Archive for March, 2010


Live Tweeting #Listen10

March 10, 2010

Listening has always been social. And now it’s part of social media, too.

So that even more people can learn about the impact listening has on our lives, please join me (@barbaranixon) in live-tweeting the International Listening Association conference this week in Albuquerque, NM.

When you are in a session, or after a session is done, let others know your impressions of the highlights of the session using Twitter, a microblogging service, in 140-character messages. You can tweet from your computer if you have wifi Internet access (or from your cell phone by texting to 40404.)

  • Sign up for an account at Twitter or sign into your existing Twitter account.
  • Tell the name of the session and who the presenters are.
  • Distill highlights of the session into 140-character nuggets.
  • End each highlight with the “hashtag” #listen10
  • Read what others are saying about the ILA conference sessions by going to

Questions? Find me. I’ll be around at the conference (usually wearing pink & black). Or send me a tweet!

Follow Me on Twitter


But You Never Told Me!

March 9, 2010

If you are anything like me, odds are there’s been a time (or 20) when you swore that “No one told me about the ___,” only to find out later that indeed you were told, but you hadn’t listened to the message. Why does this happen? There could be myriad reasons.

Perhaps the short video clip below will provide one of the reasons. NOTE: This video is safe to play at work or around your young children.

So what are some tips you can use to become a better listener, especially during International Listening Awareness Month (sponsored by the International Listening Association)?

[Originally posted in March 2008]


9 Ways to Make the Most of #Listen10

March 8, 2010

Just I have done for most of the last 20 years, I will be attending and presenting at the International Listening Association convention again this year.

Last week, USA Today’s Brian Dresher posted his tips on making the most of South by Southwest. These were great tips. I asked him if I could borrow liberally from them, and he said “sure thing.” So here goes.

  1. Don’t feel compelled to attend a session at every time one is offered. If you do that, it’s a quick recipe for listener burnout. (And I should know. I used to think it was impolite to sit out a session or two. Now I realize it’s more impolite to be zombie-like in a session than it is to be absent from a session.)
  2. Plan ahead to meet informally with the people you need to see. Check the program to see who is presenting and chairing; that will help you know who will be there.  Realize that the presenters and chairs will be fairly busy right before and after their sessions.
  3. Stay healthy. Make wise choices about your meals and snacks, and drink plenty of water. I usually buy a case of water to keep in my hotel room and make it a goal to finish it off before the conference is over.
  4. Attend a panel or presentation outside your usual area of interest. If you’re an academic, try some of the business panels. If you’re in the helping professions, see what the K-12 educators have to say.
  5. Say hello! ILA members are among the friendliest people I’ve come across. Even if this is your first ILA convention, feel free to introduce yourself. You might even get a hug (that’s a warning).
  6. Arrive early to the popular panels. Sit near the front so you can really engage with the presenters.
  7. Bring a power strip. You can make LOTS of friends, especially in airports, if you are willing to share your power with others.
  8. Bring lots of business cards. Even in this mostly electronic age of ours, one of the best ways to exchange contact information is through a business card. I make my own, and I include my photo on the back, to make it easier for people to connect my name and face.
  9. After the conference, send thank you notes to presenters who made an impact on you. And when I say “thank you note,” I don’t mean an e-mail. I mean a real, handwritten and mailed via USPS note.

So, those are my 9 best tips for making the most of the International Listening Association convention. Do you have a 10th tip to offer?

(PS — I bet these tips would hold true for most communication-related conventions, too.)

[Cross-posted from my Public Relations Matters blog.]