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  1. Clark, Victoria Borces MSN, RN, C


In the world of adult education where the learners have complex expectations, the educator must make an extra effort to meet the customers' (learners') needs. This article describes how an educator can make every presentation customer-centered by knowing the ABCs of highly effective presentations. The ABCs, when applied, can jump-start presentations and help the presenter meet or exceed learners' expectations.


Aseasoned presenter's most likely response to this article is to say, "Done this...done that...been here... been there!" In the world of adult education where the learners have complex expectations, educators need to consider whether they really have done this and that, been here and there. Have the program participants been absolutely electrified to the point that they are at the edge of their seats with excitement and interest? If such is the case, read on anyway, if only to validate a common passion for creating fun and customer-centered teaching and learning experiences. Novice presenters or those who have never presented an educational program in front of a group of peers and colleagues (who always appear as though they already know the content and are, therefore, disinterested) are also requested to keep reading. The practical ideas presented may be highly beneficial and may jump-start an otherwise precarious attempt to create an effective presentation.


The goal of this article is to describe how to create a highly effective presentation through a customer-centered approach. It is not magic nor is it rocket science. It is simply knowing the ABCs of highly effective presentations.


Imagine a staff development educator in front of a group of nurses during an educational program presentation. All the impressive audiovisual aids are at hand, which testify to countless hours spent preparing for the moment. The latest advances in instructional technology are evident: a mousepad, an ergonomically designed mouse, and a big screen on which to move it around! The presenter looks very credible and confident. He or she follows the content outline to the tee, tickles the mouse at the appropriate times, and moves the pointer masterfully. He or she uses appropriate gestures and tone of voice, maintains good eye contact with the audience, and on occasion, attempts to solicit learners' participation. He or she completes the presentation and believes it was a job well done. After all, all the prewritten behavioral objectives, distributed at the beginning of the presentation, were met. The presenter eagerly examines the participants' evaluations at the end of the program. A look of disappointment and doomed surprise is evident. A note of anger might even be noticeable (been there myself). What went wrong in this seemingly perfect scenario? The answer is really simple: the presenter was able to meet his or her objectives but not the participants' learning needs. He or she failed to meet the customers' expectations.