Speaking

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Inspiration & information.
When you have Erica speak, you always get a little bit of both. Plus–you have a whole lot of fun!

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Presentation Topics

While every presentation is tailored (cuz canned presentations are the pits!), these are some topics Erica talks about on a regular basis:

  • The Language of Leadership: Lead. Leader. Leading. We use these words all the time. But what do they really mean? (Hint: Not what you think.) And how can leaders use language to increase their influence and impact? Using real-world examples and practical frameworks (that are grounded in some rigorous, yet accessible theory), Erica gives participants a way to tap into the power of language to effect change in themselves, in their teams, and in the world.
  • Words on a Mission: Drawing on the curriculum from Claxon University’s class, Words on a Mission, and her experience teaching at the University of Washington, Seattle University, and the University of Chicago, this presentation looks at the why, what, who, and how of nonprofit messaging, i.e. the building blocks of messaging that dazzles, informs and engages. From elevator pitches to website copy, we’ll cover how you create it and how to keep it consistently awesome. (For a taste of this presentation, listen to this mini-webinar.)
  • How to Perfect Your Pitch: We all know those first few sentences you say about your organization are critical. And yet, we biff them time and time again. In these sessions, we focus on crafting pitches that electrify while passing the “will board and staff all say it” test. (Based on Erica’s popular book, Pitchfalls: Why bad pitches happen to good people.)
  • Marketing Your Mission: It’s not easy, but with a concrete, easy-to-remember approach, it can be pretty straight-forward. Using the 1, 2, 3 Marketing Tree as our guide, participants learn the simple marketing method that hundreds of non profits have successfully adopted and used.
  • The Science of Storytelling: Storytelling works. We know that. But why does it work? Why it is such an effective tool for nonprofits? Because of how our brains are hard-wired. That’s why. (Or at least partially why.) Participants will learn about the history of storytelling, and discover how they can use brain science to connect, engage, and delight.

 

Watch Erica Live

 

Don’t just take our word for it! See what real, live people have said after seeing Erica speak.

“Erica knows what nonprofits need, and she delivers.  We allowed only 35 minutes, and she left this audience of conservation organizations hungry for more.  We had to turn the lights out; otherwise they would have stayed all night.”
William Borden, EarthShare Washington

Erica is a dynamic, effective presenter. She incorporates her high energy and humor into informative, practical material about nonprofit marketing and communications. Time spent working with Erica is a wise investment in building valuable in-house skills.”
Mauri Ingram, Whatcom Community Foundation

“Erica challenges the notion of the traditional communications and marketing functions in non-profit fundraising and pushes you to build from the “why” and not the “what or the how”. Erica breaks it down into manageable components and poses the framework in a series of easy to digest concepts and questions. Telling your story effectively and the success it will have on fundraising has never been more clear.”
Ray Li, Neighborhood House

“Thanks again for being such a dynamic and engaging presenter. You were very fun, and everyone in the room felt like it was a day well spent.”
 Thea Kleiber, PeaceHealth

Erica’s presentation today was superb.  She took a very difficult subject–nonprofit marketing–and developed it with humor and insight.”
Dave Courtney, Bravo 369 Flight Foundation

Yours was one of the best workshops I’ve ever participated in – it was truly helpful. I think it’s an absolute must for anybody who does outreach!”
Sherrie Smith, Community Energy Project

“Erica is a very strong presenter with lots of helpful, practical tips. Her extensive background shows. She also brings humor into her workshops, which really helps! One of the things I really appreciated about Erica’s advice was her awareness of “shiny object syndrome.” Erica is careful about picking the communications tools and strategies that are really right for a nonprofit organization’s mission AND resources, and not just jumping on the latest trends.”
Sofia Michelakis, Social Venture Partners

“When I first heard Erica speak, it was like seeing the work that I do from a brand new lens. In the brief amount of time that we were able to connect one on one, she was able to provide a critical and revealing perspective of the work that we do and the audiences we try to reach.
Maile Lono-Batura, Northwest Biosolids Management Association

“I came away from Erica’s session with a new perspective on marketing, mission statements and ways to attract both donors and members.”
Kathy Robbins, Bellingham Assistance League

Erica is a fantastic speaker and is extremely knowledgeable on the topic of nonprofit marketing. Her sense of humour and energetic pace of facilitation kept the group engaged throughout the entire workshop. I would recommend Erica to any group who wants a highly-skilled trainer with a fresh perspective who really understands what it means to be a nonprofit organization.”
Beth Cougler Blom, Volunteer Victoria

We enjoyed every second of our workshop with Erica. It was a great experience and we were thoroughly impressed!”
Hollie Allen, Growing Gardens of Portland

“Your marketing tips have kept my mind spinning with ideas – that’s a good thing!” Susan Lange, Skagit County Community Action Agency

“Thanks so much again for another wonderful session. I’m not sure we’ve ever had a presenter get such ‘high marks’ on a sessions evaluations. Your message clearly resonated, and we thank you so much again for your time and support of this program.” Loren Tierney, Member Services Director, Housing Consortium

“This was my favorite class and I switched classes the following day to attend Erica’s other class. I learned a lot, fast in this class and it suited my strengths the most. Erica is a fantastic teacher, engaging and humorous in her approach. The information obtained will help our organization with every aspect of our endeavor.” Attendee, BioSolid Retreat

I could do an “all-day” with her!” Attendee, BioSolid Retreat

Great presenter…totally dispelled my preconceived notion about a “boring” topic…Erica fully engages her audience…I had a really good experience and the time allotted was too short.” Attendee, BioSolid Retreat

Thank you for a really useful and fun seminar today! I WAS using jargon when I talked to people about PEPS and I didn’t even realize it. I was trying to tell them every single awesome thing without letting them get a word in edgewise – those are just two of several useful things I realized today in addition to honing in on my pitch.” Mary Power, PEPS

“I saw Erica speak at the Alliance of Arizona Nonprofits annual meeting. She is an energetic and engaging speaker who helped us find the most dynamic words to illustrate the important work our nonprofits do. I hope to see her at more events in the future. Jennie Miller, GPC

Thanks so much, Erica, for sharing your wisdom, humor and wealth of resources with the WVDO community. You are a talented presenter and the attendees were so fortunate to have you in their midst to become better educated on improving their pitches. Well done!” Jill Downing, WVDO

“On several occasions, I have had the privilege of participating in Erica’s marketing training sessions. This includes both presentations at conferences and the Claxon Forum. Each time I learn something new about marketing and am inspired to take the next steps needed to promote the brand for which I am working. I find Erica to be a very compelling and engaging speaker. One of the aspects of her presentations which I admire the most is the focus to remember who you are marketing to and what you are marketing. Not to focus on the shiny new object!” Christie Cotterill, Seattle Aquarium

“I took Erica’s class a few years ago and I have to say, even a few years later, the lessons from the class have stuck with me. The passion Erica has for the industry and for helping the sector become more effective in its message was contagious. I really enjoyed the class and highly recommend Erica.” Wendy Chamberlin, The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

“Your one-day training was excellent–very well put together. I think this is a difficult topic to teach–it’s easy to get lost in details and lose sight of the essential message. Your training and tools help a great deal with the focus! And your humor and energy kept the group going. Thank you!” Gini Van Siclen

“Thank you for coming to present to our class today about marketing. I was very impressed by the content, the level of energy of your presentation and the ways in which you involved us in your lecture. In addition to being full of hope, your presentation was very informative, and very well-tailored to helping us understand marketing in 75 minutes.” Ellie Kleinwort, University of Washington, Museology

See Erica's Past Speaking Engagements