Alisa Bonsignore: Public Speaker

Speaking at AMWA 2012.

Sustainability, and the Business of Freelance

Using a combination of humor and 100% bullet-free slides, Alisa is a public speaker who educates and informs groups both large and small. She delivers presentations that are engaging and approachable, and makes herself available to attendees even after the formal Q&A has ended.

Alisa has also spoken at a number of conferences and events, and delivers sales training presentations for corporate clients. She also conducts interactive, on-site workshops for small and medium-sized groups around the globe.

Upcoming Engagements

  • Demystifying the STC Board: Ask your questions. STC Summit. Bellevue, Washington. May 15-18 2020.
Under the bright lights on the main stage at LavaCon 2016. (Also wearing a Cubs shirt to celebrate that evening's first World Series game at Wrigley Field in 71 years.)

Under the bright lights on the main stage at LavaCon 2016, simulcast live to a remote audience. (Also wearing a Cubs shirt to celebrate that evening’s first World Series game at Wrigley Field in 71 years.)

Previous On-Stage Engagements

  • Polymath Communicators: The Future of TechComm. STC Summit. Denver, Colorado. 5-8 May 2019.
  • The Value of the Polymath CommunicatorTCUK. Northamptonshire, UK. September 25-27, 2018.
  • Won’t You Please, Please Help Me Find Non-Traditional Paths to Leadership. STC Summit 2018. Orlando, Florida. May 21-24, 2018.
  • Interactive session for freelancers with 10+ years of experience. AMWA Pacific Coast Conference. Pacific Grove, California. April 19-20, 2018.
  • Crochet Code. IGNITE! Art + Innovation. Pleasanton, California. October 14, 2017.
  • Crochet Code. Maker Faire Bay Area. May 19-21, 2017.
  • Introverted Entrepreneurship. STC Technical Communication Summit. National Harbor, Maryland (Washington DC area). May 7-10, 2017
  • The Business of Freelancing. American Medical Writers Association, Delaware Valley Chapter: Freelance Workshop. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. March 18, 2017.
  • Client Relations: You Don’t Get What You Deserve, You Get What You Negotiate. The Lavacon Conference on Content Strategy and TechComm Management, Las Vegas, Nevada. October 25-28 2016.
  • Saving Your Sanity Through Better Client RelationsSTC Silicon Valley, Santa Clara, California. October 17, 2016. (You can also view a recording of this talk.)
  • Closing the DealAMWA Medical Writing and Communication Conference, Denver, Colorado. October 5-8, 2016.
  • Closing the Deal. STC Technical Communication Summit, Anaheim, California. May 15-18, 2016.

    Demonstrating how to hold an invisible basketball while answering audience questions at STC Summit 2018.

  • Winning the Project with an Effective Proposal. STC Technical Communication Summit, Columbus, Ohio. June 21-25, 2015.
  • Advanced Client Relations: Asking the Tough Questions to Get What You Need. AMWA Annual Conference, Memphis, Tennessee. October 2014.
  • Everything You Wanted to Know About Client Relations. AMWA Pacific Coast Conference, Pacific Grove, California. April 2014.
  • Saving Your Sanity Through Better Client Relations. Society for Technical Communication, Technical Communication Summit, Phoenix, Arizona. May 2014.
  • Strategies for Creative Freelancers. Virtual Event. April 2014.
  • Improving Client Relations. Society for Technical Communication, Santa Barbara chapter. November 2013.
  • Saving Your Sanity Through Better Client Relations: How to stop apologizing, say “no” tactfully, and know when to shut up and listen. Creative Freelancer Conference (CFC). San Francisco, California, June 2013.
  • Panel discussion: The Skinny on Working With Corporate Clients. Creative Freelancer Conference (CFC). San Francisco, California, June 2013.
  • Cause of Death: PowerPoint. American Medical Writers Association (AMWA). Sacramento, California, October 2012

Impromptu stage time with Dyana Valentine at the Creative Freelancer Conference, 2012.

  • If Looks Can Kill… Your Career. American Medical Writers Association (AMWA). Sacramento, California, October 2012
  • Roundtable discussion: Making Time to Stay Healthy. Creative Freelancer Conference (CFC). Boston, Massachusetts, 2012.
  • On-stage participant: Pitch Perfect with Dyana Valentine. Creative Freelancer Conference (CFC). Boston, Massachusetts, 2012.
  • You: The Brand. American Society of Journalists and Authors (ASJA). New York, New York, 2012.
  • Don’t Worry, I’m a Professional. American Medical Writers Association (AMWA). Jacksonville, Florida, 2011.
  • Panel discussion: Information Security in the Age of Wikipedia. International Association of Business Communicators (IABC). San Francisco, California, 2011.
  • Growing Your Freelance Business. International Association of Business Communicators (IABC). San Francisco, California, 2011.
  • Panel discussion: Freelance Lessons Learned. Creative Freelancer Conference. Denver, Colorado, 2010.
  • Onsite wellness events as the owner of Core Fitness. San Jose, California, 2003-2006.
  • Sales trainer, 2002-2004.
  • Touch the Future: Technology Forum. JCK International Jewelry Show. Orlando, Florida, 1999-2000.


  • Why is Professional Development Important? STC Roundtable. May 1, 2019. “I think that the biggest risk for any career is stagnation. If you don’t feel like you’re growing and learning, you’re not going to be inspired. Uninspired people are bored. That’s terrible for your team, your employer, but most importantly, for your career.”
  • In the STC Spotlight. May 1, 2019. “The Board uses my skills and experience in a completely different way than my day-to-day work. There’s a lot of focus on strategy and finances that’s on a completely different scale than what I get to experience in my own business.”
  • Demystifying the STC Board. May 3, 2019. “I think that’s the important thing to know about Board service: it’s not about what you get from being on the Board, it’s about what you think you can give.”
  • Hope for the Introvert podcast: Growing as a leader. A conversation with Alisa and Ben Woelk. “But none of that (career growth) would have happened if I had just sat back and been the quiet one. I had to look for new approaches to my career, where I had to find those alternative leadership opportunities.”
  • Hope for the Introvert podcast: On public speaking. A conversation with Alisa and Ben Woelk. “They’re in your talk for a reason, and they’re not there to criticize you or to grade you or to challenge you. They’re there because you have something that they want to learn about. And when you shift that mindset — that you have something valuable to say — it really changes your perspective on speaking.”
  • Hope for the Introvert podcast: Being an introverted entrepreneur. A conversation with Alisa and Ben Woelk. “I tended to be extremely quiet in meetings for many years… almost to the point of invisibility, but that didn’t mean that I didn’t have ideas.”
  • Saving Your Sanity Through Better Client RelationsRecorded at STC Silicon Valley, October 2016.
  • Freelancer Forum: Creative Freelancer Conference 2010 News and Updates. Featuring Alisa, Dyana Valentine and Ilise Benun. Hosted by Colleen Rice Nelson.
  • How to stop scope creep in its tracks. A conversation with Alisa and Ilise Benun.
  • The Art of Saying No. A conversation with Alisa and Ilise Benun.
  • The Reflex Blue HOW Design Live conference special, featuring Alisa, Cami Travis-Groves, Julie Goldsberry and Crystal Reynolds. Hosted by Donovan Beery.
  • AMWA: Medical Writing 911 pilot webcast, featuring Alisa, Eve Wilson, Karen Steinhilber, Tracy Bunting-Early and Anne Jacobson. Hosted by Scott Kober.
  • AMWA: Medical Writing 911 premiere webcast. Hosted by Scott Kober.

Captain Alisa, lower right, presenting weekly announcements and course preview to 50 Team in Training runners.

What are people saying about Alisa?

  • “Really good presentation. Definitely enjoyed this one.” – from a session review at TCUK
  • “Good session. Very engaging.” – from a session review at TCUK
  • “Her presentation style, slides, and animations were captivating.” – from a session review at STC Summit
  • “Well presented; valuable content; helpful resources.” – from a session review at STC Summit
  • “When Alisa begins speaking, your attention is riveted. She has that unique ability to deliver compelling information in clear, concise, humorous voice that requires you to put down your cell phone and simply listen.” – D.G. @ AMWA
  • “I just had the opportunity to hear Alisa speak at the Creative Freelancer Conference, and she was great! Her message was compelling; her thoughts were clear and well organized; and she used humor effectively to convey her message. She addressed questions from the floor with ease, and with complete responses. Easily among the best speakers at the conference!” – T.E. @ CFC
  • “You owned that stage. Seriously.” – B.T. @ CFC
  • “You are born for this!” – C.R. @ CFC
  • “I loved your presentation yesterday. You were so engaging and energetic.” – B.G. @ ASJA
  • “At dinner last night, I was telling everyone about some of the anecdotes from your session. I had them in stitches!” – A.L. @ AMWA
  • “It was a hit with the audience. I’m so grateful to you for sharing your ideas with us!” – G.L. @ AMWA
  • “I enjoyed your session and talked about it enthusiastically when I got back.” – C.S. @ AMWA

Want Alisa to speak at your event? Contact her at Alisa at Clarifying Complex Ideas dot com, or call her at 408-256-0621.