Introductory Presentations

Updated 30th December 2019

These workshops and presentations are designed for audiences that are unfamiliar with effective altruism. They could be used for newcomers events, or for presenting to non-EA groups. Workshops are a great way of introducing the ideas of effective altruism, as the discussions help participants engage with the ideas, and the opportunity for questions allows for questions and misconceptions to be addressed.

Guide to Running Introductory Workshops

Catherine Low has produced this guide on running introductory workshops and presentations.

It is also helpful to read the EA Hub’s guide on communicating about EA, to learn ways of expressing EA concepts and common questions and objections.

Introduction to EA with Giving Game

A great way of introducing EA concepts is through a Giving Game, where people choose a charity to give a pot of money to - it is very engaging, far more so than lectures or most discussion groups, and provides a concrete example of the use of EA principles. A giving game can be used for presentations taking 30 mins or longer.

This Google Drive folder contains all the materials needed to run an introduction to EA involving a Giving Game. This presentation takes 1 to 1.5 hours, but can be adapted to shorter and longer times. It includes powerpoint slides, a sample script, handouts about the charities, frequently asked questions, and a video of this presentation in action. This presentation (or variations on this presentation) has been used with over 100 audiences.

For introductions to EA it is usually best to restrict charities to a single cause cause area (usually global poverty unless the audience is particularly interested in another cause are), as cross-cause area giving games often involve the participants choosing based on their current favourite cause, rather than applying evidence. The breadth of EA can be explained after the game.

It is also useful to include an appealing yet ineffective charity, as this is a good way of demonstrating that intuition isn’t a good way of choosing how to do good. Playpumps are a good example for global poverty. Local animal shelters can be used for animal focussed games if you can access information on how much money they use and the number of animals they help.

For global poverty giving games, the Life You Can Save can sponsor money to go to the charity the students choose. They will sponsor $5 (or 5 Euro or 5 pounds) for each high school student, $10 for each university student, or $20 for each professional. For details on sponsorship go to the Life You Can Save’s guide.

Introduction to EA with Cause-Prioritisation Activity

Cause-prioritisation is one of the most important and unique aspects of EA. While it is a difficult job to choose between different cause areas, it is possible to introduce the concepts of cause-prioritisation in a 1 to 1.5 hour introduction to EA.

This Google Drive folder has all the materials needed for a workshop that introduces EA, and gives participants an activity to use the Scale, Neglectedness, Solvability framework to assess 3 to 6 cause areas. It includes powerpoint slides, a sample script, information sheets on 6 cause areas and a worksheet.

Introduction to EA with Animal Charity Giving Game

This 1 to 1.5 hour introduction to EA with a giving game involving animal charities is designed for introducing EA to animal rights and vegan groups. The giving game has people choosing between The Humane League, the Good Food Institute, and a local animal shelter that focuses on pets.

This Google Drive folder has a powerpoint slide and a handout about the charities for this presentation. Note that all the numbers are in NZ dollars, and we recommend you find out the number of animals helped per year by an animal shelter near you, and the annual expenditure of that shelter to allow for a cost-effectiveness comparison.

Note: This presentation isn’t as well resourced or as referenced as the ones above. Contact Catherine on if you would like more information about this game.

More Introductory Presentations Coming Soon

If you have suggestions on how to improve this page, please comment or suggest edits on this google doc.

This article is under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 license.