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 email@example.com 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.