I’ve been a seminar leader and presenter for over 20 years and I’ve seen a noticeable change in my learners and audiences in the last five years, especially with young professionals.
We’ve always known that adults learn by doing and applying concepts back on the job. But it’s never been as important as it is now. With Gen X and Y, we are leading learning for extreme computer literates who are very analytical and used to trying different angles to reach an answer. On the computer, there are always options, alternatives, and tools to reach conclusions. Our computer generations expect that learning will be like that. And our Baby Boomer learners are joining in. Continue Reading →
If you’ve ever performed in a play, you’ve probably been asked the question, “How’d you ever learn all those lines?” In fact, that is exactly what my parents asked after what I thought was a stunning portrayal of Anna in “The King and I” at E.N. Woodruff High many years ago. While the theatre-goer’s fascination with “learning all those lines,” may seem mundane to the artist, knowing your script essentially forms the base of an underappreciated performance art—the art of practice!
As a professional speaker, I have had ample opportunity to use the discipline that my drama background instilled on how to study and memorize scripted language. During the opening of a presentation, especially, the ability to memorize can help a speaker appear both approachable and credible. Throughout the program, memorized stories and examples often can help speakers energize and connect with participants. At the close, a key quotation or story can create an important impact. The effective use of scripted material is an important preparation and delivery skill. Continue Reading →
The wonder of volunteerism
The movie, ”My Big Fat Greek Wedding” was a Chicago woman’s first screenplay and a runaway comedy hit. In a television interview promoting the movie, the actor who played the groom was asked how he landed such a great role. He explained how he volunteered to help some friends who were auditioning for another movie at an L.A. hotel. Over dinner at the hotel’s restaurant at the end of the day, he loudly said to them, “I just got a script I LOVE. I would KILL to be in this movie.” Little did he know that he was seated next to the writer for that script, “My Big Fat Greek Wedding,” who just happened to be auditioning for the movie at that same hotel. He got the part.
What does this have to do with recruiting volunteers? The actor’s story could be their story. He was visible, altruistic, and using his specific talents and skills. His story illustrates “the wonder of volunteerism”—its potential to put someone in exactly the right spot at exactly the right time to meet a goal he or she has at exactly that moment. Managing volunteers is also wonderful because it can put YOU in the right spot at exactly the right time to meet a goal YOU have at exactly that moment.
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Copyright 2001 Cyndi Maxey and Debbie Rakestraw. FORUM Magazine
Scenario: One of your associations elects a new president who adds two new directors and three committees to respond to a need for increased Internet marketing and research for their industry. Consequently, you realize that your staff needs training fairly soon on meeting facilitation, Internet research, and web-based communication. Some interpersonal skills training wouldn’t hurt, either, as the new president has a strong personality that will be challenging.
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Networking is not a matter of how many people you know, but of how many people know YOU. The great networkers know this. They know that a network is never a finished product; it is always dynamic—a continual creation of communication links. So, what’s new?
Technology has changed the process of how we create the links. Anyone who has experienced the phenomenon of no returned phone calls has heard the wake-up call. The Internet, e-mail, teleconferencing, cellular phones, pagers, and a myriad of other types of telecommunications affect the way even great networkers need to network. Let’s look at how attending a meeting of a professional association has changed. Continue Reading →
Imagine that you have a wonderful staff that is self-motivated every day. They do great work, ask for challenging projects, and beg to be trained. It sounds like the perfect workplace, doesn’t it? You would think that most managers would savor the situation, but sadly, there are too many who sabotage their staffs with their own actions.
According to research conducted by ToxicBoss.com, 80% of the employees who quit their jobs do so because of problems with their bosses. Researchers Chandra Louise, PhD and Fred O. Smith, MD, cite that while employees may give the human resources staff other reasons for quitting, they tell their friends, “I’d still be there even for that pittance of a salary if it weren’t for that awful boss.”
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By Cyndi Maxey and Barry Lyerly
NSA-Illinois member Cyndi Maxey and her co-author Barry Lyerly share some tips on how to co-author a book based on their book Training from the Heart, Developing Your Natural Training Abilities to Inspire the Learner and Drive Performance on the Job, (2000) ASTD Books, Alexandria, VA. Continue Reading →
Rhonda Blender and Cyndi Maxey
Patient wait times still exist, and elimination of office wait times still appears to be an important marketing tool. Patients feel increased demands on their time, and if the wait is too long, they may not come back. However, if it is reasonable and handled well, it accumulates with other positive perceptions of service, and patients return. In this article, the authors review the reality of wait times in medical practices today, what dissatisfies patients most, the treatment patients want while waiting, and a checklist of steps to take to reduce wait times in a medical practice.
By Cyndi Maxey and Barry Lyerly
Maybe it looks like a jungle out there, but nature is sustained through an orderly, delicate balance of many interacting elements: new trees spring from seeds sprouting on rotting logs, predators feed on creatures lower in the food chain, some plants thrive in sunshine and others in the shade of the forest, plant photosynthesis gives off oxygen, which, in turn, supports animal respiration. This natural balance ensures that each species occupies a special niche where resources are available for its survival.
Today’s business world resembles a jungle in many respects. As corporations downsize and the workforce shrinks, more is being asked of employees than ever before. Employees are on their own more than ever, because managers have less time for coaching and handholding. Face-to-face meetings are giving way to email, teleconferencing, and voicemail messaging. Organizational changes are occurring rapidly, and employees must be quick to adapt. Trainers are pressured to do more with fewer resources and to demonstrate results in less time. The heart of the workplace—its meaning and significance—gets lost in the chaos. Continue Reading →
Business & Professional Communication
DePaul University, Chicago, IL
College of Communication