Lunch-n-Learn Tips-n-Tricks

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Lunch-n-Learn Tips-n-Tricks
Refer to this document before organizing a lecture or recruitment event for dental students, such as a lunch-n-learn. These tips and tricks where developed with the input of students working with the AGD, constituent leaders who are experiencing success at the student level and through the AGD’s interactions and sponsorship of the American Student Dental Association (ASDA). The better the information, the speaker and the presentation overall, the better the relationship with your local dental school will be.

  1. Secure younger speakers who can give current and valid information on how to get started after graduation, the real world of dentistry, technology in dentistry and interesting case studies. The more the students can identify with the person presenting them information and advice, the better.

  1. Schedule the event with the support of school administrators or student leaders. Have the students help you reach your audience through word-of-mouth, school e-blasts and Facebook. AGD Headquarters has contact information for many local ASDA representatives who could assist with planning. Assistant Dean or staff positions with titles like Student Services, Student Affairs or Education Partnerships are also a good place to start. Lunch-n-learns will need to be scheduled far in advance, in some cases up to a year.

  1. Make sure you have the current talking points, fliers and applications (Materials Request Form). The Membership Chair and Membership Chair (Student Initiatives) position and duty Web pages have power point templates for download as well:

  1. Investing a small amount of money in food, drinks, speakers, materials, etc. may be necessary to encourage student attendance. Students will always be considering what is in it for them.

  2. Be prepared to mention the following information.

    1. The AGD is the second largest dental association and the only organization in the world exclusively dedicated to serving the needs and representing the interests of the general dentist.

    2. Student dues are drastically reduced (only $16) yet provide the same benefits a full dues paying active member receives.

    3. Students and new dentists are a growing focus within the AGD. Students can serve in local leadership positions, attend conferences and are being asked to contribute to the organization.

    4. All AGD members can access a variety of on-line tools such as the AGD Career Center, The Daily Grind Blog, podcasts and vodcasts, practice management resources, online publication articles and an archive of e-newsletters.

    5. AGD is building a mentor program database, which students are encouraged to opt-in to if they are interesting in finding mentor down the road.

    6. AGD has a national Facebook Page - students are encouraged to become fans for fun and fast updates on current events from a national perspective.


  1. Have the students sign in to collect contact information. Attempt to obtain their personal email addresses above anything else, not school addresses (.com instead of .edu). Encourage everyone to fill out their applications cleanly and legibly.

  1. Encourage student participation during the lunch-n-learn. This will keep attendees focused, engaged and will help you build rapport with them for the future. Bring a flip chart to write down their concerns, or give away small prizes to those who can answer questions you pose. Anything to make them feel like part of the action.

  1. Give examples from your own professional experiences. Be specific. Include info on the life of a practicing dentist and info about balancing work with family life. Work in AGD membership benefits into your presentation and office experiences:

  1. Make your presentation as lively as possible. Add photos, video, music and anything personal that will give it an edge. Use simple and direct text and don’t confine yourself to reading the visuals you are projecting.

  1. Make your presentation brief and topical. Emphasize that the AGD is the only organization representing the general dentist, and that general dentistry can offer unlimited professional opportunities. Talk about the pride you feel as a general dentist and that the top of their graduating class is not just reserved for specialists.

  1. When you speak, refrain from generalizing the student group, and refrain from talking down to them:

    1. Avoid calling the attendees “kids”.

    2. Do not refer to a student’s post-dental school time as “when you grow up”.

    3. Do not describe real world situations that you suppose dental students do not exist in such as, “The economy is really taking its toll on your moms and dads”.

    4. Do not separate yourself from students by referring to them in generational terms such as “Generation Y”.

  1. Bring along other constituent members/leaders to sit in your presentation. If anything just have them attend for support. The more it appears the AGD members are there for each other the better. Take pictures with the attendees after the event.

  1. Students are interested in topics that have to do with the business side of professional dentistry, what to do after they graduate, financial information, loan repayment, Different practice models and post-graduate options. Design your presentations around new technology you are using in your practice and actual cases and situations. The more information you can provide beyond what they are currently learning in school, the better.


  1. Schedule your next event before the end of your first event. Close your presentation by informing the attendees when the next presentation or meeting will be, where they can direct questions and concerns, how they can contribute to the local AGD, when your next local AGD board meeting will be.

  1. Creating a recognizable and recurring schedule for your Lunch-n-learns is key to developing a presence within the dental school and visibility among the student body. Hosting an AGD specific event every year in September, or the day after Labor Day for example, will gradually increase awareness of the AGD and open additional marketing/promotional opportunities.

  1. Host more than one event a year to get your name out there more. The more contact you can make with a school, the faculty and the students the better. Offer to assist the school somehow in effort to build strong relationships. Consider launching a FellowTrack Program to achieve this:

  1. Follow-up is important. Distribute questionnaires, presentation review forms, surveys, raffle tickets, etc to encourage feedback and participation. Make the extra effort to respond to student questions and suggestions.

  1. Send out follow-up cards, notes, letter and/or emails to attendees soon after the event. Include photos taken at the event in your recap. Do what you can to make the AGD stick in their mind. Provide whatever information you can about the preceding events and direct them to the AGD Web site when possible.

  1. Send a report of the event back to headquarters. Information gathered by holding a successful lunch-n-learn presentation can help gain your constituent special recognition and can be used assist other constituents looking to duplicate your success. The more detail and positive ideas you can provide, the better. Be prepared to include:

    1. Breakdown of cost. At this time AGD headquarters cannot reimburse constituents for these events but the information can be used as leverage when designing allied partnerships on a national level.

    2. Presentation topics and speaker bios.

    3. Prospective member’s contact information.

    4. Success and failures.

    5. Any suggestions or ideas and the dates of you next event.

    6. Direct your correspondence to:
      Jimmy Weinland, Administrator, Constituent Services Student Development
      211 E. Chicago Ave., Suite 900 / Chicago, IL 60611-1999
      Phone-312.440.4055 / Fax-312.335.3429 /

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