Susan Kistler on Three Free (+1) Resources for Communications Quality

I am Susan Kistler, the American Evaluation Association’s Executive Director Emeritus and monthly aea365 Saturday contributor. Today we’re talking presentation excellence. If you are a regular reader, you’ve already heard about AEA’s Potent Presentation Initiative (p2i). Aimed at improving presentation quality at its annual conference and beyond, p2i is the homebase for all things presentation quality improvement. What you may not know is that (a) p2i can help you to improve your professional communications skills well beyond conference presentations, and (b) there are a number of other resources to help you to improve your communication prowess, from AEA and beyond. Here are my top 5:

Rad Resource #1 – free presentation and communication web-based training: p2i’s FREE (for AEA members and nonmembers alike) webinar series includes 40-60 minute sessions on Message, Design, and Delivery. The Message workshop already happened and the recording is on the p2i website, the Design workshop is coming up on August 20 and the Delivery one on August 27. Registration is free at or catch the recordings online post-webinar.

Rad Resource #2 – Note & Point: With the goal of “Filling the gaping void of inspiration for those of us who use projectors” this site is like your favorite gallery, if your taste runs to PowerPoint or Keynote rather than paint or clay. It is very well curated so that each sample deck I’ve found provides ideas for my own work rather.

Clipped from

Rad Resource #3 – How to Time Your Presentation: I have used the guidance in this excellent short essay for over two years when presenting everything from 10 minute speeches to 6 hour workshops. In particular, the reminder to use timing checkpoints – points in your presentation by which time you should have covered x ideas – has been invaluable.

Bonus (but not free) Rad Resource – Stephanie Evergreen’s Presenting Data Effectively Workshop: Stephanie is humble about promoting her own work, but I’m not. If I could do one thing this year to improve my communications quality, I would attend her two-day workshop at the AEA annual conference. Stephanie is the lead for p2i and holds a doctorate in evaluation with her thesis work focusing on evaluation communication. She knows her stuff, and shares research based guidance to help you ensure that when you talk or write, your audience listens and learns. More information about her workshop – and the 40+ other pre- and post-conference workshops at Evaluation 2013, may be found at

p.s. I’ll be giving pre-conference workshops on survey design and on evaluating social media, connected communities, and online identify if you’re looking for something a little different. Information on either of these may also be found at the same link.

aea365 is sponsored by the American Evaluation Association and provides a Tip-a-Day by and for evaluators. 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.

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