Note: This workshop is a longer, 2.5-hour session. Land trusts work with many people including landowners, members, community members, and policy leaders. Often this work involves difficult conversations or controversial topics, whether it is the effects of our changing climate, talking with people who don’t trust you, or reaching out to communities that you don’t feel yourself part of. And everyone who works at a land trust, from biologists to field technicians, program managers and policy advocates, fundraising professionals, PR pros, board members, volunteers, and executive directors, have all faced moments when we see that our well-polished strategic message falls flat in real life conversations. This can feel at best uncomfortable, and at worst, demoralizing. Yet if we are going to conserve more land, be more relevant, and inspire more action on climate, we need to be more comfortable talking with people from all walks of life. The Land Trust Alliance has conducted market research nationally since 2019 to measure support for land conservation in preparation for the "Gaining Ground" campaign. This substantial data is an opportunity to learn about messages and framing that work for the most primed conservation audiences; however, knowing what to say isn’t enough. Effective communication is also how you listen, how you engage, and how you respond to the other person – and there are proven techniques to engage with people in a respectful and thoughtful manner. This highly interactive workshop will introduce you to LTA’s relevancy campaign and provide you with the skills needed to have a dialogue rather than talking past others. Through a series of fun, interactive exercises, you’ll practice crucial communication skills that can improve your ability to understand and to be understood. Building these skills can help you create more authentic connections, engage your listener more effectively, and grow your land trust’s influence in your community.