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Masterclass Academy

Sunday Nov 5, 2023
12:30 pm to 5:30 pm

New this year – Sunday’s Masterclass Academy offers a chance to level up on your capacity to be an effective team member and leader.

In today’s ever-changing world, cross-sector, interdisciplinary, collaborative work requires its own set of skills. These courses will  increase your comfort level and ability to ask hard questions, bring people together and be more effective. The classes also will offer opportunities to workshop real-world situations.

Learn how to:

  • Manage multiple projects and the people involved.
  • Be persuasive at board meetings, the city council or at public meetings.
  • Make decisions in changing times.
  • Measure and convey your impact.

$189. Open to conference attendees and the general public. Register here. 

Each participant will choose 1 course from each time slot:

12:30 – 2:00 pm

  • How to Make a Winning Presentation – Maryvale A, 2nd Level
  • An Ecosystem Approach to Systems Change – Maryvale B, 2nd Level

2:15 – 3:45 pm

  • Harnessing the Power of Storytelling – Maryvale A, 2nd Level
  • The End of Hustle Culture: How to Quit Being Busy and Start Making a Difference – Maryvale B, 2nd Level

4:00 pm – 5:30 pm

  • Deciding How to Decide: Learning from Adaptive Leaders – Maryvale A, 2nd Level
  • Your Impact is Everything: How to Sell the Difference You’re Making – Maryvale B, 2nd Level

Workshop Descriptions 

How to Make a Winning Presentation

All professionals must be effective presenters to be successful, whether that’s with the internal team, with prospective clients or in front of a public audience. Are you being clear, concise, and convincing? Gain tips about how to make a winning speech or to communicate ideas better during everyday interactions. In this dynamic session, you’ll learn what you can do immediately to dramatically increase your presentation and public speaking skills. How? Here are three ways: how to identify and mitigate things that can impact credibility such as body language and tone; how to develop slides that serve as true visual aids; and how to connect and motivate your audience whether on video or in person.

Deborah Ostreicher, Owner, Distinguished Communications, Phoenix, AZ

An Ecosystem Approach to Systems Change

Have you felt like your sense of time has been shifting unpredictably – due to the COVID-19 pandemic, virtual and hybrid work, AI-driven content and social media? Is your desire for the marathon to end and a new normal to take hold constantly dashed by staffing struggles, pinched resources and wounded, tired humans? This workshop is a humble invitation into a deeper mindset that supports iterative planning, with a special emphasis on shared awareness and smarter use of our personal and collective energy. Participants will examine their own assumptions about time, progress, and success. They will consider how those assumptions may be wasting energy and encouraging pointless heroism in the face of systemic, complex problems. Learn about the EcoCycle framework. Then practice using it to examine trends in active transportation. Leave with ideas for a sustainable intervention in your daily work life!

Sherry Johnson, Principal Guide, Cultivate Strategy, St. Paul, MN

Harnessing the Power of Storytelling

Storytelling has shaped how people relate to each other for centuries. And yet too often it is all but missing from our daily work and efforts to engage communities. In this workshop, explore how you can use stories in every aspect of your work, from external communications to team culture building. Learn the essential components of powerful storytelling, how to center your priority audiences in your storytelling, and how to use storytelling principles to create measurable improvements in community impact and outreach.

Catherine Alonzo, Chief Executive Officer, Javelina, Phoenix, AZ

The End of Hustle Culture: How to Quit Being Busy and Start Making a Difference

If you’re crazy busy, racing headlong into new projects while also gathering external markers of engagement to validate your work, you might need a break. And to consider a new approach to demonstrating the impact you and your team are making. Learn and implement a planning process that keeps your organization focused on impact instead of activities. It’s called backward design. Find out how to identify the relationship between benchmarks and activities. And then to align project activities to produce your identified benchmarks. Test the framework and leave with a clear plan that will keep your team focused, ensure you’re spending your precious resources (time and money) on the right things, and help you emphasize your impact in your communications to stakeholders.

Carole Chabries, Founder & CEO, The Clareo Group, Milwaukee, WI

Deciding How to Decide: Learning from Adaptive Leaders

Civic leaders are discovering that old assumptions and linear processes are failing to help them navigate or steer complex systems. Old ways of planning and decision-making also failing in other ways: to meet the needs of cash-strapped communities, to respond to climate shocks and to shift mindsets toward more sustainable practices. This workshop focuses on adaptive leadership, with a special emphasis on personal discovery and local application. Start with a quiz that examines your leadership preferences and assumptions. Share and compare the ways that you and others show up as leaders. Then consider how your assumptions may have been shaped by outdated expectations around transportation and land use planning. You’ll learn to identify when a situation is best served by experimental approaches and the leadership mindset that it requires. You’ll come away with a framework for adaptive leadership and a template for designing safe-to-fail experiments for your next complex challenge.

Sherry Johnson, Principal Guide, Cultivate Strategy, St. Paul, MN

Your Impact is Everything: How to Sell the Difference You’re Making

It’s a noisy world out there, making it challenging to capture the hearts and imagination of your stakeholders, especially if your message feels like “one more thing” added to their busy lives and long to-do lists. You may have heard that telling stories is the best way to grab people’s attention and move them to action. But stories are only part of the equation. In this workshop, learn how and why to tell which stories so people pay attention, engage and even offer their money or their voice. Understand the value of empathy and engagement in messaging. Create a crosswalk of one project’s benchmarks and your organization’s strategy. Develop a timeline. Create representative audience “avatars” so you can adjust your messaging to increase its appeal. Practice taking a sample data set and creating visuals that appeal to your audience.  Leave with a storytelling plan and a suite of templates for creating visually appealing presentations based on your impact data.

Carole Chabries, Founder & CEO, The Clareo Group, Milwaukee, WI


woman smiling in small group

Continuing Education


Featured Speakers

Deborah Ostreicher

Deborah Ostreicher

Owner, Distinguished Communications
Phoenix, AZ
Sherry Johnson

Sherry Johnson

Principal Guide, Cultivate Strategy
St. Paul, MN
Catherine Alonzo

Catherine Alonzo

Chief Executive Officer, Javelina
Phoenix, AZ
Carole Chabries

Carole Chabries

Founder & CEO, The Clareo Group
Milwaukee, WI

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