Dear Addy,

I have to do a presentation in front of my eighth grade class on a cause I care about. I’d like to focus on bleeding disorders because I have von Willebrand Disease (vWD), but there’s so much information and I don鈥檛 know where to start. Help!

Anxious for an A


Dear Anxious,

Presenting on a topic with which you are personally connected is a great way to spread awareness of vWD and advocate for yourself. HFA has many resources available for people who want to become educated or educate others on bleeding disorders.

First, consider if you want your focus to be on bleeding disorders in general or vWD. Once you鈥檝e decided on the main topic, choose a subtopic, such as history, life challenges and complications, or women and bleeding disorders. Visit HFA鈥檚 resource library for additional information, including videos.

Next, make an outline of your presentation. Consider the following:

  • If you are comfortable sharing your personal experience with a bleeding disorder, incorporate this into your speech. This is a great way to start a presentation and captivate the audience.
  • When someone asks you about your bleeding disorder, what do you tell them? Focus on what you already know and elaborate using the topics you鈥檝e chosen.
  • Include visual aids in your presentation such as a graphic of the blood clotting process or an empty bottle of medication.

Conclude with resources for continued education. Effective presentations leave listeners wanting to know more about the topic. Consider integrating social media by asking everyone to follow HFA鈥檚 Facebook page. This is an easy and accessible way to engage your peers in awareness long after your presentation. Distributing information cards on vWD and hemophilia is another way to keep your peers informed and encourage them to share what they鈥檝e learned with others.

Preparing a speech and speaking in front of your class can be challenging. Remember, you are the expert on this topic and people will be excited to hear what you have to share. With careful planning and thoughtful research, you鈥檒l be one step closer to acing your presentation.

Dear Addy


Have a question? Click HERE. Your name will be changed in the response.

HFA frequently receives questions from the bleeding disorders community related to advocacy issues. The questions often impact the entire community. In an effort to reach the largest audience possible with our responses to these widely applicable questions, HFA developed 鈥淒ear Addy.鈥 Questions submitted to this column are edited in order to protect privacy and should be considered educational only, not individual guidance.

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