S1 E19: Get the Most From a Conference Without Losing Your Mind

Today we hear from Dan, who is looking for things he can do before a conference to prepare and get the most of it.

Turns out I had a lot of suggestions. 🙂

  • Sketch a schedule for yourself ahead of time, including key sessions that you want to attend, and any particular people you want to meet.
  • Do your homework on those people so you can ask informed questions (thanks, Mac!).
  • Think of clever ways to work those meetings into your schedule.
  • Leave room in the schedule for some pieces of your regular routine. Losing your sanity is not a recipe for success!
  • Don’t be TOO attached to the schedule you sketch. Remain open to new opportunities that might present themselves.
  • Practice the pitch that you’ll use to introduce yourself. Find the sweet spot where you say enough to be interesting and unique, but not so much that the asker is sorry they asked! (Thanks, Stephanie!).
  • Wear brightly colored clothes so you stand out from the crowd (Stephanie again!).
  • And wear comfortable shoes, maybe even sneakers. Because these feet are gonna be with you for your whole life (thanks to all of the yoga teachers I’ve ever had).
  • Manage expectations with folks at the office. Let them know that you won’t be responding for a few days, so you can minimize distractions and BE PRESENT at the conference. Explain to your boss that in the long run, this will serve the organization better.
  • Talk to strangers.

Notes and Links

“6 Ways To Make the Most of Your Next Social Change Conference,” blog post by Mac Prichard

“Channel Your Inner Animal This Conference Season,” blog post by Stephanie Foerster

“After the Awesome Conference: How to Take the Lessons and Energy Home With You,” episode 004 of the Yoga of Nonprofit Communications Podcast

S1 E15: Neck & Shoulder Love to Counter Computer-asana

“Tense!” writes:

I was wondering if you could recommend some specific neck and shoulder stretches that would be good to do during short breaks at work. I’m sure my fellow nonprofit communicators (and those in other roles, too!) can identify — doing computer-asana, or working at a computer all day, can really take its toll on the neck and shoulders!

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S1 E07: Perfectionism

Do you have trouble making decisions?

Have you ever been told that your expectations are unrealistic?

Do you have trouble receiving criticism, however constructive and well-intentioned it may be?

Does your self-confidence sometimes depend on other people’s reactions to what you say and do?

Do you dwell on mistakes you’ve made, and replay them in your head as if you could rewrite them?

Are you sometimes so focused on the destination that you forget to enjoy the journey?

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, you might be a perfectionist.

Perfectionism is all too common in the nonprofit sector. We are surrounded by smart, high-achieving people, and it’s easy to feel like we don’t measure up. Then comes the negative self-talk, the unhealthy work habits, and feelings of failure.

If our definition of success is perfection, then there is no way we can succeed. We are human; we can’t be perfect.

This is detrimental: to us as individuals, to our organizations, and ultimately to those we are trying to serve.

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S1 E01: Burnout

Ever feel burned out? Or worry that your audience does?

If you work for a nonprofit, you probably care a lot about your work. Unfortunately, it also probably means you know what it is to feel burned out.

Here are some strategies for taking care of yourself, as an individual, and also some ways your whole staff can help support each other through trying times.

As a communicator, you may also sometimes worry that your audience is feeling burned out on you! In this episode we look at ways you can assess whether there’s truth to that concern, and if so, some strategies for addressing it.

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