10 Tips for Ensuring your Conference Presentation is a *mic drop*

Just about everyone who stands up in front of a room full of expectant people feels butterflies in their stomach. So what can you do to boost your confidence and give a super engaging presentation? Check out our 10 tips below from YNPN-ers on how to knock the socks off of everyone in the room.

1. Dress appropriately for the type of conference, venue, and audience. If the conference vibe is business casual, leave the three piece suit at home. Bring layers in case the room is freezing. And if you sweat a lot when you are nervous, plan for that. Wear a sleeveless business dress or a fabric that won’t stain.

2. Practice, practice, practice is so, so, so crucial. Read your presentation script aloud multiple times to build your confidence and conversational tone. Get used to hearing your voice aloud and comfortable with the content. Give your presentation to a friend or even an empty room. Great public speakers are not magic. They just practice a lot.

3. Know you are not alone. Everyone gets at least a little nervous before they present in front of a large group of people. Accept the butterflies. Lean in to the butterflies. And refer to tip #2.

4. Don't make your slides the star of the show. You are the star. No need for flashy graphics, heavy text, or a different color scheme for every slide. They should be listening to you, not trying to read the paragraph you put up on the screen.

5. Talk louder and slower than you think is natural. Remember that if you’re nervous, you may talk faster than normal. In a presentation setting, your listeners are trying to digest all of your golden nuggets of knowledge. Give them time to process by talking more slowly and taking small pauses in your presentation. This is also a good way to make sure you are breathing and allowing oxygen to continue to flow to your brain, another crucial process when standing in front of a large group of people.

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#ResolveToGrow in 2016

In true nonprofiteer fashion, we’re making our New Year’s Resolution all about someone else: you.

This year we want to help our members learn new things, meet new people, and grow stronger. We know you have big plans for 2016. We want to help you get on track, connect the dots, navigate the sector, and achieve your goal. 

That’s why we’re launching our official peer-to-peer mentoring program called #ResolveToGrow. In this program, our members will tell us their 2016 aspirations, and we’ll do everything we can to help make it happen. We will pair participants with #ResolveToGrow “buddies” (because the buddy system is real) and will keep in touch throughout the year to make sure they’re taking the right steps on their path to success.


So what do you want to do this year? Maybe you want to find the holy grail of nonprofit accounting software, ask for more responsibility at work, or learn how to balance your job with the rest of your life. Perhaps 2016 is the year to start fresh and change careers, or maybe you want to exercise more. Whatever it is, we want to make your resolution, our resolution.

Sign up to join this program and #ResolveToGrow. Share your 2016 goal with your friends on the interwebs by using #ResolveToGrow. Tag us @YNPNTriangleNC on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn. And if you’re really into it, download our official #ResolveToGrow Selfie Poster and share a pic of your 2016 goal.

Big goals aren’t so scary when you have your BFF at your side. Let’s make 2016 awesome together.

Reclaiming What It Means To Be a "Millennial"

By Emily Hill, Chair, Membership Relations YNPN Triangle NC

I have a confession to make. Two years ago, I found out that I was a Millennial.

I was born in 1982, so two years ago, I was over 10 years into the workforce. I was working in a job that had me on the internet a lot: reading articles about philanthropy, business, higher education, and wealth. I would read all these articles about Millennials: Millennials entering the workforce, Millennials and their staggering college debt, Millennials and their lazy work ethic, their smart phone addictions, and their social media shenanigans.

I read all these articles and I thought…HA! Those spoiled, entitled Millennials! Good thing I’m Generation Y! Under the radar! Yes!

Then I finally read an article that gave me the birth years that make up the Millennials – 1980 – 2000.

(I’ll give you a moment here in case you—like me—were skating through life blissfully unaware.)

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Reaching Out to Members After Awkward Silence

Written By Katie Todd YNPN Board Chair

“Er – hello? I mean, hello. It’s nice to see you again. Yeah, you look great. Has it really been that long? So, here’s what our organization has been up to the last six months…”

Sound familiar? Despite all of our best efforts to keep in touch with our members, we can slip in our communications from time to time. And, as we know, time keeps marching on. One month can quickly turn into six as we craft our next membership newsletter, appeal, or annual report. If we have let too much time elapse in communicating with our donors, volunteers, and general supporters, what is the best way to re-open that line without coming off as needy or disingenuous?

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How Lame are Rejection Letters?

Dear Young Nonprofit Professional,

How lame are rejection letters?

How many cordial emails have once-prospective employers sent you about your strong credentials, but an even stronger applicant pool? How many thin envelopes did colleges send you about their record numbers of applicants, assuring you that your skills would lead to a bright future—elsewhere?

This isn’t one of those letters. Congratulations! YNPN welcomes you to its extended network of members!

If you work for a nonprofit, if you want to bring your private-sector savvy to the nonprofit industry, or if you’re looking for the perfect job, then simply subscribe to our listserv or attend one of our upcoming events to get involved!

There’s no doubt that other organizations have to be choosy about their members. If your alma mater accepted everyone, you never would have gotten football tickets.* And if your nonprofit had hired everyone, your desk would be even smaller.

While your college and employer thrived on selectiveness, let your professional association thrive on collectiveness.

Know that when you come to a YNPN Triangle NC event, you’re accessing an extended network, endless resources, and professional development opportunities.

Know that you will meet colleagues from across the Triangle at events and in the Triad and beyond online.

Know that you can hear local industry leaders at brown bag lunches, share ideas at coffee talks, and swap resources on our resource page.

Know that you’re a member. We hope you’ll get in touch with us to tell us what we can do for you, or what you would like to do for us. Find us @YNPNTriangleNC on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, or get back to us in the comments.


YNPN Triangle NC

PS-*For y’all who went to small schools, a cappella concerts?