One of the biggest web problems we have in higher education is the number of cooks in the kitchen. We’ve got SMEs and HIPPOs and the immeasurable plethora of “non web” people making changes to web content throughout the institution. Since there are as many ways to do things as there are people to do them, it all comes out a big mess over time. All the content strategies, web governance plans, and communications policies in the world won’t help if people in the trenches (and often their bosses) don’t understand what’s expected, why, and how exactly they can accomplish their goals. Enter training. In this presentation, I’ll talk about our content strategy journey, the redevelopment of a brand new .edu website, and how we used this process to both make the case for mandatory training and develop training beyond using the CMS. I’ll even make available lesson plans, scripts, and talk about the actual tools used for development of the on-demand delivery system and content.
Ever seen a blank look while you talked to your boss or a client about your project? Between coding and designing, we often use jargon that can make non-web people feel stupid. When we convey our ideas clearly, we can change our supervisors and customers from confused and disconnected to happy and supportive. Genevieve has been a member of Toastmasters International for more than four years and has been active in developing effective public speaking skills for more than ten. In this session you'll learn 5 concrete skills you can use immediately and other suggestions to keep building your career.
Copy and Paste Is Easy, but Let’s Make Your Site Shine: Helping Non-experts Thrive as Web Managers (MPD5)
I’d never trained a hunting dog before, so when an eight-week-old pup joined my family in the spring of 2013 I was as clumsy and confused as she was. We went to a trainer and the first thing he said to me was, “I’m not teaching your dog a damn thing. I’m going to train you to train her.” I can’t work with your content managers, but I’m going to train… I mean teach you to teach them how to thrive in their role, even if it’s an “other duty as assigned.” As a former English teacher I jumped wholeheartedly into the training aspect of my role as web communications manager in a decentralized system with more than 200 content managers. I will share tips and tactics for planning your training sessions; helping your content managers embrace their responsibility; demonstrating the function of a well-designed, well-written page and how to make each page useful to their audience; and share some of my favorite IA, UX and web writing resources that novices can use—and actually enjoy—to build their confidence and skill sets. My university’s site is far from perfect, but as you improve your content managers so shall you improve your school’s web presence.
The Art of the Presentation (MPD10)
Whether you're pitching a new project to your senior leadership, or you're talking about an idea or successful campaign to a conference audience, knowing your audience and how to communicate to them is key. In this presentation, Karlyn Borysenko and Jeff Stevens will share best practices on how to identify your audience needs, how to craft the perfect presentation proposal, how to construct slide decks that communicate key ideas and keep the audience fully engaged, and tips and tricks from award winning presenters.
I've often been told, "I wish I was a creative person like you," as if creativity were a static trait, that some people are simply creative and some are not. But creative problem solving is, in fact, a concrete skillset that anyone can learn, practice, and master. With the aid of an apt metaphor - fishing - I will share key concepts, strategies, and tools for finding novel solutions to difficult problems. This package of skills can be applied to challenges in any of our disciplines. Whether you are a developer, project manager, writer, social strategist, designer, or just someone who needs a good idea from time to time, expect to leave this session with some new ideas for coming up with ideas. No prior experience with creative problem solving techniques required. If you are a total pro at this you might not get as much or if it, although you will hopefully appreciate the metaphor.
Let’s be honest: no one truly enjoys sitting through an hour or more of training that is required as part of their job. This is especially the case when said topic is less than exciting or ever so slightly technical in nature. “Come sit for an hour to learn a web content management system so I can update the university website? Well, that sounds super fun and at the top of my to-do list!” Said no one, ever. When it’s your job to facilitate training, it can be discouraging to know that your participants may not be as engaged in the topic at hand as you are. In this presentation, we’ll cover three things that you as a training facilitator can do to enhance the learning experience of your participants, so they walk away not only having learned the required material, but actually having enjoyed their time with you.