Nonprofit Community Outreach Presentations: Guest Q&A with ADAO co-founder Linda Reinstein

I recently had the opportunity to speak with Linda Reinstein, co-founder of the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO), who I knew as a long time Haiku Deck Pro Subscriber and fan.

From her website, I learned that Linda became an activist after her husband, Alan, was diagnosed with mesothelioma, an asbestos-related disease. What I did not know was that as a co-founder of ADAO, she frequently serves as a U.S. Congressional witness and had presented and delivered keynote speeches to the U.S. Senate, U.S. House of Representatives, U.S. Department of Labor (OSHA), the White House, U.S. Surgeon General, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the United Nations.

Linda has frequently used Haiku Deck to inspire action, grow support, and rally a community around ADAO’s mission. Here’s what she had to say:

What advice do you have for nonprofits when it comes to sharing their story and inspiring their communities?

When I speak at a congressional hearing, about asbestos being legal and lethal today, I only have 5 minutes to make sure our collective story is seen, felt, and heard. When you have 5 minutes of your Senators time, when you have 5 minutes to sell a product, or to change public policy – you need to be clear and consistent. You realize pretty soon that short is better. I’ve forced myself to be clear, concise and consistent when I tell my story.

How can I, as a public health advocate, make you feel what I have lived through? How can you share what I know? How will you remember my presentation tomorrow?

I want people to remember the message and the way our stories made them feel. That’s how we will get lawmakers to understand and take action to ban asbestos.

With a subject like mesothelioma, and having complicated talking points, it is very hard to give a 45 minute talk/keynote and keep the audience engaged. With presentations – less is more. With Haiku Deck, I can show them images that are tongue-in-cheek funny, I keep the slides simple, and the audience finds it easy to focus on what it is I’m actually saying. The graphic interface is very important.

Here’s one of our favorite presentations from Linda, on the politics surrounding asbestos and its effects.

MONEY, POWER, AND POLITICS – Created with Haiku Deck, presentation software that inspires;

What are some tips you offer to nonprofits for using technology to better market their organizations?

I keep telling people, ‘communication is not like the movie Field of Dreams. You can’t build your nonprofit and expect people will come’.

21st century activism has changed from traditional to digital – activism today is very social. We did a Twitter chat recently, and it was bilingual. We had people from US, Columbia and the UK participate. Someone was not able to get English, but they could connect with the graphic image in the background of the slide. Haiku slides can make it into a Twitter chat, into a blog post, and Instagram. The shareability is great – I can very quickly make decks and share to a global audience.

Because of changes in technology, access to technology and platforms, I’ve been able to access Haiku Deck in Australia, Hong Kong, in short – all over the world.

What inspired you to first start using Haiku Deck?

Three problems led me to Haiku Deck:

  1. Nonprofits have limited resources – time and financial
  2. When I convey a message to the audience, I want it to resonate not only in the moment, but in perpetuity
  3. I want my decks to look professional

I came across Haiku Deck while I was researching the book Presentation Zen, and I realized that Haiku Deck met most of the criteria. I’ve been a customer since 2014.

Can you think of a time Haiku Deck made a difference for you?

Once I was at a conference where I was sharing the stage with another presenter, each of us supposed to present for 30 minutes each. On the day of the conference, I was informed that the other speaker had cancelled, and that I was to present for another 30 minutes to make up for it. With such short notice, I had no time to write up a 30 minute speech. But, I did have 15 minutes to myself, when I sat down and made 20 Haiku Deck slides. I could move the slides around to structure my talk better, and this helped me arrange my thoughts and made my thoughts clear. After I went on stage, at the end of the day, I got great reviews. And I didn’t have the heart to tell them that I made the presentation in less than 15 minutes.

As a national and international speaker, I have spent hours doing elaborate slides on other software, but I get a better response from the audience when I use 1 title, 1 picture, and possibly 3-5 descriptive words – Haiku deck style. This helps bring the audience’s attention to the point I’m trying to make. As a digital storyteller, if I didn’t connect and engage effectively, I have lost the person forever, so I have to have my message be impactful.

It is important to not read your slides. With Haiku Deck’s templates, I don’t have too much text on my slides that tempts me to read it out. Instead, Haiku Deck – because of the simple styles – encourages the speaker to be prepared. Essentially, I, the speaker, have become stronger, clearer and more concise. I’ve found that not only can I deliver the message better, but that the audience also values it more.

If you had to sum up the benefits of Haiku Deck for nonprofits, what would you say?

Haiku Deck is quick, professional, impactful and well-priced. The styles/themes are great, and I can download and edit my slides…  I can very quickly make decks and share to a global audience. If then asked to do a presentation online, I use Haiku Deck, because of the simple interface.


Thank you Linda for sharing your experience with us! To learn more about her work,  follow Linda Reinstein on Twitter and visit her website. To view more of Linda’s Haiku Decks, visit her Haiku Deck user profile page.


Do you use Haiku Deck in your nonprofit? Email us your story!
Don’t currently use Haiku Deck with your nonprofit? Send us an e-mail to get set up.
(Did we mention that we offer a 50% nonprofit discount to new users?)


4 Presentation Tips for your next Fundraiser

When you think about fundraising, do you find yourself dreading the presentation more than the fundraising itself? Do you find yourself spending more time fixing the font, the text, and the clipart rather than working on the actual content of your slides or practicing your pitch?

With thousands of nonprofits turning to Haiku Deck for help in creating their fundraising presentations, we’ve come up with 4 key principles that can help your fundraising presentation be more effective.

  1. One Idea per Slide

Your audience can not read text-heavy slides and listen to your words at the same time. Presentation and fundraising experts agree that minimizing the information on each slide, helps the audience focus on the narrative.

“Presenters often use [their slides] as a support for themselves. The effect is that they use a lot of text on the slides, which is detrimental to the information-processing by the audience,” says Brigitte Hertz1, author of the research paper ‘PowerPoint Slides as Speaking Notes.’ Text-heavy slides actually make speakers more nervous about their presentations.”

International leadership coach and fundraising trainer Marc A. Pitman says, ‘I’m increasingly becoming a fan of using one image on a slide… The results have been extraordinary. My audiences used to get a glazed-over information overload look; now they’re leaving my talks energized and seem to be getting much more from them.’2

2. Have a conversation

Don’t let your audience be passive for too long during your presentation. Start your pitch with a question that gets them thinking. Ask for a raise of hands often as you walk through the presentation.

Ask the audience questions and get them to make bets about what they think is right before giving them an answer. At the end of the talk, repeat the main points, but encourage the audience to summarize it for themselves. When people explain key points back to themselves, they learn much better than when they just hear it,’ says Art Markman3, Professor of Psychology and Marketing at the University of Texas at Austin.

No matter how short your time on stage is, the best outcome for you is when the audience remember you long after they’ve gone home.

3. Share a story

While it is important to share information about your organization and related data, keep in mind that your donors are going to have a hard time remembering most of it after your presentation is over.

‘As a general rule, people are not very interested in talks about organizations or institutions (unless they’re members of them). Ideas and stories fascinate us; organizations bore us—they’re much harder to relate to,’ says Chris Anderson4, curator of TED. ‘Don’t boast about your company; rather, tell us about the problem you’re solving.’

Listeners will remember and act upon stories that bring emotion and humanity to the organization’s work. 

4. Research your big donors

Think back to the thank you letters that you’ve received, and the ones that you remember. How was it that you remember only a handful of letters? Chances are that those were the ones that reminded you of a personal experience you’ve had.

‘Identify who your audience is and what their connection is, or might be, to your story. That way, you can focus on what words and images will resonate with them, rather than what works for you,’ says Alice Ferris, founder of GoalBusters, a consultancy that helps small to mid-size nonprofit organizations.

Research your donors prior to your fundraiser (without being too creepy) and come up with a hypothesis on why they’re interested in helping your cause. Have they donated to similar causes in the past? Addressing this during your pitch will help you stand out from other similar fundraisers that your donors might attend.

Interested in learning more? Take a look at other nonprofit presentations at

Did we mention that we offer a 50% nonprofit discount? Send us an e-mail at to get set up.


1 Here’s Why No One Is Paying Attention to Your PowerPoint Presentation by Martha C. White

2 Fundraising Secret #37: Use Powerpoint effectively by Marc A. Pitman

3 Getting an Audience to Remember Your Presentation by Art Markman

4 How to Give a Killer Presentation by Chris Anderson

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