Evaluation 2014


Presentation Development

What does AEA consider to be a high quality presentation?

The American Evaluation Association believes that our members learn best from one another when presentation content is strong, visuals are compelling, and delivery is clear. Our Potent Presentations Initiative supports presenters in each of these areas. Begin by reviewing the recorded webinars here and downloading our Presentation Preparation Checklist.

What makes strong presentation content?

The AEA conference includes a wide range of topics - from evaluation results, to new theories, to practical skill-building for day-to-day practice. Audiences consist of evaluators, evaluation managers, and other stakeholders. To reach that broad audience, strong content should (1) match the title and abstract printed in the program, and (2) follow an action-oriented structure. Structure your content so that it roughly fits our Messaging Model which prioritizes the information most relevant for AEA audiences and provides suggested time allotments. 

How can I develop compelling visuals?

Poster presenters should review our Guidelines for Posters to understand both the physical layout of available poster space and graphic design advice for developing appealling visuals. Review our sample poster and past poster winners for exemplars.

There are many ways to craft slides for a presentation, and we recommend using our Slide Design Guidelines as a starting point. The guidelines were developed around research-based best practices in graphic design and presentation. For inspiration modifying existing slides to a set that are more engaging and informative, review the Fab Five Reboot posts where we redesigned the slides from 5 of AEA's top presenters.

How can I improve my presentation delivery skills?

A surefire way to become better at presentation delivery is to practice presenting. Practice early and often, in front of colleagues and a lay audience. Many presenters have found our Presentation Assessment Rubric helpful and have asked practice audiences to use it to provide feedback. 

Good planning can also make for a more confident presenter. Modify our Rundown Template and take note of your presentation timing, so you know what points to make by what times, as well as what associated materials you will need to support you.