Friday, November 28, 2008

How to Sabatoge

I recently came across a humorous posting on the Boing Boing blog by Cory Doctorow on a 1944 CIA Simple Sabotage Field Manual with tips on how to sabotage the workplace. This resurfaced manual sounds eerily familiar to meetings I am in at work with tips such as

"- Bring up irrelevant issues as frequently as possible."
"- Haggle over precise wordings of com­munications, minutes, resolutions."

I started working on my own list of tips to add some humor to the web conferencing planning process:

How to Sabotage a Web Conference
1. Send unclear meeting instructions to enrollees
2. Do not begin or end the session on time
3. Do not practice or rehearse your session prior to the actual live delivery
4. Speak for long periods of time and do not move your slides frequently
5. Do not engage participants via polling, chatting or other interactive features.

The list could go on and on, but I'll stop there. You get the idea!

Friday, November 14, 2008

ASTD TechKnowledge Conference 2009

The American Society for Training and Development (ASTD) holds two conferences each year. One of the conferences, ASTD TechKnowledge, will take place in Las Vegas, Nevada this year and the conference program was recently posted online.

This year they are offering a track for attendees who are interested in Virtual Facilitation and Delivery. I have the honor of being one of the speakers in this track and I will be speaking about Facilitating Virtual Events: Success Factors from the World Bank Group. My presentation will be based on the best practices I've learned from facilitating web conferences over the past few years, with an emphasis on global delivery. If you plan to attend the conference, do let me know.

Friday, November 7, 2008

An Integrated Experience

I was reading a recent article by Jakob Neilsen, a web usability guru, on Aspects of Design Quality, and realized that his comments on the importance of total user experience apply directly to web conferencing. In the article Neilsen states, “We can liken a website's user experience to the metaphorical chain that's no stronger than its weakest link. If any one usability attribute fails, the overall user experience is compromised and many users will fail.”

The user experience in a web conference should be though of in an integrated manner as well. From the registration process, to the delivery of the content to the post-event evaluation, the user should expect a smooth progression. Looking at a web conference from a more holistic point of view, rather than just focusing on the material to be shared, will ensure a high quality web conference.