2023 NASPA Annual Conference

SA Speaks and SA Stories

Your story is unique and now is the time to tell it with SA Speaks or SA Stories. As part of the NASPA conference experience, the Conference Leadership Committee wants to give you the opportunity to speak up and out about topics you are passionate about or stories that move you and inspire others. This year, we want your stories of joy and inspiration.

Speak up and out with SA Speaks & SA Stories

As student affairs professionals, we often have solutions to our field’s problems, but we wonder if anyone will listen to us. We all have personal stories to share that could positively impact and uplift others. Your stories and solutions are needed now more than ever and we have an audience that is eagerly waiting to hear them.

Historically, Student Affairs (SA) Speaks has been a dynamic opportunity for participants to engage with colleagues in thinking about innovative ways to address issues facing their campuses and students. This year we want to focus on stories of joy, transition, and resilience in ways that take us back to why we fell in love with our profession. At the same time, we want to recognize our lived experiences and how our work has transformed as a result of the dual pandemics we have recently lived through.

Both SA Speaks and SA Stories provide presenters with the opportunity to bring inspiring and energetic narratives to the stage. SA Speaks are conversational, research-based talks similar to a TED Talk, while SA Stories are narratives grounded in passion and personal interest. Below is a review of the similarities and differences between SA Speaks and SA Stories as well as suggested themes for consideration.

Distinctions Between SA Speaks and SA Stories

SA Speaks SA Stories
10 minutes 5-7 minutes
Can have slides Slides are discouraged
Can be personal but tend to be more broad More personal
Focus: organizations, systems, groups

Focus: self, family, culture, journey

Recommendations for organizations Recommendations for self
Focus: campus, students, student affairs field

Focus: individuals and their trajectory, their identities, and their experiences

Suggested Themes

(this is not an all-inclusive list)
SA Speaks SA Stories
Declaration of what is needed for Joy Declarations of Joy
Solutions to bring joy to SA Your personal found solutions for Joy
How to recruit when people are leaving? Why did you join Student Affairs?
How can the field retain professionals? Why do you stay in SA?
The role of teams in the community? My survival story/strategy?

Please note that SA Speaks and SA Stories do not have a virtual presentation option; all presenters must register for and attend the place-based conference in Boston.

SA Speaks

What is SA Speaks? Check out these examples from the 2019 NASPA Annual Conference.