Services

Workshops. Webinars. Coaching. Consulting.

My goal is to meet your learning needs, flexibly and creatively. That means workshop modules can be customized, content can be combined, and sessions can vary in length from one hour (in my local area or webinar format) to two days (on site in your location). I also offer personalized coaching and consultation on these topics and more.

Below are a few of my workshop titles and descriptions. My specialities include:

  • Presentation Design including modules on:
    » Audience Engagement
    » Effective Slide Design
    » Selecting and Using Images and Icons
    » Data Visualization
  • Survey Design (check out my book Designing Quality Survey Questions)
  • Program Evaluation

Do you need to develop professional learning programs for your colleagues?

I can help with that too!

Audience Engagement Strategies for Potent Presentations

Presentations are ultimately about audience learning. Successful presenters work in service to their participants, whether they are presenting an evaluation report, giving a keynote speech, facilitating a professional development workshop or training session, or even running a meeting with stakeholders. Participants in this highly interactive workshop will learn fundamental principles of audience engagement by experiencing each activity as they consider how it can inform their own presentation planning. They will experience more than a dozen ways to engage adult audiences with activities and minilessons that flow together coherently, while allowing time for processing and reflection throughout the course. Participants will come to understand the WHY, the WHAT and the HOW of audience engagement, explore purpose distinctions for audience engagement strategies, and receive instruction on how to effectively integrate these strategies into presentation planning. During demonstrations the instructor will also share how each principle and strategy can be used in an evaluation specific context.

The guiding principle of this course is, as marketing guru Seth Godin claims, ”Every presentation worth doing has just one purpose: To make change happen.”

PARTICIPANTS WILL LEARN:

  1. Fundamental principles of audience engagement that can inform presentation and professional development planning.
  2. To articulate several purpose distinctions for audience engagement strategies.
  3. How to effectively integrate audience engagement strategies in their presentation and professional development planning.
  4. To use a variety of interactive strategies to engage audiences for maximum participant satisfaction and learning.

What people are saying:

I think this morning’s learning session was incredibly inspiring and I definitely have come away with increased confidence in presenting comfortably & engaging audience in fun & interesting ways with successful results.

I don’t normally mark all Strongly Agree but you did a fantastic job. I learned so many new techniques. Thank you Sheila.

Brilliant session. I learned so much & all of it was relevant to my practice. You raised the bar for me.

Sheila, thank you for such a wonderful session. My facilitation will improve starting immediately.  

Very engaging, practical knowledge & easy to implement strategies.

Got more out of workshop than I expected.

– Workshop participants

Not Just a Pretty Face: Engaging Presentation Audiences with Effective Slide Design

Seth Godin says “make slides that reinforce your words, not repeat them.

”We’re deep in the age of visual communication. Whether informing stakeholders about program processes, reporting results of an intervention or evaluation, or sharing research at a conference, we share the goal of wanting presentations to achieve their intended purpose. Presenters, challenged to keep up, face criticism for poor and ineffective use of slides to support their messages and must adapt to changing expectations of current audiences.

This course focuses on slide design as a key component of presentations but these skills also translate to reports and other formats for disseminating information. Through interactive demonstration and discussion, and optional hands-on practice (depending on the length of the session), participants will learn WHY slide design is an essential skill for presenters to master. It’s not about making slides beautiful, but rather designing them to be effective in advancing the purpose of the presentation: informing, teaching, persuading, or selling.

Good presentations build bridges by helping presenters engage and connect with their audiences. Effective slide design is a technical skill easily learned and guided by a set of simple principles, but with the powerful potential to influence these connections.

Don’t know a jpg from a png? Think bleeding and isolation are bad things? This course is for you!

Participants will learn:

  1. WHY effective slide design matters to audiences and serves to advance the presenter’s message.
  2. HOW to easily locate and incorporate visuals – images, graphics, icons, etc. – into slides and how to reduce reliance on text-based slides. They will be able to modify images by cropping, recoloring, and using artistic effects, place images to complement text and data, and choose the correct size for download. They will also learn keyword strategies to find photographs with specific features.
  3. WHAT key design principles can guide their own slide design work including arrangement, balance, unity, and hierarchy.

What people are saying:

It was a really powerful presentation. 

I attended your session on The WHY and HOW of Presentation Design during the AEA conference and was truly inspired.

Excellent: highly practical and actionable… a bit of a well-deserved guilt-trip / reality-check for majority of presenters, and great motivation to do a better job at presenting with impactful visuals next time!

Great – practical – engaging

–Workshop participants

Designing Quality Survey Questions

Surveys are a popular data collection tool for their ease of use and the promise of reaching large populations with a potentially small investment of time and technical resources. But as survey fatigue grows, survey designers must be increasingly judicious in using surveys and craft richer, more concise, and more targeted questions to yield meaningful data. Successful surveys require an understanding of the cognitive processes that respondents employ in answering questions with accuracy and candor. Using rich examples and an interactive approach, I’ll demonstrate why we must engage in a rigorous, intentional survey design process in order to craft high quality questions, arguably the most critical element of any survey. Participants in this session will learn about the survey design process through a series of activities, developing an understanding of the cognitive aspects of survey response and question design. This a highly interactive session where participants will work together to increase their ability to craft high quality survey questions, use a survey design checklist published in my book, and leave with additional resources to further develop their skills.

PARTICIPANTS WILL LEARN:

  1. WHY a rigorous, intentional question design process is key to an effective survey
  2. WHAT cognitive processes involved in answering survey questions and their implications for question design
  3. HOW to identify common problems with survey questions and ways to address them
  4. HOW to craft high quality open and closed-ended survey questions with appropriate response options
  5. HOW to employ our checklist to ensure the development of high quality questions.

Get the book – Designing Quality Survey Questions 

Program Evaluation

Uncover Your Data’s Story: Foundations of Program Evaluation

Program evaluation is about applying systematic methods to collect, analyze, interpret and communicate data about a program to understand its design, implementation, outcomes or impacts. Simply put, it’s about gathering data to understand what’s going on, and then using what we learn to make good decisions.

Program evaluation allow for insights into important questions we have about programs such as:

  • How well does the program work?
  • Is the program meeting the needs of the participants?
  • To what extent has there been progress toward the program’s objectives?
  • Do we have evidence of outcomes attributable to the program?
  • How might the program be improved?

Learning objectives:

Participants in this course will:

  • Be able to articulate the key phases of a program evaluation
  • Be able to create an evaluation plan for a given program that includes:
    • Program description
    • Logic model
    • Evaluation questions
    • Data collection and analysis plan
    • Reporting and communication plan
  • Be able to implement an evaluation that informs program decisions.

    Data Visualization

    Uncover Your Data’s Story: Foundations of Data Visualization

    Effective data visualization is visually compelling, easy for readers to comprehend and helps tell an important story.

    Learning Objectives:

    Participants in this session will learn:

    • WHY data visualization is important
    • HOW visualizers draw and manage their readers’ attention using pre-attentive attributes and basic principles of graphic design
    • WHAT common and not-so-common chart and graph types are available and when to use them
    • HOW data visualization can be used effectively in presentations, handouts, reports, and other communications
    • HOW to apply general guidelines for practice – such as designing with intention, accuracy, and accessibility in mind
    • WHERE to find quality resources for further study and practice.

    Participants will be able to:

    • Articulate why data visualization is important for communicating with a variety of audiences
    • Identify chart/graph features that can inhibit readability and interpretation
    • “Clean” charts/graphs of “chartjunk” to improve visualizations
    • Enhance visualizations for effective communication

    *This course is based on using Microsoft Excel to design visualizations.

    What people are saying:

    The instructor made this course interesting and I learned valuable information on how to present information.

    Engaging and lovely teacher + hands-on training

    -Workshop participants

     

     

    Special Edition! A la Carte Workshop Modules

    Do you create presentations for your staff, the board, community stakeholders, or other groups? Do you need to report out to these groups on programs and policies?

    I have a special set of workshop modules specifically designed to be packaged in a way that makes sense for you.

    We often use surveys, interviews, and focus groups to gather the data we need to evaluate programs and policies. We need to use data visualization to communicate information clearly and efficiently using charts, graphs, images, and infographics. And we need to use principles of effective slide design, messaging, and presentation delivery to engage audiences and move them to insight and action.

    Do you want to:

    • Improve your presentations with top notch slides that support your main messages?
    • Create up-to-date charts and graphs that make your data easy to understand?
    • Develop surveys that reach the right people with the right questions and result in useful, actionable data?
    • Understand how to effectively evaluate your programs and policies?

    These workshops are for you! As with all of my courses, you can get as much learning as you need with the combinations of learning modules that work for you.

    Contact me and we’ll talk details!

    I want to thank you for being such a great teacher–I would be totally overwhelmed, even this year, if I hadn’t had the good fortune of having you work with me and TCTRC’s Policy Board. What you were able to teach us has helped me immensely especially when SED added writing the abstract to our plates. I feel you have helped TCTRC be able to look at the data we receive from our feedback forms in a different light and you’ve helped us “up our game” as far as how we are looking at our offerings. The way you make Program Evaluation make sense and easier to accomplish is truly amazing. You are truly a gift to the Teacher Centers of NYS. Thank you, thank you, thank you!”

    Pat Mullikin, Director

    Tri-County Teacher Resource Center

    Dr. Sheila Robinson is an awesome instructor! In summer of 2019, we at the Office of Performance Evaluations were fortunate to experience firsthand her teaching skills and learn from her wealth of evaluation and survey design experience. She conducted an online workshop on survey design that was custom tailored for our office. Not only the evaluators benefited, but our copyeditor also found the workshop useful.

    Dr. Robinson focused on why we need good, intentional, purposeful design process. She used examples of real-world surveys that asked questions in different ways and the ways in which they impacted response.

    Rakesh Mohan, Director

    Office of Performance Evaluations, Idaho State Legislature

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