AEA365 | A Tip-a-Day by and for Evaluators

TAG | p2i

Greetings aea365 readers and potent presenters!  Sheila B Robinson here, aea365’s Lead Curator and sometimes Saturday contributor doing double duty as coordinator for our Potent Presentations Initiative, aka p2i. P2i is about helping evaluators improve their presentation skills, whether it’s for the AEA annual conference, any other conference, or any other type of presentation or meeting. Our p2i site is chock full of free tools, guidelines, videos, and checklists to help you develop your presentation’s message, design, and delivery and help you engage your audience with interactive strategies.

Hot Tip: Now is a great time to check out and download some of our free resources on the p2i Presentation Tools & Guidelines page. They’re organized around three primary components of a great presentation: Message, Design, and Delivery. Engaging your audience is an additional key element and we have a resource for that as well.

Hot Tip: Read what some of our aea365 authors have had to say about their experiences using p2i tools and resources.

Cool Trick: Check out what people are saying about p2i on Twitter using our new hashtag, #aeap2i!

Get Involved: Have you used a p2i tool to help with your presentation? Tweet about it (don’t forget the hashtag!), or consider composing an article for aea365 on how you used it and how it worked for you!

Not presenting, but chairing a session? There’s a tool there for you too! Our Session Chairs Checklist offers advice for preparing for your role and supporting presenters.

Finally, check out the Presenter Resources page for Evaluation 2017 for more info!

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 a few tips on creating handouts for your next presentation (#Eval17 perhaps?).

Repeat after me: Slides are not handouts! Slides are NOT handouts! I know, I know…it’s just so easy to print out your slides and give them to workshop participants, team members, or meeting attendees. The trouble is that when a presenter does this, one of two things tend to happen:

  1. The slides are loaded with text (because the presenter wants participants to go home with some key points to review later, a noble intent) and that compromises the effectiveness and success of the presentation. The thing is, according to Nancy Duarte, “An audience can’t listen to your presentation and read detailed, text-heavy slides at the same time (not without missing key parts of your message, anyway).”
  1. The slides are well designed with very little text and instead feature relevant graphics and images such that the slides themselves make little sense when separated from the presenter and presentation.

Condition #1 leaves participants with a set of key points that could have been distributed as a handout with no need for the presentation, while condition #2 leaves participants with a potentially great presentation experience but no easy way to review or remember key points (unless they were taking their own notes).

Hot Tip: Creating a separate presentation handout mitigates both of the above conditions. Here’s one caveat before we continue: Not all presentations require a handout. In fact, not all presentations even require slides! And, it’s certainly feasible to have a “slideless” presentation that does include a handout. The point is to be intentional about whatever resources accompany a presentation. Our Potent Presentations Initiative p2i Messaging tools can help with that aspect of presentation planning.

Rad Resource: So, without further ado…The newest tool in the p2i toolbox is our Guidelines for Handouts, now available on our Presentations Tools and Guidelines page. Use this tool to gain insight and perspective into WHY we use handouts, HOW to create effective handouts, WHAT should be included in a handout, and WHEN to distribute handouts – before, during, or after a presentation. Guidelines for Handouts includes an example of what a presentation handout could look like, and also features loads of Insider Tips and links to additional content.

So, let’s make a deal. I promise to deliver an idea-packed handouts tool, and you agree to stop printing your slides, OK?

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.

·

Julie Bronder Mason

My name is Julie Bronder Mason, Ph.D., and I am the Deputy Director of the Office of Science Policy, Planning, and Communications at the National Institute of Mental Health.  I have spent a fair number of years conducting, overseeing, advising, and presenting on program evaluations, and the tips I will share stem from a corpus of professional presentation coaching; AEA’s Potent Presentations Initiative (p2i); communications and leadership development courses; and practice, experience, and observation.

Lesson Learned: Give thought to your (often neglected) transitions!

Often, presenters place primary emphasis on slide content and design, and give little (or no) thought to transitions within and between those striking slides!  So how can you polish your evaluation presentation and provide a seamless flow?

Hot Tip # 1: Use the logic model as a unifying thread

Just as your logic model is the guiding light for your evaluation, consider using it as the cornerstone for your presentation.  Reveal the elements in tandem, fading away components you have already discussed or have not yet reached.  Return to the logic model as a reminder throughout the talk.  For instance, “we just highlighted the input variables, and before diving into the specifics (fade to gray), let’s discuss program activities (emphasize) and how we will collect our data.”

Hot Tip # 2: Reflect on within-slide transitions

If you must use a bulleted list in your slides, think about the relationship between those list items. Why did you group them together in the first place?  Imagine a slide where you will be describing data you are collecting on biomedical research training program outcomes.  Your slide may have the following three bullets: early-stage investigators, co-authorship networks, and subsequent publications. You could tick those outcomes off in list fashion, (e.g., “bread, butter, cheese”) or you could appeal to your audience with the linkage between those items (“aha, we’re making grilled cheese”)!  Rather than discuss each bullet separately, define how they interlock. “We’re collecting data on outcomes from our training program that include examining how many new early-stage investigators have emerged, because expansion of this population will be an indicator of workforce sustainability.  How well this workforce collaborates, as estimated by development of co-authorship networks, is key to understanding information dissemination…” and so forth!

Hot Tip # 3: Plan (and practice) between-slide transitions

Even more crucial than the within-slide transition is the between-slide transition.  Here again, a little planning can reap large gains.  In the notes section of your slides, jot down a sentence or two to connect your evaluation thoughts from one slide to the next.  Your goal is to facilitate an introduction to the next slide and speak to it before advancing.  Resist the urge to click ahead and pause dazed, wondering how you landed on that next slide.  And practice those transitions!  Be familiar enough with the transition material so you can convey it in a variety of ways without appearing rehearsed.

Tips like the above three are simple to implement and can showcase you as a seasoned presenter!

The American Evaluation Association is celebrating Research, Technology and Development (RTD) TIG Week with our colleagues in the Research, Technology and Development Topical Interest Group. The contributions all this week to aea365 come from our RTD TIG 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.

 

·

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.

· ·

Greetings! We are Donna Podems, Amiee White (AEA board members), and Sheila B Robinson, aea365’s Lead Curator with some tips and advice for creating a killer conference poster.

We served as judges of the Evaluation 2015 Potent Presentations (p2i) Poster Competition and used p2i criteria to identify the top two posters that came closest to meeting all and would be named “Best in Show.”

Cool Trick: Use p2i design principles for conference posters.

Posters should be:

  • Readable from at least six feet away with fonts no smaller than 24pt for body text, 48pt or larger for headings, and 64pt font or larger for titles.
  • Printed on one large sheet (3’8” x 3’8”), and not on multiple smaller pieces of paper.
  • Understandable, focusing on “big picture” points with a minimum of jargon, acronyms, abbreviations, etc.
  • Free from electricity. The poster session cannot accommodate computers.
  • Logically organized into sections with text and graphics that flow well.
  • To the point with elements that highlight the work in a way that is understandable in a very short time.
  • Colorful with well-chosen graphics and intentional use of color to emphasize key points.
  • Visually engaging, and attractive to passers-by with large, clear graphs, photos, diagrams, color blocks, or other graphics/images related to the work.
  • Conversational in nature, as opposed to using language suited for a journal article.
  • Succinct with text and titles that can be read at a glance. URLs and references should be place on a supplementary handout. 

Cool Trick: Learn what not to do. We saw many fabulous posters and it was quite difficult to choose this year’s winners. What made it especially challenging was that many included high quality research and interesting studies. Many met some, but not all of the p2i criteria. Here are some of the “deal breakers” we saw:

  • 3D graphs and color not used well or intentionally on graphs
  • tiny fonts that were difficult to read from barely one foot away
  • too much clutter! We couldn’t understand the research or the story the exhibitor was trying to tell with so many details shared
  • poor contrast between font and background colors
  • shocking fluorescent color that hurt our eyes
  • clip art (as opposed to higher quality images or icons)
  • all text and no graphics, images, or visual cues

Lessons Learned: We were already familiar with p2i design principles but learned even more from observing posters through a different lens in our work as judges. We realize that posters present unique challenges and recognize the intense design work that exhibitors put into them.

Congratulations to all Evaluation 2015 poster presenters!

Rad Resource: The Potent Presentations (p2i) website at p2i.eval.org has excellent resources on poster design!

·

Hi, my name is Cheryl Keeton. Throughout my career, I’ve been responsible for program evaluation, review, and success. Most recently I transitioned to independent consulting to focus my energy and passion to the field of evaluation. I want to share my experience as one way to make the transition.

Lessons Learned: Three years before I decided to become an independent evaluator, I began exploring evaluation from the 50,000 foot view. I attended my first AEA Conference to learn about the many ways evaluation is used outside of my field. I wanted to know who is doing evaluation, how are the various approaches different from the way I do things, and how can I use the sessions to help self-evaluate my strengths and weaknesses. The sessions were fascinating and the community of AEA members was very friendly and helpful. I made new friends and began to establish a network of support.

Next I attended an AEA Summer Institute for in-depth learning and practice. I knew I had a firm foundation but the summer study program allowed me to build and grow, extending my understanding, and learning techniques that were new to me.

Since those initial steps, I reached out to resources around me to help establish my independent consulting. Gail Barrington gave me the best advice for how to begin when I met her at an AEA conference “do it now while you are still working.” Before making the transition, I read Dr. Barrington’s book– Consulting Start-Up and Management: A Guide for Evaluators and Applied Researchers. I got advice from the career center at the local community college and created a web presence. Dr. Barrington’s book has been the best investment and reference for me as the process unfolds.

I reached out to the evaluation community through AEA and my regional organization, volunteering on the local and national level and taking advantage of training such as Ann K. Emery’s Data Visualization workshop. Her blog and resources are amazing. I also follow Sheila Robinson, AEA365 Tip-a-Day by and for Evaluators, and advice on Potent Presentations, p2i.

I found that knowing what you are good at helps to provide direction as you begin. Fields of experience help me to narrow the scope so I know what projects to consider and where to place my energies for marketing. Gail Barrington outlines this in her book very well.

My experience transitioning from in-house evaluation to independent evaluation and consulting has confirmed for me that membership in AEA is essential to provide the big picture and grounding in principles, training is imperative to stay current, and connecting with others in the field is invaluable.

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! Sheila B Robinson, aea365’s Lead Curator and sometimes Saturday contributor here with even more good news about audience engagement! Last Saturday, I wrote this post introducing the new Audience Engagement Workbook, the new Potent Presentations (p2i) tool featuring the WHY, WHAT and HOW of audience engagement, along with 20 specific strategies any presenter can use with limited investment of time or money. Look for the workbook to be posted on the p2i site any minute now!

In just a moment, I’ll share another strategy from the book, but in the meantime, I want to let you know about another opportunity to learn about audience engagement. Are you excited? Raise your hand if you want to learn more! (Are you feeling engaged now?)

Hot Tip: Join me for an AEA Coffee Break Webinar* – Audience Engagement Strategies for Potent Presentations – on Thursday October 9 at 2:00pm EST where I’ll preview several key strategies appropriate for a variety of presentation types. Click here to register.

Cool Trick: Try a quote mingle. This requires some preparation in that you will gather quotes about a topic and print them out on cards – enough for each participant to have one (either print a few quotes on cardstock or on paper, cut apart, and paste to index cards). Use this activity as an icebreaker opportunity for participants to introduce themselves, or during or at the end of the session to have them make a connection to your content. Distribute cards randomly, and ask each participant to stand and get with a partner. Partners take turns reading their quotes, saying briefly what the quotes mean to them, and then introducing themselves, or answering your question, or relating the quote to their situation, etc. Once the exchange is over, call time and ask partners to exchange quotes, and find a different partner. Do as many exchanges as time permits.

Quick tip: You don’t need to gather as many quotes as participants. You can repeat quotes two or three times to produce larger sets of cards.

Caution: You will need a microphone or loud projecting voice to be able to call time to switch partners and to call an end to the activity. This activity will likely be very challenging with a group larger than 60-70 people.

Image credit: Sean MacEntee via Flickr

Image credit: Sean MacEntee via Flickr

Rad Resource: The p2i family of tools and resources to polish your presentation to perfection!

Hot Tip: Type”p2i” in the search box (just look to your right…see it?) and read some great aea365 posts from people who have used p2i tools to spice up their presentations.

*Coffee Break Webinars are free for AEA members. Not a member? Why not join now? Click here for more information.

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! I’m Sheila B Robinson, aea365’s Lead Curator and sometimes Saturday contributor. Evaluation is my newer career. I’m actually an educator, having taught in K12 schools and at a university. I’m also a professional developer, having provided PD courses, workshops, coaching, and mentoring to educators and evaluators for more than 15 years, so I’m no stranger to presentation design.

Lessons Learned: Check out p2i tools before designing any presentation! I’ve learned so much from AEA’s Potent Presentations Initiative (p2i) – AEA’s effort to help members improve their presentation skills, particularly around delivering conference presentations with specific advice about how to make your presentations more potent by focusing on three things: message, design, and delivery – and have incorporated these principles and strategies into my work.  

Rad Resource: Coming soon! The new p2i Audience Engagement Workbook. I’m honored to be able to share my experience in designing and facilitating presentations and professional learning opportunities as we add to the family of p2i tools with the Audience Engagement Workbook, featuring the WHY, WHAT and HOW of audience engagement, along with 20 specific strategies any presenter can use with limited investment of time or money.

Each strategy is described and rated on a number of dimensions such as ease of application, materials needed, cost, and the degree of movement for participants. There’s even a special section on engaging audiences in a webinar environment!

Hot Tip: One strategy to try now!

Four Corners: Choose just about any topic or question that has 3 or 4 positions or answers (e.g. In your family are you a first born, only child, oldest child, or in the middle? In your evaluation work, do you mainly use qualitative, quantitative or mixed methods? Do you consider yourself a novice, experienced, or expert evaluator?) and ask participants to walk to the corner of the room that you specify. Once there, give them an opportunity (3-5 minutes) to discuss this commonality, then return to their seats. If time permits, call on volunteers to share some insights from their brief discussion.

Variation: Ask participants a question that requires them to take sides (usually two sides, but could be three or more). Ask them to walk to the side of the room assigned to that position, and discuss with others who share their views. You can ask them to form two lines facing each other and have a debate with participants from each side presenting support for their position.

Stephanie Evergreen, information designer, dataviz diva, and p2i lead is putting the finishing touches on the layout and design of the workbook and we’ll have it up and ready for you well ahead of Evaluation 2014! In the meantime, look for Stephanie to preview additional strategies in the next AEA Newsletter!

Do you want your audience doing this? (Image credit: zenobia_joy via Flickr

Do you want your audience doing this? (Image credit: zenobia_joy via Flickr)

 

Or this? (Image credit: Chris  Hacking via Flickr)

Or this? (Image credit: Chris Hacking via Flickr)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   

 

 

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.

 

· ·

Greetings, we’re Ann K. Emery and Johanna Morariu, Innovation Network evaluators and p2i Advisory Board Members. We train foundations and nonprofits on everything from Evaluation 101 concepts to logic models to data visualization through both in-person trainings and online webinars.

Lesson Learned: Want to rock your next webinar? We’ve adapted p2i’s preparation, design, and delivery strategies for our webinars, plus created a few of our own strategies.

Message: Structure (and Time!) Your Webinar Content. First, outline your content. Don’t sit down to a blank PowerPoint file and just start typing; your webinar will be much better if you structure, chunk, and organize first.

Second, consider the p2i Messaging Model. I ask myself, “How much time does each particular story, example, or resource really deserve? 30 seconds, 1 minute, 5 minutes?”

Finally, create a Pacing Schedule by writing the main headers from your outline and their corresponding time allocations onto a large sheet of paper. During the live webinar, display the Pacing Schedule somewhere visible so you can glance up and make sure you’re on track.

Emery Morariu 1

Design: Structure Your Slides. As you sit down to design your slides, don’t forget about your original outline. Through Stephanie Evergreen’s Design Demo slidedeck for p2i, we learned about creating divider slides to alert the audience that new sections are beginning. We use this design strategy in live workshops as well as online webinars so that participants can better parse and digest the new information.

Can you spot our divider slides below? We use big font against dark backgrounds, which contrast from the main body slides.

Emery Morariu 2

Delivery: Structure Your Physical Space. Deliver your best webinar ever by carefully structuring your physical space.

As shown below, we use three laptops. Laptop #1 is for viewing your slides and speaking points (rather than clumsily flipping through hard copies of notes). Laptop #2 is the “live” webinar laptop, which is registered for the webinar in the Presenter role. Laptop #3 is registered for the webinar in the Participant role so you can spy on yourself and make sure your slides are progressing smoothly.

Learn more about structuring your physical space at http://annkemery.com/webinar-command-center/.

Emery Morariu 3

How have you adapted p2i strategies for your webinars? Do you have additional tips to share? Comment below or connect with us on twitter: @annkemery and @j_morariu.

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.

·

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.

·

Older posts >>

Archives

To top