Tips for Success

Tips for Preparing Presentations

  • Begin by writing well-constructed objectives that are in line with the needs assessment and objectives for the learning activity. Objectives are statements of what faculty members in the educational planning process expect participants to do, know or value as a result of the educational experience. They must be specific, measurable and bridge the gap between the identified need and desired result. 
  • Understand how adults learn.  Refer to Principles of Adult Learning for a quick refresher.
  • Consider the audience, their scope of practice, and the barriers they face.  Tailor your presentation accordingly.
  • Develop clinically relevant content.  Focus on clinical problems and knowledge that can be used in practice.
  • Present an independent and balanced view of therapeutic options and strive for the highest scientific rigor on content.  Refer to our CME Expectations and Best Practices pages for more information.
  • Incorporate as many interactive processes as possible that reinforce learning.  Consider utilizing case studies/discussion, audience response systems (if available), simulations, and/or time for feedback and reflection.
  • Prepare an easy to read PowerPoint presentation and handout materials that encapsulate the main points. Please view the Tips sheet for more information.

Making Good Use of an Audience Response System

If you are giving a presentation using an interactive participation technology such as an Audience Response System (ARS), you have available to you a powerful technology to engage your audience through interaction. Using wireless, handheld keypads, attendees can give you their feedback and opinions. In turn, the results can be collected immediately and the aggregate data graphically displayed within the presentation for everyone to see.

Audience response offers many benefits to those who use it in group settings. These are just a few of the potential benefits:

  • Improve attentiveness
  • Increase knowledge retention
  • Poll anonymously
  • Display polling responses immediately
  • Confirm audience understanding of key points immediately

To get the most value out of the system, however, careful planning is essential. An interactive ARS is most effective when questions are brief, worthy and engaging. See an example of a PowerPoint presentation that takes advantage of the technology.

For more information on the value and use of interactive participation technology, you may find these sites helpful:

Division of Continuing Medical Education
410 W. 10th Street, HS 2100 | Indianapolis, IN 46202 | Phone: (317) 274-0104 | Fax: (317) 274-5182