NLPES Training Products Matrix

Training Products Matrix:  National Legislative Program Evaluation Society (NLPES)

Contents of this Page

NCSL Contact

For more information contact Brenda Erickson.

The information below indicates the most appropriate target audience for each of the training items, the type of media used for the training item (e.g., PowerPoint), and its appropriateness for yellow book training.  Thanks to the states that have contributed to the training document collection.


Planning and Scoping

Developing Evaluation Plans—This PowerPoint is about developing evaluation work plans.  A key part of that process is laying your ideas out on paper.  This presentation describes how to develop a plan to incorporate your research questions/issues, methods, staff assignments, deadlines and communication strategies into one document that will help your team stay on task and on time.

  • Power Point—(36 slides)
  • Designed as a 60 minute class with instructor notes and group exercises.


Critical Thinking—For the most part, the work of legislative program evaluators involves solving problems.  To identify and solve problems, staff must be able to think critically. This PowerPoint describes the "critical thinking" concept and provides classroom exercises for applying the concept.

  • Power Point—(51 slides)
  • Designed as a 50 minute class with instructor notes and group exercises.

Finding Savings—Identifying opportunities for cost savings and cost avoidance is particularly important in times of budget shortfalls. This PowerPoint offers concrete suggestions on where to find savings or additional revenues.

  • Narrated Power Point (10 slides)
  • Can be used as a 50 minute class; does not include group exercises. 

Interviews—Interviewing is a critical part audit and evaluation work. Conducting good interviews takes time and practice. This PowerPoint provides information on basic interviewing skills.

  • Power Point (20 slides)
  • Designed as a 50 minute class, with instructor notes and group exercises.

Pivot Tables Are Easy—This webinar illustrates that a pivot table report is a surprisingly easy, interactive way to quickly explore large amounts of data in many different ways. A pivot table report can be used to analyze numerical data in detail and to answer unanticipated questions about your data.

  • Webinar (60 minutes)
  • Can be used for individual training or in a classroom setting.

Quantitative Methods—Hard numbers can provide compelling evidence. This PowerPoint provides an overview of three quantitative methods: central tendency, regression and survival analysis.

  • Power Point (27 slides)
  • Designed as a 50 minute class with instructor notes and discussion slides at the end.

Quantitative MethodsLearn to use pivot tables to do frequency counts, cross-tabulate data, calculate subtotals and averages by grouping categories, plus much more.

  • Webinar (60 minutes)
  • Can be used for individual training or in a classroom setting.

Samples—Properly executed samples allow us to collect less information but reach reliable conclusions. This PowerPoint provides an overview of types of samples, explains when each is appropriate, and discusses how to determine sample size.

  • Power Point (14 slides)
  • Can be used as a 50 minute class if local examples are added for discussion purposes.

Survey Development—Getting good survey data starts with survey development.  This PowerPoint discusses determining your survey goals and objectives, sample selection, methodology, survey layout and question and response sets.

  • Power Point (29 slides)
  • Designed as a 50 minute class with instructor notes and group exercises. Adding local examples would be helpful.

Survey Refresher—These slides present ways to present surveys and when to conduct them.

Reviewing State Agency Contracts—The increase of government contracting has increased legislative interest in the accountability of contracted projects. This training describes how to conduct consistent, well-documented performance reviews of state contracts.

  • Power Point (36 slides)
  • Designed as a 50 minute class with instructor notes and group exercises.

Writing and Publication

Rapid Response Assistance—More evaluations offices are being asked to provide information quickly to meet legislative research needs. This narrated PowerPoint describes how to quickly organize and execute rapid response assistance requested by the legislature.

  • Narrated Power Point (5 minutes)
  • Can be used as the basis for a class if the instructor adds local examples of requests and discusses local office policies and procedures for rapid response requests.

Report Writing—Every report’s usefulness hinges on its ability to communicate effectively. This PowerPoint discusses keys to crisp writing, including tips at the sentence, paragraph, and overall structure levels, as well as how to provide a good final polish.

  • Power Point (48 slides)
  • Can be used as the basis for a class but does not include instructor notes or exercises.

Report Writing—This webinar by Stan Stenersen explores how to convey complex information to busy readers. It gives writers an understanding of how busy readers learn as well as a set of tools for writing documents that can be understood and acted upon. The webinar includes several opportunities for participation using handouts.

  • Webinar (90 minutes)
  • Can be used for individual training or in a classroom setting.


Narrated PowerPoints—Produce short, narrated PowerPoint presentations to quickly summarize or peak interest in your reports.  This presentation provides tips on how to make them.

Strategic Planning for Legislative Oversight Offices—Oversight offices, which look at other agencies’ strategic planning, can benefit from the process as well. Good Strategic plans can help your office identify your goals and objectives, allocate resources accordingly, and develop and use appropriate performance measures.

  • Narrated Power Point (8.5 minutes)
  • Can be used to develop or enhance a strategic plan for your office.

Legislative Code of Conduct—Legislative staff must make difficult judgments sometimes to guide their service to their state legislatures. This PowerPoint provides basic concepts to help staff develop a sense of responsibility for their actions.

  • Power Point (21 slides)
  • Can be used for a 50 minute class but does not include local examples of ethical dilemmas and how they should be addressed.
Wikipedia for Your Office—Provide factual information about your office history and services (thereby also preventing others from creating an entry about your office.)

Twitter Your Office Products—Use Twitter to provide short, quick notification of report releases and other timely information.

Managing Millennials—Integrating new employees is an important part of maintaining an effective staff. This podcast offers insights into the working style of millennials, as well as other generations of employees, to help managers understand employee needs and preferences.

  • Podcast (10 minutes)
  • Can be used as the basis for a class or discussion for supervisors about working with millennials.

Mentoring—Mentors can help new staff understand your work environment and expectations. This narrated PowerPoint addresses three questions: what is mentoring, what are the different types of mentors, and how can mentors be successful?

  • Narrated Power Point (8 minutes)
  • Can be used as a class for managers or a discussion about how to assimilate new employees.

Succession Planning—Most legislative program evaluation and audit offices face a future in which senior staff will be retiring. This narrated PowerPoint outlines basic concepts for the transfer of knowledge and responsibilities from senior to newer staff.

  • Narrated Power Point (8 minutes)
  • Can be used for a class for managers about preparing for the retirement of baby boomers.

Updated December 10, 2014.

Share this: 
We are the nation's most respected bipartisan organization providing states support, ideas, connections and a strong voice on Capitol Hill.

NCSL Member Toolbox


7700 East First Place
Denver, CO 80230
Tel: 303-364-7700 | Fax: 303-364-7800


444 North Capitol Street, N.W., Suite 515
Washington, D.C. 20001
Tel: 202-624-5400 | Fax: 202-737-1069

Copyright 2015 by National Conference of State Legislatures