A while back I shared some thoughts in a post titled One Solution to Presentation Levels about ways to improve information regarding presentations. This post is a follow-up with one suggestion for how we might improve indications regarding presentation track or content.
As with presentation levels, my non-appreciation for presentation tracks is largely driven by presentation evaluation complaints received over the years. These complaints mostly read the same (paraphrased): “I attended this presentation because I want to learn more about ____, instead I heard all about ____.”
I have three kneejerk reactions to this complaint:
- Presentation tracks are subjective and imprecise.
- Your ideas of content relevant to the topic at hand is probably different than someone else’s ideas, or mine.
- I’ve neither attended nor delivered a presentation confined to a single presentation track.
I’d rather see something – anything – more than an naked scalar.
I propose a more realistic reflection of presentation topic – very similar to my proposal about how to better represent presentation levels. We don’t have to use data bars like the image shown at the top of this post, but some indication of how much content is related to which track topic would more effectively and accurately reflect the content of a presentation. If we insist on naked scalar track selections, we could pick the largest percentage and label the presentation as shown in the image.
But I’d rather see something – anything – more than an naked scalar. I’d rather see something like the Tiered Levels like I suggested for presentation levels and those shown in the image at the top of this post.
Tiered Levels address point 1 (somewhat) above. While still subjective, there’s more precision.
Tiered Levels do nothing for differences attendee’s opinion of relevance or differences between attendee perceptions of relevance and those same perceptions of the presenter.
Tiered Levels completely address the fact that naked scalar presentation tracks are less accurate while adding visibility into the true distribution of presentation content.