Being a change agent – Part 1

This is Part One of a two-part post about implementing a change planning framework. Part Two will post next week.

Written by Colette Martin-Wilde and Megan Anderson, Strategy Development & Change Partners, Rotary International, with examples from Zone 26 RRFC Pam Russell

We live in a rapidly changing world, and Rotary is changing along with it. Change is inevitable and can be difficult.

The role of a change agent is to articulate vision, provide information and resources, develop a plan and listen. As a regional leader, you are often called upon to serve as a change agent; but once you have decided to help guide others, where do you begin?

Change Management-1

Using a change planning framework can help you anticipate where resistance to change may occur and provide others with the resources they need to smoothly transition.

There are five key areas to consider when introducing a new process or program.

  1. Vision – What will the process or program look like, once the change is complete?

Pam Russell: Once the vision is defined by the district leadership, it should be articulated every chance you get, including presidents-elect training seminars, district  assemblies, grant management seminars, district Rotary Foundation seminars, and the district governor’s club visit.  Once your vision is understood, Rotarians can support it through global and district grants, strategies to strengthen their clubs, and service projects.

  1. Skills–Will the people you’re relying on to implement the change have the skills to do it right? If not, where will they get the needed skills?

Pam Russell: Since there were so many new things to learn with the new funding model, we had the opportunity to take advantage of the skills of Rotarians throughout Zone 26.  We had multiple training sessions with the districts.  The District Rotary Foundation Committee Chair (DRFCC) from one of the pilot districts served as a Future Vision Transition Coordinator and helped improve the skills of the district leaders. 

A good continuity plan is critical to success. Even though you may train a great team, you always have to be prepared in case someone has to step away from a position.  We have had a few folks step down early.  This led to individualized training of new leaders, generally with the regional Rotary Foundation coordinator, a neighboring DRFCC and others within the district.

3. Incentives–Tangible benefits can often help people adopt change more quickly. The intangible is the “what’s in it for me” factor.

Pam Russell: Rotarians who participate in global and district grants  immediately see the benefit of working through The Rotary Foundation. It is important to communicate these advantages to other Rotarians as well.  Each year, Rotarians in District 5170 host a number of beneficiaries from their global grants. These individuals travel around the district, visiting clubs and the district conference. Their stories truly inspire the Rotarians in the district to be more engaged with the  Foundation.

Come back here next week for the final two areas of the change planning framework and conclusion.

Regionalizing Rotary’s brand for maximum impact

This month’s Rotary Leader featured RPIC Christina Bredin in the “Ask the Expert” column.  Christina wrote about her region’s efforts on the Strengthening Rotary initiative and shared some tips for regionalizing our brand.  What are some ways you have regionalized the Strengthening Rotary initiative in your Zones?  Have you seen any strong examples from others?


There is an old Latin saying: “Constant dropping wears away the stone.” Implementing Rotary’s brand in the Nordic countries has been like that. It has required constant communication with Rotary members in every district and club. To motivate people to adopt changes, you have to give them good background information about why the changes are necessary.

In our part of the world, Strengthening Rotary is very much about changing the concept of Rotary from a closed, invisible organization to an open, visible one. The new generation does not mind promoting Rotary, but we have had to advise more-established members that it is good to wear shirts, jackets, or vests with the Rotary logo when out on the street, and to address the public.

Bredin

In Sweden, we felt it was imperative that we update the Swedish website to communicate that something new and fresh was happening in Rotary. That way, members in all parts of Sweden were informed at the same time about Rotary’s facelift.

Rotary’s Brand Center has made it easier for coordinators and Rotary leaders at both the club and district level to motivate clubs to use the new look. Some district public relations chairs even used the Brand Center to make logos for all of their clubs so the logos were consistent throughout the district. We plan soon to implement a Swedish version of the Brand Center that will have material translated into Swedish.

The reaction of Rotary members has been very positive since it was made clear that the lapel pin would stay the “old way” — another example of the importance of clear communication.

Here are some other tips for regionalizing Rotary’s brand:

EDUCATE/TRAIN

  • Hold PR seminars regularly in your district
  • Include the Strengthening Rotary presentation at every district event.
  • Include an item about the brand in the governor’s monthly newsletter.
  • Train members to share their Rotary moment.

COMMUNICATE

  • Public relations is best in the native tongue, so translate PR materials from Rotary International.
  • Hold webinars to reach a wide audience in a cost-effective way.
  • Keep your newsletters short and to the point.
  • Use Facebook and other social media often.

COLLABORATE

  • Form PR teams made up of representatives from clubs in a given area to cooperate in events and other PR activities.
  • Create forums for the exchange of ideas and sharing of material.
  • Involve Rotarians who are PR professionals

How celebrity ambassadors help end polio

By Gabriela Simionato Klein, communications consultant at Rotary International

We are now “This Close” to achieving a polio-free world, and many public figures and celebrities have agreed to help Rotary spread the word.  More than 40 world figures including Bill Gates, Archie Panjabi, Ziggy Marley, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, and Jane Goodall are taking part in Rotary’s “This Close” campaign. Many organizations seek celebrity ambassadors and many notables see the benefit – professional and personal – in this kind of relationship. This is not a strategy unique to Rotary but how do those celebrities make a difference?

At the beginning of April, I accompanied our Brazilian ambassador, supermodel and mother Isabeli Fontana, on her press trip with Rotary. It was a great experience to see our organization’s impact on the country’s polio eradication process firsthand and to get a better understanding of how much our ambassadors can help.

(Right to left) Isabeli Fontana, Gabriela Klein and Monica Lages, the model’s manager.

(Right to left) Isabeli Fontana, Gabriela Klein and Monica Lages, the model’s manager.

This was not my first time working with Isabeli. The launch of her partnership with Rotary, at a party donated by a Brazilian fashion house, generated impressive press coverage in fashion and entertainment outlets, a niche in which our stories don’t usually receive space. Rotary and its battle for polio eradication graced the pages of Vogue, Rolling Stone and Harper’s Bazaar.

The event created a fundraising opportunity in partnership with the model and with fashion label TUFI DUEK.  An End Polio Now t-shirt customized by the house designer, Edu Pombal, was auctioned off for almost $90,000 in support of polio eradication efforts. To date, the communications support we have received from Isabeli and her partners has presented Rotary’s work to millions of followers, and informing new audiences of Rotary’s role.

This effect was also seen in India, where Isabeli energized health workers at a regional meeting and, during a school visit, informed kids, teachers and parents of the importance of vaccination and healthy habits for a better life. More than that, the experience made her more knowledgeable and committed. She came back looking for even more possibilities to help in an impactful way.

But Isabeli’s chosen path is not the only one. Personal preferences, different reasons for involvement and work schedules determine how each ambassador makes his or her mark. Several musician ambassadors donated their songs and performed for a special CD, with proceeds raised being donated to Rotary International’s End Polio Now campaign.   Others donated their time for our organization, using their fame or leveraging their talent to promote our message when talking at high-level events or with the press.

How can you help? Research ambassadors who are relevant in your area and learn their preferences for possible supporting activities.Find ways to leverage their influence and consider their roles in your plans.  Identify potential national or international ambassadors with whom you have a personal connection, and suggest their name to the communications team or your staff liaison in Evanston. Ideal ambassadors have strong social media channels; they are popular, very active and have a positive impact in the community. They are willing to work with Rotary – not just by posing for a picture, but by truly embracing the cause as their own. With wide-ranging support, they can help Rotary raise awareness in the final push to end polio.

Being your best presenter

Presentation imageBy Mark Kreibel, 2015 Regional Leader’s Training Institute Facilitator

In March, RPIC Shirley Downie shared best practices for tailoring your responses to the audience’s tough questions. To be a good presenter, you also need to tailor your presentation to each audience to make sure it is effective and engaging.

Many readers may feel that presenting to a group is challenging and intimidating!  Here are a dozen tips to help you get rid of your stage fright and take your presentations to the next level:

  1. Talk naturally to your audience. Even though you are speaking to a large group, make the audience feel you are having a conversation with each of them individually.  Avoid reading a script.
  2. Try to stand, rather than sit. Move around the stage if possible and keep your movements natural, rather than forced.  In some instances, sitting can be used to create an intimate conversation atmosphere, a technique often used by Past RI President Bill Boyd; while standing behind a podium might add a level of formality to your presentation.
  3. Vary the tone, pitch and volume of your voice. Use your voice to add emphasis and maintain the audience’s interest.  Try to speak loudly and clearly while facing your audience.  Avoid talking in a monotone voice or turning your back to the audience. Remember you are telling a story, not simply relating facts and figures.
  4. Make eye contact with your audience.  Gain eye contact with as many individual members of the audience as possible.  If stage lighting prevents you from actually seeing the audience, vary where you look toward them and pretend you are making eye contact.
  5. Use visual aids where appropriate.  Graphs and charts, diagrams, pictures, and video can enhance any presentation, but don’t overdo it.  Visual aids should help illustrate and strengthen your points, not simply repeat or be a distraction from your spoken message. If you use lists or text on your slides, don’t read them verbatim!  Or, even better, create an effective presentation without using PowerPoint. Your voice and your movements are your best visual aid.
  6. Rehearse your presentation.  A good presenter makes their speech look spontaneous and natural, but this comes from sufficient rehearsal.  Make certain to time your rehearsals to stick to the allotted time, and allow for question and answer time when appropriate.
  7. Prepare and structure your presentation carefully.  Introduce the subject – tell the audience what your talk is about.  Explain the points you wish to convey.  End with a summary of your points.
  8. Stay focused throughout your presentation. Avoid irrelevant and unnecessary detail. Stay on topic and don’t go down any tangents that don’t directly relate to your topic. Focus your message through a relevant personal story or anecdote.
  9. Avoid nervous gestures and speech. Putting your hands in your pockets, crossing your arms, jingling change, and overusing “filler words” (aahh, err, and uh) detract from your talk.  Appropriate hand gestures can add emphasis to your presentation. When you rehearse, practice moving with purpose, and not simply pacing.
  10. Answer any questions as honestly and concisely as you can.  If you don’t know the answer, then say so and offer to provide further information at a later date. If appropriate, offer to follow up with the questioner one-on-one … and then fulfill that promise.
  11. Challenge the audience with a “Call to Action.”  Finish your presentation by motivating your audience to take a specific action, such as implementing one best practice you talked about or sharing a particular statistic with their club.
  12. Thank the audience for their time and attention.  This simple act shows the audience you appreciate their time and attention.

By thinking critically about your presentation, you can improve your skills and confidence. Reviewing and implementing these twelve tips will set you up for presentation success!

One other tip: Arrive early and get to know your space and your tools. Walk around the stage to become familiar with it. Test your microphone if you have one. Set up anything you think you might need during your presentation, such as notes or a bottle of water. Leave yourself time just before your presentation to prepare mentally, and not worry about minor details like these.

And remember: in almost every instance, the audience is on your side and wants you to succeed. If you are feeling nervous, think of them not as an audience, but as the silent members of your team!

One Rotarian’s dream for education in Nepal

regionalcoordinators:

Check out this great project that RC Malcolm Lindquist has been project managing since August 2013.

Originally posted on Rotary Service Connections | English:

By Malcolm Lindquist, member of Rotary Club of Brownhill Creek, Australia, and Zone 8 Rotary Coordinator

Malcolm LindquistWhen my friend David Rusk, a primary school principal in Adelaide, Australia, fell in love with the disadvantaged children in Kathmandu, Nepal, little did I know the path on which it would lead me.

Through his connections with the Rotary Club of Dillibazar in Kathmandu, David had established relations with several schools leading to the creation of a teacher development program and financial sponsorship of about 80 disadvantaged students in the Nepali community.

Then, by chance, David visited an orphanage on the outskirts of Kathmandu run by a saintly woman, Mother Rajan Bishwokarma. She had established the orphanage in 2007 which cares for more than 50 Dalit (untouchable) children and founded the Nepal Deprived Women Uplift Centre organisation. David immediately saw the urgent need for a school to accommodate the children from the orphanage.

David Rusk David Rusk

View original 350 more words

Answering tough questions

By Shirley Downie, Rotary public image coordinator, Zone 20A (South)

How many different audiences have you encountered during your Rotary career? It’s probably countless! You have probably fielded 100s of questions.

When dealing with the different audiences, you can personalize your responses by considering some of the following guidelines:

  • Define the situation – Do extensive research beforehand on events and programmes. Ask these five questions to get at the motivation of your audience–who, what, when, why, and where?
  • Establish and share the objectives: Confirm the goals, aims and achievements. Outline new objectives specifically and make sure they are measurable, achievable and attainable.
  • Identify the target audience: When you embark on any event or programme, identify the type of audience you are talking to. Are they internal, such as other Rotarians, Rotaractors, etc.? Or are they external such as media, government, etc.? Draw up a list of everyone that could be involved in the event/programme. Depending on who is addressing you, think carefully about your response – repeat the question to ensure you have understood it and once you have responded, ask if they are happy with the answer.
  • Create a specific message: Once you have identified your different audiences, think about the most common questions likely to be raised. Surprise your audience by responding to a frequently asked question in a unique way. Use creative angles when responding and avoid the same old standard response. Consider including specific information. For example, if you are addressing the media, include quotations and photos and highlight Rotary’s amazing achievements – such as Polio eradication – for the press article.
  • Explain how: Outline how the project or initiative will proceed. Include the estimated timeframes.
  • Include amounts: Tough questions frequently ask about money or funds. Include the budget where applicable and acknowledge where the funds have come from or who they are going to.
  • Talk about evaluation: Include the evaluation strategy. How many people will benefit? What tools are you using to measure the outcomes? Is it sustainable? Were the objectives met?

For easy reference, remember the acronym DOTMABE:

DOTMABE

Good luck with your question and answer sessions!

Using My Rotary to Connect with Others

Get Connected

By Adelita Hernandez, Connections Specialist, Rotary Service Connections

 Connecting with Rotarians and Rotaractors is easier than ever on My Rotary. Enhancements to groups and profiles and increased awareness of the My Rotary community have helped the growth of these valuable tools that help you connect online to your Rotary network. Increased member engagement through the Rotary social business tools has made My Rotary even more useful and interesting.

As Rotary’s community grows, more and more Rotarians and Rotaractors are joining and participating in discussion groups. With more than 350 groups to choose from, you are sure to find more than one topic that interests you. Many of the groups are growing. Next time you’re looking at your group, check out what other groups are available. If you don’t find a group that meets your needs, start a new group!

Some of our members are taking their groups from good to great by engaging their audiences in simple but effective ways.

  • Past District Governor Robert Harness started the Using Social Media in Rotary Clubs He helps his group grow by regularly inviting new members and monitoring and moderating discussions.
  • Rotarian Educators has a seen a steady increase of members each week thanks to the dedicated efforts of group creator Rotarian Maria Bossa. Maria always responds to posts and welcomes new members.
  • Membership Best Practices is another popular group due to the relevant and interesting discussions that are happening around membership. For example, the value proposition of Rotary to new members and retention and growth in clubs.

These three groups are often among the top ten most active groups on My Rotary because of the efforts of their administrators.

Daily notifications make it easy for you to stay up to date on group activity. If there’s no activity in your groups then you won’t get an email. Since notifications were added to My Rotary, we’ve seen an increase in group growth. The key to making your group grow is to actively post questions and experiences. Groups with the most recent posts are always listed first; it’s important to keep discussions moving to ensure the success of your group.

You can also use My Rotary to find and connect other Rotarians, Rotaractors, and Alumni. Search by name, skills, or interest and to find others who have interests in common with you.