Types of Presentations

Below are described the types of presentations that can be submitted to the CES Conference (C2014), along with duration and a brief description.

Ignite Presentation

New this year at CES!
Duration: 5 minutes

Ignite presentations use 20 PowerPoint slides that automatically advance every 15 seconds for a total presentation time of just 5 minutes. Ignite slides tend to incorporate excellence in slide design in support of a very clearly articulated message. Presenters need to practice in order to get their timing down and their quality up. Ignite presentations are challenging, exciting, and dare we say it – they can be quite fun to create, to give, and to attend. Additional logistical details will be provided to ignite presenters approximately one month before the conference, but those interested in submitting an ignite proposal can find further information online.

Flashback Presentation

New this year at CES!
Duration: 20 minutes

Given the theme of this year’s conference, presenters are encouraged to submit “flashback” presentation proposals, where a paper presented at an earlier CES conference will be revisited and commented in light of recent developments. For example, a presenter may choose to present an integral presentation made 5 years ago at the CES 2009 conference and comment on the continued relevance of the topic, any new developments in the area and implications for the future. Each presentation should be no longer than 20 minutes, with an additional 5 or 10 minutes for questions.

Student Presentation

New this year at CES!
Duration: 20 minutes

We strongly encourage full- or part-time students to submit a presentation proposal. The Consortium of Universities for Education in Evaluation (CUEE) will host this stream and will assess these proposals through a separate process. The student presentations may summarize recent research activities in an area of interest to evaluators or feature case studies of evaluation projects. Such case studies should include lessons learned along the way.


Duration: 20 minutes

Traditional presentation made by one or more speakers meant to share research results or completed work. Each presentation should be no longer than 20 minutes, with an additional 5 or 10 minutes for questions.


Duration: 45 or 90 minutes

Integrated panels that include multiple speakers focusing on one issue for a maximum duration of 90 minutes, including questions for each speaker as well as introductory and closing remarks if needed. The submitter is responsible for coordinating the panel presentations in advance.


Duration: 45 or 90 minutes

Demonstrations are formal 45- or 90-minute presentations that provide an intellectual awareness and understanding of a useful evaluation concept or tool. The abstract should describe how the presenter will walk attendees through a clear, step-by-step explanation of the concept or tool, how it compares to other evaluation concepts or tools, its strengths and weaknesses, and how it can best be applied.

Expert Lecture

Duration: 45 minutes

Expert Lectures are formal presentations by an acknowledged expert in the field who will share conceptual or methodological innovations through a lecture followed by response to audience questions. The abstract should detail both the background of the lecturer as well as the importance of the material to be presented. Please note that an expert lecture, at 45-minutes in length, is about three times the length of a standard paper presentation. As such, the breadth and depth of the content, and the expertise of the presenter, should warrant such an extended exploration.


Duration: 45 or 90 minutes

Two or three debaters should hold clearly differing points of view as they exchange insights on a topic of import to evaluators. The interaction should be moderated by a chairperson with a prepared set of questions. Half of the presentation time should be devoted to response to audience questions. The main abstract should identify the topic, why the topic is of interest to evaluators, and the contrasting positions of the debaters. An alternative format would be to debate a specific proposition that would be directed towards a specific organization or institution, such as the CES.

Think Tank

Duration: 45 or 90 minutes

A think tank is a 45- or 90-minute session focusing on a single issue or question. Initially, a chairperson orients attendees to the issue or question and relevant context. Then, attendees break into small groups to explore the issue or question and finally reconvene to share their enhanced understanding through a discussion facilitated by the chairperson. If the overall group is small, the central discussion may take place among the group as a whole. As the session winds down, the group reconvenes or refocuses with an eye toward identifying what has been learned or next steps in an action-based process. The abstract (submission) should succinctly identify the question or issue to be addressed, the relevant contextual factors, and the roles of the individual breakout groups.


Duration: 60 minutes

Roundtables are 60-minute oral presentations with discussion seated around a table. Roundtable presentations typically include several minutes of presentation by the organizer, followed by discussion and feedback. Roundtable presenters should bring targeted questions to pose to others at the table in order to learn from and with those attending. Roundtables are excellent venues for getting targeted feedback, engaging in in-depth discussions, and meeting colleagues with similar interests. The abstract should detail the focus of the presentation and the way(s) in which it contributes to the body of knowledge in the field of evaluation. Each presenter is in charge of his or her discussion group, but most will include an introductory discussion component with ample time for questions.