Pages tagged "Five Minutes in Hell"

What you think DOES NOT matter: 5 things your communications staff wants to tell you

NOTE: This blog is an expansion of a speech I gave at “5 Minutes in Hell,” YNPN-TC’s annual event for people who want to practice public speaking (my slides are available on Google Drive and a video of the full speech is at the bottom of this post or on YouTube). For those considering submitting a speaking proposal in future years, I highly recommend it! You won’t find a more supportive practice venue.


There is no one answer to what a communications job looks like, especially when it comes to nonprofits. While large organizations can have entire teams where each person has their own subject area or expertise, small nonprofit organizations often have only one staffer (or part of one) who is responsible for getting the word out about everything the organization does. 

Communicators have all kinds of duties: writing, social media, websites, emails, graphic design, media outreach, among other things. For some organizations, the communications staff is also responsible for development and fundraising, while others house these duties in separate departments.

At our core, however, all communications professionals have the same goals: We want to make sure the people who need our organization’s information get it in ways they understand, and we want to make sure our organization looks good.

These goals can mean that communications professionals care about strange things like fonts and colors and images, and we sometimes say certain words should or should not be used.

In this blog, I am sharing some of the largest “pet peeves” communications professionals have in the hopes that non-communicators can learn and work more effectively with their communications staff, and we can eliminate the communications-programs-development divide.

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I survived Five Minutes in Hell

Rubix CubeThe much-anticipated Five Minutes in Hell event last month was everything we had hoped for. We had an incredible turnout and people are still talking about it. There were a total of thirteen brave YNPN-TC members who dared to take the stage to capture the attention of an eager audience. They made us laugh, they made us cry, and most importantly, they made us truly appreciate being a part of such a talented community. 

I had the pleasure of being one of the night’s presenters. My topic was on how I learned how to solve a Rubik’s Cube. Sounds like the kind of speech that will have people on the edge of their seats, right? Maybe not, but while this might not seem like the most invigorating speech, I can assure you that the foolproof, cute photos of my younger self kept peoples’ attention.  

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Submit your proposal for Five Minutes in Hell!

5 Minutes of HellFive Minutes in Hell is the YNPN-TC program where you, our members, take the stage and wow us with your stories. Through quick, fun, five-minute presentations, you'll sharpen your speaking skills while sharing insights with your fellow YNPNers. 

We're descending deep underground on October 21 to Honey in Minneapolis. This year's theme is Community!

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Sharing My Half-Baked Ideas with YNPN-TC: My Experience with 'Five Minutes in Hell'

Naaima Khan presents at \Are you planning to attend Five Minutes in Hell on October 23 at Honey? 2012 presenter, Naaima Khan, reflects on why she was thrilled to be a part of last year's event, and the rewards that came from sharing her inner musings with her nonprofit peers.

“If only nonprofit managers and staff understood how to inculcate and implement a culture of diversity and inclusion, there wouldn’t be so much conundrum and lack of action around the issue…”  There again ran my crazy, rambling thoughts as I walked from the conference venue back to my car. If only there was a call to action that would jolt nonprofits out of setting up fancy conferences to talk about diversity into action on embracing it, wouldn’t it be so nice? Such inner-promptings gave rise to many inner-monologues, which, again, gave rise to more inner-musings.

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Richard Matson-Daley on Five Minutes in Hell

speech.jpgLast week, we interviewed past speaker Richard Matson-Daley about his experience at the 2012 event:

What inspired you to present?

It sounded like fun. I had a couple of topics that were rattling around in my brain that doing a talk was a really good way to process. On a personal/professional development level, I wanted work on my speaking skills in a format I wasn’t used to, and in front of an audience that was different from the ones I had spoken in front of before.

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Five Lessons From Five Minutes in Hell

I hope you were able to join us October 29 for Five Minutes in Hell, YNPN-TC’s very first member-driven event. It encapsulated the best of what this network has to offer: the ability to share our many varying interests and ideas with each other, and that we can have a damn good time while we do it. Even from my vantage point of making sure the slides ran smoothly, I was learning a lot at every turn. 

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