Got a minute?: How to Prepare Your Parking Lot Speech

A free webinar, sponsored by RUSA's Just Ask Task Force


Learn how to advocate for your library and its services wherever and whenever you meet potential library funders, supporters, and other key stakeholders through this webinar by learning to create a short parking lot speech. A parking lot speech, a conversation short enough to take place in the time needed to cross a parking lot, is an empowering method for staff, trustees, friends and other library supporters to think about and develop ways to spread the word about today's libraries. This webinar will help participants gain more of an understanding of where to obtain facts and stories that they can use in informal--and formal--settings, allowing you to promote your libraries' services and value anywhere, from literacy and lifelong learning to community spaces and opportunities, that touch upon technological and access needs.

You will walk away with the words you can rely on to state your brief but impactful message on the fly, in the grocery store, at a community event and even in a parking lot. Your parking lot speech will be drafted and honed to relay the key points that may spark future advocacy for your library.

After this webinar:

  • Participants will walk away with three essential ways to identify the audience they are speaking to and gain their support.
  • Participants will learn the steps for telling their library story through a Parking Lot Speech.
  • Participants will be able to identify two ways to obtain key data (facts, statistics, etc.) and/or stories and anecdotes to confidentially incorporate into their advocacy efforts.


Stephanie Gerding is an internationally-known trainer, educator, and author (The Accidental Technology Trainer: A Guide for Librarians, and Winning Grants: A How-To-Do-It Manual For Librarians). She has developed and delivered online technology courses for Public Library Association (PLA), NorthCentral University, Simmons College, state library systems, and others. Gerding is also a certified trainer for the Public Library Association in library strategic planning, management, facilitation, and staffing in addition to being a facilitator/online trainer from 2011-2012 for PLA’s Turning the Page, a national advocacy project funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates foundation.  


How to Register

Register online

Tech Requirements

This webinar will be offered using Adobe Connect. Please ensure that you have Adobe Flash Player Version 10.1 or later on your computer. Audio for this webinar will be streamed over computer speakers and via a teleconference line. You will be able to ask questions and interact with the presenter and other webinar participants via chat.

You can test your settings to verify that your computer is configured properly to participate in this webinar.

You will receive access instructions from Andrea no later than 24 hours before the webinar is to be held.


Questions about your registration should be directed to Technical questions about the webinar should be directed to Andrea Hill, RUSA Web Manager, at

Thank you and we look forward to your participation!