YOU are an expert! Share what you know

August 2, 2023

Reading Time: 4 minutes

YOU are an expert! Share what you know

Continuing education is essential for architects to stay up-to-date with the latest trends, technologies, and practices in the field. The American Institute of Architects (AIA) offers a variety of opportunities for architects to earn continuing education credits, including conferences, webinars, and workshops.

As an experienced architect and educator, I have prepared numerous continuing education presentations for architects at AIA meetings. In this essay, I will provide a comprehensive guide on how
to prepare a successful continuing education presentation for architects in New Jersey.

Step 1: Choose a Topic and Define your Objectives

The first step in preparing a continuing education presentation is to choose a relevant and engaging topic that is of interest to architects in New Jersey. Your topic should be practical and applicable to their work and should provide new insights or knowledge.

Once you have chosen your topic, define your objectives for the presentation. Ask yourself what you want your audience to take away from your presentation. Do you want to inform, persuade, or motivate them? Define your learning objectives and outcomes and ensure that they align with the AIA’s continuing education requirements.

Step 2: Research and Gather Materials

The next step is to research your topic thoroughly. Use a variety of sources, including academic journals, books, and online resources, to gather information and data to support your arguments. Make sure that your sources are reliable and up-to-date.

Gather all the materials that you will need for your presentation, including any visual aids, handouts, or slides. Organize your materials in a logical sequence, and make sure that they support your objectives.

Step 3: Plan Your Presentation Structure

A well-structured: Plan your Presentation Structureured presentation is essential for keeping your audience engaged and focused. Begin by outlining your presentation, dividing it into sections or chapters. Use a clear and logical sequence that builds on each section, leading to a strong conclusion.

In the introduction, grab your audience's attention with a hook, such as a thought-provoking question, a personal story, or a startling statistic. Clearly state your topic and objectives and explain why they are relevant to architects in New Jersey.

In the body of your presentation, use clear and concise language to present your arguments and support them with evidence and data. Use examples, case studies, and analogies to help your audience understand complex ideas.

In the conclusion, summarize your main points and restate your objectives. End with a memorable closing statement that leaves a lasting impression on your audience.

Step 4: Practice and Refine

Practice your presentation several times before giving it. Time yourself to ensure that you can deliver it within the allotted time. Practice speaking clearly and loudly, using appropriate gestures and facial expressions to emphasize your points.

Refine your presentation based on feedback from others. Ask colleagues, friends, or family members to listen to your presentation and provide constructive criticism. Revise your presentation based on their feedback, making sure that it is clear, concise, and engaging.

Step 5: Prepare Visual Aids

Visual aids, such as slides or handouts, can enhance your presentation and make it more engaging for your audience. Use high-quality graphics and images that support your arguments and are easy to understand.

Limit the number of slides or handouts, and make sure that they are well-organized and easy to follow. Use fonts that are easy to read, and avoid using too many colors or too much text.

Step 6: Follow AIA Guidelines for Continuing Education Presentations

The AIA has specific guidelines for continuing education presentations, and it is essential to follow them to ensure that your presentation is eligible for continuing education credits. Some of the guidelines include:

  • The presentation must last for a minimum of one hour and a maximum of two hours.
  • The presenter must provide a clear and concise learning objective at the beginning of the presentation.
  • The presentation must include a summary of the learning objectives at the end.
  • The presenter must provide an evaluation form for participants to fill out at the end of the presentation.
  • The presenter must be prepared to answer questions from participants.

Step 7: Delivering the Presentation

When delivering your presentation, it is important to be confident, engaging, and approachable. Begin by introducing yourself and your topic, and establish a rapport with your audience. Use humor or personal anecdotes to create a relaxed and friendly atmosphere.

Use your visual aids to illustrate your points, but don't rely on them too heavily. Keep your presentation moving at a steady pace, and be aware of your audience's reactions. If they seem confused or disinterested, adjust your presentation accordingly.

Encourage participation from your audience by asking questions, soliciting opinions, or allowing time for questions at the end of the presentation. Be prepared to answer questions and provide additional information if necessary.

Step 8: Evaluation and Follow-up

At the end of your presentation, provide participants with an evaluation form and encourage them to provide feedback. Use this feedback to improve future presentations and to tailor your content to the needs of your audience.

Follow up with participants after the presentation by providing additional resources, such as articles or links to relevant websites. Stay in touch with your audience and continue to provide valuable
information and resources.


Preparing a continuing education presentation for architects at the AIA meetings in New Jersey requires careful planning and preparation. By choosing a relevant and engaging topic, researching and gathering materials, planning your presentation structure, practicing and refining your presentation, preparing visual aids, following AIA guidelines, and delivering your presentation with confidence and enthusiasm, you can provide valuable education and insights to your audience. With careful preparation and execution, you can make a lasting impression on your audience and help them to stay up-to-date with the latest trends and practices in architecture.

-Brian W. Penschow, AIA

AIA New Jersey President Elect


By | Posted in Continuing Ed | Tagged: , , , , , , | Comments (0)



Architects are creative professionals, educated, trained, and experienced in the art and science of building design, and licensed to practice architecture. Their designs respond to client needs, wants and vision, protect public safety, provide economic value, are innovative, inspire and contribute positively to the community and the environment.

414 Riverview Plaza, Trenton, NJ 08611
(609) 393-5690