NLC Spark! Talks

With nearly 9,000 fellows and alumni, NLC is an organization rich in talent with individuals who are making real progressive change in communities. With such an amazing cohort, we want to give our community members an opportunity to share and learn from each other at 2020 NLC Convention in Philadelphia.  Spark! Talks provide a stage for our community to share their stories and ideas to an audience of fellow NLC alumni, donors, and progressive policy makers.


We encourage those of ALL levels of comfort with public speaking to submit proposals, as coaches will be provided for all presenters.
What is a Spark! Talk? 

It’s a fast-paced presentation where a speaker gets 5 minutes to share their thoughts and viewpoints. Each presenter is accompanied by 20 slides, which automatically advance every 15 seconds, allowing speakers to be prepared, concise and thoughtful. This format allows NLC Convention attendees to learn about your passions and community involvement in a quick and informative way.
What do you look for in a Spark! Talk? 

We look for proposals that stick out; are engaging and have a clear point of view.  We want audience members to learn something from your Spark! Talk, whether it be about you, a policy issue or a new way to view the world. And lastly, Spark! Talks should reflect NLC's mission and goals such as improving progressive infrastructure or ensuring a strong democracy, social justice, and equal opportunity.


If I am chosen to present a Spark! Talk, what can I expect?  

NLC partners each Spark! Talk presenter with a coach to help refine and prepare their talk.  Those selected will be required to attend two mandatory conference calls prior to Convention, and stick to a strict schedule of script and slide production and mandatory run throughs with their Coach.  These important benchmarks ensure that all who present at NLC Convention are as prepared as possible. Check out the schedule here. 
If I am selected, will I have to pay to attend Convention?  

Yes.  NLC provides an amazing opportunity for all selected to present their thoughts and ideas in front of nearly 500 people on a National stage.  This is a great opportunity for personal and professional growth.  NLC cannot provide subsidies or free attendance to those who are chosen, but will provide an early bird rate to all selected through June 1, 2020. We ask that all applicants consider the costs of attending Convention prior to applying. 

How do I apply to present a Spark! Talk?  

The application for Spark! Talks can be found here. Additionally, you must submit a 60 sec or less video explaining what you would like to present to  This can be recorded on your cell phone or using your computer.  Applications and videos are due by 11:59 p.m. pt on Monday, April 20, 2020