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Hey there! I’m Stephanie Evergreen, AEA’s eLearning Initiatives Director and the lead of the Potent Presentations Initiative. We merged those two things in a project to revamp five slides from five of AEA’s eStudy presenters. This month I’ll share the reboot we did to Michael Quinn Patton’s slides.

Michael is somewhat predispositioned toward use, so his slides have always been a visual support, a way to make the material more useful to the audience. This redesign was about making them better reflect Michael and the nature of his content.

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Michael’s slides needed to be made at least a little more consistent with the design choices in his book, Utilization-Focused Evaluation. This is why I brought in the orange color. Then I applied that orange color to the key words in the whole quote. I put the other text in gray so as not to compete with the orange (black would be too dark). I switched to a condensed font that’s still readable to give more white space on the slide and make it feel less overwhelming. And speaking of readable, I normally would argue for removing text when a slide contains this much but since this is the actual definition, it needs to be conveyed word-for-word. So I broke lines into conceptual chunks of text & animated each so they appear as he speaks. This way, what people can read at a glance will match what Michael says. Together these strategies make the slide easier to digest.

Evaluation

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For bullet-heavy slides like this, one good strategy is to break up the content so there’s just one bullet per slide. But as I was reading this slide content, I realized the relationship between these bullet points. The first bullet was providing a definition of sorts and the rest were illustrating how an evaluator enacts that definition. This was the perfect type of content for an overarching visual metaphor. The first After slide introduced the overarching definition and a picture of a piñata. Then the slides that explained how an evaluator deals with the evaluation-equivalent of the exploded piñata were represented with different pictures of candy, which accurately reflected their associated bullet point.

 

Each added piece of text and its corresponding picture are on their own slide so that as Michael works through the slide deck it looks like one chunk of text is added and the picture is changed.

Read about all 5 of Michael’s redesigned slides on the Potent Presentations Initiative. Michael will be giving workshops on Development Evaluation and Utilization-Focused Evaluation at the annual conference – check him out!

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Hello dear people! I’m Stephanie Evergreen and I talk a lot about data visualization and strong reporting. Today I’m going to share with you another installment in our Fab Five Reboot series, where I redesigned five slides from five of AEA’s eStudy presenters. Let’s take a look at Tom Chapel’s slideshow.

My focus with Tom Chapel’s Reboot was on working within the limitations of an organizational template. Tom says he already veers outside of that template designated by the CDC, and has had the use of his modified slides grandfathered, but many of us are in that position of having an organizational template foisted upon us. What can we do, while still working within those constraints?

 

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Even if Arial is the font we are forced to use, we can still add some variety and emphasis to the slides by varying the font’s weight. We can bold – or, in Arial’s case, use Arial Black – on keywords. I also adjusted the font size to make it better fit available space, though I kept it large enough for easy reading. Since Tom’s slides, in this particular case, are used for a webinar, let’s include a photo of him on the front. Even if he was reusing these slides in an in-person workshop, this would be up in the room as people filter in and find their seats, helping them identify which of the others is the speaker in advance. I took what is typically mandated (i.e., no choices in font, background, colors) and tweaked what aspects of them I could to make a cleaner slide that better represents Tom and the CDC.

 

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The graph had a lot going on. I simplified the data display by taking out the gray background, lightening the grid lines, and using direct labeling rather than a legend. Then I used colors from his template so the graph blends in better. Still, there’s so much happening in this slide. So I used the chart animation features so that Tom can isolate each part of the study as he shows its findings, first showing the title and axis, then (shown above) each data series one-at-a-time, then the Type I sites label, then all Type II sites (I actually had a white rectangle on top of the lower half of the graph, which I animated to Disappear on a click), then finally showing his main takeaway point. Sure, it’s still a lot of information. But by breaking it down and showing one piece at a time, we build the full slide slowly and keep from overwhelming the audience.

Read about all five rebooted slides on the Potent Presentations Initiative site and check out Tom’s workshop on Logic Models at this year’s conference.

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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Hey! I’m Stephanie Evergreen and among other things I run AEA’s Potent Presentations Initiative. Lately we’ve been working with eStudy presenters to reboot just five of their slides. Great speakers and solid content need to be reflected in polished slides. Here is the reboot for Scott Chaplowe.

Scott’s workshop is a great comparison between monitoring and evaluation – where they overlap and where they are similar. Scott also interacts with his attendees quite often when he presents. I wanted to make his slidedeck reflect those same dynamic elements. Scott already knew how to use animation to guide attention to certain parts of his slide, so I continued to build on that where possible.

Before: Results Hierarchy

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I gradated the red color for the Results Hierarchy slide, so that the color change and the slow build of the slide via animation make the idea of a hierarchy more clear. With the removal of some unnecessary text on that slide, the explanatory material can be put into a larger font, too. Each row in the table is animated to appear one-at-a-time. Each arrow is also animated, so Scott can talk about the way Inputs feeds back to Activities for as long as needed without other distractions.

 

M&E and the Project Cycle

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When I told Scott I wanted to remake his slide on M&E and the Project Cycle, he let me know that there existed a somewhat better diagram but that he strongly preferred the use of animation to build each component of the diagram one at a time. Understandable. How can one get a single image file to become animated? Well, I used a lot of leg work but I cropped out each element of the better looking diagram and reassembled the individual pieces into a coherent whole. Then I added in the animation. Now, let me be clear that this was an enormous amount of work to get each piece cropped and I still see some things about it that I don’t like, where I could have done a better job. It will not always be worth the effort it took to make the diagram animated. It is probably only justified in cases like this, where it is an essential slide for the talk, a real centerpiece (and you don’t have access to the original file used to make the image).

Read about all 5 revised slides on the Potent Presentations Initiative site and look for Scott at this year’s conference.

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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Hey people! I’m Stephanie Evergreen and lately I’ve been rebooting five slides from five of AEA’s eStudy workshop presenters. In this installment, I actually rebooted six (couldn’t help myself) from Gail Barrington. I’ll talk about two here and you can read about the rest on the Potent Presentations Initiative site.

Lessons Learned: Gail’s slidedeck is an excellent companion to her book. She has it structured similarly and, of course, she wants people coming to her webinar to be ultimately driven to go buy her book afterward. So, my goal in this slideshow was to give her slides the same look and feel, for some visual recognition that would help make identification of her book easier.

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Indeed, Gail had already invested in a redesign of her consulting website to make it look and feel more aligned with her book. Thus the slides needed to have the same colors. She had been using a bright green color, mainly because it was what was preloaded into the slide template from PowerPoint she was using. The template itself wasn’t awful. So I worked in the slide master, where I could manipulate the colors of the triangles in the corner of her slides. That’s where I was able to change it from green to the same golden yellow on her book and website.

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Hot Tips: Gail’s question breaks are designated visually with this slide. Question breaks aren’t necessarily the time to wow people with awesome visuals because we want them thinking and reflecting and coming up with interesting things to ask. Still, some visual inspiration and branding is appropriate. In this particular project (as with many of yours, I’m sure) there was no budget for graphics. I couldn’t go purchase a pretty stock photo of a light bulb. I can, however, make a visual out of the characteristic font I chose. I typed “oh!” into a textbox and rotated it slightly. Even without pictures, we can add graphic enhancement to make a bigger impact.

Rad Resources: Gail is giving two workshops at this year’s annual conference – one on Introductory Consulting Skills and another on Intermediate Consulting Skills.

 Today’s post is second in a five part series sponsored AEA’s Potent Presentations Initiative (p2i). We’ll have one per month. 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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Hey all, I’m Stephanie Evergreen and I run AEA’s Potent Presentations Initiative and eLearning Initiatives. In a marriage of those two programs, we launched a new project called the Fab Five Reboot. I took five slides each from five of our best eStudy webinar presenters and revised them to better connect the content to a viewer’s mind. Each month I’ll share one presenter’s revised slides. Today let’s catch up with David Fetterman.

Lessons Learned: David Fetterman’s slides are naturally full of graphics. He’s a visual presenter who uses his slides as the backdrop to his dynamic delivery. My goal here was to standardize the use of the graphics and align everything better so it felt less chaotic and more crisp.

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Hot Tips: In this slide, I standardized the size of each graphic. I expanded them to span the slide. Together these two actions make the slide feel more organized. I put the text on top of the picture – usually a tricky move – and made the fill color of the textbox a gray with 56% opacity so that some of the picture still shows through but the gray gives enough of a background to make the text legible.

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I also totally overhauled David’s graph. 3D is misleading so I switched to a 2D graph. Texture-based fills for the bars are also a distracting decoration, so I moved to solid colors. Since this is change over time, I switched to a line graph. I removed the legend and the second part of the title and replaced all that with simple labels. I also deleted the columns representing the goal, since those aren’t actual time points that were measured. I inserted a dotted line between 2013 and 2014 to show that it is a projection. Finally, I animated the graph so that the data points appear in a logical way, one line segment at a time, that matches David’s explanation of the data. In reaction to this revision, David said, “Your graph works nicely – once you get the hang of it because you can show folks how to measure or compare actual performance with benchmarks and goals.” He also liked the advantage of the bar chart, though, in that it can better visually show quantity. I made a bar chart version for his use as well, still animating each bar to appear one at a time.

Rad Resources: Read about all 5 revised slides on the Potent Presentations Initiative site and don’t miss David’s Empowerment Evaluation workshop at the annual conference.

Today’s post is first in a five part series sponsored AEA’s Potent Presentations Initiative (p2i). We’ll have one per month. 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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Hello evaluation folks! I am Laura Beals, Director of Evaluation at Jewish Family and Children’s Service, a large multi-service nonprofit in Waltham, MA. Last year was my first AEA annual conference and I was fortunate to be able to present. As I was preparing my presentation, I was alerted to p2i resources; while at first I was (admittedly) not quite sure how to apply some of the tips, they have been instrumental in how I have improved my presentation style.

Hot Tips:

  • One of my favorite p2i tips is to state your key take-aways at the beginning of the presentation, as described in the “Messaging” tutorial on the p2i homepage. Lately, especially when I am presenting evaluation findings and I want an audience-driven discussion, I also state upfront what I am asking of people (e.g., “I will be asking you to provide me feedback on the methodology”).
  • My second favorite p2i tip is that handouts do not have to be printouts of your slides; in fact, handouts should be created separately to complement the presentation. Once I mentally separated the presentation from the handouts, I found myself having more freedom in my slides, since I knew they didn’t have to be understood out of the context of the presentation. For example, below is a side-by-side comparison of two slides and the handout from a literature review training I gave at my agency:

Beals

  • I will be honest—presentations that are primarily visual take time to prepare, so allot extra time, especially when you are first learning. It has taken time and practice for me to undo the default “bulleted PowerPoint style.” While now I can more easily envision a visual presentation from the outset, I often have to make my presentation the “old-school” way (bullets) to start, which then serves as an outline of what content I want to make sure to address on each slide. Then, I go through each slide and think about the key take-away and how I can present it visually instead.
  • If you are feeling stuck about how to design your slides, poster, or handout, be inspired by others! I recently listened to a NPR TED Radio Hour show on Originality—in it the guests reflected on how we borrow ideas from others. I find that when I am stuck with where to begin, I like to use others’ as inspiration (and I stress “inspiration”—be respectful of the copyrights of other artists—only use materials that are released for re-use and always attribute!). For example, I love COLOURlovers for color palettes and I have been inspired by Stephanie Evergreen’s “rule of thirds” template and the “Fab Five” reboots on the p2i website.

The American Evaluation Association is celebrating p2i Week with AEA members who have used our Potent Presentations Initiative. The contributions all this week to aea365 come from members who have used p2i strategies in their presentations. 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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