Therefore, identify your own people who are likely contacts with the community -- who may already be part of it without your being aware of it -- and burnish their presence and potential as spokespersons.
But seriously, folks
As a bit of parting advice, Eric suggested that the most valuable skill to pick up is that of effective public speaking. There are a variety of groups that aim to teach it, but Eric found his model in what at first might seem an unlikely place: stand-up comedy, which he says can be effectively studied for tips on timing, punctuation, and body language, among other things.
Eric is an animated and extroverted speaker, with a flair for reaching out to audiences, and a whimsical sense of fun -- but conceptualizing him as a Robin Williams and Mike Myers puts him in a new light.
Me: Maybe I'd be a reporter.
Eric: An evil reporter?
Me: You always do that!