Face to Face at the NSA Winter Workshop

Thursday - January 11, 2007

Did you know that science supports our need to gather together with others? No matter how good we make our podcasts, webcasts, eBooks and teleseminars they just aren’t as good for our brains as gathering together in a group.

Kathy Sierra is a serious techie. She writes for a blog that is “serious about metacognition.” She co-created a series of computer books called Head First, about topics like Java, EJB, Servlets and XHTML. What I’m saying is that the lady cares about her technology. Even so, she has an entirely human message in her blog article called “Why Face to Face Still Matters!

We email. We wiki. We blog. We IM. We convince ourselves that as long as we can write well, these are all good forms of communication. Perhaps in some ways even better, since we’re not distracted (blinded, biased, seduced) by the person’s physical presence.

And we are wrong.

I cannot summarize Kathy Sierra’s article and do it any justice. She is passionate about how “we are fooling ourselves into thinking that text is even half as effective as face-to-face at communicating a message.”

You must click on the link above to her article and read it for yourself, then read some of the other articles on this fascinating blog (and probably even subscribe to it).

In our own blog article, The Speaking Industry is Not Dead, we noted that there are too many folks who “buy into the idea that that a tele-seminar is as effective as a gathering, that sitting in front of a screen is as good as mingling with others, that podcasts can touch people’s hearts the way a speaker can touch a congregation.” We’re glad to know from Kathy’s blog that science supports us.

Here’s your chance to test that theory. Snow storms permitting, the National Speakers Association will hold their Winter Educational Workshop in downtown Denver February 9 – 11.

We’ll be there, in person, and hope to see you – face to face.


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