Agile Training in Denver’s Backyard

Looking for a way to move your organization forward in adopting scrum or help in bringing your Agile practices to the next level? ReadyTalk is proud to be a sponsor of Agile Denver’s first conference, Mile High Agile 2011: Elevating Agility.  The event on April 7 will feature a great one-day lineup of information for every level of agility at super-low registration cost.  There will be four tracks covering Agile adoption, technical practices, product and project practices, and enterprise agility.

And, if the lineup of presentations don’t address your specific needs, there will be an open space track that runs parallel to the scheduled sessions where any attendee can propose a topic of interest and discuss with others in attendance who share an interest. You can propose topics at the beginning of the day via a 3 x 5 card that will be added to the wall and grouped with other areas of interested.  The main hall will offer break out tables where these groups can sit and whiteboard together and share personal experiences. It doesn’t get much more Agile than that!

My personal experience with Agile is that we are always learning something new through the ‘inspect and adapt’ process.  This local conference provides a great opportunity to connect and share with others in the Denver Agile community.  Learn something new and pass it on. Hope to see you there!


Colleen is the ScrumMaster at ReadyTalk, where she brings over ten years of experience in software testing and development process refinement. She works with multiple scrum teams in Engineering to encourage application to scrum principles and facilitates the evolve/adapt process. When she’s not chasing engineers, she’s playing chase with her two kids and when she’s not chasing them….she is asleep.

Series on Webinar Use Cases Continues

We had our first use case webinar on Online Training in February. In case you missed it you can access the recording online. The speakers did a great job outlining how they made their programs successful and what features they found most helpful within a web conferencing platform.

I hope you can find the time to join the two remaining webinars on using webinars for revenue and demand generation. They are listed below:

Webinars for revenue generation on March 30, 2011 at 2 p.m. EST, features two speakers, Mary O’Brien from PPCSummit and Larry Stearn from SIPA, who are successful at generating revenue from their webinar program. Mary O’Brien took her physical event and moved it online successfully, while Larry has been successful making money in a very tight industry that has been hit hard by the economy.

Demand generation is featured on April 27, 2011 at 2 p.m. EST, with demand generation specialists from Rally Software and NewsGator. They will share their tips on how to structure a successful demand generation webinar program as well as the critical features you need to be successful.

Register for one of these events or all of them. Visit our site to learn more about the different uses for webinars so you can start your own series or optimize your current one.


As the senior demand generation manager at ReadyTalk, Mike helps manage and execute ReadyTalk’s demand generation programs, which include email, online advertising, telemarketing and tradeshows. He also oversees ReadyTalk’s lead management process and marketing funnel by using Eloqua and Salesforce.com to automate ReadyTalk’s nurturing programs and lead follow-up.

Teleworking: Internet Nightmares

This post is part of ReadyTalk's ongoing series on teleworking.

My telework day started without Internet. The cable technician had come to troubleshoot the connection, and when he saw the downed line, his shoulders slumped.

“I’ll have to run a new drop to your house. It will probably take me between 2 and 3 hours.”

I made a pot of coffee, and let my supervisor know my status and that I probably would not be available until later in the day. I had considered just biking in to the office, but I had other work scheduled on the house and needed to be home. They technician told me that my cable line had been purposefully cut from the alley along with two of my neighbors’. Meanwhile, a few guys show up to do unrelated work on the house and I am shuffling cars around so they can get a truck and a Bobcat in to my driveway.

I’m watching the technician run a new cable while the contractors jackhammer a strip of concrete next to the house. Finally, after many cups of coffee and a case of the jitters, the cable comes back on line, and I begin working at my desk to the sound of jackhammering.

Many of my coworkers use our technology to work from home during inclement weather and to watch over sick kids. Some even work from the ski slopes. I don't have kids and am lucky enough to have weather-proof transportation, so when I work from home it’s usually so I can concentrate on what I’m doing for ReadyTalk or to supervise house work.

While the possibility of connection problems might make teleworking seem like a risky choice, it would have been easy for me to work from the local coffee shop had the cable company not been so responsive. It’s hard anymore to go anywhere urban and not find an available wireless connection.

While this day was filled with stress, noise and distraction, I’m looking forward to future days of teleworking with warm weather, a hammock and the sound of the backyard waterfall keeping me peacefully productive.

What are your teleworking horror stories? What steps have you taken to prevent them from happening again?

Daniel has been managing ReadyTalk’s website since 2008 and helps make marketing collateral easy on the eye. When he’s not hacking away at VIM or tweaking the website, he’s busy improving his Denver Victorian, making/enjoying good brew and offering expertise to local non-profits.

Telework Week – Sofas, and Starbucks, Spreadsheets

Today's post is part of ReadyTalk's ongoing series on teleworking.

I have to admit, this morning did not start off as smoothly as I had hoped. Being in the comfort of my home, coffee in hand, work space set up…wait – no internet connection? At this point I might as well just go into the office. We are lost without our wireless connection in this day and age, it seems. Alas, after a good forty-five minutes of troubleshooting, I successfully access my network.

Wait …now I can’t connect to the office VPN. Good grief! And I thought I was going to get off to an early start; so much for that plan. So, I send a quick chat message to one of our wonderful IT gurus for some assistance in the matter. Thank goodness for Ashlea! Sometimes our day to day jobs become so routine that we often forget about the functionality of the technology we work with on a regular basis – enter ReadyTalk’s web conferencing platform (ta-dah!)

I’ve held a few webinars in my day, collaborated on projects when teams or colleagues were working remotely. However, today I had a bit of a lapse. I had accepted the fact that I’d be stuck working from scratch on a number of projects I had already started at the office and saved to our server that I currently could not access. It didn’t dawn on me until Ashlea suggested that I start a web meeting and grant her access of my desktop so that she could set up my VPN from home that this web conferencing platform I use on a daily basis really could come in quite handy – genius!

I start a meeting, grant control of my desktop to Ashlea and in a matter of minutes I’m up and running. Technology at its finest. As I sit on my sofa, sip on some Starbucks and fill in this spreadsheet I can attest to how truly functional a web conferencing tool can be. I’m not paid extra to tout our platform, but it really did the job this morning.

Teleworking may come from necessity (travel, unexpected circumstances, remote office locations) or even as a perk to some, but unless you have access to your team, documents, projects, training tools, etc., you quickly begin to recognize that your to-do list for the day may hit a roadblock. What kind of tools are you using to make your telework experience productive and efficient? Does your office support a regularly scheduled teleworking program and how? The idea of teleworking is quickly catching onwhat industries do you think it lends itself to the most? We’d love your feedback!

Simone VerhulstSimone has been involved with both the sales and marketing teams at ReadyTalk and currently fills the role of Programs Coordinator and manages the monthly ReadyTalk Webinar Series, which is a free forum for professionals to interact with their peers and other experts on topics ranging from sales and marketing to nonprofits and funding to leadership and professional development. Simone is an outdoor enthusiast – skiing, climbing, triathlons, and trail runs with her dog, Bucket, are just a few of the things she enjoys outside of the office.

Why poll the audience during a webinar?

In a 2009 ReadyTalk customer survey, polling was the feature requested most by customers who use our service for webinars. Now that we have it, why use it?
Following are some of the benefits of incorporating polling into your presentations:polling for web conferencing

  • Polling allows moderators to make presentations as engaging and productive as traditional in-person presentations.
  • You can receive immediate feedback from participants on topics that are relevant to the presentation.
  • A thoughtfully written polling question can reveal interesting information about each participant’s background, interest level, knowledge level and opinions on the topic(s) being presented.
  • Polling questions are an easy way to engage participants – especially those who are new to Web conferencing – who are reluctant to speak or chat.
  • As a presentation progresses, polling questions can be used to measure how well a participant understands the information and, if necessary, revisit or redirect the presentation.
  • As previously mentioned, polling questions can reveal a participant’s interest in a topic, and this can help with lead generation for sales-based presentations.

Have you found polling to add additional value to your webinars? Share your feedback below.

Check out next week’s blog for 15 best practices for polling and incorporating polls into your web conference or webinar.

As an event manager, Anthony works with clients on all aspects of their audio and web conferencing needs. Prior to working at ReadyTalk, he was a ReadyTalk customer, so he brings a great understanding of developing and running webinar programs. He enjoys spending time with his family and two dogs, watching movies, reading and exploring Denver’s top restaurants.