Author Archives: Kama

Darlene Christopher on Five Things You Can Do to Become a Better Live Virtual Classroom Facilitator

Photo of Darlene Christopher, author of The Successful Virtual ClassroomThe following is a guest post from Darlene Christopher, author of The Successful Virtual Classroom: How to Design and Facilitate Interactive and Engaging Online Learning.

Distractions in the traditional classroom abound and keeping learners focused and engaged is a challenge. In a live virtual classroom environment (sometimes referred to as a webinar or synchronous learning), distractions multiply at the quantum level. Unseen by instructors and absolved of the cultural imperative to publically “pay attention”, facilitators needs to work even harder to ensure success. Here are five things you can do to become a better live virtual classroom facilitator:

1. Tell a Story with Your Content
Story telling never gets old. In the virtual classroom tell concise stories, directly tied to your content and supported with images on slides that move along every 10-20 seconds or so as you make your point. Garr Reynolds offers great ideas for presenters.

2. Engage, Really Engage, Participants
When participants join your virtual classroom, you are competing for their attention with email, social media and a variety of other distractions. Manage this and take the “attention initiative” by inserting interactivity into your session every 3-5 minutes. Ask participants to respond to a poll, write an answer in the chat box or on the whiteboard.

3. Compensate for the Absence of Body Language
In the virtual classroom, you can’t depend on traditional visual cues for feedback from participants such as the “perplexed” expression or the “I’m lost” expression.” However, you can use virtual engagement tools to make up for the absence of body language. Use instant feedback tools and ask participants to select “agree” or the thumbs up sign if they have completed an exercise. Do check-ins via chat to get input and opinions on pacing and comprehension.

4. Practice Makes Perfect
Rehearse your session with a mock audience to make sure everything goes smoothly before you go “live.” Practice how you will open the session, transition from one topic to the next and handoffs between speakers. Also take the time to rehearse exercises to determine if your instructions are clear and if there is sufficient time to complete an exercise.

Jacket image, The Successful Virtual Classroom by Darlene Christopher5. Don’t Work Alone
As the song goes, one is the loneliest number….Successful live virtual classroom sessions are typically supported by a team. Working with a producer is the best way to sustain a high level of interactivity. While you speak, advance slides and engage the audience verbally, your producer monitors chat, sets up exercises and polls, and troubleshoots technical issues.

 

Darlene Christopher is a Knowledge & Learning Officer at the World Bank. She oversees the learning program for staff in 20 Asian countries and advises foreign federal government agencies on distance learning programs. She has been designing and delivering synchronous training programs for global audiences for over ten years.

 

 

Webcast Reminder: Lead with Humility – Lessons from Pope Francis

Photo of Jeffrey Krames, author of Lead with HumilityThe American Management Association New Media team will host a webcast  with Jeffrey A. Krames, author of Lead with Humility: Lessons from Pope Francis. He will cover how leaders and managers can use humility to inspire their people in the workplace.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014
12:00 PM – 1:00 PM Eastern
Fee: Complimentary
Meeting Number: 17849-00001

As someone who has studied leaders and the topic of leadership for more than three decades, Jeffrey Krames has long believed that humility is the most under-rated of all leadership qualities.

This webcast explores how Francis has combined humility with power to become the most fascinating pontiff in modern memory. Then the program digs deeper to reveal the key business tenets that Pope Francis has exercised to create his own brand of leadership. Examples include:

  • Guard against insularity: Many heads of corporations and states fall prey to the “bubble” phenomenon, meaning that they feel imprisoned by the trappings of their positions. To make sure that Pope Francis did not lose his broad perspective, he put together a makeshift “board of directors.” Dubbed the Vatican-8, or V-8, these eight Archbishops from all over the globe serve as his consulting body. None of Francis’s 265 predecessors ever amassed such a consultative body.
  • Live on the frontier: To “live on the frontier” is to push the envelope and live outside of your comfort zone.
  • Run your organization like a field hospital: Francis feels very strongly that members of the clergy must go anywhere and everywhere, no matter the risk, to tend to their flocks. The same tenet works well in business. Instead of a reliance on email, Twitter, etc., what is needed are more face-to-face meetings.

Pope Francis’s ability to inspire the world is unprecedented in modern times. Join us as we explore the power of his methods and how anyone can take these lessons to lead with grace and greater authenticity.

While attending this program is FREE, reservations are required.

Jacket image, Lead with Humility by Jeffrey KramesRegister for Jeffrey Krames’ AMA Webcast.

Jeffrey A. Krames is the bestselling author of The Rumsfeld Way, The Welch Way, Jack Welch and the 4 E’s of Leadership, and other popular business books. He has been published in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Barron’s, Financial Times, Chicago Tribune, and Los Angeles Times and been interviewed by Fox News, CNBC, MSNBC, CNN, A&E’s Biography, the BBC, and other major media outlets.

Podcast: Dawn Fotopulos and How to Get Comfortable with Accounting

Photo of Dawn Fotopulos, author of Accounting for the NumberphobicFor small business owners, financial statements can be their most important tools to steer their businesses successfully. Yet many dread looking at the numbers and would rather leave it to an accountant. Dawn Fotopulos, author of Accounting for the Numberphobic: A Survival Guide for Small Business Owners, recently sat down with the AMA Edgewise team to discuss the importance of small business owners understanding the numbers and to demystify the financial dashboard.

In her new book Accounting for the Numberphobic: A Survival Guide for Small Business Owners, Dawn Fotopulos attempts to reduce the number of small business failures by examining the struggles of owners attempting to turn their hobbies into jobs. Fotopulos argues that the key to success will not come from a constant attempt to attract new customers, but rather adopting a strategy in which owners successfully manage what they already have. Dawn believes that in order to be successful, owners must be able to first observe what has been going on in their business, while at the same time look ahead to predict possible outcomes in the near future.

Jacket image, Accounting for the Numberphobic by Dawn FotopulosListen to Dawn Fotopulos on the AMA Edgewise Podcast.

Dawn Fotopulos is founder of BestSmallBizHelp.com, an award-winning blog and resource site for small-businesspeople. A former banker, she is currently an Associate Professor of Business at The King’s College in Manhattan.

Listen to more interviews with AMACOM authors on the AMA Edgewise Podcast.

Webcast: Lead with Humility – Lessons from Pope Francis

Photo of Jeffrey Krames, author of Lead with HumilityThe American Management Association New Media team will host a webcast  with Jeffrey A. Krames, author of Lead with Humility: Lessons from Pope Francis. He will cover how leaders and managers can use humility to inspire their people in the workplace.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014
12:00 PM – 1:00 PM Eastern
Fee: Complimentary
Meeting Number: 17849-00001

As someone who has studied leaders and the topic of leadership for more than three decades, Jeffrey Krames has long believed that humility is the most under-rated of all leadership qualities.

This webcast explores how Francis has combined humility with power to become the most fascinating pontiff in modern memory. Then the program digs deeper to reveal the key business tenets that Pope Francis has exercised to create his own brand of leadership. Examples include:

  • Guard against insularity: Many heads of corporations and states fall prey to the “bubble” phenomenon, meaning that they feel imprisoned by the trappings of their positions. To make sure that Pope Francis did not lose his broad perspective, he put together a makeshift “board of directors.” Dubbed the Vatican-8, or V-8, these eight Archbishops from all over the globe serve as his consulting body. None of Francis’s 265 predecessors ever amassed such a consultative body.
  • Live on the frontier: To “live on the frontier” is to push the envelope and live outside of your comfort zone.
  • Run your organization like a field hospital: Francis feels very strongly that members of the clergy must go anywhere and everywhere, no matter the risk, to tend to their flocks. The same tenet works well in business. Instead of a reliance on email, Twitter, etc., what is needed are more face-to-face meetings.

Pope Francis’s ability to inspire the world is unprecedented in modern times. Join us as we explore the power of his methods and how anyone can take these lessons to lead with grace and greater authenticity.

While attending this program is FREE, reservations are required.

Jacket image, Lead with Humility by Jeffrey KramesRegister for Jeffrey Krames’ AMA Webcast.

Jeffrey A. Krames is the bestselling author of The Rumsfeld Way, The Welch Way, Jack Welch and the 4 E’s of Leadership, and other popular business books. He has been published in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Barron’s, Financial Times, Chicago Tribune, and Los Angeles Times and been interviewed by Fox News, CNBC, MSNBC, CNN, A&E’s Biography, the BBC, and other major media outlets.

Random Quotes from New Books This September

Jacket image, Accounting for the Numberphobic by Dawn FotopulosAccounting for the Numberphobic: A survival Guide for Small Business Owners by Dawn Fotopulos

“Now, what if we were able to lower the unit COGS on our raspberry cupcakes some, but not enoughto get them to 70 percent of retail price. Let’s say that after negotiating with a new raspberry supplier, we shave $0.15 of direct costs off each of our cupcakes, bringing our COGS from $2.10 down to $1.95. Now we still need to raise our prices to reach a 30 percent gross margin, but we won’t have to raise them as much. Using the COGS method, if we mark up $1.95 by 45 percent (1.95 times 1.45), we get a unit price of $2.83 (rounding up). Using the net revenue method—setting our unit cost of $1.95 as 70 percent of the retail price—we end up charging $2.79 per unit. With our new  unit cost, we can sell the raspberry cupcake at between $2.79 and $2.82 apiece and make an adequate gross margin, that is, stay in business.” (page 49)

Jacket image, The Elements of Résume Style, Second Edition by Scott BennettThe Elements of Résumé Style: Essential Rules for Writing Résumés and Cover Letters That Work, 2nd Edition by Scott Bennett

“Many former entrepreneurs mistakenly fear that prospective employers will view them as (1) unwilling or unable to report to others and (2) failures. The first of these fears is groundless and the second is impossible. First, former entrepreneurs have been where the buck stops. They understand—perhaps more clearly than other employees—the need to quickly pitch in and get something done without endless debate. Second, while a business can be a failure, a person cannot be a failure. People don’t turn into goats after a business fails. They’re still successes as people.” (page 9)

Jacket image, Lead with Humility by Jeffrey A. KramesLead With Humility: 12 Leadership Lessons from Pope Francis by Jeffrey A. Krames

“The quest for inclusion has been one of the most important factors in making Pope Francis so popular. Inclusion was at the heart of the majority of his key decisions during his first year as head of the Church. While he dismisses the depiction of himself as  a ‘superhero’ pontiff, there is no arguing how he has affected the 1.2 billion Catholics he leads (not to mention millions of others who have come to admire him). He may be no superhero but he is the only pope in history to canonize two popes in a single day—Pope John XXIII and Pope John Paul II— in late April 2014. Papal pundits lauded the act because the two popes were seen as a ‘balance’—representing both the left and the right of the Church.” (page 41)

Jacket image, Sell Your Business for an Outrageous Price by Kevin M. ShortSell Your Business for an Outrageous Price: An Insider’s Guide to Getting More Than You Ever Thought Possible by Kevin M. Short

“We’ll assume that, as part of the Proactive Sale Strategy, your investment banker has completed a list of potential buyers. He or she created that list with your input and from a number of sources, including trade association membership lists, data and analysis, media and Internet searches, and you hope, extensive networking in your industry and others. That list likely includes both public and private companies, such as private equity groups, industry players, adjacencies (companies in industries adjacent to yours) and competitors.” (page 156)

Jacket image, A World Gone Social by Mark Babbitt and Ted CoineA World Gone Social: How Companies Must Adapt to Survive by Mark Babbitt and Ted Coiné

“These are just a few ways professionals of all descriptions are building their brands—and thus their careers as leaders— on social media. Really, the sky’s the limit, and, as we’ll discuss in the final chapter of this book, we don’t even know what’s next—only that we need to be firmly in the mix, or we’ll be left behind. it’s absolutely stunning to us that more executives aren’t social. But then again, one way or another (by holdouts getting with the program or being replaced with hipper, more socially savvy successors over the next couple of years), this certainly won’t be the case for long.” (page 134)

 

Want to sample other AMACOM books? Check out our Random Quotes from New Books series.