I spent many hours yesterday in preparation of and training 2 people on the Constant Contact software that our group – The International Black Summit uses to send out the ‘glossy’ mailings to the larger body.

When I told Jonn, the web/tech guru HOW I intended to do the training, that I wanted everyone to see, use our data, and get ‘hands-on experience, he suggested I use GoToMeeting or something similar. Since we had looked at GoToMeeting previously for something else I knew a little about it.

I signed up for the ‘30-day Free Trial’, spent about an hour learning reading and learning how to use it. Using the GoToMeeting program, I immediately started a meeting and had my friend Charmaine act as the “trainee” on my ConstantContact account. She phoned in, followed along with the ‘training” and helped me get a feel for how things looked on her end. Even though she was on dial-up, she was able to see what I was seeing and maneuver her way around.

Continuing on with the GoToMeeting application, I scheduled the ‘real training’, and then used GoToMeeting to e-mail the new phone number and link location.

Further investigation revealed I could RECORD the entire proceedings of the screen and make them available via Windows Media Player 9+. I was amazed.

The actual training took about an hour and a half. People were able to ask questions, get feedback, maneuver between screens, update data and create an e-mail for Thanksgiving distribution.

Everyone was pleased with the process: Jonn, because he didn’t have to do it; the 2 participants, Susan and Jay because they were able to see the screens AND participate ‘hands-on’. And me, because it was easy, fun, I could do it from home, and I could see what each person was doing WHILE they were doing it.

By the way, I live in Chicago, Jonn in NC, Susan in LA and Jay in Toronto, Canada!!! Our only problem was Jay was using a MAC and couldn’t right-click! Oh yeah, there was a little ConstantContact snafu because we view use the ‘Preview Entire Selection’ feature – we kept getting a white screen.

I did set up the recording – just the push of a button and I am happy to say, it looks marvelous. I’ve sent it on to ALL the scheduled participants, thereby those who took the actual training can review, those who weren’t present can familiarize themselves with the program and as their team grows, it can be used to train newbies.

I chose the option to download the recording rather than have software loading to participants machines. The recording took 2 hours to download to my computer. I’ve since uploaded it to our website – which took about 30 minutes. The recording option was to keep it resident on the GoToMeeting site and those wanting to view would have to download a small piece of software to their computer to view. Either way, they must have Windows Media 9+.

I chose the download option because I am using the trial, I don’t know if our group wants to continue after the trial, if they don’t I wasn’t sure the recording would remain available; if they do I wasn’t sure it would be available to the group given I signed up using my information, not the group information and I don’t know whether they have a transfer of account method.

Here e-mail comments from the ‘trainee’ participants:

"Excellent training. Thanks Jonn and Llenar. Jay and Susan were trained—well hopefully we were both trained and Jay really UNDERSTANDS how to do it J. Just joking—excellent instruction.”

“Thanks so much for the training Llenar and Jonn… really!

Love you all for Real…
PS – You know if I have any hitches with that thing- I’m calling Llenar right? :-) Kiddin’”

Filed under: Hobbies & Accomplishments

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