Scientific Presentations
The Assertion-Evidence Approach

How to Create and Deliver an Assertion-Evidence Presentation:
Sharper Focus, Improved Confidence


Step 1. Learn the key principles.

1. Build your talk on messages.
2. Support each message with visual evidence.

A talk built on messages is more focused than a talk built on topics. Moreover, audiences understand visual evidence more readily than they do bulleted lists. Using these two principles, the assertion-evidence structure makes your presentation more focused and better understood. For evidence of these claims, please see our research page.

Step 2. Download our template to create slides for an assertion-evidence talk.
Before opening our PowerPoint template on your computer, write down the main messages on your next talk (please note that a message is a complete sentence). Use these messages as the sentence headlines for the slides. Support those headlines with visual evidence and place secondary details into the notes pages of the slides. At the end, critique your slides using the following checklist.


Step 3. To boost your confidence, practice delivering your assertion-evidence talk.
Because there are no bulleted lists to read, the assertion-evidence structure demands more from the presenter. In essence, you use the visual evidence of the slides to tell the story of your work. This increased role for you the speaker increases your credibility because rather than reading from the slide, you engage the audience. One tip is to place your speaking notes in the notes pages of the slides. Another tip is to seek feedback on a practice run of the talk from a colleague.

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Content Editor: Michael Alley