Planning Presentation

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Presentation Delivery

The best presentations are often those that take time to engage the audience directly. For this reason, we discourage reading directly from prepared written statements, and instead recommend brief presentations and in a conversational style. Here are some tips for delivering an effective presentation:

  • Practice your presentation until you can deliver it naturally and within the defined time limit. Being able to deliver with confidence requires preparation.
  • Talk directly to the audience, make direct eye contact, point to items on the screen, stand at the podium. All of these will help you connect with your audience. Avoid being “sage on the stage.”
  • Build in time for questions from the audience.
  • Vary and control the volume, speed, and tone of your voice. Use the microphone provided. One of the most important things when delivering a speech is hearing it. Project your voice.

Presentation Time

All presenters must make sure to begin and end on time. Please keep in mind there is usually another session following on the schedule, and that attendees need fifteen minutes between one session and the next to clear the room to accommodate the next round of presenters and attendees. Faculty should build in time and plan for questions from the audience.


Audio Visual Equipment and Room Set-Up

Breakout rooms will be set in a mixture of classroom and theater style seating. The standard setup for breakout session rooms includes the following:

  • 1 laptop at or near the podium
  • 1 wireless presentation mouse
  • 1 podium microphone
  • 2-3 table-top microphone for panelists
  • 1 screen
  • 1 LCD projector

Additional equipment needs for your presentation must be approved by AHLA staff. Because equipment is ordered in advance, any last minute or onsite requests cannot be guaranteed.

Presentation Evaluation

Program attendees are encouraged to fill out a general program evaluation and a presenter/session evaluation. In general, we want feedback on the program content and their overall experience. Each presenter is evaluated on overall speaking style–outstanding- 5, strong - 4, acceptable - 3, marginal - 2, and unacceptable - 1. In addition, we ask whether the materials contributed to the learning objectives, if the learning objectives were met, and if the presenter engaged the audience.

Here are examples of what we hear from attendees:

  • "I really enjoyed it and making it a little fun always helps. They certainly were fun!"
  • "Good topic. Speakers were prepared and gave good examples. Was great overall."
  • "Presenter use of “um” was distracting it inhibited the message."
  • "The energy and enthusiasm of the speakers made the topic interesting."
  • "Knew her material but abysmal presentation. Delivered in a monotone with no humor."
  • "Funny, engaging, and knowledgeable! The material seems to be flown through a bit quickly at times, but that seemed to be more a nature of the breadth of the topic area, than a speaker issue."

Following the program, the evaluations are compiled and shared with the presenter (by mail, 6 -8 weeks after the program) and the planning committee for the program. We may, in some cases, also share them with other program planning committees.