review what they heard and thought about the presentation.
What’s the benefit of using a fill-in-the-blank worksheet?
There are many benefits to creating and using fill-in-the-blank worksheets. For example:
- Serves As An Outline For Your Presentation — So, you’re planning to give a speech or make a presentation to a group of people. What will you say to them? What topics will you cover? What points do you want people to walk away with after your speech? Well, why not write out your speech, then break it down into an outline or small components to create your fill-in-the-blank handout.
- Keeps Your Audience Attentive — If you want to keep your listeners engaged, provide them with fill-in-the-blanks worksheets. They will be stimulated by what words (or answers) they should write down. To maintain their attention, keep them active and participating.
- Reinforce Retention & Memorization — Not all people are auditory learners and must have a visual image to comprehend what they are hearing about. Repetition is the basis of good learning. You can provide repetition in your speech or seminar by providing fill-in-the-blank worksheets. The listener can document the main points and have something to take home to review later.
- Great For Note Taking — Most audience members forget to bring any supplies to take notes. If you provide fill-in-the-blank worksheets, you’ve resolved that problem. They will be more inclined to take notes, make comments in the margins of your worksheet, ask questions and more.
- Can Study/Prepare For The Same Presentation Quickly — The next time you give the same presentation, what happens? You’re ready! You’ve got the outline for it, and the fill-in-the-blank worksheets ready to print and hand out at your next event.
What elements are necessary to design a fill-in-the-blank worksheet?
When creating fill-in-the-blank worksheets to use during tele-seminars, seminars, workshops and webinars, consider including these elements to your creation as well as a few of your own:
- Cover Sheet — Add a professional touch to your fill-in-the-blank worksheets by creating an attractive cover for them. Creating the cover first can inspire you to write out the outline and design your fill-in-the-blank worksheet. I designed the covers you see below for some of my seminars and tele-seminars. The best part? I can reuse them.When you click on a cover below to enlarge it, notice that there are no dates or times on them. By not including a date on the cover, I can use the extra copies of the fill-in-the-blank worksheets again and again. I also want you to notice that I placed my website address (per subject taught) prominently on each cover. You should do the same!
- Main “Fill-In-The-Blank” Pages — Depending on how long your presentation is (i.e., 45 minutes, 2 hours, 1/2 day, all day, 2-day, all week, etc.), you will need to create your fill-in-the-blank worksheets based on your entire speech. Your hand out, might turn out to be 3 pages for a 1-hour speech or 1 page. It all depends.
- Product/Service Page — Since you have their attention and your fill-in-the-blank worksheet in their hands, you might as well take advantage of the marketing opportunity to promote some kind of product and/or service (either yours or someone else’s) when the presentation is over and the audience members have filled in all the blanks with the correct answers.
- “Special Offer” Page [CLICK FOR SAMPLE] — Another marketing idea would be to toss in a special offer promotions page to those who attended your seminar, tele-seminar or webinar and have a fill-in-the-blank worksheet in their hands. “For those on the call today, please turn to the page that says ‘SPECIAL OFFER’. If you act today, you will get …”
- Recommended Resources [CLICK FOR SAMPLE] — Another good idea would be to add a recommended resource section to the back of your fill-in-the-blank worksheet. You can either recommend your websites, products and services, or other websites, products and services, of which you have an affiliate relationship with.
- Your Contact Information — If you want people to be able to get a hold of you after the seminar, tele-seminar or webinar, make sure you add your contact information somewhere in the worksheet or on each page, preferably at the bottom in the footer, if you want people to do just that — contact you!
How do you actually go about creating a fill-in-the-blank worksheet?
Creating a fill-in-the-blank worksheet for your audience is really easy. Whether you’re conducing a live, in-person seminar, workshop or boot camp; online webinar; or a tele-seminar, the procedures for creating them are the same. Only the delivery strategy is different.
- Write Out Your Main Bullet Points — Start out by making a list or an outline of the main talking points for your presentation.
- Elaborate On Their Explanations — The secret to building curiosity with your audience is to elaborate to create interest. When you have your outline, expand on each talking point / answer in your fill-in-the-blank worksheet. For example…
- Remove A 1-5 Key Words Related To Each Main Point — Then, remove 1-5 key words to the main talking points you’d like your audience to learn. For example:
- Add Page Numbers To Your Fill-In-The-Blank Document — If your fill-in-the-blank worksheet is more than one page, I recommend you number each page at the bottom. It will enable you to eliminate any confusion by simply stating, “We’re on page three.” In this way, everyone is on the same page!
- Add Your Copyright Statement To Your Fill-In-The-Blank Document — Your hard work is going out to the public at large. Make sure everyone understands that you wrote the material by having your work is copyrighted. This will discourage people from copying your work and taking ownership for it.
- Create Your BACK PAGES: Product/Service Page(s), Special Offer Page, Recommended Resource Page(s), etc. — When you’re done creating the actual fill-in-the-blank worksheet section, create (what I call) your “back pages.” They consist of optional product catalog/service listing pages, special offer pages, recommended resources, etc. If you don’t have any of this to include in your fill-in-the-blank worksheet, then bypass this section for now.
- Print a Hard Copy Of Your Fill-In-The-Blank Worksheet & PROOF-READ IT! — When you’re done creating the first draft of your fill-in-the-blank worksheet, print a hard copy and read it closely for errors, mistakes, misspellings, grammatical errors, punctuation errors, margin/alignment issues, etc. Take a red pen and make any corrections you see fit. Let someone else read it too. Two eyes are always better than one!
- Print a MASTER COPY Of Your Fill-In-The-Blank Worksheet To Get Copied — After you’re done proofing and correcting your fill-in-the-blank handout, print a master copy. If you’re conducting a live, in-person seminar, workshop or boot camp, take this master copy down to the local office supply store and have it copied. How many copies do you need to make? How many people are attending your seminar? Remember to get a few more copies made than you actually need.
- Print a PDF File Of Your Fill-In-The-Blank Worksheet — If you’re conducting a webinar or tele-seminar, where you won’t be seeing people face-to-face / in-person, the you’ll need to deliver your fill-in-the-blank worksheet handout in PDF format. You don’t want to send it in Microsoft® Word, a format they can edit it and mess it up. Instead, send it in a format they can only print and “fill-in-the-blank” with a pen or pencil; that’s PDF.
— and that’s pretty much it!
How do you go about distributing your fill-in-the-blank worksheet?
Is this a live in-person event or a tele-seminar (or webinar)? In either case, here’s what you do:
- Face-To-Face / In-Person Event — Simply print your fill-in-the-blank worksheet, cover and any back pages; proof it, and if you’re confident it’s been spell-checked and proofed for obvious errors, take it down to the office supply store and make copies. How many depends on the number of attendees expected at your live event. Always print more than you expect. You might also choose to redirect all those who register for the event to a secret web page where they can also download worksheets.
- Tele-Seminar Event Over The Phone — If you’re conducting a tele-seminar and wish to get your fill-in-the-blank worksheet to those who are attending the tele-seminar, simply eMail it to them in PDF format. If you have an online registration system set up with auto-responders, you might include a simple download link to your fill-in-the-blank worksheet. You might also choose to redirect all those who register for the event to a secret web page where they can also download the worksheet from there.
- Webinar Event Online — Like a tele-seminar, you will deliver your fill-in-the-blank worksheet online, via eMail. If you have an online registration system set up to eMail those who register information about the webinar, you could also include an eMail link to download the fill-in-the-blank worksheet you want them to use during your webinar training event. You might also choose to redirect all those who register for the event to a secret web page where they can also download the worksheet from there.
How do you use your newly created fill-in-the-blank worksheet?
When you’re ready to conduct your training event, whether it’s face-to-face/in-person, over the telephone or online via webinar, simply instruct your audience members to get out their fill-in-the-blank worksheets so they can start taking notes and filling in the blanks!
If someone didn’t get a fill-in-the-blank worksheet, either give them one (in-person at your seminar event) or direct them to check the eMail you sent them that contained a website link to where they could download it off your website. For example, maybe that link looks like this: www.yoursite.com/audioseminarhandout.pdf
Now you’re ready to being your presentation! Follow along your own fill-in-the-blank worksheet. When you come across a blank that your audience members are suppose to complete, slowly and clearly give them the word that goes in the blank. Give them time to write it down and ask any questions about what you want them learn. Here’s a sample dialogue of a tele-training call using my fill-in-the-blank worksheets:
I think you get the picture. Can you see how using fill-in-the-blank worksheets with your audience will (1) help you stay on course with your entire presentation and (2) help your audience learn and retain that which you teach them? You bet!