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

TAG | photos p2i

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.

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I am Susan Kistler, the American Evaluation Association’s Executive Director and aea365’s regular Saturday contributor. Last week, I wrote about 25 low-cost/no-cost tech tools for Data Visualization and Reporting. Here’s a bit more about one of them.

Rad Resource – Fiverr: On fiverr, people list things that they will do for $5. Lots of it is junk, but lots is useful as well – you just may need to look around a bit. I have used them to convert items to vector art and create video intros. And, an amazing woman named Ang, who goes by madmoo on fiverr, created the great picture above! For $5, she made a stencil from what I sent her, sprinkled the shavings, and sent me back multiple high resolution photos of the creation with different backgrounds and from different angles (see more of her work here). I’m totally in love with it – and, now I have a unique photo to use as an icon for the AEA website, a slide for when we’re presenting about the Coffee Break Webinars, and an illustration for this blog post!

Lesson Learned – High Impact Photos: Stephanie Evergreen, AEA’s intrepid Potent Presentations Initiative (p2i) lead, has reminded us a number of times of the power of high impact, full bleed, images. The handouts from her potent presentation on creating potently designed slides can be downloaded from the p2i website – there, you’ll find the slides and full notes from the p2i presentations on presentation messaging, delivery, and design. Check on the one on design in particular to learn more about selecting and using potent images. That’s why I was so excited to be able to have a fiverr entrepreneur create this unique photo, specific to my needs and program, that I can use in multiple reporting contexts.

Hot Tips – Free Coffee Break Webinars: AEA’s Coffee Break Webinar series offers over 40 20-minute webinars per year that are free to AEA members (and, if you aren’t a member, wouldn’t you like to join? Learn more here). We’ve got five coming up between now and the end of the year.

  • November 15: HyperRESEARCH: A Simple & Powerful Tool for Qualitative Analysis – Paul Dupuis
  • November 29: The New Classroom Assessment Standards – Barbara Howard
  • December 6: Meaningful & Accessible: Presenting Results in Ways that are Useful to Clients – Laura Bloomberg
  • December 13: Outstanding Evaluation Award Winner (2011) – Michael Coplen, Michael Zuschlag, Joyce Ranney, & Michael Harnar
  • December 20: Map It: Using Geographic Data & Tableau – Julie Lo & Peter Neely

AEA members can read full descriptions and register online here http://comm.eval.org/coffee_break_webinars/CoffeeBreak/.

The opinions above are my own. AEA does not endorse individual products or services. 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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