Communication Leadership: Lessons from the Field

Register for this program

Learn the secrets of becoming a communications leader from one of the best!  Marlene Dietz is a communications pro, entrepreneur, and much more.

Marlene knows what it takes to lead through multiple communication challenges and opportunities. She is the Owner and President of Dynamic Leadership Development, a company with clients across the country. This successful communication professional also happens to be Illinois State University’s First Lady, a priority role and commitment with husband ISU President Larry Dietz.

Marlene’s strong 25 year training and development background coupled with her industry knowledge has afforded her the opportunity to develop and implement highly effective leadership and communication based training programs both locally and nationally. She has worked with a wide variety of government agencies and private sector companies.

Specializing in adult learning techniques, her work is focused in the area of communication skills and their application to increased performance for the individual and the organization. Hear from this dynamic professional (and AWC member!)  Wednesday, April 12 as she shares lessons learned in her communication/training journey, including starting her own business.

Date:  Wednesday, April 12, 2017
Time: 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.  (Networking 11:30-12. Program 12-1)
Location: Sangamo Club, 227 E Adams, Springfield IL 
(Directions)


Register before noon on Monday, April 10, 2017 to avoid additional charges.
Late registrations and walk-ins will be assessed an additional $5 attendance fee. 


Tickets:
You must reserve your tickets online but you have the option of paying online or at the door. A small service fee applies to online payments. Cash or check only are accepted at the door.  If you have dietary restrictions, please notify programs@awcspringfield.org. Luncheon reservations cancelled less than 24 hours in advance will be invoiced.

Registrations (before noon on Monday, April 10):

  • AWC member – $17 
  • Non-member/guest – $22
  • Student – $11

Late registrations and walk-ins:

  • AWC member $22
  • Non-member/guest – $27
  • Student – $16

REGISTER FOR THIS PROGRAM 

 

Ways to Take the Boring Out of Your Meetings

Join us on Wednesday, May 3 for the AWC Springfield luncheon program: Ways to Take the Boring Out of Your Meetings.

All meetings share the same objective—to gather people together with a common mission, objective or interest.

Unfortunately, many meetings share a common characteristic of being boring. Yaawwnn. Planners don’t try to make them boring, but habit and busyness and lack of resources preclude them from adding zip and zing to their meetings.

Dana Saal will share ways to bring that zip and zing into your meetings that will make people want to attend and have them looking forward to the next one.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017
Networking: 11:30 a.m. to Noon
Luncheon & Program: Noon to 1 p.m.
Sangamo Club, 227 E. Adams St., Springfield

 Click here to register. 

Register before noon on Monday, May 1, 2017 to avoid additional charges.
Late registrations and walk-ins will be assessed an additional $5 attendance fee. 

Tickets:
You must reserve your tickets online but you have the option of paying online or at the door. A small service fee applies to online payments. Cash or check only are accepted at the door.  If you have dietary restrictions, please notify programs@awcspringfield.org. Luncheon reservations cancelled less than 24 hours in advance will be invoiced.

Registrations (before noon on Monday, May 1):

  • AWC member – $17 
  • Non-member/guest – $22
  • Student – $11

Late registrations and walk-ins:

  • AWC member $22
  • Non-member/guest – $27
  • Student – $16

Notify us of any dietary restrictions upon registration by emailing
programs@awcspringfield.org
Luncheon reservations cancelled less than 24 hours in advance will be invoiced.

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Dana L. Saal, CMP, CAE, has been planning meetings for associations for more than 30 years. She recently decided that coaching meeting planners is now more fun than proofing function sheets, counting coffee cups and writing scripts. She consults with associations, speaks and teaches, and writes a blog, Dana’s Meeting Minutes, for the Illinois Society of Association Professionals.

The Art of Pausing: Reclaiming a Sense of Balance in Our Lives

Balance Your Life Stability Work-Life ConceptJoin us on Wednesday, Feb. 8 for the AWC Springfield luncheon program: The Art of Pausing: Reclaiming a Sense of Balance in Our Lives.

Who feels stressed out? We all do! So be sure to join AWC for their timely and essential February program with news reporter, essayist and poet Judith Valente.

Judith shares her unique perspective on work, stress, balance and life in the books she has written, including “The Art of Pausing: Meditations for the Overworked and Overwhelmed.” Also, “Atchison Blue” is a memoir of her time living in a monastery. Both are aimed at helping busy professionals live more contemplative lives. Her new book, “The Art of Living” will be out in 2018.

Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2017
Networking: 11:30 a.m. to Noon
Luncheon & Program: Noon to 1 p.m.
Sangamo Club, 227 E. Adams St., Springfield

Registration rates (pay by check or cash at the door or debit/credit online):
Members: $17 at door, $18.93 online
Guests/non-members: $22 at door, $24.20 online
Students: $11 at door, $12.60 online

Notify us of any dietary restrictions upon registration by emailing programs@awcspringfield.org
Luncheon reservations cancelled less than 24 hours in advance will be invoiced.

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ValenteJudith Valente is an awarding-winning print and broadcast journalist and much more. She began her work in journalism as a staff reporter for The Washington Post. She later worked for The Wall Street Journal, reporting from the paper’s Chicago and London bureaus. Having spent several years traveling and reporting with PBS-TV, she now lives in Normal, IL and reports for WGLT public radio.

 

 

AWC Springfield Member Spotlight: Kelli Jessup

KelliJessupMeet Kelli Jessup, Business Services Coordinator for the Illinois Chamber of Commerce, AWC-Springfield member since 2014 and currently Jobs Board Chair on AWC’s board of directors.

What role does communication play in your current work role? I’m responsible for the marketing and promotion of chamber educational events and publications. This includes email marketing, social media, some graphic design, event coordination and writing articles for our print quarterly magazine.

Why did you join AWC? I joined AWC as I was finishing my undergraduate degree. This was a great way for me to network with communication professionals in the Springfield community. We have some awesome professional communicators in this area, so as a new graduate in communications, I wanted to connect and learn as much as I can from AWC members and programs as I started my career.

How has AWC benefited you? Joining AWC has benefited me greatly as a younger professional. I have learned so much from the programs AWC holds each month. Not only that, AWC has some of the best communicators in the industry that I have connected with and learned from. They bring great ideas to the table and really are mentors for us as the younger generation to look up to and learn from. I have made some great connections that I could always reach out to for any help, questions or to bounce ideas off of for suggestions.

Favorite AWC memory? So far I think it would be serving on the committee that held the Social Media Conference in April 2016. We had an amazing turnout and fantastic speakers. It was great to work with everyone in the committee to make such a great event happen.

Now accepting scholarship applications

Applications are  now being accepted for the AWC Springfield Educational Scholarship.

This scholarship is given to a college junior, senior or graduate student from Central Illinois or attending a college or university in Central Illinois who is majoring in communications, journalism, public relations or a related field. The amount of the 2017 scholarship is $500.

Applicants must demonstrate a commitment to pursue a professional career in communications or a related field and service to the field through extracurricular or job activities.

The Community Foundation for the Land of Lincoln (CFLL) administers the application process, and applications are reviewed by an independent panel of judges.


Learn more & apply:  AWC Springfield Educational Scholarship
Deadline to Apply is March 1, 2017

Real News and Fake News – How did we get here?

False - True crossroad isolated on white backgroundJoin us on Wednesday, January 11th for the AWC Springfield luncheon program: Real News and Fake News – How did we get here?

The program will feature Illinois Times Editor and Publisher Fletcher Farrar. The weekly newspaper has been a staple of the Central Illinois news media landscape for 40 years. Farrar will discuss the changes that have affected news gathering and reporting over the years and potential new threats to
freedom of the press in this era of political upheaval.

January 11, 2017 
Networking: 11:30 – 12:00
Luncheon & Program: 12:00-1:00
Sangamo Club, 227 E Adams, Springfield

 Click here to register by Friday, January 6th at midnight.

Registration rates (pay by check or cash at the door or debit/credit online):
Members: $17 at door, $18.93 online
Guests/non-members: $22 at door, $24.20 online
Students: $11 at door, $12.60 online

Notify us of any dietary restrictions upon registration by emailing programs@awcspringfield.org
Luncheon reservations cancelled less than 24 hours in advance will be invoiced.

Program Description:

The program will feature Illinois Times Editor and Publisher Fletcher Farrar. The weekly newspaper has been a staple of the Central Illinois news media landscape for 40 years. Farrar will discuss the changes that have affected news gathering and reporting over the years and potential new threats to freedom of the press in this era of political upheaval.

Fletcher Farrar is the editor and publisher of Illinois Times.

 

AWC Springfield Member Spotlight: Kara Kienzler

KaraKienzlerKara Kienzler serves as director of production services for the Illinois Association of School Boards. She has been a member of AWC-Springfield since 2005, serving in several board roles, including Scholarship Chair, VP Finance, VP Programs, co-VP Membership, President-Elect, President and currently as Immediate Past President.

What role does communication play in your day-to-day and overall strategic responsibilities at work? My role at the Illinois Association of School Boards is to oversee the association’s visual image, aid in marketing the association and its products/services and ensure that all materials are produced in a timely manner. We produce a wide variety of print and electronic materials for distribution to use by our members. While my responsibilities lie mostly in the design and production of these materials, I work with staff on projects from concept to final product, using my knowledge of writing and communications best practices to offer recommendations on message, format and distribution.

Why did you join AWC? To network and keep up with the latest communications trends and technologies

How has being a member of AWC benefited you professionally? I have a great network of peers I can reach out to if I’m looking for suggestions/recommendations on a product/service/vendor for my organization. I am able to offer support and knowledge to my coworkers. I have sought references from AWC members for my own career advancement and referred others.

Favorite AWC memory? In 2013, our chapter hosted the national conference and several of our chapter members, including myself, received Clarion awards. Seeing the photo of our group holding out our awards always brings a smile to my face.

Personal details? Married to Brian Kienzler with two beautiful kids, Katelyn (7) and Max (4)

Implementing an organizational style guide to improve clarity, quality and consistency

By Kara Kienzler, director of production services, Illinois Association of School Boards

Okay, I know, communicating is what we do. But, it’s not what 89 percent of the people in my organization are experts in — and they still do an awful lot of communicating on a daily basis.

A year ago, a colleague and I took on the challenge of implementing a style guide for our organization — one that would be useful as a quick reference for staff, easily accessible, and be on ongoing source of general guidance.

This was our approach:

1.      Explain what a style guide is and why we need one

A style guide is a common, agreed upon set of guidelines for written communication. Just as we have guidelines for our logo, our words and editorial style choices are an extension of branding. Many common words and phrases can be written in different ways and still be understood and correct (email, e-mail and Email). Spelling and punctuation change over time as language develops. Different subject areas functionally require different communication styles, but a style guide distills these differences to ensure clarity, quality and consistency.

A style guide is not meant to dismiss a communicator’s voice or diminish creativity. It’s not being graded. It’s not meant to complicate things, although it will seem to at first. It’s also not a writing guide (but at the end of this process you may have a good one of those, too.)

2.      Work with other departments

Ask for input from staff outside of your communications department. Who you enlist to help you will depend on a few factors. Who does the most writing? Who reviews materials before publication? Who cares? (No, really — who cares?) Anyone in your organization who cares about language, clarity, consistency and good product should be involved in developing your style guide. We had several staff members who wanted to be involved in style debates, while others simply wanted to be told what the correct way should be. We had some lively conversations about commas and apostrophes.

We started with The Associated Press Stylebook and Briefing on Media Law, aka AP Style. We have AP Stylebooks available for reference in both our offices.

Then we tossed out the rules of AP Style that didn’t fit our organizational preferences, determined points of style that fit our collective work and developed our organization’s style guide from that. Our style points include:

  • Information Standards such as date and time formatting, numbers, states, etc. which appear often in our work.
  • Capitalization and Punctuation uses that come up frequently and/or are frequently asked of the communications staff (for example, when to use Title Caps).
  • Frequently Used Words and Phrases that demonstrate the ease of use for our users as well as the dynamic nature of the document
    • decision-maker, decision-making
    • fundraiser, fundraising (no hyphen)
    • internet (lowercase), website (no cap, one word, and no hyphen)
    • social media (capitalize Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Google and even Googling)
  • Notes on Format and Font Styles to keep us consistent in the look of our published work. Identity Standards are also included.

We also had to make a decision on whether to use the Oxford comma, aka the “serial comma.” For clarity, we chose the Oxford comma — not my personal preference, but completely necessary for our organization’s writing style.

3.      Continue our work as style goddesses

We introduced our plan at a staff meeting of multiple organization departments and received overwhelming support. (This is when we were named “style goddesses.”) Within three months we had draft style guide and we presented it to all staff a few months later.

Our style guide is not written in stone. It is intended to be a living, growing document. As new questions arise, titles are added, language evolves or we simply change our minds, we will update the live document that is housed on our intranet.

It’s impossible to see everything before the send button is clicked. Having set style points has helped raise the level of consistency in our organization’s written and printed material. And it has certainly raised the level of awareness by staff. More questions and documents are making their way to our department for style review, and we aren’t complaining.

KaraKienzlerKara Kienzler is director of production services for the Illinois Association of School Boards and the immediate past president for AWC Springfield. Is there an area you can provide professional tips and tricks in our next newsletter? Email communications@awcspringfield.org. Ideas for future tips/tricks are welcome, too!

The Art of Presentation

Public Speaker From TribuneJoin us on Wednesday, November 9th for the AWC Springfield luncheon program:  The Art of Presentation

Maria Henneberry and Patti Penn of Taproot Core Media (Consulting, Digital Media Services and Classes) will direct our Nov. 9 program, The Art of Presentation. This will be an interactive program with audience involvement.

November 9, 2016 
Networking: 11:30 – 12:00
Luncheon & Program: 12:00-1:00
Sangamo Club, 227 E Adams, Springfield

Register

 Please register by Friday, November 4th at midnight.

Registration rates (pay by check or cash at the door or debit/credit online):
Members: $17 at door, $18.93 online
Guests/non-members: $22 at door, $24.20 online
Students: $11 at door, $12.60 online

Notify us of any dietary restrictions upon registration by emailing programs@awcspringfield.org
Luncheon reservations cancelled less than 24 hours in advance will be invoiced.

………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Program Description:

Maria Henneberry and Patti Penn of Taproot Core Media (Consulting, Digital Media Services and Classes) will direct our Nov. 9 program, The Art of Presentation. This will be an interactive program with audience involvement.

Program contents include:

Planning a Powerful Presentation
– Define your purpose
– Choose your style

Powerful Front of the Room Techniques
– Natural style
– Effective voice techniques
– Making the most of body language

Engage That Audience
– Using humor
– Storytelling
– Effective questioning
– Using tools

Kick In Your Confidence
– Harnessing nerves
– Dealing with difficult audience members
– When things go wrong


Maria Henneberry is an award-winning radio and tv journalist and news anchor. She has garnered two AP Best Reporter awards. Her on-air credentials include appearances on CBS News and QVC. Henneberry was National Chair for the Association for Women in Communications (AWC) and was recently chosen for the Leadership Illinois Class of 2016. She is an AWC National Headliner Award recipient. She is a Woman of Distinction in Arts & Entertainment through the YWCA. She has also been a college instructor, media trainer, and professional speaker throughout her career, and has been involved with countless charities. Henneberry is also certified as an Associate Chef and Instructor/Trainer through the Living Light Culinary Arts Institute in Fort Bragg, California.

patti-pennPatti Penn’s professional career spans over 25 years and involves many radio and TV outlets. Her work includes on-air host, news, sales, promotions, event planning, production and sports. She has built a strong reputation as a well-known and respected media personality and hers is a recognizable voice on many media outlets.In addition, Patti is co-owner of a local business and has worked directly with businesses of all sizes to reach customers with creative connections locally and nationally. Regional and National award decorate Patti’s resume: Marconi and Crystal Award for Community Service Team Award through the National Association of Broadcasters, The National Edward R. Murrow Award, for Overall Excellence in Radio through the Radio Television Digital News Association, as well as the City of Bloomington, Illinois’ Citizen’s Beautification Award.

Goal Setting: Balancing Your Wheel of Life to Climb Higher

bigstock-128820053Join us on Wednesday, October 12th for the AWC Springfield luncheon program:  Goal Setting: Balancing Your Wheel of Life to Climb Higher

Success is built on positive habits. Learn how to identify areas you can work on to make your ride to the top a smoother one. This presentation will challenge you on a
personal and professional level to reach your true potential.

 

October 12, 2016 
Networking: 11:30 – 12:00
Luncheon & Program: 12:00-1:00
Sangamo Club, 227 E Adams, Springfield

Register

 Please register by Wednesday, October 5th at midnight.

Registration rates (pay by check or cash at the door or debit/credit online):
Members: $17 at door, $18.93 online
Guests/non-members: $22 at door, $24.20 online
Students: $11 at door, $12.60 online

Notify us of any dietary restrictions upon registration by emailing programs@awcspringfield.org
Luncheon reservations cancelled less than 24 hours in advance will be invoiced.

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

Program Description:

Success is built on positive habits. Bob Barber will help you identify areas you can work on to make your ride to the top a smoother one. This presentation will challenge you on a personal and professional level to reach your true potential.

bob-barberBob Barber brings over 27 years of business ownership experience to his clients. After becoming a Sandler Training client himself  in 1997, he was so inspired by the philosophy, methods and materials that he opened his own award-winning Sandler Training office in 2000. Bob is an expert in interpreting and utilizing web-based assessment tools, Devine Inventory and Extended DISC. He is committed to helping owners and manager hire, develop and retain top talent.

Breaking Through the Social Clutter

socialmediaclutterJoin us on Wednesday, September 14th for the AWC Springfield luncheon program:  Breaking Through the Social Clutter

Learn the #1 way to connect with your audience, and discover how to use social media wisely to accomplish specific goals.

 

September 14, 2016 
Networking: 11:30 – 12:00
Luncheon & Program: 12:00-1:00
Sangamo Club, 227 E Adams, Springfield

Register Please register by Wednesday, September 7th at midnight.

Registration rates (pay by check or cash at the door or debit/credit online):
Members: $17 at door, $18.93 online
Guests/non-members: $22 at door, $24.20 online
Students: $11 at door, $12.60 online

Notify us of any dietary restrictions upon registration by emailing programs@awcspringfield.org
Luncheon reservations cancelled less than 24 hours in advance will be invoiced.


Program Description:

Thanks to the proliferation of social media, brands are no longer competing against each other, but against every form of messaging bombarding consumers every hour, every day. In addition, consumers (particularly Millennials) know when they are being marketed to, and anything that sounds like a pitch will be ignored. Peer opinions, in fact, are considered two to three times more reliable than brand messaging. In this session you will learn how to deliver your brand’s message through engaging stories that capture the brand’s persona, breaking through the social clutter.

Brian HuonkerBrian Huonker is a Marketing Analyst with State Farm and provides strategic thought and direction to enhance State Farm’s digital properties while building confidence with its consumers. He has extensive experience in print/web design and integrated marketing—with a passion and specialty for creating branded customer experiences that coalesces across websites, social media, direct marketing, and print. He earned a graphic design degree, a master’s in communication, and has award-winning experience as a creative agency art director, print/web/media designer, college instructor, freelance designer, print/web and social strategist, and conference speaker.

Join an AWC Committee Today!

Would you like to build your professional skills? Are you looking to strengthen your professional network? Are you interested in helping the AWC Springfield Chapter grow? Please consider lending your time, energy and talents to an AWC committee. Committees generally meet a few times during the year and correspond regularly via email. If you are interested in serving on a committee to support one of the chapter leaders, please contact our president or a board member.

Currently, the Communications Committee is seeking volunteer graphic designers to assist with various graphics needs throughout the year to support our communication and promotion efforts. Other committees with volunteer needs include Programs and Membership. Reach out today if you’d like to support our team!

Video Is Great … Unless Your Audio Stinks

By Melissa Hahn, Director of Communications, Illinois Chamber of Commerce

We’ve all clicked on a video and then strained to hear the sound. Whether the underlying music is too loud, or the speaker’s words are too low, it can ruin a viewer’s experience. You don’t have to spend a lot of money to get good audio, and it’s definitely worth the cost.

Here’s what I bought:

  • Audio EquipmentSony Electret Condenser Mic (ECM-44B). This is a Lavalier mic, so it can be clipped to a lapel, scarf, shirt pocket, or whatever clothing isn’t going to rub over the mic. I use omnidirectional. These come with an XLR output, which has three prongs. I’m a big fan of XLR because they’re very sturdy. It’s hard to accidentally unplug it. And no one wants to find out back in post-production that the cable got loose and there’s no audio. You can certainly purchase a lav mic with either a mini-plug or a 1/8” plug. Takes batteries. This once cost $156.
  • Mic Cable: Mine is 10’. I like a longer cable so that you don’t have to be on top of someone during an interview. I recommend a cable that goes to a mini-plug. Mine goes to 1/8”, so then I had to buy a connector. Stores that sell some audio/video equipment only have XLR to 1/8”. You can get a good one for less than $15. Be careful storing these. Prevent bending, or anything pressing against them.
  • 1/8” to mini-plug connector. They’re cheap. And why would you want to avoid a connector? Because the more pieces you have, the audio quality lessens. And there’s a higher chance of a short. Hello, static! They mini-plug will fit into a smart phone, so you have to have this.

If you notice in the photo, the mic has a male end. So your mic cable’s XLR has to be female. I’ve seen a few people grab the wrong cable.

This will give you terrific audio even on your cell phone.

Other options:

  • Lav straight to mini-plug for smartphones. They’re making them now! I’ve seen them priced at $79. If you’re hesitant about price, you could try this one first. But I’ve seen several negative reviews.
  • 50’ cables. These are good when you’re recording someone at a podium or in front of a group, and you can’t be close.
  • Hand-held mic. This is what you often see news reporters with. If you want your questions in the video, you’ll need a hand-held to point at yourself, and then your interviewee.

 

MelissaHahnMelissa Hahn is director of communications for the Illinois Chamber of Commerce and president-elect for AWC Springfield. Is there an area you can provide professional tips and tricks in our next newsletter? Email communications@awcspringfield.org. Ideas for future tips/tricks are welcome, too!