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Volunteer Training and Professional Development

The Training page for Volunteer Today has historically focused on tips for trainers. Occasionally there were articles about training for the manager of volunteers. With this issue the focus is shifting. Each issue will have information on some aspect of professional development for managers of volunteers and some articles on how to be a better trainer of volunteers. The author of this page, Nancy Macduff, is open to ideas and suggestions from readers on what might be useful information in the area of professional development. You can email her at: editor@volunteertoday.com.

~ June 2007 ~ Topics

Volunteer Management Institute in Spokane, WA
PowerPoint No, No!
Nonverbal Cues

Volunteer Management Institute in Spokane, WA

Washington State University offers its Volunteer Management Institute for managers of volunteers in Spokane, WA, November 6-9, 2007. This certificate program is the face-to-face version of the online Volunteer Management Certificate Program (http://www.capps.wsu.edu/vmcp/). Designed to accommodate beginning managers, as well as those with more experience it is an in-depth look at the new forms of volunteering and how to manage the episodic and traditional volunteer. For more information visit the Web site (address to come soon).

We now have downloadable books available in PDF format. Check out our online bookstore for Handling Problem Volunteers by Steve McCurley and Sue Vineyard now available electronically. Details for Handling Problem Volunteers Book

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PowerPoint No, No!

PowerPoint is likely the most abused training device in recent memory. Presenters put up information that is confusing, their lecture notes in tiny fonts, unreadable across a large room. A funny video to illustrate the abuses can be found at http://www.presentationzen.com/presentationzen/2007/04. It might be a way to see if what you are doing is violating some of the rules of good PowerPoint usage!

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Nonverbal Cues

Trainers need to be mind and body readers. Volunteers in training send messages through their body language. Here is a short quiz to test your knowledge of standard body language messages.
Directions: Match the meaning with the nonverbal cue. Put the letter in the space provided. Answer key below.

  Nonverbal Cue Meaning
1.___ Glancing sideways a. evaluation
2.___ Rubbing neck b. confidence
3.___ Hands in pocket c. cooperation
4.___ Clenched fist d. frustration
5.___ Covering mouth with hands e. Suspicion
6.___ Open hands f. insecurity
7.___ Smiling g. defensiveness
8.___ Upper body learning forward h. openness
9.___ Stoking chin i. nervousness

Answer Key: 1. e; 2. d; 3. f; 4. g; 5. i; 6. h; 7. b; 8. c; 9. a.

Close to 200 colleges and universities offer academic programs on nonprofit and volunteer sector management. They are usually master's degree programs, but not always. American Humanics sponsors undergraduate programs, as well. If you are looking to push out the professional development window, consider taking a course at one of these colleges. A full list resides at http://tltc.shu.edu/npo/. Thank Roseanne Mirabella, of Seton Hall University for keeping up with this list.

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