Presentation Types

AEA encourages many different types of presentations to allow a chance for anyone at any level to be involved, but please note that while some presentation types require the presenter to be an expert in the field, others are designed for facilitators to promote discussion and idea exchange.  

Birds of a Feather Gatherings: Birds of a Feather Gatherings, also known as idea exchanges or networking tables, are relatively small and informal discussion-based gatherings, aimed at building networks and exploring ideas. Although similar in length as a roundtable, this is the only session type for which there is NO formal presentation; instead the facilitators ensure that there is time for introductions amongst those in attendance and come with questions or ideas to spark discussion around a particular topic area.

Demonstrations: Demonstrations are formal 45- or 90-minute presentations that show how to use or apply an evaluation concept or tool. These sessions differ from Skill-Building Workshops which provide a hands-on experience.

Expert Lecture: Expert Lectures are formal 45-minute presentations by a SINGLE expert in the field who will share conceptual or methodological innovations through a lecture followed by a response to audience questions.

Ignite Presentations: Ignite Presentations use 20 PowerPoint slides that automatically advance every15 seconds for a total presentation time of just 5 minutes. Ignite slides tend to incorporate excellence in slide design in support of a very clearly articulated message. Ignite Presentations are challenging, exciting, and dare we say it – they can be quite fun to create, give, and to attend.

Multi-paper Sessions: Multi-paper sessions include three or more paper presentations on a common theme.  Each paper presenter will have approximately 15 minutes to present and discuss the key points of his or her work. Submit for these session type only if you are a group submitting a minimum of three papers you would like to present as part of one complete multipaper session. Individual papers must be submitted using the “paper” session type.

Other Experiential Learning Session: Do you have a unique and interactive way of presenting contact? Choose this session type to submit a session that does not fit in to our traditional categories, but that challenges learners to engage with evaluation content in an innovative and interactive way. Potential formats for this session type include, but are not limited to sessions built around simulation, peer to peer dialogue and case base learning.

Panel: This formal, thematic, 45- or 90-minute presentation focuses on an issue facing the field of evaluation. The overall abstract is to provide a coordinated presentation by two or three (for a 45-minute panel), or more (for a 90-minute panel), panelists, and possibly a discussant, on the general topic of the panel.

Roundtables: Roundtables are 45-minute oral presentations with attendees seated around a table. Roundtable presentations typically include 15 minutes of presentation, followed by 30 minutes of discussion and feedback.Roundtable presenters should bring targeted questions to pose to others at the table, in order to learn from and with those attending. Roundtables are an ideal format for networking and in-depth discussion on a particular topic.

Skill-Building Workshop: As part of a 45- or 90-minute session taking place during the conference, workshops teach a specific skill needed by many evaluators and include one or more exercises that let attendees practice using this skill. These sessions differ from Demonstrations in that attendees will have a hands-on opportunity to practice the skill. These sessions differ from Professional Development Workshops in that they take place during the conference, are significantly shorter in length, and thus do not allow for as much breadth or depth in exploring the topic, and may be presented by someone with less facilitation experience  than expected for the pre- and post-conference workshops. 

Think Tank: A Think Tank is a 45- or 90-minute session focusing on a single issue or question. Initially, a chairperson orients attendees to the issue or question and relevant context. Then, attendees break into small groups to explore the issue or question and finally reconvene to share their enhanced understanding through a discussion facilitated by the chairperson. The abstract should succinctly identify the question or issue to be addressed, the relevant contextual factors, and the roles of the individual breakout groups.