Thank you for your willingness to speak at one of our Upper Yellowstone Watershed Group meetings! In order to help you and the audience get the most out of your presentation, we've put together some information for you below.
Audience: Our meetings are targeted at the local citizens, private landowners, agricultural producers and businesses in Paradise Valley, Montana. While people from government agencies (FWP, NRCS, NPS, USDA, etc) attend these meetings, as well as watershed representatives from various NGO's, the target audience is the general public in our area.
Timeframe: Most of our speaker presentations are limited to 15 minutes in duration, including time for questions (our coordinator will work with you on the specific timeframe). Consequently, you can think of this like a Ted talk. Short, sweet and to the point.
Content: The audience is looking for outcomes, results, consequences, and best practices as the result of your research. We want to know the relevance of the research to our area. In particular, we are interested in information that ties back to our action plan and working committees which you can read about here https://www.upperyellowstone.org/committees. A power point (or similar visual) presentation is welcome...optionally, bring 25 copies of physical handouts. We've found that 5-15 slides are the best range for our session. Graphs and, especially, infographics are totally welcome, but they should hone in on the story you are trying to tell and not lose people in the details. Obviously, live demos or videos that tell the story are greatly encouraged as well. That said, there are people in the room who definitely want to dig in to the research and science behind your hard work and we can provide them with links and other information via our website...simply provide that information to us in advance and we will post it on our website. You can look at how we present data and research at our website here https://www.upperyellowstone.org/monitoring. In particular, we've found those speakers who follow the guidelines at this Ted blog https://blog.ted.com/6-tips-on-how-scientists-and-engineers-can-excite-rather-than-bore-an-audience to work well with our audience.
Be aware of your audience
Show the relevance
Paint a picture
Make numbers meaningful
Banish bullet points
...and we in the steering committee would like to also add: "Know that you are appreciated". We believe in establishing long-term relationships with our speakers and understand that you are "human" just like us. In other words, we want to get to know you as a person...not just as a researcher. We appreciate your willingness to share your knowledge and wisdom with us.
Facilities: We can provide a projector and laptop (with Power Point) to present from, or you can bring either of your own. If you choose to use our laptop, please make sure you send us your digital file one day prior to the meeting. Please bring any special cables for your particular laptop to connect to the projector. When first arriving to the meeting location, please work with our coordinator to test your laptop and presentation before the general meeting starts...in other words, work out any kinks before we start.