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Quick Tips for Creating an Effective AIA CES Presentation

By Jennifer Poole, LEED Green Associate
Manager, CES Provider Training

As an AIA CES Provider, you are responsible for ensuring current and high-quality education reaches AIA members. But practically speaking, you may be responsible for creating these kinds of educational programs at high volumes, or with competing deadlines. So how can a provider maintain a track-record of high quality presentation, while still being in efficient in developing educational programs? Finding a solid structure for your presentation can enable you to develop clear and efficient presentations that keep your audience’s attention.

What do I mean when I say structure? A good presentation always has a beginning, middle, and an end. It has a flow that makes sense given the content, and gives the audience hints at when the presentation is going to ebb and flow with the information.

With that, here are a couple of quick tips to ensure your next presentation stays on track:

    1. Establish the beginning of your presentation with AIA CES Mandatory slides, including a specific, detailed course description and learning objectives. Remember, once the presentation begins your presentation should have no logos present until the end of the program.

    2. Use your learning objectives as a guide for your presentation. Developing learning objectives before you create your presentation is important, as they can be used as a roadmap for your presentation. Consider using learning objectives to create blocks of content in your agenda as well as your presentation slides.

    3. Create modules of content that follow a pattern. Do you need to present information from simple to complex? Utilize a hierarchical scheme for your presentation, creating blocks of content that grow in complexity throughout your presentation. Creating a presentation that focuses on different facets of a building project? Use a whole-to-parts scheme, arranging blocks of content to relate the parts of a building to the success of the entire project. There are a number of classic ways to structure a presentation, and you can visit The E-Learning Coach blog post for additional ideas on organizing your presentation.

    4. Engage your audience. Don’t shy away from incorporating interactive elements into your presentation. While many providers incorporate polling questions, far less incorporate other elements such as group work or social media interaction. Incorporating these kinds of activities allow you to not only keep your audience interested, but help clarify the information by giving your audience pause to think about the information you are presenting.

    5. Finish your presentation with more than a cliffhanger. Your audience should feel as though your presentation is winding down. Consider wrapping up presentations with a culminating activity, question-and-answer session, or “Lessons Learned” slide in your presentation.

    6. Administer your evaluation. It’s that simple. You must deliver an evaluation, as it is required by AIA CES policies and procedures. To incentivize increased participation, incorporate your evaluation into the time you’ve promoted for the length of the course – or give out certificates after evaluations are complete.

    7. Give your an audience an opportunity to continue the conversation. Invite your audiences to follow you on social media outlets, and continue to connect with them on the content covered in the course. One example of this is prompting attendees of your course to answer a new question related to the content you covered in the course on social media outlets such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

    8. Finally, watch the AIA CES Provider Connection Newsletter for best practices in education and training, culled by AIA from providers and latest trends in the field!


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