Beyond the Signs – Presentations


A presentation allows you to inform groups about how and why the project got started, with the aim of answering questions and inspiring others to participate in issues that matter to them. The purpose of our Beyond the Signs initiative is to engage people, have conversations, and continue in-person communication. We believe the more people engage in their communities, the less likely hate can find home near them.

16422279_371842299849110_5397689327927096508_oWHERE DO I PRESENT?

Reach out to your local parent-teacher association, they may be interested in your story, as may your local civic association, chamber of commerce, book club, multi-cultural organizations, university groups, your town’s council on human relations, and so forth. When you promote your project, promote your presentation, as well. The more you share, the more likely you are to have others participate.


When you develop your presentation, think about the things you’d say to any audience about how and why you began your project, then allow a few elements to be customizable to your audience. Basics might include:

  • how you learned about the project
  • who participated in organizing
  • when you began
  • what steps you’ve taken in support of the project
  • what other steps you’ve taken since you began

Use language that is simple and clear, fonts and graphics that are clean and easily understood, err on the side of less versus more text.

When forming the presentation ask yourself this question: What is it that I know really well? You may not know how to combat hate, but maybe you know how to get neighbors together to talk. Our expertise is not in race relations or immigration or gun control. Our expertise is in getting community members together to act on something that matters, so our presentation is geared to delivering that message. Whatever it is that you know well, say that; people will learn from and appreciate your authentic experience.

TIP: Ask your hosts if there’s anything in particular they’d like included in your presentation so you can be prepared. As you have the experience of presenting, you may find you get similar questions or feedback each time, which you can use to improve your content.

**IMPORTANT** This project is strictly non-partisan and is not affiliated with any political party, candidate, or political organization, or any religion, ideology or other special interest group. Presentations must adhere to the same usage guidelines offered for artwork at in order to be in line with the mission of our organization.


We developed our presentation as a slide show, with a few examples of our work to show, and designed it for a one or two person demo, with each person taking a few slides at a time. In most cases, we are using Keynote (for Macs) or PowerPoint (for PCs). Both of these are convertible to movie format if you wish to post in digital form, but usually we present in person. It’s always a good idea to print at least two copies of your presentation before arriving; in the event technology fails (it happens!) you can always work from hard copy.

DSC_0445TIP: Be prepared in advance by knowing what equipment will be available and what you’ll need to bring yourself. If you need to bring a laptop do you have the appropriate cables to connect with the site’s projector or will your host provide? Do you need to be mic’d? Will there be prep or set-up time? Will you stand at a podium or be seated at a table? Knowing what to expect will allow you to arrive with a well-formed plan. (Then plan to be surprised and think on your feet!) **Also** If you can, bring someone with you who can take a few photos for your project’s promotion and social media sites, as appropriate. If the venue allows, consider video-taping your presentation so you can see how it shows and so you can share, if appropriate/permissible.


Your style of presentation will depend largely on your own personal style, as well as the venue and function. For small round-table conversations up to 10 people or mid-size gatherings up to 30 people we recommend an informal presentation, casual dress, soft introductions with a little personal information included. In most cases the purpose of your presentation will be to share the experience of working on this project, rather than just tell the facts, because your personal story is what will inspire others to get involved.

If you will present to a larger gathering, the particulars of the venue and presentation format will provide better guidance as to the appropriate style. You may consider more formal dress, and a more formal introduction with some history about yourself and your interest in the project. Take your cues from your hosts to ensure you are aligned with the mission and vision of the event.

TIPS: Even in formal settings, people often respond favorably to personal anecdotes and humor, assuming the occasion allows. Be mindful of cultural and religious norms that may be in effect, and don’t be shy about asking questions ahead of time to make sure you are in compliance with requirements. While you are there to share your knowledge, being open to learning new things is the best part of the presentation experience.


If your presentation will include a post-presentation panel discussion or FAQ, be prepared to answer questions. Discuss with any co-presenters topics that you may which to divide so you are ready when your topic is addressed.

People can be a little shy about asking questions. If you find your FAQ session is too quiet, try asking a question of your audience. Start with an easy one, directed at the group at large, “How many of you had heard of Hate Has No Home Here before today?” Followed by, “How did you hear about it?” which should allow one or two voices to rise. If no one responds to an FAQ, don’t stress! Every audience is different. Thank everyone for their attention, and let them know you’ll stick around to answer questions if anyone has any. Some people are more comfortable in smaller face-to-face conversations than in large, audience contexts.

TIP: In some cases, the FAQs can go on a bit long. Make sure to take appropriate cues from your hosts. If necessary you may try to invite an end with suggestions like, “I’m sure we want to give everyone a chance to respond so I’ll take one more question.” or “I think we have time for two more?” “I hope that answers your question,” followed by a quick “Thank you so much for having us,” can also help punctuate the end of an FAQ session.

31265629_948053312036114_3886325102228275200_nFEEDBACK AND FOLLOW-UP

At the end of your presentation you’ll want to get some feedback from participants. Consider providing a survey, whether on paper or by email, to all attendees, asking them a few questions, i.e. did the presentation meet expectations? would they have preferred any changes? could you offer any follow-up information? You can use these responses to help you plan future presentations. Thank your guests and hosts, and provide your contact information so attendees can get in touch with questions.

TIP: Consider providing a sign-up, whether on paper or by link so that guests of the presentation can participate in any future projects you may initiate. If others in the audience are members or groups or organizations which may wish to host your presentation, suggest that you are available.


Once you have hosted your event, we’d love to celebrate your success using our national platform. Please let us know by sending us a message on with the name of your project (ie Hate Has No Home Here-MainTown), your location, your contact information (Cam Forrene 322.418.9011, and any social media links you’d like to include in our promotion. We also have an Instagram account where we post project photos from around the country, so we’d love to see pictures of your meal-share event, and we’d be glad to include you in our Twitter feed at @HateHasNoHome.


You can get some great ideas, guidance, and support from several online sources, as well as from your own circle of friends and community members. We found some of these helpful.

Center for Community Health and Development, University of Kansas: Community Tool Box

Harvard Business Review: How To Give a Killer Presentation by Chris Anderson, 2013

Forbes: How to Create a Short Speech Fast by Nick Morgan, 2012

We hope these guidelines are helpful to you. If we can provide additional assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us. If you learn things you think may be useful to improve these guidelines, please let us know so we can update our FAQs. Thanks for helping us share the message – we are glad to have you with us!