Rethink your typical presentation with examples from the Alliance for Strong Families and Communities’ TED talk-style presentations, Snapshots. Though these presentations were given at the Alliance National Conference, their lessons apply to presentations big and small.

1. Tell a Personal Story

Storytelling is universal, and there’s no story you know better than your own. Invite the audience in by sharing your message through your life experiences. Leading during disruptive change feels perilous. Jim Mason, president and CEO of Beech Acres Parenting Center, shared how he recovered his own sense of purpose to change the organization's course—toward a more impactful future.

2. Pick a Topic You’re Passionate About

There’s no substitute for passion. If you care deeply about a topic, it’s likely that the audience will be pulled in as well. Think about what keeps you up at night, what motivates you to get out of bed each day, and why you got into this work in the first place.

Jeremy Kohomban, president and CEO of The Children’s Village spoke with fervor about how the U.S.’s history of residential care is marked by the removal of youth from their families and losses to family and community. In refusing the to accept the status quo, he outlined The Children’s Village’s commitment to achieving belonging for children.

3. Inject Humor and Show Your Personality

Even serious topics can benefit from a dose of humor. Leave the knock-knock jokes at home, but drive your points home with repetition and hyperbole or understatements. Or create irony through juxtaposition. Laura Kozak, chief administrative officer at Grace Hill Settlement House, left the audience in stitches with her humorous insight and anecdotes on millennials in the workplace.

To keep the Snapshot relatable, she incorporated her energy and point of view as a Gen. Xer and Millennial Whisperer.

4. Use Your Slides to Enhance Your Story

We’ve all come face to face with slides containing blurry images and miniscule text. Don’t do this to your audience. Keep the focus on you by making sure your slides showcase your concepts in action and guide people through your presentation.

Adair Mosley, interim CEO of Pillsbury United Communities, led the audience through the human-centered design process to create a grocery store that offers healthy foods as well as integrates health care and wellness services and builds community. Pictures of neighbors participating in various activities, accompanied by icons signifying the different steps in the process made it easy to understand and follow along. (P.S. North Market opened in December!)

5. Consider Someone other than the CEO

Executives are used to being the face and voice of their organizations, but all staff, regardless of role, can be powerful champions for the cause and offer unique perspectives.

Jennifer Cato, then director of health care integration at Cornerstones of Care, was the perfect person to showcase how their innovation culture empowers all staff. Equipped with super hero toolbelts of organizational values, staff worked with partners to create a “bat signal” for nurse case management.

Take the Stage in October

Submit proposals for Snapshots at the2018 Alliance National Conference, to be held Oct. 15-17 in Denver, by March 16. Take advantage of this opportunity to gain recognition for your disruptive idea or new solution—presenters receive exposure through the conference and online video campaign, plus the video file and promotional support.

Don’t worry, we’ve got more advice where this came from. Presenters receive multiple coaching sessions with the Alliance in preparation for the conference.

Contact Candise Hardy-Bullock, operations associate at the Alliance, with questions.

Submit proposals for Snapshots at the 2018 Alliance National Conference online by March 16.