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Hello all! I’m Sheila B Robinson, aea365’s Lead Curator and sometimes Saturday contributor with a Hot Tip and Rad Resource for presentation designers!

On March 30, we unveiled a new, reorganized and freshened up Potent Presentations Initiative (p2i) website. Here’s what you’ll find:

  1. On the p2i HOME page, you’ll find a brief introduction to p2i, and our 3 key components – Message, Design, and Delivery. Webinars for each provide in-depth learning and reference some of the resources found on the PRESENTATION TOOLS & GUIDELINES page.
  2. All downloadable resources live on the PRESENTATION TOOLS & GUIDELINES page. The page is organized with Checklists & Worksheets on top, then resources aligned to the p2i components – Message, Design, and Delivery – followed by resources for Audience Engagement. As you browse this page, you’ll find links to additional content and pages along with the tools. Just look for tool titles that are links, as in this example: Notice that “Slide Design Guidelines” is a link. This will take you to another page of content on Slide Design. Another key addition is that the authors who contributed the content are now recognized and their names linked to their websites or LinkedIn profiles.
  3. Given that posters are the largest category of presentations at our annual conference, POSTER PRESENTATIONS warranted its own page. Here, you’ll find a page with specific guidelines for designing a conference poster, along with two additional navigation buttons. One takes you to more content on Research Poster Design, while the other points to  Award Winning Posters,  from recent AEA conferences, and other organizations. Each poster image is accompanied by a brief explanation of what makes it a winner.
  4. Don’t forget to visit the ABOUT US page to learn about the folks who have contributed to making p2i what it is!
  5. We now have a hashtag that is all ours: #aeap2i. Please tweet about the p2i website and resources using this tag. Follow the hashtag #aeap2i by clicking on the top button found on the p2i HOME page, and while you’re at it, why not follow the association itself (@aeaweb) as well! 

Behind the scenes…

Over the last year, we’ve worked to migrate and reorganize all content from the original p2i website to the main AEA site at eval.org (kudos to Zachary Grays, who did the heavy lifting!). We updated the tools, and added new content and introductory language where needed. One reason for the move was to protect us from hackers. Our original site, built on a different platform, was a constant target and over the years we received countless notices from members that the site URL had been maliciously redirected (meaning it took people to a different website), or that downloads were not working. We’re confident now the new site and all of our great content will be safe and reliable.

Be sure to visit eval.org/p2i and let us know what you think!

Sneak Preview! We have exciting new content for our p2i resource collection on its way to publication. Stay tuned to learn more!

Do you have questions, concerns, kudos, or content to extend this aea365 contribution? Please add them in the comments section for this post on the aea365 webpage so that we may enrich our community of practice. Would you like to submit an aea365 Tip? Please send a note of interest to aea365@eval.org . aea365 is sponsored by the American Evaluation Association and provides a Tip-a-Day by and for evaluators.

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My name is Michelle Mandolia and I work in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Evaluation Support Division.  At last year’s conference, I attended Stephanie Evergreen’s three Potent Presentations Initiative sessions on Message, Design, and Delivery (now available as a 3-part webinar series or as PDFs at http://p2i.eval.org/).  P2i has been a game changer for me.  Where I used to feel apprehensive about presentations, I feel excited to sit down to create because I know I have the tools.   Here are a few tips on what helped me gain my footing once the introduction to content was over.

Lesson Learned: Start anywhere.  P2i is a menu of many delicious options and you get to keep coming back for more.  Start where you are most excited and most comfortable and build from there.  I was eager to revamp a slide deck I had inherited.  I mainly focused on design elements—making sure my photos were high quality and full bleed; eliminating bullets; and sticking to one idea per slide.  Check out a before and after:

Before:

Mandolia 1 Mandolia 2

Mandolia 3 Mandolia 4

Developed into 3 Afters

Lesson Learned: Start small. For my coworker, a total redesign sounded daunting.  She started with a new presentation and focused on minimizing text and making it pop.  Our manager, whom my colleague was briefing, really responded to the new design.  Here are examples of a previous version of a slide she used and the new version:

 Mandolia 5

Before

Mandolia 6

After

Lesson Learned: Just start. Ad libbing from bulleted slides is my comfort zone.  Scripting the entire presentation makes for a great follow up reference document but it didn’t work for me during delivery.  Now, I make my talking points into actual bulleted slides—a subtle distinction but a psychological trick that helps me present with greater ease.  The slide deck that the audience sees is new and follows p2i principles but the hardcopy I use when presenting contains my speaker note slides.  Here’s an example:

Mandolia 7

Do you have questions, concerns, kudos, or content to extend this aea365 contribution? Please add them in the comments section for this post on the aea365 webpage so that we may enrich our community of practice. Would you like to submit an aea365 Tip? Please send a note of interest to aea365@eval.org . aea365 is sponsored by the American Evaluation Association and provides a Tip-a-Day by and for evaluators.

· · · ·

Hi! My name is Angie Ficek and I am a program evaluator at Professional Data Analysts, Inc., a small firm in Minneapolis, MN specializing in public health evaluation. At least year’s AEA conference I had the great pleasure of attending Stephanie Evergreen’s session on presentation message, sponsored by AEA’s Potent Presentations Initiative (p2i). The session was all about the key elements of a presentation and how to structure a presentation in order to engage your audience and get your message across clearly.

Hot Tips:

    • One key takeaway that has forever changed my presentations is to spend way less time on background information. For a 15 minute presentation you shouldn’t even spend a whole minute on background. Whoa. This is so you can set the stage for your presentation but then quickly get on to the good stuff.
    • Another tip I learned is to have a “bottom line” and provide that bottom line early on in your presentation, not at the end. This makes your audience aware of what you’re going to be talking about. Then they can either wait on the edge of their seat for you to talk more about the point of interest, or they can leave because they see you’re not going to cover what they are interested in.
    • Finally, rather than ending your presentation after the Q & A, include one more slide that serves as a “call to action” for your audience. What do you want the audience to do next as a result of hearing your presentation? This ends your presentation with more energy and helps drive home the message rather than dwindling out after a Q & A session.

Clipped from http://p2i.eval.org/index.php/p2i-tools/

Rad Resources:

As I was putting together this post, I went to the p2i website only to find that you can actually watch Evergreen’s presentation on message. I definitely encourage you to check it out and apply what you learn to your next presentation for a client, stakeholder, conference, etc.

You can also download the Messaging Model Handout from the p2i Tools webpage, which will help you map out your presentation message.

The American Evaluation Association is celebrating Minnesota Evaluation Association (MN EA) Affiliate Week with our colleagues in the MNEA AEA Affiliate. The contributions all this week to aea365 come from our MNEA members. Do you have questions, concerns, kudos, or content to extend this aea365 contribution? Please add them in the comments section for this post on the aea365 webpage so that we may enrich our community of practice. Would you like to submit an aea365 Tip? Please send a note of interest to aea365@eval.org. aea365 is sponsored by the American Evaluation Association and provides a Tip-a-Day by and for evaluators.

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My name is James Coyle and I am the Director of Performance and Evaluation at the Interior Health Authority; I’m also involved in the Evaluation Mentoring Canada initiative and an active evaluation podcaster. Even though the AEA annual conference is right around the corner, I want to tell you how I’ve used AEA resources outside of my conference sessions.

I’ve always tried my best to avoid the most common pitfalls associated with ‘death by PowerPoint’ (DBP). However, ever since an interview with Stephanie Evergreen for a podcast about p2i I’ve been even more concerned with the quality of presentations I’m delivering in my own organization. After reviewing the p2i resources I couldn’t ignore the fact that there was there was still plenty of room to improve my presentations. The good news was that all of the resources I needed to help me were in one place.

Rad Resources: AEA’s p2i website and tools are great yet I tend to focus on 3 resources for non-AEA presentations in my organization.

  • The 2-page Presentation Assessment Rubric is a great checklist that helps people give you feedback on your presentation and generates scores on 3 key elements of your presentation: 1. Message, 2. Design and 3. Delivery. Try using it during practice sessions of your presentation.
  • The Messaging Model Handout is critical in helping me structure my presentation and figure out how much time to spend on each part of a presentation. If I’ve only got 15 minutes to present to busy Senior Executives I really need to plan out the structure and timing of my presentation ahead of time.

Coyle

  • Lastly, the Slide Design Guidelines are an indispensible checklist to ensure your slides’ graphics, fonts, color, and other elements support your audience’s learning.

Hot Tip: Share these resources with your non-evaluation colleagues in your own organizations.

I share the p2i resources with my health care colleagues whenever possible because the principles behind giving great presentations apply to their roles too.

Lesson Learned: If you are giving a webinar test your slides on the software platform ahead of time.

After spending hours (days?!) of hard work creating a presentation recently I was very sad to learn that the high quality graphics we used for our slides were distorted on the audience side of the webinar (even though the slides looked fine on my local screen). I didn’t test the presentation on the platform ahead of time; that won’t happen again!

Do you have questions, concerns, kudos, or content to extend this aea365 contribution? Please add them in the comments section for this post on the aea365 webpage so that we may enrich our community of practice. Would you like to submit an aea365 Tip? Please send a note of interest to aea365@eval.org . aea365 is sponsored by the American Evaluation Association and provides a Tip-a-Day by and for evaluators.

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Greetings this is June Gothberg, Senior Researcher at Western Michigan University.  A few years ago, I became involved with AEA’s Potent Presentations Initiative and worked with Stephanie Evergreen to include universal design principles.  I currently hold a position on the p2i advisory board.  What I didn’t anticipate when I started working with the group is how much p2i would change my presentation worldview.  At conferences or watching any presenter, I find myself reflecting on key p2i principles.  I’ll say things like, “too many bullets” or “that picture doesn’t bleed off the page.” Today, I thought I’d share my own lessons learned.

Lessons Learned:

Evaluators need presentation skills.  As professional evaluators we are often called upon to provide an overview of evaluation results.  Our presentation skills and message can directly impact an organization’s evaluation use.

Often, you don’t know what you don’t know.  I think we’ve all sat through mind numbing presentations.  I’ve always blamed it on a boring speaker with poor delivery.  What I didn’t know was to create potent presentations, delivery is just one component.  Potent presenters need to attend to:

  • Message
  • Design
  • Delivery

I highly recommend these two p2i tools: Presentation Assessment Rubric and The Messaging Model

If you are unsure where to begin, start with eliminating bullets.   As a past classroom teacher, this was difficult for me.  I thought if I didn’t put my content in bullets, the students wouldn’t learn what I intended.  The problem with bulletsis your audience can read your slides faster than you can read it to them. When you use bullet points, you risk reducing your presentation to a read-aloud session (BORING!).  Research shows that text heavy slides not only correlate with boring presentations, but also reduce learning.  Cognitive researcher Chris Atherton found “sparse slides” increased memory and attention.

If I don’t give bullet points then how will they remember what I said? 

  • Find an image to represent your point.
  • If you feel you must use bullets, use only one per slide. Here is an example from my own slide deck:
p2i example

p2i example

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Give handouts.  One thing I’ve used from the field of Universal Design (UD) is the use of handouts with key points.  For your audience members with visual or hearing challenges, this increases their ability to participate.  It also gives your whole audience a space to take notes and follow along with key points without distracting from the presenter.

The devil is in the details and details take time.  Through our work with p2i we’ve found you need to begin at least three months in advance to create potent presentations.  A good planning tool with timeline for preparing presentations is the p2i Presentation Preparation Checklist.

Ensure your presentations are accessible to all.  For ideas to include all people please refer to Creating Presentations Potent for All.

Rad Resources:

Do you have questions, concerns, kudos, or content to extend this aea365 contribution? Please add them in the comments section for this post on the aea365 webpage so that we may enrich our community of practice. Would you like to submit an aea365 Tip? Please send a note of interest to aea365@eval.org . aea365 is sponsored by the American Evaluation Association and provides a Tip-a-Day by and for evaluators.

· · · ·

Hey there. I’m Stephanie Evergreen, AEA’s eLearning Initiatives Director and general data communications geek. Susan Kistler has a family obligation this weekend, so I’m stepping in to share with you the newest developments in AEA’s Potent Presentations Initiative (p2i).

Potent Presentations Logo

You’ve heard about p2i, right? It is a new initiative to help AEA members improve their presentation skills, particularly around delivering conference presentations. We come together once or twice a year to teach each other about our practices and processes, so shouldn’t we do everything we can to make it easy to learn from our presentations? That’s why p2i will feature online and in-person training before and during the annual conference around the three facets of presenting: message, design, and delivery.

We have just launched p2i.eval.org, which will be the hub of this activity.

Rad Resource: Our home page features our upcoming webinar-based training on how to prepare for and deliver an Ignite session. When you receive the proposal status notice for your Ignite session on July 3, head to our site to sign up for one of the two trainings, either on July 17 at 11:30am ET or July 26 at 4pm ET.

Rad Resource: Our first tool to help you rock your conference session is the Presentation Preparation Checklist. Download this PDF to find out what to prepare when, keep yourself on track, and minimize the last minute rush many people experience leading up to a conference presentation. The checklist include time frames specific to this year’s annual conference, October 22-28.

Rad Resource: During the conference we’ll provide a demonstration on research-based effective practices around slide design. But you don’t want to wait until then to begin working on your session slides. So we’ve released the handout for that demonstration already. Head to the p2i site to snag the Slide Design Guidelines (with extra tips for handouts, too). It covers how to handle fonts, graphics, colors, and arrangement and includes links for step-by-step instructions (we’ll add links each month) and awesome extensions of these guidelines from your AEA colleagues.

· · · · · ·

Hi folks. Susan Kistler normally contributes the Saturday post on aea365, but she’s busy cleaning and updating your awesome proposals. I’m Stephanie Evergreen, AEA’s eLearning Initiatives Director and the lead of a new AEA project initiated by the AEA Board of Directors – the Potent Presentations Initiative. We’ll be identifying and sharing research-based strategies to improve the quality of evaluators’ presentations, increasing the likelihood that your message is heard, retained, and used.

Come now, you must admit that at least once in your experience you’ve fully realized what people mean when they refer to “death by PowerPoint.” We know. That’s part of why we’ve started on this mission, but definitely not the only reason.  We want to help evaluators make great presentations in whatever context, whether at a conference, working with stakeholders, or sharing your findings with the public.

In the Potent Presentations Initiative, you can expect professional development targeting slideshows, research posters, and written reports. We’ll share guidance on everything from how to improve the readability of a graph to how to deliver an engaging talk that conveys your key messages.

Hot Tip: Well, actually, that’s why I’m writing to you. What are the hot tips you have about presentations? What do you think makes them potent? You know a good presentation when you see it. What has the presenter done so well? What should you and your fellow evaluators improve? Submit your suggestions in the comments below. Oh, and we’ll make it worth your while. We’ll select, at random, one commenter from among those submitted by April 1 to win a copy of Presentation Zen (2ed) by Garr Reynolds (this new December 2011 edition has some great updates focusing in particular on delivering your message).

Rad Resource: Again, that’s why I’m here. We’re looking for two students who want to take on small research projects as part of this initiative. One study will involve interviewing fantastic presenters and the other will entail a bit of research on rhetoric. Are you interested? Good at research, writing, and in one case interviewing? Available between March and May and up for 40-50 hours of work for a $1500 stipend? Are you my rad resource? If so, send a note of interest and an example of your work to me at stephanie@eval.org by Friday March 30.

Can you extend this aea365 contribution? Please add them in the comments section for this post on the aea365 webpage so that we may learn of your great ideas for improving presentations. aea365 is sponsored by the American Evaluation Association and provides a Tip-a-Day by and for evaluators.

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Hello, I’m Samantha Grant, and I serve as the Evaluation Director at the University of Minnesota’s Center for Youth Development. Like many evaluators, I am eagerly anticipating the start of the Evaluation 2016 Conference. In Minnesota the seasons are changing and we are pulling out our hats and mittens, so the thought of being in sunny Atlanta holds extra wonder for me.

One thing I’ve learned from the Potent Presentations resources is the importance of having a call to action in a presentation. Rather than ending at a low point with questions, you should end with bringing your participants back together and prompting participants to apply the concepts they just learned.

Today I’m shaking it up and giving all of you a call to action at Evaluation 2016. Take a look at this list and pick something to activate your conference experience.

Hot tips:

Download the app. Boo to paper, hooray for digital. The mobile conference app will keep you organized.

Network like a consultant. I love watching evaluators who are looking for new projects. Even though my work is steady as an internal evaluator, I encourage you to think like a consultant and network with others. Take the chance to talk with someone that you don’t know at the conference. Networking is one of the main values that conference attendees get, so use it!

Follow the crowd. By day two, my brain is full and sometimes the sessions I’ve selected seem like too much for my mental capacity. I encourage you to find where there are big groups congregating for a session. Attend this one. You might learn something new.

Get outside. You better believe that I’m going to relish not wearing multiple layers, so get outside and see beautiful Atlanta. Take in some Southern cuisine, go for a run in a local park, or tour one of the local tourist attractions.

Attend a TIG meeting. Topical Interest Groups are a great way to meet people who are passionate about the same things. Find one of the TIGs you are interested in and learn more about them by attending their annual meeting.

Introduce yourself. As a lesser known evaluator, I have the opportunity to meet some of my evaluation idols. Make an effort to introduce yourself to an evaluator whose work you follow closely. Trust me, everyone loves to meet someone that gives them compliments.

Do you have ideas for other conference presenters? If so, leave them in the comments.

I’m looking forward to seeing many of you at Evaluation 2016. I hope you enjoy the conference and test out one of these calls to action.

Do you have questions, concerns, kudos, or content to extend this aea365 contribution? Please add them in the comments section for this post on the aea365 webpage so that we may enrich our community of practice. Would you like to submit an aea365 Tip? Please send a note of interest to aea365@eval.org . aea365 is sponsored by the American Evaluation Association and provides a Tip-a-Day by and for evaluators.

 

Hello All! I’m Sheila B Robinson, aea365’s Lead Curator and sometimes Saturday contributor with some tips for navigation Evaluation 2016!

Cool Trick: If you want all of these tips described in detail, log into the AEA website (if you are a member), click on Coffee Break Webinars (under the “Learn” menu), then click the Coffee Break Webinar Archive and look for my recent webinar, Navigating the Annual AEA Conference: Tips for First Time Attendees from September 20. cbd-screenshot

Hot Tips: Here are some tips for getting the most out of the conference – before, during, and after:

BEFORE:

  1. Visit the conference website
  2. Search the conference program to find sessions to attend
  3. Read about the various presentation types
  4. Visit The Potent Presentations Initiative site and use the Potent Presentations tools to craft your presentation
  5. Subscribe to AEA365 and look for Local Area Working Group (LAWG) posts to learn about the conference city

DURING:

  1. Go to the registration table to pick up your name tag and materials; then look for the ribbon table
  2. Plan to attend the networking events on Wednesday (1st Time Attendees Orientation, Poster Session & Meet the Authors Reception); Thursday (TIG Business Meetings); and Friday (Awards Luncheon [$45], Reception & Silent Auction)
  3. Save time to visit the vendor exhibits
  4. Tweet your learning using the hashtag #Eval16 (and share on other social media as well!)

AFTER:

  1. Take advantage of publishers’ discounts on books
  2. Revisit AEA365 and become a daily reader
  3. Check the AEA Public eLibrary for materials from your favorite sessions, or sessions you missed
  4. Look for contact information for TIGs and Affiliates and stay involved with them.
  5. Find AEA, along with TIGs and Affiliates on social media to stay up-to-date on activities.
  6. Consider submitting a proposal to present at Evaluation 2017!

Have any tips to add to this list? Please add them in the comments!

Enjoy Atlanta and Evaluation 2017!

Do you have questions, concerns, kudos, or content to extend this aea365 contribution? Please add them in the comments section for this post on the aea365 webpage so that we may enrich our community of practice. Would you like to submit an aea365 Tip? Please send a note of interest to aea365@eval.org . aea365 is sponsored by the American Evaluation Association and provides a Tip-a-Day by and for evaluators.

 

Hello loyal readers! I’m Sheila B Robinson, aea365’s Lead Curator and sometimes Saturday contributor with some last minute tips for your Evaluation 2016 conference proposals!

Hot Tip: Take the time to read through the main conference proposal page. It contains a wealth of information AND multiple links to additional information and key resources (such as descriptions of all presentation types) that can help you prepare the best proposal possible.

Hotter Tip: While it’s not required to link your proposal to the conference theme, you are encouraged to learn about and keep the conference theme in mind as you prepare. Click here to learn about this year’s conference theme, Evaluation + Design.

Cool Tricks: Take advantage of a treasure trove of resources available through the AEA website to inform the development of your proposal and (we hope!) your sessions.

1.) Potent Presentations Initiative (p2i): Look for resources on three key elements of a presentation: Message, Design and Delivery, resources for engaging your audiences, as well as those to help in designing your research posters and Ignite sessions.

2.) Check out the AEA Public eLibrary for handouts from previous conference sessions for a little inspiration.

3.) Skim through the aea365 archive (look for the link up there…yes, right above the title of this post!), or use our search box (it’s there…on the right…see it?) to find out what’s been written on your topic or related areas.

Hot Tip: Make sure your proposals are submitted on time! Proposal Submissions must be received by 11:59 PM ET March 15, 2016.

Do you have questions, concerns, kudos, or content to extend this aea365 contribution? Please add them in the comments section for this post on the aea365 webpage so that we may enrich our community of practice. Would you like to submit an aea365 Tip? Please send a note of interest to aea365@eval.org . aea365 is sponsored by the American Evaluation Association and provides a Tip-a-Day by and for evaluators.

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