How do you go about evaluating or grading a presenter? Is grading artificial? Should we only evaluate presenters based on audience assessments of whether the presentation achieved its goal? What criteria should we use to evaluate presentations? Should all presentations be evaluated by the same criteria? Or is evaluation so subjective, that we should eliminate it altogether in favor of focused feedback, which may or may not be evaluative? Maybe we should ask: When you have finished giving a presentation, what are they questions you want to ask of your audience?
Presenter Evaluation Form: Non-Template
Presenter Evaluation Form: Criteria
This is one rubric for evaluating presenters based on the features of effective writing. Remember, if you’re trying to improve a presentation rather than merely grade it, think about the features in this order. If you don’t have a focus, you don’t have anything.
What’s the point of this presentation? What primary information is the presenter trying to convey, what argument is he/she making? How clearly does the presentation reflect the focus?
- 4 points — The presentation had a clear and consistent focus. I came away knowing exactly what point the presenter was trying to make.
- 3 points — By the time he/she finished, I understood the presenter’s point clearly, but I had some doubts along the way.
- 2 points — I am fairly certain what point the presenter was trying to make, but I’d like further clarification.
- 1 point — On further reflection, I think I can figure out what the point of this presentation was, but I shouldn’t have to work this hard.
- 0 points — I have absolutely no idea what this person was talking about.
Is the information presented in an order that makes sense and supports the focus of the presentation? Is the overall plan of the presentation evident and consistent? Is the information presented in a logical manner?
- 4 points — At every point in the presentation, I knew exactly where the presenter was and where we had been, and I had a sense of where we were going. I never lost sight of the presenter’s focus.
- 3 points — I generally knew where the presenter was and where he/she was headed, but there were a couple of places where I was a little confused.
- 2 points — I was never totally lost during the presentation, but several of the points were unclear or confusing, and there were several places where I wasn’t sure where the presenter was headed.
- 1 point — By the time the presenter finished, I understood what the focus was, but most of the organization seemed jumbled.
- 0 points — I was lost during most of the presentation. Few if any of the information seemed logical when presented.
Support and elaboration
Is there enough supporting information or arguments in the presentation to make the main point effectively? Was any of the content irrelevant to the presenter’s focus? If images accompany the text of slides, do they support the presenter’s point, or are they merely decorative? If the presenter summarized his/her argument with bullet points, did he/she elaborate on them orally or merely read what was on the screen?
- 4 points — There was plenty of supporting information, evidence, images, etc. to make the presenter’s point. I am thoroughly convinced!
- 3 points — The presenter provided enough support for his/her argument, but some images seemed extraneous or purely decorative, and a couple of points needed further clarification.
- 2 points — There was a fair amount of supporting information, but it was too sparse. The presenter did not sufficiently elaborate on many of the points, and the images added little to my understanding of the issue.
- 1 point — The presenter relied too heavily on short bullet points in the multimedia presentation and didn’t provide sufficient oral elaboration. The images were purely decorative and added nothing to my understanding of the issue.
- 0 point — The presenter gave virtually no evidence at all for his/her argument. And what was with that clip art?!?
With respect to a multimedia presentation, style refers both to the style of the writing and to the appearance of the slides. Do word choice, sentence fluency, and voice reflect the presenter’s purpose and audience? Similarly, do the layout and design of the slides, the fonts, and the images reflect the presenter’s purpose and audience? If it’s a serious presentation, for example, fonts should carry some visual weight — go with something simple, like Times or Verdana, rather than something cute like Chalkboard — and amateurish clip art should be avoided in favor of images that convey meaning and thoughtfulness of purpose. The layout of the slides — placement of headers and titles, for example — should be clear and free of ornament that distracts from the content of the presentation. Obviously, clashing colors or color schemes involving more than three or four colors should be avoided in almost any case.
In short, keep it simple. Certainly you want the appearance of the slides to be interesting, and the presenter’s personal voice can still come through, but the content has to come first. Unnecessary clip art, overly bright and distracting colors, big headers that crowd the text of pages, and so on will only distract the audience. There’s plenty of room for embellishment in the accompanying oral presentation.
- 4 points — The text and the visual design were clear, interesting, and appropriate to the purpose and audience of the presentation. Fonts, colors, etc. seemed well chosen to reflect the presenter’s purpose and aided in my ability to process the visual content of the presentation.
- 3 points — The text and visual design were clear and interesting but somewhat inconsistent in style. Although the design may not have distracted from the content, it also did not enhance my ability to understand the presentation.
- 2 points — The layout and color choices distracted somewhat from the content of the presentation, and some of the images were purely decorative and seemed out of place. At times I found myself staring at the screen and forgetting what the presenter was talking about. The text of the slides was reasonably clear but uninteresting.
- 1 point — Fonts and colors were inconsistent; text was dull and inappropriate to the presenter’s purpose (too informal, for example).
- 0 points — Colors, fonts, and layout seemed almost random. The design was confusing and made it difficult to understand (or even find) the content of the presentation.
This includes the conventions of writing (grammar, spelling, and usage) as well as the layout of slides, legibility, and timing. Was the text free of errors in grammar, spelling, and usage? Had the presenter edited carefully or were there sloppy errors? Was the layout of the pages consistent and clean? Was the text easily readable, and headings clearly distinguished from regular text? (When we evaluate fonts with respect to conventions, we’re looking just at whether they’re readable, not whether they’re attractive or otherwise suitable to the presentation.) Notice that I have assigned only one-fifth of the total points to all of these qualities together. You may think this is extreme, and of course you’re free to change it.
- 4 points — The presentation was easy to read; text was free of errors.
- 3 points — There were one or a few errors in grammar, spelling, or usage, but they did not detract from the content. Text was clear and easily readable.
- 2 points — There were several errors in grammar, spelling, or usage. Text was not as readable as it could have been — the face may have been “cute” rather than readable, or the size may have been too small for ease of reading. Some images may have been difficult to see. Layout of the slides may not have been consistent throughout the presentation, resulting in some confusion.
- 1 point — The presentation was riddled with sloppy errors that detracted from the content. The layout of the slides was inconsistent and made comprehension difficult, and the text was often difficult to read.
- 0 points — Problems with grammar, spelling, usage, layout, and font choices made this presentation nearly incomprehensible.
Presentations need to be accompanied by a real, live human being to be effective (be honest now — have you ever really learned anything from one of these awful printouts of PowerPoint slides?), you’ll need to evaluate the presenter’s skill in speaking and in responding to the audience. To cover that fully would require another article and another rubric, but consider the following in how the oral portion of the presentation relates to the multimedia portion: Did the presenter rely on the text on the screen, or did he/she clearly understand and communicate information and ideas a couple of levels deeper than mere bullet points? Did he/she read the text on the screen or speak independently, leaving the bullet points merely for the audience’s reference? How did he/she respond to questions from the audience — with confidence or with uncertainty? by repeating the bullet points in the presentation or by elaborating with additional information or a new perspective?
- 4 points — The presenter gave a clear, thorough, convincing presentation apart from the PowerPoint. The PowerPoint enhanced the presentation and was useful as a reference, but I felt that the presentation would still have been quite good without it. The presenter welcomed questions from the audience and responded thoughtfully.
- 3 points — The presenter spoke well and with confidence but occasionally read bullet points without sufficient elaboration. In some cases, he/she diverted from the “script” a little too much — I was uncertain of the connection between what he/she was saying and the information on the screen. His/her responses to questions were good but could have been stronger.
- 2 points — The presenter spoke with some confidence but relied heavily on the text on the screen. This probably would not have been a strong, coherent presentation without the PowerPoint to hold it together.
- 1 point — The presenter mostly read the bullet points on the screen, only occasionally elaborating on them. He/she looked at the screen as much as at the audience and faltered when responding to questions from the audience or speaking independently.
- 0 points — The presenter merely read the bullet points on the screen, then referred back to them in response to questions. It seemed almost as though he/she had never seen the PowerPoint before today.
Presenter Evaluation Form: Example
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In order to fulfill your needs, we would like to get your input about this and future presentations. Please help us by completing the following information:
1. Presentation Speaking Quality: Excellent Good Fair Poor
2. Presentation Program Content: Excellent Good Fair Poor
3. Was the program presentation beneficial to you? Yes No
4. Did you receive the information you expected? Yes No
5. Was sufficient time provided for the presentation? Yes No
6. Meeting Site: Excellent Good Fair Poor
7. SUGGESTIONS FOR FUTURE PRESENTATION TOPICS
8. SUGGESTIONS FOR FUTURE MEETING LOCATIONS
|What will you do as a result of this program?|
What did you like best about the program?
What will you tell others about the presentation?
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Passion and information are both equally important in the presentation. You won’t be able to give the 100% dedicate presentation without a great effort to put your passion in. Passion in the presentation topic plays a role as a fuel for the presenter. Presenters should be evaluated across multiple criteria including focus, organization and audience engagement.