Take This You Internet Bullies!

When you work with the public, you get used to lots of random comments from people. My most memorable were when I was pregnant.

“Are you having twins?”

“Wow you’re about to pop!”

“You still haven’t had that baby?”

“You must have a litter in there!”

“Honey, it’s called disability insurance–use it.”

It’s funny what we get used to and just pass off as random comments. When you are a trainer or have another “on stage” role, the random comments can get downright cruel. I’ve heard my share–comments about my voice, my accent, my weight, I’ve even had my abilities as a parent questioned as a result of a post on this blog. I think that sometimes the anonymity of the web gives people a sense of freedom to say whatever they want. The truth is, no matter how “anonymous” someone is when posting a comment, mean stuff hurts. There is a difference between constructive feedback (which everyone should learn to give as well as receive) and mean spirited comments.

The following video made its way across my feed today via Facebook. I knew I had to share this because we can all relate.

I find myself on both sides of the fence on this one. Before I worked in libraries, I taught first aid and CPR classes at a community college. Included in the training was a segment on preventing heart disease and strokes. As instructors we were told to model what we were teaching and to eat healthy in front of the students at lunch, not to smoke in front of the students during breaks, and to maintain a healthy weight. The last requirement was always a challenge for me, and I have to say that in every session where I covered risk factors for heart disease and talked about the importance of maintaining a healthy body weight, my cheeks flushed in embarrassment. I always wondered if I was secretly being judged by my participants.

In whatever role you are in, I ask you to consider the consequences and feelings of others before posting comments on websites or filling out program or training evaluations. Given that October is National Bullying Prevention Month I wanted to share this video and some of my thoughts with you. As a mom, bullying has been on my mind the past few months. As librarians we are in a position to reach a vast audience including parents, teens, and children about bullying and its impact on society and individuals.

Learn more at:




ALA Preconference Making it Stick: Designing, Delivering & Surviving Presentations

On Friday we had a fabulous audience for the CLENE Round Table‘s preconference session Making it Stick: Designing, Delivering & Surviving Presentations. Presenting with me was Paul Signorelli who I have had the privilege of working with on many projects including a book on leadership in libraries for trainers that should be out just in time for next year’s ALA conference.

The slides from the session are below.

View more presentations from Lori Reed.

DON’T Imagine Them Naked! My Pres4Lib Virtual Presentation

I had a lot of fun putting this together. This was supposed to be my Plan B in case the live feed from my office did not work. But after putting it all together last night this morning, I decided it really would work better as a video rather than live session.


In the spirit of learning here are a few details about how I did this. I always seem to wait until the last minute with presentations. I came up with the title Wednesday night and began working on the PowerPoint Thursday around 5pm. First I did a title and notes for each slide so I would know what the framework would be. Then I used Flickr to find supporting Creative Commons images. It took hours to find the right photos. In all it took about 3 hours to create the PowerPoint.

Sometime during all this I came up with the idea for the opening scene. I tried recording the opening scene with a webcam but the quality was bad…even with a good webcam. My husband, who happens to be a brilliant video editor, asked me why didn’t I use our digital camera. After kicking myself in the head for not thinking of that I set off to find a flashlight and hat. It took about 10 takes to get the flashlight and handheld camera effects right.

After recording the opening scene I used Camtasia to narrate the PowerPoint. This took forever but I consider some of the takes as rehearsal! Next time I will record one slide at a time or a few slides at a time.

Once the PowerPoint narration was done I imported the video from my camera, added a title slide, transitions, and some spooky music. Anyone recognize the tune?

Then I produced the Camtasia project to default Internet settings and uploaded to YouTube. In all it took about 9 hours which comes to about 90 minutes of development per minute of presentation. I would say the norm is about 60 minutes of time per minute of e-learning material.

What does all this mean? When you compare development time of e-learning to face-to-face learning there is a much higher front end investment for e-learning. But once the development is done, you are done. The content is there for your learners to access at any time and you can move on to other projects. However when someone tells you to “whip together a quick tutorial” keep in mind that there is nothing quick about it!

You can read more about e-learning development time on the following sites:



p.s. Just for the record. The words of wisdom did not actually come from “Pete” or anyone else in recent years. I think it actually came to me from an episode of the Brady Bunch.

Pres4Lib2009 this Friday…attend virtually

Pres4Lib Logo

This Friday will be the first Pres4Lib in Princeton, NJ where library speakers and trainers will share tips, tricks, and techniques about presentation skills.

For those of us who can’t make it to Princeton there are several options to participate virtually. You can view details about virtual participation here: http://pres4lib.pbworks.com/Virtual-Participation

I’m looking forward to presenting and participating from my office in Charlotte, NC. Hope to see you there!

Conquering the Fear of Public Speaking

I’ve been catching up on podcasts and was listening to A Casual Conversation with Meredith Farkas on OPAL. Tom Peters asked Meredith about how she got started in public speaking and she spoke about how terrified she was the first time.

I think we can all relate. According to the Book of Lists more people fear public speaking than fear death!

When I meet people and the question inevitably comes up of what do I do for a living, usually the response is, “I could never stand up in front of people like that.” The funny thing is I can completely relate. I was not always comfortable with public speaking. When I was in elementary school I hated, hated, hated reading out loud.

When I was in about 5th grade I realized that if I wanted to be successful in school and in life I needed to conquer this fear. I gave my first speech as part of a 4-H program about the dangers to sea turtles from releasing helium balloons. I was scared to death, but the speech was ok. After this I looked for any opportunity to speak or perform in front of an audience.

In 6th grade I was in a talent show and sang the theme from Flashdance. I rehearsed for weeks alone in my room and in front of my friends, but when the big day came I was terrified and started to lose my voice. My teacher said I could back out and no one would know. But determined to conquer this fear I went out on stage anyway. The music started, I got into my groove, I opened my mouth to sing, but no sound came out. I froze. Completely froze. The kids in the audience started laughing while I ran off stage and cried.

This was probably my worst public speaking/singing moment to date. I think it’s also a prime example of why more people are afraid of of public speaking than of death.

The funny thing is, the next day at school no one mentioned the disaster. It was quickly forgotten by everyone but me. It took me a while to get back on that horse. But eventually I did. In high school I was captain of the debate team for four-years and performed in several school and community theater productions (I even sang in a few).

The moral of this story (other than never ask me to sing) is that with practice, perseverance, and passion you really can do anything–including public speaking.