The Wald statistic is known to vary under reparameterization. This raises the question: which parameterization should be chosen, in order to optimize power of the Wald statistic? We specifically consider k-sample tests of generalized linear models and generalized estimating equations in which the alternative hypothesis contains only two parameters. Amongst a general class of parameterizations, we find the parameterization that maximizes power via analysis of the non-centrality parameter, and show how the effect on power of reparameterization depends on sampling design and the differences in variance across samples. There is no single parameterization with optimal power across all alternatives. The Wald statistic commonly used, that under the canonical parameterization, is optimal in some instances but it performs very poorly in others. We demonstrate results by example and by simulation, and describe their implications for likelihood ratio statistics and score statistics. We conclude that due to poor power properties, the routine use of score statistics and Wald statistics under the canonical parameterization for generalized estimating equations is a questionable practice.