Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Communication and Gender

Recently, I found an online resource written by a woman for women on leadership issues. The website, by Connie Glasser provides some good tips to guide women as they work in--or work toward--leadership roles. I bookmarked the resource and plan to go back and to read more, but wanted to share one of her articles, Plan Your Words, Take Credit for Ideas . This article hit me as a particularly effective method to use to prepare for meetings where ideas can be presented.

Glasser advises women that it is important to view each meeting as an opportunity to make a contribution and to gain some recognition. Some of her tips on how to do this are:
1.Don't fly-by-the seat of your pants -- go to the meetings with ideas that are connected to the agenda.
2.Talk about your ideas with key people who will attend the meeting prior to the meeting to get a sense of how they view or support your ideas.
3.Take credit for the ideas you present by preparing a document that include your ideas and your name.
4.Make copies for everyone who will attend and the present your ideas--if your ideas generate some discussion and go over well--pass out the documents you prepared. If not, don't.
5.Plan ahead for conflict and be prepared for it in meetings by familiarizing yourself with issues connected to opposing viewpoints--do your homework.
6.Be sure to speak with assurance and don't be overly concerned with appearing aggressive.

Have you ever presented and idea at a meeting and had it reappear at another meeting and it suddenly belonged to someone else? If so, Glasser's tips might keep this from happening at future meetings.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Web Conferencing Software: Why I Like WebEx

Over the course of last 18 or so months I have spent some time learning how to use web conferencing technologies. Have experienced BREEZE, elluminate, Microsoft Office Meeting, and WebEx. Just wish I had known about the research that Network Computing: For IT By IT, provided for users and those thinking about using web conferencing technology in April 2006.
The research review titled, Tech U: The World is Our Campus provides an overview of detailed overview of nine products and information on which two web conferencing technologies were selected for an Editor's Award. Details 40 products were weeded down to 14 for review are provided. The information on this review would be extremely helpful to colleges and businesses looking for resources to help guide local t decisions on which web conferencing technology they might want to use. It also provides report cards and information on products that received grades of A, B or C in an interactive report card .

In the review and testing process three common applications used by most people in education or business were used in the web conferencing product demonstrations. Powerpoint files, Word documents and Excel spreadsheets were tested for " ease and speed of loading these files into the application" and how well the content displayed. They also tested working in real-time on a blank PowerPoint, how easy it was to record a session and the quality of playback for voice, video and stability (Cogburn & Kurup, 2006). This review is well worth a look and provides a process for people to use to make decisions about these technologies that are similar to process that has been used to make decisions about Instructional Management Systems.

Oh, here is my list of reasons why I like WebEx:

1. Simple process to set up meetings.

2. Easy to edit and make corrections to meetings as you set them up.

3. Deceptively simple interface that allows you to learn how to:

-share applications, desktop, whiteboard, and a host of meeting tools

4. Nice meeting lay-out that is easy to move around in and I don't get lost when I host a meeting.

5. Real time training opportunities, good tutorials, and self-help documents.

6. We have an in-house super-user that helps me troubleshoot.

7. I have become familiar with it and have "meeting confidence" when I host.

8. Easy to allow others to present.

9. I have my own personal meeting room.

10. Received an Editor's Award for use in this study validating my good taste and good experiences using this web conferencing tool.