We are passionate about the power of words to educate an audience and to make complex subjects accessible.

Flagler Speech

Jennifer Patterson Lorenzetti has spoken for a wide range of audiences, with specialties including:

  • Faculty training and development at the college and university level
  • Popular speeches for community organizations
  • Adjunct instruction at the college level
  • College commencement addresses
  • Presentations for the college classroom
  • Workshops or continuing education

Hilltop Communications can tailor a talk that is just right for your audience.  Download our brochure of current speeches: Workshops Brochure Summer 2020 Standard

Sample topics include:

History and Current Events

Observing the Hemingways: Ernest Hemingway and Great Depression Tourism in Key West

When American writer Ernest Hemingway discovered that his house was prominently marked on an official map distributed to tourists, he was angry enough to build a masonry wall around his beautiful home. But this kind of tourism was due to the influence of New Deal efforts to change Key West’s primary economic base from the lucrative harvest and salvage industries that dominated the 19th century to the tourism that would dominate today. This talk shows the change in the island’s economic focus and the influences of the Great Depression and its relief programs through Hemingway’s eyes, including the tragedy of the 1935 Labor Day Hurricane.

 Henry Flagler: How a Man from Ohio Took the Railroad to the Southernmost Point

Many people have heard of John D. Rockefeller and Standard Oil, but fewer know of his business partner, Henry M. Flagler. A native of northern Ohio, Flagler took his Standard Oil earnings and used them to launch an ambitious project to take the railroad through Florida to the southernmost point of the United States, Key West, crossing swamps, reefs, and open ocean in the process. Flagler achieved his goal in 1912, forever changing life in the Florida Keys. This is an entertaining and inspiring story of an Ohio native who very much wished to winter in the South – and made it happen.

The Cigar Rollers of Old Key West

In the late 1800s, Key West was the richest city per capita in the United States, and much of this affluence was driven by one of its first industries, cigar production. When unrest drove Cuban cigar makers north, Key West opened its arms to several manufacturers who built factories up and down the waterfront dedicated to making these hand-rolled indulgences. Although the industry was relatively short-lived on the island, with wooden factories filled with tobacco leaves a natural target for fire, the presence of the cigar industry has left an indelible stamp on the island. Learn about this vibrant industry and the legacy it has left to the Florida Keys today.

 The Development of Photography: Daguerreotype to Civil War

When Louis Daguerre announced the development of his process for creating images by exposing a plate to light – photography – he was building on many decades of efforts to render the world in an accurate, easy-to-capture way. Soon, this process would undergo changes and improvements that made it suitable for capturing a wide range of activities and events. This talk will trace photography’s early years and tell the story of how it educated and informed, introduced the public to the realities of war, and influenced a presidential election.

The Development of Printing: From Asia to Europe

Moveable type and the printing press changed the way the world communicated, but the development of this technology was not an easy one. With early efforts in Asia laying the foundation for Gutenberg’s ground-breaking press, the development of printing depended on a variety of factors, ranging from development of the proper metal alloys to the characteristics of the very alphabet that would form the building blocks of the printed piece. This visual talk will explore the attempts to develop printing and the results that changed the world.

 Getting to Know Art Nouveau

Art Nouveau is an artistic style used in fine art, posters, and advertising, primarily in the 1800s. This beautiful style of art was inspired and interpreted by several different cultures, including Japan’s “pictures of the floating world,” French celebrations of the Moulin Rouge, the restrained English and American interpretations, and the lush beauty of Czech artist Alphonse Mucha.  This visual talk will explore the various types of Art Nouveau and its influence on culture today.

Getting to Know Arts and Crafts

The Arts and Crafts movement emerged in England in the late 1800s as a reaction to the mechanization and depersonalization of the Industrial Revolution. Artists and designers who embraced this movement sought to honor the creative process and the end user in their work, making some of the most recognizable design in the world.  This talk will address Arts and Crafts graphic design and its history, with forays into architecture and other areas.

What Generational Theory Tells Us about Decades Past . . .and the Decade to Come

Drawing on the generational theory of historians William Strauss and Neil Howe, this talk explains how the rotating cycles of generations through history explain the events of the post-WWII era, the turbulent 1960s and 70s, the “Me Generation” of the 1980s, the events of the turn of the Millennium, and the present day. We will also use this theory to explore what we might expect culturally, politically, and economically in the coming decade.

 Propaganda Advertising of WWII

“Propaganda” has a negative connotation today, but, in times of crisis, it is a powerful tool to persuade the population and encourage positive behaviors. In this highly-visual talk, we will explore the wide variety of purposes and techniques of propaganda advertising as they were used during the 1930s and 40s and how to recognize effective propaganda advertising today.

The Creative Revolution in Advertising

In 1960, advertising giant Doyle Dane Bernbach released the iconic “Think Small” ad for the Volkswagen Beetle, and the advertising world would never be the same again. We will explore the “Creative Revolution” in advertising, looking at some of the most famous and noteworthy ads of the period and exploring what lessons they can teach advertisers today.

The Greatest Advertising Campaigns in History

Woodbury’s A Skin You Love to Touch. Listerine’s Often a Bridesmaid, Never a Bride. Burma Shave signs. Maidenform’s I Dreamed. VW’s Think Small. Apple’s 1984. These and other campaigns transcended mere product advertising and entered the cultural vernacular. Learn the stories behind a variety of historic advertising campaigns, what made them successful, and why we remember them today.

Skills and Activity Training

 Building the Perfect Pickle

Pickling is quickly becoming a lost art, and that’s a shame, because the pickles you make yourself from home-grown cucumbers will be the best you ever tasted!  This informative talk will cover everything you need to know from seed to Mason jar: selecting the right cucumber to grow,  sprouting and transplanting, growth tips, dealing with pests in an organic way, and producing the final product (bread and butter or dill pickles).  This talk is suitable for either a lecture style or a demo kitchen environment.

Saving Money with Your Home Garden

Based on my popular GRIT magazine “How Much Does a Garden Really Grow?” and many years of experience as a home gardener, I will share tips and tricks for saving the most money off your grocery bill with the help of your home garden. Topics will include seed/plant selection, understanding varieties, figuring out your family’s needs, and calculating your savings. Ideas are easily scalable for gardens ranging from windowsill to acreage, with a focus on the kitchen garden.

 Planning Your Trip to Key West

So you’ve decided to visit Key West! Whether you are taking a cruise and will be there for a day or are going for a long weekend or even a week, this presentation will introduce you to the historical sites, interesting activities, and options for downtime that fill the island. We will cover options ranging from the athletic to the relaxed, suitable for every traveler.

How to Deliver a Dynamic Lecture

They call it “Death by PowerPoint:” the boredom that ensues when a speaker constructs a slide deck, turns off the lights, and reads each slide aloud. It shouldn’t be this way! Lecture can be one of the most effective ways of engaging an audience, because the best lectures use the techniques of storytelling, interaction, and passion to keep an audience interested. In this session, we will explore the components of a dynamic lecture and cover actionable strategies that will make your next talk a hit.

 Getting Started in Self-Publishing (suitable for workshop or class format)

Have a great idea you’d love to see in print? Have you finished your book but don’t want to go through a traditional publisher? Self-publishing may be for you! With an estimated 40 percent of all e-book revenue going to authors who self-publish, this method is ideal for people who have a book with a limited audience, those who wish to maintain creative control over their work, or those who enjoy the publication process. Using Amazon CreateSpace, we will work through the process of turning your book into both a physical and an e-book product and placing it for sale.

Beginning Ballroom or Social Dancing (suitable for workshop format or limited or ongoing class)

Co-Taught with Partner Daniel Lorenzetti

Whether you are going to an upcoming wedding, have a class reunion in the future, or just want to learn to “cut a rug,” ballroom dancing is a great way to get some exercise and have fun with your partner and your friends! We will cover the basic steps of dances, chosen for your group’s needs from:

  • Ballroom option: waltz, tango, foxtrot, rumba, swing, cha-cha
  • Social option: salsa, bachata, merengue, rumba, swing