Community presentations: tips and handouts

Providing skin cancer screenings plays an important role in increasing public awareness about skin cancer prevention and detection. In addition to your screening, consider conducting a community presentation before or during your screening to drive home the message of early detection and prevention. The AAD has many resources you can use to prepare such as quizzes, fact sheets, and other handouts.

Some outlets you might consider include:

  • Chambers of commerce
  • Service organizations such as Rotary, Lions, Elks and Kiwanis
  • PTAs and other school-affiliated groups
  • Women’s and senior citizens' organizations
  • Hospitals and health fair
  • Local fire and police departments
  • Area businesses and industries
  • High-school and college classes
  • Elementary schools, grades K-3 

Scheduling a presentation

Here are some guidelines for securing a speaking engagement:

  • Write an email or letter suggesting a community presentation to the president or program chairman of the organization. 
  • Follow up in about a week with a telephone call to determine interest in scheduling a presentation.
  • If the organization is interested, learn as much as possible about the audience, including its size, the approximate age of participants, their interests, etc.  Be sure to ask how long your presentation should be.
  • Confirm the details of your presentation via email or letter.

  • Activities and handouts

    Educational activities and handouts can help drive home your messages and give your audience a reference after the event. For example the AAD’s Skin Cancer Quiz is an effective technique to test the audience’s knowledge of skin cancer and present useful information. Download the quiz and answer sheet and make copies for use in:

    • Screening programs as an activity for screenees to complete while waiting to be screened.
    • Introductions to community presentations on skin cancer.
    • Materials for media who might be interested in including the test in a story on skin cancer.

    Access a wealth of fact sheets and skin cancer prevention and detection tips that can be incorporated into your presentation or handed out at your event. 

    Additional educational support materials such as posters, pamphlets, slide sets, and bookmarks developed and reviewed by AAD-member dermatologists can be purchased through the Academy’s Member Resource Center at (866) 503-7546.

  • Presentation tips

    As you prepare your presentation, consider the following tips:

    • Establish an objective. What is the goal of the presentation and what messages do you want the audience to remember? The goal of a skin cancer detection and prevention presentation, for example, may be to teach the ABCDEs of melanoma and how to perform a self-examination.
    • Know your audience. Learn as much as possible about your audience, how much they know about the topic, their level of understanding and attention span. Plan your presentation accordingly.
    • Don’t write out (and read) your full presentation. Reading a script is boring and prevents the speaker from interacting with the audience. Use a presentation outline instead of a script.
    • Personalize and humanize. Make your presentation come alive by telling stories about some of your skin cancer patients.
    • Keep it short. Keep the presentation brief (10-15 minutes) and allow time for questions from your audience.
    • Use visuals. If possible, use charts or graphs to help make your point. Also considering using the Academy’s skin cancer awareness posters. Contact the Academy’s Member Resource Center at (866) 503-7546 to order your posters.
    • Begin your presentation with a quiz. Test your audience’s knowledge of skin cancer by distributing the skin cancer quiz. This helps draw the audience into the presentation and encourages interaction.
    • Leave materials behind. Reinforce your messages by leaving the skin cancer brochures, bookmarks, fact sheets and other materials with your audience.
    • Practice. Become familiar with the material and then practice in front of a mirror, video camera, or with a family member or friend who can offer constructive criticism.
    • Smile. Smiles work wonders on both your nerves and your audience’s attitude toward you.