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How Do You Measure the Quality of a Presentation?

 

Atlanta’s Emory University’s Goizueta Business School’s MBA program has an annual Marketing Strategy Consultancy Presentation Day Competition.  Alumni and members of the business community serve as judges to teams of eager MBA students presenting their findings related to a business marketing issue that companies have hired them to research.  I applied and was accepted as a judge this year.

Picture six or seven member teams presenting their findings to their clients and a room of 75 business professionals who are complete strangers.  Besides observing the presentations and the excellent questioning done by judges in the audience, one thing I found interesting was the weights placed on the scoring.

The teams were evaluated on three criteria:  presentation skills, organization, and content.

These three criteria were not evenly weighed.  What do you suppose the weighing was for the three criteria?  What should it have been?

I’d love to hear what you think the weighing should have been.  I’ll wait a few days for your responses then I’ll give you the answer and my comments.  (If any of you Atlanta residents were judges too, please don’t give it away!)

What do you think?  Record your guess and thoughts in the comments section!

7 comments
Bob Hawkins
Bob Hawkins

Interesting. I submit that the ranking of Presentation, Organization followed by Content is most accurate for political speeches where much of the audience is more wowed by the presentation than by the substance. However, in a business environment where thought & analysis is given before acceptance/decision is reached, I would always ensure that I had quality content in a well-organized format that I presented with sincerity and conviction. Thus: Content-40%, Organization-30%, Presentation-30%.

kellyvandever
kellyvandever

Bob - Thanks for adding your perspective. Interesting perspective on the differences between a political audience and a business audience. Perhaps with a political speech the audience has already made up their minds and a smooth speaker has more sway, where as in a business environment, the decision has yet to be made. Interesting... Thanks for weighing in Bob! Kelly

Ellen Finkelstein
Ellen Finkelstein

To me, organization and content are very similar.It's hard to distinguish the points and their order. Did the students use slides? If so, were they judged at all? But if I had to choose weights, I would go for something very different: 50% content, 15% organization, and 35% presentation skills. You present to communicate something--that's your content/message and I would consider it most important. Organization can make or break it, but it's just an added issue. Finally, presentation skills are how you communicate your message--very important, but not to overshadow WHAT you're saying.

kellyvandever
kellyvandever

Ellen - The students did use slides. The use of slides was addressed as a subset of presentation skills. Thanks for weighing in with your weights and for adding your perspective! Kelly

Irene Savarese
Irene Savarese

I think presentation skills is very important, so let's say 60%, with 15% for content and 25% for organization. Content is essential, but if you can't organize it and present it you loose the audience. Just my guess.

kellyvandever
kellyvandever

Irene - You got the percentages exactly right! I'll post my thoughts on this breakdown in a post later today. Thanks for guessing! Kelly