Targeted volunteer recruitment – Part 3: Visual aids, presentation style and giveaways

When giving a recruitment presentation, it’s important to carefully consider how you will engage your audience through the use of your visuals, style and giveaways.

This is the third article in a series about targeted volunteer recruitment. In the previous article, we discussed adapting your pitch to be unique and appropriate for your audience. Visual aids, giveaways and presentation style should be carefully considered based on your audience. Some presentation choices are obvious. For instance, when presenting to a group of serious business people, most people know not to dress in sweats and use a casual presentation style. Many times our presentation choices are not as clear cut, and we need to give it a little more thought.

First, let’s consider visual aids. Some commonly used approaches include video, PowerPoint, flip charts, handouts, posters, photos and websites. When considering using visual aids, first take into account how the audience is comprised. Do they have prior knowledge of your program? How will the visual aid enhance their ability to understand your program and request? Many individuals use technology to enhance their recruitment presentations, but it may not be worth it if it is a brief presentation and you won’t have access to the technology in advance. It is very uncomfortable to make people wait while you set up. If using technology, be sure that it enhances your audience’s experience and doesn’t detract from what you’re saying. A video can be a great addition to the presentation, provided that there is a large screen for viewing and a good sound system. PowerPoint can be a great tool for simply showing pictures of your program so that participants can imagine themselves in the role.

Giveaways can enhance a presentation in a few ways and you do not need to have a large budget to use these as a tool. When considering giveaways, first look at your budget. If you have very little money to use for giveaways, you will want to find items that are low cost and high impact. Many programs use personalized pens in hopes that potential volunteers are reminded of the program each time they use them. Other programs will go with a more costly item, like a water bottle or reusable grocery bag and give them out more sparingly – perhaps to those who apply or ask extra questions. The idea behind these items is that the potential volunteer will help advertise for the program when using the bag or water bottle. The key with giveaways is to make sure that the program name and contact information are clear: use a logo if you have one, and if the size of the item permits, a tag line can be helpful.

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