Potent Presentations Initiative resources (various)

The Potent Presentations Initiative (p2i) (sponsored by the American Evaluation Association) was created to help evaluators improve their presentation skills, both at conferences and in their everyday evaluation practice.

The materials are organised around three key components of compelling presentations: Message, Design, and Delivery. The website contains videos, advice and downloadable tools and guidelines to help improve presentation practice.

The information provided was supplied by Patricia Rogers, BetterEvaluation, ANZSOG. Patricia was on the board of the AEA when the decision to create the P2i was made, and was featured as one of P2i's Dynamic Dozen.

Authors and their affiliation

Produced by the American Evaluation Association.  The p2i team is: Sheila Robinson, Stephanie Evergreen and Chris Metzner.  Materials were developed by: Stephanie Evergreen, Sheila Robinson, Anjanette Raber, Kathy McKnight and Priya Small.

Key features of the Potent Presentations Initiative

The Potent Presentations Initiative provides resources to improve the presentation skills of evaluators.  While it was originally designed to improve the quality of presentations at the annual AEA conference, it was also seen as supporting a core skill for evaluators and others presenting evaluation findings.

It contains a set of resources around three key stages:

  • Messaging – working out the key messages and (for a verbal presentation) the sequence and time allocation for these;
  • Design – designing slides or handouts or other visual material to be used;
  • Delivery – designing and practising delivery, including strategies for interaction with the audience during the presentation or at the end of it. 

There site also reports results from research undertaken to develop the resources.

How have you used or intend on using these presentation resources?

I’ve used this to plan and improve my own presentations, shared it with colleagues when we have been developing shared presentations, and made it required reading for my PhD students when they were presenting their research.  This has made a significant improvement to the quality of these presentations, especially the initial focus on Messaging before getting to designing slides or handouts.  For example, one of my PhD students, who had little experience in public speaking and was operating in English as a second language, worked systematically through the three stages (messaging, design and delivery) and delivered a presentation to the university that was commended as a model for other students. 

For other examples of use of these resources, check out the AEA365 blog posts by users here.

Why would you recommend it to other people?

Being able to present ideas and data well is a core skill for evaluators and we all have room for improvement.  These materials help us to do that.  p2i has very practical resources to improve the quality of different types of presentations, including lectures and posters, including ways of increasing audience engagement.  The resources synthesise a lot of experience and knowledge and present it in accessible ways, including worksheets and templates and lots of examples of slide makeovers.

p2i Tools and Guidelines comprise:







Potent Presentations (n.a.). Potent Presentations. Sponsored by the American Evaluation Society. Retrieved from https://www.eval.org/Education-Programs/Potent-Presentations

'Potent Presentations Initiative resources (various)' is referenced in: