Scientific Presentations
The Assertion-Evidence Approach

Michael Alley, Penn State

How well scientists and engineers present their work affects how well their ideas and designs are accepted. Sadly, most scientists and engineers follow the weak defaults of Microsoft PowerPoint and build their presentations on topic-phrase headlines supported by bulleted lists—an approach that has no research basis. This website advocates an assertion-evidence approach (AE approach), which is an approach grounded in principles of cognitive psychology. The AE approach builds presentations on key messages, rather than topics, and supports those key messages with visual evidence, rather than bulleted lists. Our research has found that an AE approach leads to presentations that are better comprehended, remembered, and believed. You are more than welcome to link to these pages, films, and files. In addition, you are welcome to print and distribute these materials, as long as you credit the website and its principal reference: The Craft of Scientific Presentations.

Rethinking scientific presentations: The assertion-evidence approach

Leonhard Center, Penn State
University Park, PA 16802

Content Editor: Michael Alley